It is not possible to stay in Dubrovnik without visiting nature that surrounds it. With Srđ and Rijeka Dubrovačka, Lokrum Island and Lapad Peninsula are the most beautiful nature parks and places where you can escape the crowds. Nature is beautiful here all year long. But it is certainly the best to visit Lokrum and Lapad in the spring and summer. Dubrovnik, I have said it many times, is special and splendid, but would not be so perfect if there was no extraordinary nature around it. Lokrum Island and Lapad Peninsula can be easily visited from Dubrovnik Old Town or other nearby towns.
At only 600 meters from Dubrovnik Old Town, there is a beautiful green island called Lokrum. Its name is related to the cultivation of citrus, and the legend calls it a cursed one - since the locals say that if you'd take anything from the Lokrum island (a flower, a leaf, a peacock feather...) to carry home, you will be cursed. What comes from Lokrum has to stay on Lorum forever. Another legend has it that this is the island on which Richard the Lionheart, who was on a journey from the Crusade, stayed. Lokrum was first mentioned in the 11th century when the monks Benedictines founded a monastery here. You can still see this monastery today. It is believed that the island was inhabited for more than 1500 years. On the island itself, there is beautiful vegetation. The coasts of the island are sharp and made of large rocks, so it is generally not the best destination for swimming, but definitely worth a visit.
Lokrum has a botanical garden, with some species that come from South America and Australia. In addition to this, there is the Benedictine Monastery above mentioned and Fort Royal Fortress at one small hill, built by Napoleon's army at the beginning of the 19th century. You can visit Lokrum in 30 minutes, but I recommend you to stay longer. Walking in a dense forest with a smell of the sea and a breeze and the birds really feels like you're in a fairy tale. My visit to Lokrum was short and until now the only one, but I remember those beautiful green colors of the forest and a very blue sea.
You can reach Lokrum in a few minutes by boat because it is located only 600 meters from the old Dubrovnik harbor. And the boats will leave you in a small harbor of the Lokrum called Portoć. Ferries go throughout the year, circling for each half an hour. It is impossible to cross the island only during storms and strong waves.
For the end, briefly about the Lapad Peninsula. Lapad is a part of the city that is separated from the old town. It is also a peninsula that is on one side limited by the port of Gruž, and on the other by the open sea. Lapad can be reached by bus no. 6, which is constantly going on the route Old town - Lapad. The ride takes only 15 minutes. It is a great place to stay, and along with it, it is also recommended for families. There are shops, restaurants, including Dubrovnik famous hotels. Lapad is also known for its beaches: Copacabana and Bellevue.
Nature around Dubrovnik is worth a visit. The old city itself is unique and majestic, but it would not be complete without such a beautiful nature around it. Lapad and Lokrum are the places you can not miss while in Dubrovnik. They are very close to the city, but you will feel like you are miles away while visiting it.
Cover photo © credits: iStock/Donyanedomam
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