I wrote this on the ferry as we left our newly found island paradise – Lastovo.
We happened upon this island by chance, using my favourite “no-plans method”. Lastovo is the remotest inhabited island in the Dalmatian archipelago, with only 700 or so residents, it is frequented by yachties and Europeans in search of a remote island escape.
We booked the accommodation then set out to catch a ferry from Split to Ubli, the port of Lastovo. There are three options to arrive from Split, two car ferries (morning and evening) and one high-speed catamaran during the afternoon. I checked online and could see these options but no purchase link for the catamaran tickets, so we decided to get to the port an hour early to try get a ticket. Check ferry times on the Jadrolinja website.
The uber ride was eventful, when our driver pulled up to the port the local police were obsessed with moving him along, so in the rush to get out Karl left his phone in the uber. We called Karl’s phone from my phone but it was on silent, which was not ideal. Our hearts dropped as we watched the uber driver zoom off into the distance, away from the bossy policeman on his moped. Thinking quickly, we activated the find my iphone function on my iphone, which allows you to emit a beep remotely from the lost iphone, we followed a few beeps up with a call and our legendary driver picked up Karl’s phone and drove back to return it to us.
Meanwhile, I went over to purchase catamaran tickets. It was sold out and the next boat was leaving a few hours after that and was a car ferry, so would take twice as long. This was not the end of the world, but less ideal, I asked if we could wait for any cancellations. The ticket lady said that was unlikely but we could try the next ticket booth. So along we trudge with all our bags to the next ticket booth, which is now outside in the blaring heat on the Split port, with lots of clueless travellers agitated in the sun standing in a queue. We dutifully joined with our bags, and despite being harassed by the bloke behind us, waited our turn to be told again, there is no space on the catamaran, but you can try your luck.
We wander down the pier to the catamaran and watched dozens of people and their bags trudge on board, I was sent as the emissary to ask if we could purchase tickets on board. Success! Despite there being a handful of free seats, people were filling them up with their bags etc, which was frustrating but didn’t stop our feeling of elation of making it onto the high speed catamaran. We sat in the luggage rack until Hvar, where we asked a guy who spent half the time out of his seat anyway if we could take his seats. The catamaran continued to Vela Luka on Korcula before finally arrived at Ubli. By now, the catamaran was almost empty. We called our apartment host, who told us to get in the red taxi with Ante after we arrived. We were quickly transported the 3km or so to Pasadur and certainly found paradise.
Our accommodation was on the island of Prezba, in the town of Pasadur (which means passage in the local dialect). It was connected to Lastovo by a small bridge. The town hosts the island’s only hotel, which was beneficial in the sense that even though we might be extremely remote, you know there will be some facilities available for the hotel guests.
Croatian water is notoriously clear, clean and blue, but Lastovo was another level above that. I’ve never seen such crystal clear and blue water in my life, casually swimming with the local fish or walking home at night being able to see the bottom of sea even in darkness.
Other than hotel guests, there were a daily dozen yachts (small to supersize) and other guests who had driven from their European homes, often accompanied with dogs and taken the car ferry. We saw visitors with numberplates from as far afield as Belgium.
We quickly fell into a daily routine, coffee and a small breakfast at Caffe bar Kokolo (the greatest coffee I’ve had in Europe), something simple for lunch then either cooking dinner or eating at the wonderful Pansion Sonja, which was 20 euros for an incredible 3+ courses with wine.
We would swim, take out a boat to explore the nearby islands, relax, walk into Ubli and sit on our balcony doing admin. We took the boat to visit Mrcara, a nearby island with a sort of Robinson Crusoe set-up, however, we couldn’t get a coffee there and the lady working the ‘restaurant’ was not accommodating so I wouldn’t recommend that.
The days were glorious and the nights equally so. I stopped in shock walking home one evening, because there were so many stars in the sky. The kind of bright, sparkling skies you only see when you are very far away from light pollution.
The food was incredible, continuing the trend to have incredible “Italian” food in Croatia as well as delicious produce. The bruschetta at Caffe bar Kokolo was fresh, with perfectly diced ripe tomatoes, crunchy bread and good drizzling of olive oil and fresh basil. The fruit salad was full of nectarine (must try in Croatia, kiwifruit, apple, banana and some melon. At Pansion Sonja we ate from the daily menu, enjoying grilled fish or meat as a main. Croatia cuisine includes the beautifully charred ‘Peka’ style meat.
I would recommend Lastovo as a romantic and peaceful getaway in the Adriatic. If it wasn’t for the Italian-Croatian dialect and food, you wouldn’t be surprised to be told you were in the Pacific Ocean or any other island paradise on earth.
I think 3 days would be the minimum you would want to spend here to truly unwind after your travels. We stuck to the Pasadur area but if we ever visit again would try to see more of the island. Lastovo has plenty to offer, in it’s own laidback small island way, but we were too busy enjoying doing nothing to venture much further. Something for next time perhaps?