Island of Kings

IMG_6371 copy

Lokrum Island (Otok Lokrum) seen from the Old Town  Fortress wall walk of Dubrovnik. This little island is about 2km long from north to south & 500m broad. The summit elevation is about 96m. Lokrum which in Italian is Lacroma  is derived  from the Latin word ‘acrumen‘ which means sour fruit probably after the citrus  cultivation  on the island since the time the Benedictines arrived in 1023.

IMG_6304 copy

Lokrum Island is just a stone’s throw from Dubrovnik Old Town, so it makes it a popular local & tourist getaway. You can catch a 15 min ferry ride from  the Old Town Port to Lokrum.

IMG_6309 copy

Lokrum is a small island that lies in the Adriatic Sea,  600m away from Dubrovnik, Croatia.

IMG_6312 copy

As we sail out to the Adriatic Sea, we are treated to this sweeping view of the Medieval 16th century fortification perched on a solid mount of rock, encircling the Old Town of Dubrovnik.

IMG_6314 copy

The Adriatic Sea separates the Balkan Peninsula with the Dinaric Alps from the Italian Peninsula with the Apennine Mountains. We spy Montenegro in the distance.

IMG_6323 copy

As we continued to sail out from Dubrovnik which historically was known as Ragusa, capital of the maritime Republic of Ragusa during the 15th & 16th centuries;  we see Mount Srđ rising high up behind the city.

IMG_6324 copy

It was such a beautiful day as we cruised in this sturdy boat that took us around Lokrum Island & back to harbour.

IMG_6326 copy

The Stijene Rocks section. Legend has it that King Richard the Lionheart was shipwrecked on Lokrum following his crusades of 1192. In 1859, Maxmillian von Habsburg the Archduke of Austria bought Lokrum & transformed the Benedictine Abbey & monastery into a summer palace. Hence, this little island was later  nicknamed the ‘Island of Kings’.

IMG_6329 copy

The south-western part of the island is craggy & this islet is a quiet haven with  no vehicular traffic or dogs allowed.

IMG_6330 copy

The whole island is composed of carbonate rocks namely sedimentary limestone & dolomite which was formed approximately 85 million  years ago in the younger geological period of Cretaceous.

IMG_6332 copy

As we continued to hug the coastline, we passed  this cove named Velika špilja.

IMG_6336 copy

The Bay of Portoč (Uvala Portoč) is another swimming spot to enjoy the clear blue waters of the Adriatic but be careful as the beach is rocky. Lokrum is lush & beautiful with  holm oaks, black ash, pine & olive trees & has virtually remained untouched for centuries. In 1964 Lokrum was declared a Managed Nature Reserve & in 1976 a Special Forest Vegetation Reserve under the auspices of   UNESCO.

IMG_6334 copy

This natural shelter is the FKK (frei-körper-kultur) zone designated for skinny dipping, so be prepared to bathe in your birth-day suit here! If you are modest like me, try swimming at the Dead Sea (Mrtvo More) a 10m deep lake linked to the sea.

IMG_6337 copy

There is quite a bit to see on Lokrum but the principal highlight is probably The Benedictine Abbey founded in 1023 & its formal gardens. There is also an impressive Botanical Garden of the Dubrovnik Oceanographic Institute & the 19th century Fort Royal which stands at the top of Lokrum Hill.

IMG_6340 copy

The cruise gradually turned around & we see Mount Srđ with the Cable car station right on top looming over Dubrovnik.

IMG_6342 copy

The Adriatic Sea is the northern-most arm of the Mediterranean Sea & countries that have coastlines by the Adriatic include Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro & Slovenia.

IMG_6349 copy

Many villas are built on these steep cliffs overlooking the Adriatic Sea with their own private jetties like this one.

IMG_6356 copy

Along Croatia’s glimmering coastline that spans about 1,800km, Dubrovnik is the top tourist town & it lies along the southern-most stretch known as the Dalmatian Coast. There are 79 islands & over 500 islets & the Adriatic Sea’s high water quality coupled with the immense number of coves & channels make it an ideal spot of nautical races, sea-sports & tourism in general.

IMG_6360 copy

The Dalmatian Coast is dominated by dramatic limestone cliffs that rise from the deep, isolated islands, attractive beaches, water-sports & the beautiful  turquoise Adriatic Sea.

IMG_6366 copy

Banje Beach can be reached from the Old Town when you exit the Ploce Gate on the eastern side & walk towards the suburb of Ploce for about 100m. At sunset, this amazing beach transforms into a night club for revellers.

IMG_6369 copy

Our exciting cruise ended here at the Gradska Luka (Old Town Port) but our day in Dubrovnik was  far from over as we next made our way up  Mount Srđ on the cable car to catch the magnificent sunset.

When you are done with exploring the Old City of Dubrovnik, hop over to this gem,  Lokrum Island. What you would need is good walking shoes, your swim gear, sunblock & shades for a relaxing time away from all the hustle & bustle!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s