Hidden in the heart of the Adriatic and cradled by an archipelago of untouched islands, the island of Lastovo is the epitome of natural beauty and the perfect holiday destination abundant in its own organic produce.
Although the oldest written record of Lastovo is from the 4th century, evidence of human inhabitance on the island has been found within the cave Rača, dating back to the Stone Age (approximately 8500 BCE). Initially, Lastovo was inhabited by the Illyrian people and further findings of Greek pottery also indicate that Lastovo was a Greek trading path in the Adriatic Sea. According to some authors, it was also part of the Greek colony of Issa, whose center was on the island of Vis.
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Things to do
Lastovo is the ideal destination to escape to, relax and rest the body and soul.
Here are five must do’s during your stay:
- Explore the Lastovo Archipelago Nature Park
The Lastovo Archipelago was declared a nature park by the Croatian Parliament on the 29th of September 2006. It is the eleventh nature park in Croatia consisting of 44 islands, islets, rocks and reefs (the largest being Lastovo and Sušac) all covering a total area of 53 square kilometers of land and 143 square kilometers of sea. Its borders are lit by the stone lighthouses of Sušac, Tajan, Glavat and Struga. The Lastovo Archipelago was declared a nature park due to its mystic beauty, immense landscape, thick forests, high coastal cliffs, fertile fields with ponds, land and sea caves and numerous rare sea and land animals and habitats. The Lastovo Archipelago has a rich cultural and historical heritage with its many stone churches and chapels, picturesque chimneys and the traditional Lastovo Poklad carnival. But one unmissable part of the island are the locals, who prove that the coexistence of man and nature is always possible when accompanied by a developed environmental awareness. More information can be found on www.pp-lastovo.hr.
- Experience Lastovo’s Poklad Carnival
Lastovo’s Poklad Carnival which traces back to the 1390’s, is the reenactment of Lastovo’s miraculous victory against Catalan pirates. According to tradition, after attacking Korčula, the pirates sent a messenger to Lastovo to warn the people to surrender or they would meet the same fate. This however, did not stop the Lastovians who decided to arm themselves and attack. The women and children on the island prayed to St. Jure (George) for help and miraculously, a storm scattered the pirate ships. The Lastovian soldiers caught the pirates’ messenger and decided to humiliate him by leading him through the village on donkey, attaching him to a 300 meter rope at the top of the village, flying him down to the center and ultimately, setting him alight. The carnival is celebrated over three days before the beginning of Lent and the main reenactment takes place on the last day before Lent and is known as “Poklad Day” or “Poklad Tuesday”. This is the central part of the carnival when the Poklad – being a handmade doll representing the messenger – is taken through the village, let down the rope and burnt just as it was done to the pirates’ messenger. The burning of the Poklad is the climax of the entire festival which is accompanied by the traditional Poklad sword dance of Lastovo where the men are dressed in soldier uniforms and women are masked in carnival costumes. In 2008, the Ministry of Culture recognized this tradition as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Croatia.
- Relax on Lastovo’s beaches
Where better to relax in Croatia than on a beach? Lastovo’s coast offers an array of beautiful bays surrounded by crystal clear waters encircling its dense forests. Its natural rocky beaches are ideal locations for meditating and for active vacations.
- Try Lastovo’s fresh seafood
As one would expect on a remote island, Lastovo offers many seafood options, and one thing is guaranteed - the fish will be always fresh! Pamper yourself and try the local lobster, famous in the region.
- Wine tasting
Like the majority of Dalmatia, wine is an essential part of everyday life on Lastovo. Wines made on the island are of top quality. Don’t miss out tasting the most famous red wine of the region the “Plavac Mali”. We highly recommend exploring the vineyards and wine tasting to become more familiar with the locals, the history of the island and of course the wines.