Tuesday, 27 October 2020

An Island Without Corona: Lastovo Records Zero COVID-19 Cases

October 27, 2020 - One Dalmatian island with 760 inhabitants, a five-hour ferry ride from Split, has not recorded a single coronavirus case since the first was recorded in Croatia back in February. A closer look at why Lastovo records zero COVID-19 cases to this day.

Slobodna Dalmacija asked the head of the Lastovo Civil Protection Headquarters, Margaret Hropić, how the locals managed to achieve zero patients for nine months.

"We have no concrete explanation as to why no corona cases have been reported on the island all this time. We had a busy summer, quite a few tourists, life is the same as in all other areas. People violate and respect measures; there is no different, more special behavior that we practice in our community. We live like the rest of the world. We are a closed environment. Behind us, from a tourist point of view, it is a successful summer. Maybe we have stronger collective immunity. The area of the island is certainly energetically stronger due to the natural environment.

We are grateful to God and hope that He will keep us going. Maybe the explanation lies in some intangible reason; I have room to believe in such an option," Margaret Hropić said.

One of the largest entrepreneurs in Lastovo, Marčelino Simić, the owner of one of the most famous restaurants in the southern part of the waters, and its marina, is almost of the same opinion. This summer, up to 30 yachts could be anchored on its pontoon simultaneously—and three-hundred people circulated in a small space. But what happened? Nothing. Everyone healthy, everything clean, everything tidy. So what's the secret?

"So many people have passed, and did anyone become infected - no, did anyone have a fever - no, did the corona come - no. We had two, three cases of self-isolation, but from our people who came from outside to the island, so they had to go through that measure as well. And everyone was healthy. Why? It is not in the open, my dear, corona; it cannot survive there. There are few people on the whole island on 50 square kilometers. There are another 50 kilometers of water around us; our whole island is a great self-isolation. Care was taken when going ashore; care was taken on the ferry and catamaran. Each of us really cares about who we will stand with then and how we will behave. The neighbor and every peson on the island are taken care of. Because when I take care of them, I take care of everything and myself. And on Lastovo, there is a special energy that keeps us all together," he says.

Furthermore, the island is experiencing a baby boom, with 10 babies this year! 

Bruna Rizvanović is among the pregnant women expecting a baby in late January to early February. She will be a mom for the first time.

"I know about five pregnant women; they say that there are about ten of them. It is difficult to count because we are connected by doctors in Split. I share the same day of birth with one. And to put it bluntly, we got pregnant at the same time, in April, May, during the lockdown. Well, the term clearly shows that we didn't really keep a social distance," Bruna laughs.

Her friend Martina Bašić Ivčević from Zaklopatica said that this is not the first time she has been in the center of a baby boom; one already passed ten years ago, when she was pregnant with her second child in a row. She is now expecting her fifth.

"And listen, there was a baby boom during corona. But I think it has to do with cycles, with decades. Now, why don't we have a corona? Big cities - several cases, smaller areas, less. There is nobody here. We follow the rules; we wear masks, don't have big gatherings, and we live. We protect each other. And so, everything runs as normal," concludes Martina.

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Thursday, 20 August 2020

PHOTOS: Lily Allen And Lepa Brena Arrive In Croatia

August 20, 2020 – Croatian coast a hit in August 2020 with international pop stars including Lepa Brena and Lily Allen

Croatia's coast has once again proved an irresistible draw to holidaying celebrities. The latest famous arrivals include regional pop megastar Lepa Brena and hit British singer Lily Allen.

Both Lepa Brena and Lily Allen have taken to their social media accounts over recent hours to announce their arrival in the country. Each has posted pictures of their vacations on the beautiful, sun-soaked coast of Dalmatia.

Lepa Brena, the revered originator of the massively popular regional pop-folk sound posted pictures from Mljet island, but Lily Allen has already travelled between Lastovo and Vis island. And while photos taken by Brena have been all about the beautiful Croatian scenery, Lily's have been smiling selfies as she thoroughly enjoys a break with her family. Here's how they saw Croatia through their social media on the first days of their visits.

Lepa Brena





Lily Allen





All images sourced from Instagram

Monday, 10 August 2020

Discovering Lastovo, Croatia's Southernmost Inhabited Island

August 10, 2020 - The southernmost inhabited Croatian island, Lastovo, together with other 45 islets, cliffs, and reefs, is Croatia's youngest nature park. Due to the richness of the Mediterranean plants and endangered animal species, Lastovo is among the last ten treasures of Mediterranean biodiversity. Along with Mljet, Lastovo is the most heavily forested Croatian island, with about 70% of it covered with forests. The larger settlements on the island are Lastovo, Ubli, Pasadur, Zaklopatica and Skrivena Luka.


The hilly landscape formed by numerous karst fields and bays is ideal for those who enjoy recreational cycling. The seabed rich in caves and passages is a paradise for diving lovers. Of the diving sites, the most attractive and the most visited are Seka Drašan and Petrovac.

In addition to the above activities, visitors can enjoy hunting, recreational and sport fishing and star gazing. Lastovo is an island with one of the darkest skies in Europe and among tourists, it's also known as „the island of crystal stars“.


According to the 2011 census, Lastovo has 792 inhabitants, but the real number is much lower. In the last ten years, many have moved away and the number of those who are registered there, but actually live and work elsewhere, is not negligible.

Most islanders are engaged in tourism and related activities such as agriculture, fishing and trade. Since the season on Lastovo is very short, tourism is not the only branch from which most residents live.

„Part of the population is employed in the institutions located on the island, such us JUPP Lastovo islands, Elementary School Braća Glumac, police, army, post office, state administration office… There are those whom agriculture, tourism or fishing is the only source of income, so when the season is over, after a short break, preparations for the next one begin very quickly“, says Bruna Rizvanović, director of the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Lastovo.

In terms of tourism, last year was a record for the number of overnight stays.

 „Due to the tendency to increase in number of overnight stays in the last seven years, we believed that it would continue by at least 5-10% in terms of capacity. We planned our activities accordingly. However, this epidemic surprised us all and showed that the future is unpredictable. I believe that we will be able to push through this year and that this experience will help us to become even better and to develop in line with sustainable tourism“, she explains.


During July 2020, 74.21% of last year's arrivals and 73.79% of last year's overnight stays were realized in the municipality of Lastovo. All catering facilities are open, but most of them opened later than planned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for the music festivals for which Lastovo is famous, one has not been held, and the other will be held from 12th to 16th of August.

„The 'LUZ – Lastovo u zvijezdama' festival was not held this year, but the reason was not the current situation, but technical difficulties with the organization. I believe and hope that next year, the organizers of LUZ will meet again and continue the tradition of a diverse program and offer in the pre-season period, which is extremely important for our island“, Rizvanović adds.


This year's edition of festival LAstovo.OTOKGLAZBE. adheres to a slighty different concept of organization due to the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the attitude of organizers about the importance of ensuring the health of visitors. Because of it, it will be held in a much smaller capacity, without the organization of a camp and with fewer visitors than usual.

DJ D-Gree, Stray Dogg and Mary May are responsible for the music program, while the young contemporary circus collective  Madame Gauc will perform the show „Fil“. In addition to the abovementioned program that will take place in MihajLA bay, part will take place in the village of Lastovo.

Rizvanović believes that the results of this tourist season are more than good, considering the situation in the rest of the county. 


„I believe that the distance of the island from large city centers and the lack of crowds, but also the fact that we didn't record any cases of COVID-19, have affected that the results of tourist traffic are higher than expected. People feel safe knowing that the possibility of infection on the island is small“, Rizvanović concludes.

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Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Beautiful Lastovo Richer for Founding of Tennis Club

As Morski/Andreja Dodig writes on the 21st of July, 2020, a group of recreationists and sports lovers gathered back at the beginning of May this year with the idea of ​​founding a tennis club and a tennis school on Lastovo.

Krešimir Dodig, the individual who first came up with this idea, thanks to his recreational tennis experience and acquaintances, collected a donation from the "Oroslavje" tennis club in the form of basic equipment (rackets, balls, nets).

The existing concrete playground located next to the pitch belonging to the "Omladinac" Lastovo football club was arranged and put to use with the help of a monetary donation from the aforementioned football club and with the great efforts of the local population who organised and arranged everything independently. Assistance and support was also provided by local institutions of the Municipality of Lastovo, the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Lastovo, the Lastovo Islands Nature Park and numerous local hospitality facilities.

Tennis is an extremely fun and social sport that can be played by all generations so this initiative intends to bring together interested individuals of all ages. The idea was met with a great response among the locals and visitors to Lastovo, with the emphasis of the initiative placed on the fact that primary school children (aged 7-14 years) are given the opportunity to attend tennis school for free. The school has been run by two licensed tennis coaches since July the 8th (Robi Jankovič and Gregor Ficko) with the help of two assistants (Jakob Jankovič and Matija Dodig), and other members of the club have been attending it since the beginning of the school on July the 20th.

At the very beginning of the operation of this Lastovo tennis school, 22 children were present, but by the date of this text, the number of children increased to 43, which means that as many as 86 percent of the children living on Lastovo are involved in this commendable sports initiative.

After the first phase, a presentation training for parents was held on July the 16th, where trainers presented learning methods, a programme of work in athletic, mental, technical and tactical education, and the children presented their acquired skills and knowledge to their parents.

Throughout the work of the tennis school for children, the coaches train local potential coaches who prepare for the continuation of the Lastovo tennis school after the end of this three-week summer camp. The wish of the initiators is that all members of the club go through the tennis school, and that playing tennis provides them pleasure.

Considering the position and location of the existing court, the possibilities of its expansion, the indescribably good microclimate for playing tennis and the existing infrastructure, projects for the formation of an entire tennis camp are also planned.

In addition to the development of physical and mental abilities, tennis has a social, fun character and can significantly enrich life on the island as well as the tourist offer of Lastovo. Islanders and local institutions have already recognised the potential and importance of this project, which can mean a lot for the future of their children, the population, as well as visitors.

For more, follow our lifestyle page.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Year-Round High Speed Lastovo-Korcula-Dubrovnik Line Being Introduced

The introduction of a high speed maritime connection between Lastovo-Korcula-Dubrovnik that will operate throughout the entire year is sure to bring relief to many, especially to southern Dalmatia's island inhabitants who often have to deal with irregularities in maritime connections with the mainland and indeed other islands.

As Morski writes on the 21st of May, 2020, at a recently held session, the Croatian Government adopted an amendment to a previously taken decision on determining state lines in terms of public transport, with its focus on this occasion on regular coastal maritime transport.

This decision will see the very welcome introduction a new year-round high speed line operating along the route: Lastovo-Korcula-Dubrovnik, and vice versa, with the aim of better connecting beautiful Lastovo with its county centre - the City of Dubrovnik.

The introduction of this brand new line will contribute to the improvement of the economic and tourist development of Dubrovnik-Neretva County as a whole and will ensure the better connection of the popular islands of Lastovo and Korcula with Dubrovnik, as well as the proper and constant interconnection of these two islands.

Regular public transport in what is referred to as regular coastal maritime transport in the Republic of Croatia includes 53 state lines, with a total fleet of 77 ships in operation along them.

Funds for the new high speed Lastovo-Korcula-Dubrovnik line, as well as for the other 53 state lines which exist in this segment of public transport in the Republic of Croatia, are provided for in the state budget, in the total amount of 329.5 million kuna for the year 2020, with projections of the required annual funds for 2021 and 2022 in the amount of 340 million kuna foreseen.

For more on maritime connections, islands, border crossings, destinations along the coast, the islands and in the continental part of the country, follow our dedicated travel page.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Ecological Footprint Measured at NP Kornati and PP Lastovo

October 24, 2019 - Thanks to the DestiMED project, the Kornati National Park and the Lastovo Islands Nature Park were able to measure the ecological footprint of their tourist offer, which is now available to Croatia’s other protected areas.

Not surprisingly, food turns out to have the most impact on the ecological footprint of visitors on the protected area itself.

Namely, HRTurizam writes that at the closing ceremony of the international DestiMED project held in Rome, the latest methodology for monitoring the ecological footprint of tourists in protected areas in the Mediterranean Sea was presented, and among the areas where the method was tested were the Kornati National Park and the Lastovo Islands Nature Park.

Using the standardized tools of the world's leading eco-footprint measurement organization, Global Footprint Network, as a starting point, partners in the DestiMED project adapted the eco-footprint methodology for environmental impact assessment. Not only was the ecological footprint of each tourist who participated in the latest eco-tourism offer measured, but concrete steps were taken to manage the environmental footprint in that offer. Specific components, such as food, lodging, transportation, and recreational activities, were taken into account.

The results indicated that food and drink had the most substantial environmental impact, especially in those packages that offered large quantities of meat products.

"The methodology for monitoring the ecological footprint we developed within the DestiMED project and the first of its kind in the world has helped protected areas and tourism professionals in the Kornati National Park and the Lastovo Islands Nature Park see where their tours are great, and where there is space for improvement when it comes to the impact on the environment and nature. Moreover, new and alternative business opportunities have been identified that are pushing us towards more sustainable local development,” explains Mosor Prvan of WWF Adria, DestiMED project manager.

By making better choices and promoting the best practices in tourism and recreation, protected areas can address the environmental impact of their tourism packages developed as part of the DestiMED project, while improving the quality of services offered to tourists, concluded WWF Adria.

In the future, the free online eco-footprint calculator will make the methodology applicable to all protected areas in the Mediterranean that are ready to create and test their ecotourism packages.

You can view the online tool here.

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Sunday, 2 June 2019

Nikola Dobroslavić: First Step Made on Dubrovnik-Lastovo Connection

As Morski writes on the 2nd of June, 2019, Dubrovnik-Neretva County prefect Nikola Dobroslavić attended a public consultation on the national plan for the development of coastal maritime traffic by 2030.

The Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, together with the Faculty of Maritime Studies of the University of Rijeka initiated a project for the development of a mid-term strategic document entitled ''National Development Plan for Coastal Maritime Traffic by 2030'', which is now in its final stages of creation, and which is above all very necessary for any future financing of Croatia's multiple port projects and their required infrastructure from EU funds.

''It's good that such a plan has been launched to come up with a solution [for the direct Dubrovnik-Lastovo connection]. We have an indented coastline and numerous islands, and the connection between the islands and the mainland is very important to us. On our part, we've come up with a number of projects that need to contribute to linking [the mainland and the islands], and we've prepared projects for eight new ports that will create connectivity prerequisites.

These ports are included the national plan, and it's important that other ports are evaluated. It's important for us to have a liner connection, especially to our islands by sea. It is important that the islands also have vessels with a good capacity and speed and that they have sufficient number of links,'' said Prefect Nikola Dobroslavić, pointing out that the first step has now been taken in getting a new direct Dubrovnik-Lastovo ferry line.

''I believe that the next national plan will adopt all of the other necessary conditions and that ultimately all of the stakeholders will be satisfied,'' concluded Dobroslavić.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated travel page for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow or check out Dubrovnik in a Page.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Klapa Groups from Lastovo Perform in Former Military Tunnel

Lastovo in southern Dalmatia is one of the closest things to heaven on earth as one can get. This still underrated little island tends to keep itself to itself despite its relatively close proximity to Dubrovnik, but it has a lot to be boasting about.

Klapa music is by far one of the most characteristic parts, or sounds, rather, of Dalmatia. This type of traditional capella singing is one of Dalmatia's top trademarks and no visit to the coast is complete without hearing and witnessing a klapa performance. 

Translating to ''group of friends'', there are often several klapa music bands per location, even in small villages. This type of singing can trace its roots back to church singing, and the most common subjects of the songs are love, the Adriatic, drinking wine and a love for Croatia, or sometimes more specifically the town from which the group originates.

As Morski writes on the 29th of May, 2019, the female klapa group ''Ladesta'' and the male klapa group ''Fumari'' held a concert in no less than a very atmospheric former military tunnel located in Kremena bay on the islet of Prežba, an uninhabited place located just northwest of Lastovo, under the organisation of the only hotel complex on the whole of Lastovo, hotel Solitudo.

Guests of the island, as well as the local population, enjoyed and sang along with the klapa music in the unique ambience of this old Lastovo military tunnel. The ambience and the natural acoustics of this newly-discovered "stage" helped to well and truly fill the entire tunnel with the sound of the klapa singing, as well as the singing of the birds and the soft lapping of the calm Adriatic sea, leaving the audience more than satisfied with this rather unique experience.

The audience, which was made up of both visitors to Lastovo and locals didn't hide their obvious enthusiasm, and every new performance from "Fumari" and "Ladesta" was met with a strong and appreciative round of applause.

''The greatest wealth of tourism are people, then history and culture, and there's a lot on Lastovo. The concept we care about is the concept of ethical tourism, which implies respect for natural, cultural and historical values ​​and above all, respect for the local community,'' stated the hotel manager of Lastovo's Solitudo, Željko Kurta.

With small but certain steps, beautiful Lastovo in southern Dalmatia is managing to balance stubbornly guarding its sheer beauty, rich traditions, and its impressive culture and history while still opening up its green heart to visitors.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Korčula and Lastovo Protest Lack of Transport Links

Due to the lack of transport links to the western part of the island of Korčula and the island of Lastovo, mayors of municipalities of Vela Luka, Blato, Smokvica and Lastovo have sent an open letter to Jadrolinija's CEO David Sopta, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, Dubrovnik-Neretva County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavić, and Member of Parliament Branko Bačić, reports Dalmacija Danas on April 25, 2019.

“The island of Korčula is one of the most populated Croatian islands without a physical link to the mainland, while the inhabitants of the island of Lastovo and the western part of the island of Korčula are some of the most isolated ones, if we take into consideration time needed for them to reach their county seats. For this reason, most residents gravitate towards the county seat of the neighbouring county, which is connected with the islands by ferry and catamaran lines. For years these lines have been neglected, both qualitatively (types of vessels) and quantitatively (number of lines). Although fast and with excellent manoeuvring capabilities, the Lastovo ferry no longer has enough capacity for this line, and it could surely serve its purpose better on some other island line.

Accordingly, on January 28, 2019, a meeting was held in Dubrovnik on the topic of solving the problems of the (non-)existence of transport links to the islands in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, especially fast-ship and ferry connections to Vela Luka and Lastovo, initiated by Member of Parliament Branko Bačić.

Four significant conclusions were agreed upon at the meeting: It is necessary for Jadrolinija to immediately start the process of purchasing a used ship for the Split-Vela Luka-Lastovo line, and continue towards constructing a new ship for the same line. The participants also fully supported the construction of eight local- and county-level ports in the area of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. It was established that the Jelena catamaran, the only one with the necessary maritime capabilities, should be permanently devoted to the Split-Vela Luka-Lastovo route. There is also the need for the fast-ship Dubrovnik-Lastovo line, for which the government has already given its consent, to be converted into a daily line to improve connections between Lastovo and the county seat, and to make it possible for high school students to attend the secondary school in Korčula, which is the wish of parents from Lastovo.

Given that we have received unofficial information that the purchase of the used vessel Panorama for the Split-Vela Luka- Ubli line has failed, and that the Jelena catamaran will no longer be used for the Split-Hvar-Vela Luka-Ubli route, please let us know as soon as possible whether this information is accurate and what is the plan for the tourist season that has already begun. We also ask you to reconsider the decisions mentioned above, so that in 2019 the inhabitants of the islands of Lastovo and Korčula would no longer be treated as second-class citizens,” states the letter sent by local officials.

Translated from Dalmacija Danas.

More Croatian island news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Luxury Hotel, Five-Star Villas and Two Marinas to be Built on Lastovo

Luxury hotel, five-star villas will total of 500 beds, as well as two marinas with 400 berths are planned to be built on the Lastovo Islands. The international call for submission of bids to build the accommodation and get concessions on the marinas and beaches on Lastovo was opened today by the Ministry of State Property.

The tourist project was defined by zoning plans in 2017, and the value of the overall project is estimated to be around half a billion kuna (around 80 million Euro).

The plan includes Jurjeva Luka and nautical port Kremena, located at the central and southern part of the islet of Prežba. Prežba is connected to Lastovo mainland by a bridge in Pasadur. In the past, the company Jadranski luksuzni hoteli, currently owned by the Lukšić family, was interested in Jurjeva Luka.

The area in question is over 24 hectares, and all of it is located within the Lastovo Islands Nature Park, so any investments will have to be following strict conservation bylaws. Long forgotten army barracks still exist in Jurjeva Luka, and additional navy installations are located in Kremena, but since those objects have no conservation or any other value, the investor will be able to remove them if they want to.

The hotel, villas and the marinas will have to fit into the protected natural and cultural heritage, and not stand out (archaeological findings at the locations are possible and are to be expected). Swimming pools, various sports and recreational zones, bars, restaurants, but also a seaplane landing spot will be allowed in the zone. The hotel will be allowed to have as many as 450 beds and villas 50 - at 6 beds per villa at the most.

At least 50% of the zone needs to be landscaped using local plants and keeping as many already existing plants as possible. All buildings will be able to have solar cells installed. The concession for the part of the coastline and the sea will be given for 50 years, and since it should be one project, the future investors will be able to apply for the project's entirety, not just certain aspects of it.

In the next 50 years, it is expected that the total price tag for the concessions and the rental of the land will be around 950 million kuna - and that is just the lowest possible price for any bids. The selected investor will have to build the tourist buildings within 5 years since the start of the project, so we can expect a profound change happening to Lastovo in mid the '20-s.

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