Lopud

Island in Elafiti Islands
Image by Vesna Celebic
Image by Vesna Celebic

Car-free Lopud has the prettiest settlement of all the Elafitis, composed of stone houses surrounded by exotic gardens and overlooked by ruined fortresses. There's a little beach in the town, but you're better off walking across the spine of the island to beautiful sandy Šunj, where a little bar serves griddled fish. The walk takes about 25 minutes, or you can grab a ride in a golf cart for around 20KN.

The first sight when sailing into the harbour is the immense sea wall and 30m-high bell tower of Lopud's 15th-century Franciscan Monastery. The only part of the complex that is regularly open to the public is St Mary-of-the-Cave Church, built in 1483 and worth a visit for its 16th-century altarpiece and intricately carved choir chairs.

Further along the seaside promenade is shady Ɖorđić-Mayneri Park, laid out in the late 19th-century by the great-granddaughter of Dubrovnik's last rector. Botanical specimens from around the world include North African date palms, North American magnolias and Tasmanian eucalyptus trees.

Dedicated to the patron saint of sailors, St Nicholas' Church attests to the times when Lopud was an important seafaring centre. Positioned on the waterfront, this 1482 church is modest in content, but provides an airy environment for a quiet moment.

It's also worth seeking out Your Black Horizon Art Pavilion, set in an orchard of cypress, carob and olive trees on the edge of the settlement. This amalgamation of contemporary art and architecture was moved here after originally being presented at the Venice Biennale in 2005. Inside is a light installation that showcases the colour changes on the horizon over a 24-hour period, shortened into a 15-minute looping LED display.