La Villa

Lopud, Croatia

A homely, 16th-century seaside villa on a tiny car-free island, an
hour’s ferry ride from the walled city of Dubrovnik

Scattered in turquoise seas off Dubrovnik, Lopud is one of the
largest of the gorgeous, green Elafiti islands. The only settlement
unfolds as you enter a deep bay, guarded by a small
Gothic-Renaissance chapel. With just 220 inhabitants and no cars,
this village of stone cottages, towering palm trees and an
abandoned Franciscan monastery was once a summer bolthole for
Dubrovnik aristocrats.

Today, it appeals to young professionals who want a back-to-nature
escape among some of the loveliest seascapes in the world. And
where better than this 16th-century stone villa, set in smart
gardens right by the sea? Above the ground-floor lounge, with its
library and internet corner, are 8 spacious, white-washed
rooms, stylishly furnished with wicker chaise-longues and
splashes of colour from Indian cotton bedcovers and brightly
mosaic’d bathrooms. From the seafront, a path leads across the
island through herb-scented Mediterranean vegetation to one of
Croatia’s rare sand beaches set in a blissful bay. Hosts
Dobrila and Mischel are warm and friendly and will help you arrange
anything from bike hire to sea kayaking; their new speedboat,
skippered by Mischel (who is also a keen diver) will whisk you in
minutes to Sunj beach, Sipan island or the sea-washed lighthouse on
St. Andrija.


  • Lopud is a beautiful, tranquil and car-free island with some of
    Croatia’s loveliest sandy beaches, including Sunj, a 20-minute walk
    from the hotel
  • Great food in the restaurant, and its outdoor
    terrace has fantastic views
  • Lovely laid-back staff
  • Stunning walks all over the island, perfect for exploring
  • Splendid Dubrovnik is just an hour by ferry – perfect for a day
    of culture


  • If you’re after the full range of creature comforts, this
    one isn’t for you
  • A large hotel at the far end of the bay spoils the view
    somewhat, and they sometimes play loud music at night
  • The island has little by way of nightlife or shopping – which,
    some would say, is ideal
  • Croatia is expensive and you may find the transfers, food and
    drink a little pricey