Croatia’s undiscovered treasure

CROATIA is one of the most-hyped destinations in Europe. Despite the throngs of tourists there are still some areas where you can escape the crowds and surround yourself with nature and civilization in perfect harmony. Booked.net chief executive Alexander Protoven talks about the island of Lopud.

The beautiful Croatian island of Lopud. Click to see larger image. Photos by Alexander Protoven.

One visit was all it took – I was in love.

There are few destinations in the world I can honestly say I want to return to again and again, but the Croatian Island of Lupud ranks almost top of my list.

The appeal is in the fact it isn’t a destination overflowing with tourists, but it is too good not to share.

Lopud is a 50-minute ferry ride northwest of tourist hot-spot Dubrovnik http://www.booked.net/City-Dubrovnik-19298/ and is a part of the Elafiti islands. This archipelago of nine islands can be seen from Dubrovnik and only three, Koločep, Lopud and Sipan are inhabited.

Lopud lies between the other two islands and is, in my opinion, the most beautiful. With an area of just 4.63 square kilometers and only 220 inhabitants it remains largely undiscovered by the outside world.

However, it has been inhabited for thousands of years and you can find a lot of Greek, Roman and Slavic buildings and ruins.

Click to see larger image.

The village of Lopud is on the northwest side of the island and is connected to the other side by a footpath that runs to a bay called Sunj – famous for its white-sanded beach.

There is a beautiful coast with crystal clear water, in fact Croatia is one of the best countries in Europe for scuba-diving. It’s blessed with a beautiful rugged coastline and warm waters that are teeming with exotic Mediterranean sea life.

Last week, on my third visit to Croatia, Lopud was my choice for holiday destination, having toured hotels both on the mainland and on the islands.

It’s beautiful – when I saw Lopud I knew it was a place I wanted to return to.

It’s unspoiled and you can relax in peace without being caught in a hoard of tourists and the autumn months of September and October are perfect for a visit to Croatia.

Why?

The number of visitors has fallen from the peak summer months, hotel availability has increased and the weather is milder rather than blisteringly hot.

Click to see larger image.

Croatia in autumn is also easier on your budget as hotel prices are generally cheaper from September.

Twenty years since the nation declared independence from Yugoslavia, plunging the region into the worst conflict seen in Europe since the Second World War, this is a country determined to cement its place on the tourist map and the variety of hotels on offer is impressive.

For full-listings of hotels across Croatia visit http://www.booked.net/country-58/Croatia/

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