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Vila Antica

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How to reach Lastovo

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Arrival in Split
You can arrive in Split via Split Airport, which is 20 km away from Sea Passenger Terminal. By roadway from Rijeka, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, etc.
With ferryboat or high-speed boat from Ancona-Pescara, etc.
Jadrolinija, with its fleet of ferries and high-speed boats, is connecting Split with Lastovo Island.

Reaching Island of Lastovo
You can reach Lastovo Island by ferryboat or high-speed boat from Split Sea Passenger Terminal: Split - Hvar - Vela Luka - Ubli
If you arrive by car, then ferryboat is your choice (the journey takes less than 5 hours). By high-speed boat, the journey takes 2 hr. 45 min.
Directly from Italy, by high-speed boat from Termoli and high-speed boat from Pescara.

(Contact us and we will check all arrival opportunities for you!)

Lastovo History

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The island was first mentioned by 6th Century lexicographer Stephen from Byzantium who called it Ladesta and Ladeston. His source was Theopompus a 4th Century BC Greek historian. The names of numerous other Illyric settlements along the coast had the same suffix -est which indicates its Illyric origins. When the Romans conquered Dalmatia they gave the island the latin name Augusta Insula meaning "emperors island". During the middle-ages the name would be transcribed as Augusta, Lagusta or Lagosta. The Slavic suffix -ovo combined with the Roman form of Lasta gives the islands present name of Lastovo.
The first traces of human presence on the island were found in the Rača cave where continuous evidence of civilization reaches as far as the late Neolithic Age. In prehistoric times the island was inhabited by the Illyrians. However finds of Greek ceramics show that the island was on one of the Greek trade routes on the Adriatic and probably a part of the state of Issa.When the Romans conquered the province of Dalmatia they too settled Lastovo. The Romans named the island Augusta Insula. The Romans left very clear traces of their long rule on the island, the so called "villae rusticae" (residential farming units) or the water catchment areas known as the "lokve" are amongst other monuments that remain. The Romans established a settlement on location of today's village Ubli that flourished during first centuries AD, only to become completely desolate in later centuries.

With the arrival of the Slavs to Adriatic in the 7th century, Croats eventually settled most of Dalmatia which included Lastovo. Around 950, the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos mentions Lastovo in his De Administrando Imperio by its Slavic name Lastobon. In the year 998 the Venetian Doge Pietro Orseolo II took massive operations against Croatian and Neretvian pirates along the Adriatic and its islands, which culminated with the destruction of the town of Lastovo. After this Lastovci decided to build a city on the internal hill away from the coast which made the city more defendable. During the next two centuries inhabitants dedicated themselves more to agriculture and neglected their earlier naval tradition. Scarcity of accurate historical documents and an almost complete silence covering the events on the island in the early Middle Ages are trustworthy signs of a great autonomy of Lastovo in that period. Lastovo may have at times come briefly under various rulers from the 7th–13th centuries, whether Byzantine, Dukljan or Neretvian, however, it is accepted that Lastovo generally recognised the Croatian Kings as its nominal and natural rulers.
Lastovo commune’s official seal known as the Pečat within the Republic of Dubrovnik
In 1185 the Hvar diocese is formed of which Lastovo is mentioned as having joined. A church synod held in Split that same year decreed that the Hvar diocese should come under the Archbishop of Split. Later in the 13th century the people of Lastovo voluntarily joined the Dubrovnik Republic in 1252 after the republic promised that it would honour Lastovo's internal autonomy. This agreement was codified in the Dubrovnik Statute in 1272.
In 1310 Lastovo got its first written legislation, the Statute of Lastovo, which had all the characteristics of law. The supreme authority on the island had a council consisting of 20 members who held office for life.
In 1486 authorities of the Council were passed in Parliament of the Republic and the island lost much of its autonomy. Continuous limitation of the island's autonomy and higher taxes led to a short lived rebellion in 1602. On the appeal of islanders Venice occupied the island the following year and held it until 1606, when it was returned to Dubrovnik. The next attempt at rebellion was in 1652, which resulted in the loss of the island's autonomy.
During the Ottoman conquests, Lastovo was very often a target of pirates from Ulcinj, leading to the introduction of mandatory guard service. Guard service was abolished in the 18th century when pirates from Ulcinj became merchant sailors. The last reported outbreak of vampirism in Croatia was 'recorded' on Lastovo. The trial in Dubrovnik in 1737 took testimony from visitors to the island during an outbreak of severe diarrhoea which killed many locals. The islanders blamed this epidemic on vampires. This case included from Lastovo the defendants who formed a band or group of vigilante style vampire hunters. Such cases were reported throughout all of Croatia and indeed Europe in the middle-ages.
In 1806 the French took control of Dubrovnik Republic, and Lastovo became part of the French Empire. The French built a fortification on Glavica hill and mobilised islanders against the British. The British took the island in 1813 and held the island until 1815 when in the Berlin congress the island became part of Habsburg Empire. During this period Lastovo was part of Dubrovnik county in Dalmatia province. Until 1829 it had independent court legislation, but later the island fell under the jurisdiction of the court in Korčula. In the 1840s, the municipality fell in deep economic crisis and was pushed to sell most of its forests to foreigners.
On 11 November 1918, Italian troops occupied the island based on the 1915 Secret Treaty of London which promised much of Dalmatia to Italy upon Italy entering the war on the side of the allies. Lastovo was finally incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy based on the Rapallo agreement in 1920. Although the Italians claimed territories of the former Venetian Republic, Lastovo, except for brief period of time, was never a part of it. The Italian era was marked by suppression of Croatian national identity but also by growth in the living standards, and the island reached its peak population of approximately 2,000. The Italian possession of Lastovo ended in 1943 when Yugoslav partisans took over the island and incorporated it into Croatia. Lastovo became a part of the People's Republic of Croatia since 1945—one of the six Republics of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia and since 1953, the Socialist Republic of Croatia - one of the Republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
After World War II, Lastovo experienced the same fate as the neighbouring island Vis: Being reserved for the army, foreign nationals were forbidden to visit the island, leading to economic stagnation and the depopulation of the island. In 1988 the ban was lifted and foreign tourists were again allowed to visit the island.
Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, however the Yugoslav People's Army finally left their military bases on Lastovo in July 1992 as one of its last footholds in Croatia. The war in Croatia ended in 1995, and Lastovo escaped much of the devastation that swept across the rest of Croatia and Bosnia. Still due to war and economic crisis in the country, Lastovo experienced a population decline from 1205 in 1991 to 835 people in 2001.

Although the number of tourists is increasing, Lastovo still hasn't experienced a tourist renaissance like Vis and the island is an oasis of peace during summertime. Currently the Croatian Parliament is preparing a bill that would make Lastovo and its archipelago a Nature park.
The most important event on the island is an authentic carnival locals call the Poklad. All the island residents participate by wearing folk costumes. The origins of the Lastovo carnival go back to a historical event. Legend has it that Catalan pirates attacked neighbouring Korčula and sent a Turkish messenger to Lastovo to tell the islanders to surrender or they would be next. The inhabitants of Lastovo did not let themselves be intimidated - instead they armed themselves and went on the attack. The women and children prayed to Sv. Jure (St. George) for help and their prayers were answered: a storm destroyed the pirates' ships and the inhabitants of Lastovo caught the messenger. In order to mock him, he was taken through the village on the back of a donkey and was afterwards sentenced and burned to death. This event is celebrated through the Poklad every year over a period of two days just before lent and is not enacted for the benefit of tourists either. Locals take it very seriously and Lastovci from all around the world return to Lastovo to attend the carnival.

Lastovo Architecture

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The main church is the church of Sv Kuzma i Damjan (Saint Cosmas and Damian). It is situated in the oldest part of the square in the town of Lastovo and dates from the 14th century. On the main altar is the painting of Saint Cosmas and Damian. Out of the rest of the paintings Pieta, the work of an anonymous Venetian painter from 1545, can be distinguished. On its place there was a smaller church that dates back from 5th or 6th century. The church of Saint Vlaho from the 12th century is on the entrance of the settlement. Beside it the chapel of Saint John was built in 1607, and around the church a defence wall and a tower.
Church of Saint Cosmas and Damian
On the graveyard on the southern edge is the little church of Saint Mary in the field from the 14th century and is considered as most attractive on the island. Near the ferry port in Ubli an archealogical find of the remains of a 6th century church dedicated to Sv Petar (Saint Peter) are situated. Other churches of interest are Sv Luka (St Luke) built in the typical Croatian 11th century sacral architecture, and Sv Jurje (St George) at Prežba also built in the 11th century, was demolished between the two World Wars. Another church called St Peter in Ubli built somewhere in the 11th–13th centuries was also unfortunately demolished by the Italians in 1933 to make way for extra fishing sheds. All together there are a total of 46 churches, making the number 46 ominpresent since the island also has 46 hills, covers 46 square kilometres, has 46 fields, and contains 46 islands in the archipelago.The town’s buildings date mainly from the 15th and 16th centuries where the village received its present form when about 20 Renaissance houses were built. Most of them have high broad terraces which have become the "trade mark" look of Lastovo houses. Their unusual cylindrical chimneys locals call fumari are picturesque and different as they look like miniature minaret’s, although there is no record of Arab or Turkish influence ever making it this far. The ornate chimney on the 16th century Biza Antica house is probably the oldest preserved chimney in Dalmatia. The lighthouse built on Lastovo's southern tip in 1839 makes it the first lighthouse built in all of Croatia.

Lastovo Climate

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Lastovo possesses all the basic characteristics of the Mediterranean climate, dominated by mild moist winters and warm, long and dry summers. Along with a water temperature around 27 °C in summer, the island receives around 2,700 sun hours per year ranking it among one of the sunniest in the Adriatic and pleasant for tourists. Annual rainfall is approximately 650 mm.
Since there are no permanent surface water streams, residents rely on using bores or dams and a fixed water connection to the mainland.

There are rich communities of falcon and hawk nests, which used to be exploited by the Dubrovnik Republic for falconry and traded to other kingdoms especially to Naples in the Middle Ages. The underwater life surrounding Lastovo’s waters are the richest in the entire Adriatic, featuring lobsters, crayfish, octupus and many high prized fish such as John Dory and Groupers. There are no poisonous snakes on the island.


Lastovo Basic Facts

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Lastovo (Italian: Lagosta, Latin: Augusta Insula, Greek: Ladestanos, Illyrian: Ladest) is an island, town and municipality in the Dubrovnik-Neretva county in Croatia. The island has an area of 46 km² and a population of 835 of which 93% are ethnic Croats.
The municipality is slightly bigger because it includes another 45 islands and islets covering a total area of approximately 56 km².
The island is rich in architecture, featuring many buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries. There are a large number of churches for its relative size, which is a testament to the island's long standing Roman Catholic tradition. The major cultural event, apart from the normal celebrations on the Catholic calendar, is the event known as the Poklad, or carnival. The island today relies mostly on its natural beauty and preservation to attract a reasonable amount of tourists each season. Currently the Croatian government is preparing a bill to make the island and its archipelago a nature park.
Lastovo, like the rest of Roman Dalmatia, was settled by Illyrians. The Romans conquered and settled the entire area until the Avar invasions and Slavic migrations in the 7th century. The Croat tribes secured most of the Dalmatian seaboard. Around the year 1000 the Venetians attacked the island destroying the settlement due to the islands participation in piracy along the Adriatic. In the 13th century, Lastovo joined the Dubrovnik Republic where it mostly enjoyed a certain level of autonomy until the republics conquest by the French under Napoleon. Austria then ruled the island for the next two centuries until it finally became a part of Croatia.


The island of Lastovo belongs to the central Dalmatian archipelago lying 13 km south of Korčula. This makes the island one of the most remotely inhabited in the Adriatic. Other islands featured in this group include Vis, Brač, Hvar, Korčula and Mljet. The dimensions of the island are approximately 9.8 km long by up to 5.8 km wide.
The Lastovo archipelago contains a total of 46 islands of which includes the larger islands Sušac, Prežba, Mrčara and a group of islands called Lastovnjaci on the eastern side. Prežba is actually connected to the main island by a bridge at the village of Pasadur (meaning “passage” in the local dialect). The island has a daily hydrofoil service and ferry (trajekt) service linking it to the mainland at Split, stopping along the way at Korčula and Hvar.
The main settlement of the island faces away from the sea. This is unusual compared to other Adriatic islands which are normally harbour side. The town spreads itself over the steep banks of a natural amphitheatre overlooking a fertile field below. Other settlements on the island include the villages of Ubli (also known as Sveti Petar), Lučica, Zaklopatica, Skrivena Luka and Pasadur.
Lastovo has a dynamic landscape consisting also of 46 hills and 46 karstic fields that often contain layers of red soil and quartz sand. The highest point is Hum at 417 m and there are another three hills higher than 400 m, Pleševo Brdo, Gumanca and Mali Hum and another thirteen other hills higher than 200 m. Its dolomitic valleys are located between limy hills and mild calcareous slopes rich in caves. There are five caves on the island - Rača, Puzavica, Pozalica, Grapčeva and Medvidina, with the largest being Rača.[3]
Lastovo, along with Mljet, are among the Adriatic islands richest in forests with a high percentage of coverage, mostly pine and Mediterranean underbrush. This is probably because of the long rule under the Dubrovnik Republic where forests were relatively protected, or less exploited compared to Venice which heavily forested its domains in the rest of Dalmatia.
The coastline is mainly steep and the surrounding sea is deep. On the southern coast is a large deep bay at Skrivena Luka which offers protection from the bora and Westerly winds. The other main deep port is located on the western side at Ubli which is where the main ferry port for the island is located.