We left Korcula early on Wednesday morning heading towards Dubrovnik. We plan to anchor in the river on Friday morning, before the rush, and so had a day to spare which we’d spend anchored within an hour or so of Dubrovnik.

The first likely spot was the small island of Lopud about 8 miles north west of Dubrovnik. I should say we are actually now looking at the Dubrovaka River, rather than Dubrovnik itself. But I digress. There are two bays on Lopud, one north, one south and the southern one is reported to be a day trip boat destination, so we opted for the northern one, off the town of Lopud. And as it turned out it was a really good choice.

Lopud is a holiday destination and as such is wall to wall restaurants on the water front around the bay and there is a massive hotel nearby. There is a tiny little harbour in the northern corner where we could just squeeze the tender in and so we went for a walk on Wednesday evening to stretch our legs.

On Thursday I went back to visit the Franciscan Monastery of “Our Lady of the Cave” and its fortress. Although the 100kn entry fee was a bit steep it was almost worth it. Built in 1483 the monks abandoned it in the 1820s and it is now being renovated and rebuilt. The gardens are apparently modelled on the original Franciscan’s medicinal herb garden. The Cloister, Refectory and Chapter House are part of the museum and the whole place is an events venue, despite the church still being consecrated! It is a very pleasant and interesting place to visit.

The Cloister – built around a rainwater cistern using sand as a filter, including a well.

The Gardens – These are modelled on the Franciscans original gardens which is where they grew their medicinal herbs.

The Fortress

From the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection – a local noble family.

Lopud really was quite unexpectedly pleasant, and might even be worth a return visit with our visitors.