Lokrum Island – the Gardens of Qarth
Dubrovnik’s Paradise Lost Just a Hop, Skip, and a Jump Away
The small island of Lokrum of just 72 hectares covers an area three times bigger than the one of the Old town and offers a haven from the usual summer crowds. Less than half a mile offshore this forested island calls to onlookers from the Dubrovnik city walls. People are unaware of its natural beauties and the locals claim it is a feast for the soul. It takes 10 minutes by boat to be carried away to this oasis of peace, lush vegetation, and crystal clear blue seas.
Changing hands over the centuries
Lokrum is not overcrowded, and there are no cars. It is not even allowed to spend the night there. The only inhabitants are peacocks. The first peacocks were brought from the Canary Islands. They roam freely through the greenery reminding visitors of Maximilian the Habsburg, Austrian emperor’s Franz Joseph younger brother, who used the whole island as a private summer residence. Lokrum has a historic attraction of its own – the 19th-century Napoleonic Fort Royale. From the fort, you can catch stunning views of the bay.
In 1959 a Botanical Garden was founded on the island. It contains native and imported, tropical and subtropical plants, and other vegetation originating in Australia and South America. If you are not green-fingered you can stroll through the marvelous maze of paths. Hiking trails lead up to the highest point of the island and the French fortress. The view is breathtaking and rewarding after a steep climb up the ‘’Path of Paradise’’. For swimmers, the island also offers a small saltwater lake – the Dead sea, just another hidden gem of the city.
Lokrum is an essential stop for fans of the series so make sure you find the Iron throne. The Game of Thrones production team used the island of Lokrum as a stand-in for the city of Qarth near the Jade Sea, which is visited by Daenerys Targaryen. Join us on A Team’s personalized Game of Thrones tour.
Another thing to mention is the legend about the Lokrum curse. It started with the decision by Pope Pius the Sixth to meet the Ragusan request and hand the Benedictine monastery to the town’s benevolent institutions. To find out about the tales and legends you can join us on the Medieval Times tour.
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