Unusually for the capital of a Croatian island, LASTOVO TOWN faces away from the sea, spreading itself over the steep banks of a natural amphitheatre with a fertile agricultural plain below. There’s a road at the top, a road at the bottom, and a maze of narrow alleys and stone stairways between. The town’s buildings date mainly from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and are notable for their curious chimneys shaped like miniature minarets.

Church of sts Cosmas and Damian

The fifteenth-century parish Church of sts Cosmas and Damian (Crkva svetog Kuzme i Damjana) in the centre of town is worth a look for its interior, richly adorned with sixteenth- and seventeenth-century paintings and icons, with a dainty fifteenth-century loggia opposite the entrance. Across from the church, fading propaganda slogans dating from World War II can still be made out on the facade of the village school: Živili savjeznici SSSR, Engleska i Amerika! (“Long live the alliance of the USSR, England and America!”) is the inspiring message.

The Fort

Above the town lie the remains of the old French fort, built in 1810 above some much older fortifications and now used as a weather station. It’s a stiff walk up, but worth it for the views from the top, with Lastovo on one side and the sea on the other.

Around Lastovo Town

Heading downhill from Lastovo Town’s main square, a road hairpins its way to two tiny harbours: Lučica, a tiny hamlet with a mix of derelict houses and renovated holiday homes, and, a little farther over to the west, the quieter Sveti Mihovil.

Otherwise, you can head for Zaklopatica, a hamlet 3km away on the northern coast of the island, which has a yachting harbour and a couple of konobe, or to Skrivena Luka, 7km south, a deep bay backed by sandy hills, where there are several rocky places to swim.

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