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Luštica


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luštica

m montenegro hostel photo lustica 004Luštica is name of a fairly large peninsula lying between the Bay of Tivat and the open sea, connected with the mainland by the 1, km wide isthmus. The whole of peninsula is dominated by its highest peak –Obostnik (586 m)and is covered in thick Mediterranean copse and, in spite of its size, it has little fertile land. The coast of Luštica towards the bay is dull and almost straight in line, while the once facing the sea is set thickly with bays and coves of all sizes.On the peninsula there are two groups of small villages-Krtoli and Luštica. The six villages of Krtoli lie on and around the isthmus, where there is more arable land. Apart from cop growing, Krtoljani (as the inhabitants are called) were known to produce clay objects. Approaching Luštica by the only road from Tivat, after the airport one cannot fail to see the closed down brick factory which continued that tradition in the socialist period.

The eight villages of Luštica lie on the peninsula itself and where known for the abundance, in olive groves and for its seamanship, giving many famous sea plant diversity throughout the centuries. Today Luštica is known for several excellent beaches, certainly the best in Boka kotorska, some of which are very busy while the others are well hidden and less frequented.Luštica basically has one road that circles around Mt Obostnik with several smaller roads branching off to the villages and coves.

m montenegro hostel photo lustica 002Taking it will allow you to enjoy a wll balanced combination of beaches, desolate shrub-covered scenery and small inland villages. If coming from the direction of Tivat take the right turn after airport and then pass the Solilsko polje swamps. The road follows the coastline with many summerhouses and pensions and than forks: the right branch goes to Krašići and rose at the lip of Luštica while the left leads to Radovići. The largest of the villages in the Krtoli group, Radovići has several well supplied shops which are open whole day ( in contrast with those in most of the other villages) and makes a good starting point for the tour of the peninsula in a clockwise direction. Radovići has a fine church of the Sveta Gospodja (from 1843) located on a rise close to the road on the right side. In the village of Gošići that has nowadays melded with Radovići is the church dedicated to St Luke (crkva svetog Luke), which stands on a impressive hilltop that can be seen from afar.

To reach it, follow the sign and continue along the main road to the end in spite of all its curves. The present day orthodox church was built in 1776 on the palace occupied in the middle ages by a Benedictine monastery and even earlier by an Illyrian stronghold. The church enjoys spectacular views of the vicinity and the both sides of the isthmus.  At the exit of the village, a road splits to the left leading down to the Pržno beach. Pržno is small cove in a large Trašte bay that has a fine sandy beach descending very gradually into the sea. Its fine sand is thought to cure rheumatism.


m montenegro hostel photo lustica 028Back on the circular road, one embarks on the ride through the secluded south side of Luštica. Passing the small Mrdari and Begovići villages, from which there are several dirt roads descending to small coves facing the open sea and several locations attractive to drivers, you reach the hooking curve leading to Žanjica cove. The road slides down through delightful Mediterranean vegetation and then splits into two. To the right is Žanjica a wide pebble beach with several cafes and restaurants and a camping site. Due to its clear turquoise waters it is one of the favorite beaches of Boka and is visited often especially by boats arriving from Herceg Novi. The same boats continue their trip to Plava Spilja  a cave hardly reachable from the land side.

This cavern filled with a seawater is known for its spectacular blue color (that give it is name) and for the play of sunlight in its waters contrasting with the dark ceiling creating an experience that attracts many tourists to enjoy a swim here. The fee usually includes visit to island of Mamula . The left branch of the road leading to Žanjica takes you on the other side of the small cape to the Mirište beach, smaller and more intimate than Žanjica.The rocky coastline continues toward the open sea with several more bathing spots, past the small island with a recently restored 12th c. orthodox monastery surrounded by defensive walls, to the Forth of Arza, at the very tip of dry land. Arza is one of the system of three forts built by the Austrians in the 1850s to guard the entry to the Bay of Kotor.

The second fort is situated on the top of Rt Oštro Cape, in present day Croatia, while tried occupies almost all of small islands of Mamula, lying between the two. Arza’s massive 2 m thick walls stand almost untouched by passing of time but the interior is in a pitiful condition and is somewhat dangerous for visiting. 

m montenegro hostel photo lustica 025The Fort of Mamula, beautifully isolated but still seemingly within and arm’s length, changed the look and importance of the island so radically that it gave it is name. Earlier known as Lastavica, for the last one and half centuries the island is known by name of the man who supervised the fort’s construction, Austrian general and governor of Dalmatia Lazar Mamula, one of many Serbs from Military Border in Croatia who faithfully served the Habsburg emperor. This strong fort of the low silhouette and round base never saw any major fighting but was instead used as notorious prison during the First and the Second World War. The island, still abandoned by all but the seagulls, is covered in inhospitable low bush and plenty of agave but has a small rocky beach on its north side frequented by tourist boats on their way to Plava spilja.

Back on the circular road, on passes the hamlet of Zambelići, from which originates Luštica’s most famous seafarer Petar Zambelić (1849-1903), explorer of the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego in South America. On a sharp curve behind this hamlet stands orthodox church of the Radovanići village, certainly the most imposing in the whole Luštica. This 19th c. edifice is nicely set on the gentle is nicely set on a gentle slope and encircled with tall cypresses. The scene is especially picturesque from the old stone well across the field to the west of the churches. The road continues  through aged olive groves to village of Mrkovi, whose church of St Petka ( to the left of the road), built in the year 1596, boasts a nice ensemble of frescoes from the period, but one can rarely find it open. m montenegro hostel photo lustica 039After passing the Klinci village there is a crossroad where the main road continues to the right while the badly marked left one leads to Rose in a long decent.Rose (pronounced raw-seh), today not more than a small tourist village, is actually one of the oldest settlements in the Gulf of Kotor, dating back to the times of the ancient Greeks. The site was chosen for its small harbour well protected from the south winds and still within easy reach of the open sea. In Roman times a small town prospered here, surviving until 841 AD when it was burnt down in one of the Saracens’ raids that spread terror in all of south Adriatic. From then on Rose as fishing village, gaining again some importance from the 18th century onwards when it was an obligatory station for all ships sailing into Boka Kotorska to be left here for quarantine.  In recent times its relative isolation, interrupted only by visitors’ boats arriving from Herceg Novi attracted relaxed and bohemian residents. Rose’s charming harbor at the foot of steep hillside has a couple of restaurants. The circular road continues a bit further up, reaches its highest point and starts its lengthy descent offering grand panoramas of the Gulf on its left. It reaches the coastline in Krašići village that has grown into large and well-visited tourist spot with several smaller beaches. Before reaching our starting point and the fork to Radovići, the road passes Bjelila, two scenic groups of old houses jutting into the sea.

 

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