Lastovsko otočje is one of the largest marine protected areas in Croatia, and it belongs to the Dubrovnik – Neretva County. Within the boundaries of the Park, bordered by the lighthouses of islands Sušca, Tajana, Glavata and the cape Struge on Lastovo, there are 44 islands (the largest are Lastovo and Sušac), islets, rocks and reefs of the total area of 53km2 and 143km2 of sea surface.
Because of its exceptional beauty, accented landscape values, dense forests, fertile fields, ponds, land and underwater caves, and numerous rare species and habitats it was declared a nature park in 2006, as the eleventh one. It is also the youngest Nature Park in Croatia.
Thanks to its isolated geographical location, the area of Lastovsko otočja is the centre of endemism. On a small land area of the island of Lastovo, an abundance of solar energy and night moisture, and diverse relief enabled the ideal living conditions for 810 plant species, of which 21 are endemic, and 59 nationally threatened. Because of its semi-arid climate and distinctive xerophytic vegetation island Sušac is a kind of botanical gem. The fauna is also rich: 175 species of vertebrates, 20 species of local endangered, 71 species nationally endangered and 37 species threatened at the European level. Sea and land caves and caverns are inhabited by rare species of bats and invertebrates.
Thanks to the abundance and diversity of plankton underwater world is very rich in corals, sponges, plankton and other invertebrates. Particularly are amazing settlements of red and yellow coral cornea and red coral. Trademark of the aquatorium seabed are the habitats of lobster, then species of fish such as grouper, stone bass, bream, hake, etc. Until recently, on the lonely cliffs and caves lived also the Mediterranean monk seal. The World Wide Fund for Nature included the Lastovo archipelago among the 10 heavenly oasis in the Mediterranean which preserved and untouched beauty, is the key to identifying the overall biodiversity of the Mediterranean.
History of Lastovo is a fascinating story of human coexistence with nature. Islands Lastovo and Susac are rich mainlanded archaeological sites, with many findings the oldest of which date back to the Neolithic period. In the submarine of the acquatorium there is lot of underwater archaeological sites as well that reveal the world of ancient shipwrecks and amphorae. The rich cultural and historical heritage is witnessed by the stone churches and picturesque chimneys so-called “Fumari”, built to show the wealth of the owner of the house. The place Lastovo of the amphitheatric shape, keeps the stone houses from the 15th and 16th centuries, and Lučica is the last surviving example of the Baroque fishing village.
Lastovo is not a big island, 9.8 km long and only 5.8 km wide with numerous coves and fields anchored among the gentle hills. Those who appreciate the untouched nature, and want to have an active vacation will be delighted with the bike trails, and hiking and field paths, mostly marked, which intertwine the entire surface of the island. At the end of every road, trail or path, there are wonderful lookouts. The highest peak Hum, is the most beautiful lookout on the island. Along the way visitors can see 38 medieval stone churches hidden around the island. Besides enjoying the sea, Lastovo provides also diving on the most attractive locations on the Adriatic. At night, a beautiful view of the starry sky stretches from the island, as evidenced by the initiatives for making Lastov become European astronomical camp.
Lastovo can be reached only by water way. The island is connected by ferry lines with Split and Vela Luka. From Split there is a daily ferry (5 hours of sailing) and catamaran (2:45 hours of navigation), and it is possible to arrive on the island also from Vela Luka on Korčula. It can be reached by the seaplane, whose flight from Split lasts half an hour.