Elaphiti islands

About Elaphiti islands

The Elafiti islands are an archipelago situated close to the city of Dubrovnik. There are six islands in the archipelago, not including those small islets, although the three main ones to visit and stay on are Koločep, Lopud and Šipan. Two of the three islands, Koločep and Lopud, are entirely car-free, which means they’re an excellent place to base yourself on if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The islands get their name from the Greek word elafos, meaning deer; in ancient times the islands were apparently home to a large deer population. Also, the islands are particularly famous as the most skilful mariners came from there. They are great getaway for cruising, swimming time and enjoying your vacation in a truly Dalmatian style.

Docking and harbours on Elafiti islands

On each island it is possible to dock or anchor and spend the afternoon swimming. The most protected and safe bay to spend a night is definitely Šipan bay. Its deep bay is well protected from waves and all wind except north wind.

In summer this wind usually is not very strong but in case bad weather happens, there is always a nearby alternative to dock in Slano bay or Ston bay.

boats docked in lopud harbor

Koločep island

We will start with Koločep or Kalamota as locals call it. Kalamota is a Roman word for the drug Mandragora that apparently grows freely around the island.

As well on the west side of the island there are many underwater caves which are great for snorkelling, because you can dive out inside the cave.

view on Kolocep harbor

Lopud island

Lopud island is the second biggest island and is populated with many local people who run bars, restaurants and other shops on the island. One of the most popular places to visit is the famous sandy beach Šunj.

This is one of the most popular Dubrovnik beaches with few restaurants and cocktail bars. The beach stretches for almost 1 km, but the super cool thing is – the shore is very shallow and you can walk almost the same distance into the water. Kids love this beach because they get to swim and play in shallow sand.

couple walking in Lopud village

Šipan island

Last of our main Elafiti islands is Šipan which is also the largest and it has 2 villages. Šipanska Luka on the north and Sućurac on the south. In Sućurac there is a castle from noble guy Skočibuha, Rector’s Palace and house of Marin Getaldic who was a famous physicist, mathematician and astronomer of Dubrovnik Republic. Šipan island has the second largest field in ex. Dubrovnik Republic. There are freshwater wells from Roman time which were used for watering the plants. There are many small churches around the island but are hard to approach. Some hiking will be necessary

people on beach

Lokrum island

Lokrum is situated south from Dubrovnik and it is very easy to access with the ferry boat that departs from Old Town’s harbor every half an hour. Lokrum is also proclaimed as a Park of Nature and it is carless. There is an old arboretum from 15 century and many peacocks and rabbits as inhabitants. There are no snakes and no people living on the island which makes it a perfect getaway island for many tourists as well as locals.

You can walk the whole island on foot, all trails are well maintained but you will need a full day to explore all the hidden beauties of island. There is Benedictine monastery and fortress on the top of the hill. Many people like to swim in the “Dead sea” which is like a whole in the island filled with seawater. If you like cliff jumping, the south side is perfect for it and for those who don’t like swimming suits, there is a nudist beach on the south side as well. If you are a fan, there are locations of Game of thrones filming sites as well.

panoramic view on Lokrum island

Things to do

All islands are great swimming locations, you can do biking and hiking and many others. Shops and restaurants will be available for lunch or other purchases if you don’t want to bring your own snack which is also a possibility.

entrance to Lopud arboretum