Take your stay in Dubrovnik to the next level and go on a day trip to the Elaphiti Islands!
The small 30-square kilometers archipelago of the Elaphiti Islands consists of 13 islands, situated northwest of Dubrovnik.
However, the three main inhabited islands possible to visit – by joining one of our tours – are Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan.
Hey… remember, there’s Lopud (One of the Elaphiti Islands) and Lapad (one of the neighbourhoods in Dubrovnik).
The peaceful islands are really small, with a total population of 850 inhabitants. For example, the main island Sipan has a population of 450 people, Kolocep’s population is around 300 people, and last but not least, Lopud with 200 people.
And, as you guessed it correctly, the islands are a lovely getaway for visitors seeking serenity and nature.
Have you decided to go on a day trip yet? Don’t you know how to reach the Elaphiti Islands?
No worries, there are a few ways to go.
- You can use public ferries to get there. Jadrolinija offers daily trips to each of the three islands. It is a Croatian sea ship company aiming to connect all Croatian islands together by offering daily travel services (they also offer a ferry to Mljet Island). Therefore, there are daily ferry services going to and coming from the Islands.
- You can use a catamaran service by G and V line as well to get to Sipan.
- Or, for the best travel experience, join one of our Elaphiti Islands tours, which will offer you the opportunity of visiting all of the three islands at once!
If you’re avoiding the hustle in Dubrovnik (because you know, it can get pretty crowded), and you want to enjoy precious moments of relaxation within nature, we recommend you choose either Lopud or Kolocep islands. They are completely traffic-free, so you won’t find any cars there! And the two islands are very quiet.
History of the Elaphiti islands
Let’s understand what the word ‘Elaphiti’ means. The Croatian archipelago has a Greek original name. The word ‘Elafos’ translates to the word ‘deer,’ meaning the islands were, formerly, a reserve for important numbers of deer.
As time goes, the Elaphiti Islands were occupied by the Republic of Dubrovnik around 1272.
A Rector used to rule the Islands, and his base was divided between the main Islands of Sipan and Lopud.
Following the Turks attack in 1572, defenses on the Elaphiti Archipelago were strengthened to defend any potential occupier. Therefore, the most strong and skilled sailors came from there to protect the seafront of Dubrovnik.
The Elaphiti Islands
Can’t decide which island to visit? We gathered some information about our three Elaphiti Islands here so you can choose which one of them suits your stay in Dubrovnik best!
Being the closest island of the archipelago to the mainland, Kolocep is a popular day trip choice among visitors.
It is the smallest island of the three main islands (Lopud and Sipan). Therefore, if you want to enjoy a bit of quietness, away from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik, this is where to go!
The island is both calm and close to Dubrovnik, with just a 30-minute ferry ride from the city.
It is located just 5 kilometers away from Dubrovnik’s main ferry port: Gruz port, making it a beautiful vacation twist during your stay in the city.
Like we mentioned, Kolocep is traffic-free, so don’t expect to see any cars or hear any vehicle horns.
The island is about the utmost relaxation, whether you prefer laying down at the golden sandy beaches or you want to enjoy the shade cast by pine trees.
You can take a stroll in the island forest, and don’t worry about losing your way; there are paths within the forest to follow.
You can spend the day at the beach and enjoy the lovely summer breeze.
Once you’re back, be sure to check best beaches in Dubrovnik…
We recommend you go to the Blue Cave. The cool cave can be explored by snorkeling around, and you can enjoy the crystal-clear waters there.
Other popular activities to do are snorkeling or kayaking in the surrounding sea.
For history and architecture lovers, there are many churches with Romanesque designs that you can visit. Some of the old churches date back to the 9th century. You can visit the Church of the Holy Trinity, the Church of St Nicholas, and the Church of St Sergius.
You can pay a visit to the two villages there, and maybe have a small chit-chat with locals. The villages are both on the opposite sides of Kolocep. However, it’s possible to cover the distance between them with a 30-minute walk.
For accommodation, there are waterfront restaurants, cafes, and also private rooms to rent and a hotel. All of these are budget-friendly!
Our second traffic-free island is Lopud. A popular day trip-choice to stay near Dubrovnik.
With the least inhabitant number among the three main islands, Lopud is perfect for those seeking nature and serenity.
Lopud offers similar fun activities like Kolocep. The island has rich vegetation, so you can take long walks within the pathed forest. And for people staying for two days, it’s the perfect opportunity to head to the sandy Sunj Beach.
You can also hire a kayak from locals and navigate your way around the Adriatic Sea close from the island or rent a bike and discover all of the hidden spots of Lopud.
The island has few landmarks to see, consisting of 15th and 16th-century churches.
Above Sunj beach, for example, you can hike to the church of Our Lady of Sunj to see Renaissance-baroque architecture, sculptures, and Assumption illustrations.
At the port’s entrance, you can check the church of the Holy Trinity. Dating from the 16th century, it is the only landmark on Lopud with a mixed Renaissance and gothic elements.
And, to save the best for the last, the most popular landmark is located at the center of the village: The Franciscan Monastery, dotted with incredible old artworks dating from the medieval times.
If you’re visiting the village to visit the Franciscan Monastery, don’t miss out on the opportunity of seeing the two forts located at the village’s entrance, you can climb to the top and see lovely views of the island.
About 12 kilometers away from Dubrovnik, the third main and largest island of the Elaphiti archipelago is a popular location for day trips.
Sipan has around 400 inhabitants, living in two villages located on opposite sides of the island.
The island is about 80 minutes ferry ride from Dubrovnik. It’s perfect for a day trip to see a few landmarks or enjoy a calm day. Nevertheless, we recommend you stay for two days to see all attractions in Sipan, visit the two villages, try local delicacies and swim for a couple of hours.
Along with taking long walks, hiking, cycling, or spending the day at the beach, Sipan offers interesting landmarks to see!
You can visit a couple of churches on the island: The Church of the Holy Spirit, dating from 1569, and St Peter’s Church.
For accommodation, we recommend Kod Marka, which is a lovely seafood-themed restaurant to try local dishes made with freshly caught fish.
And, the BOWA Beach Club and lounge, which is perfect for spending a fantastic afternoon in its restaurant to enjoy their menu or to stay on the terrace!