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During any summer break, you might want to get away from the regular tourist destinations and venture somewhere a little quieter. Aren’t islands the perfect answer to that?
If you’re visiting Croatiayou can easily see the gorgeous Elafiti Islands during your stay – you’ll also see them spelled as Elaphatiti Islands or the Elaphites.
This can be for just a day, or maybe you’ll want to spend the night or a few days and explore the island you choose a little more.
The Elafiti Islands are located just northwest of Dubrovnik, and the main three islands you can visit are Kolocep, Sipan, and Lopud. These islands are the perfect escape from the crowds in Dubrovnik, especially between July and September. You can either choose your island or book an island tour that will allow you to see a snapshot of all three during a one-day tour. The choice is yours!
Lopud and Kolocep are islands with zero traffic and are free of cars. So, if you want to get away from it all, they’re ideal options. But, to find out more about the Elaphatiti Islands in general and choose which one you might want to visit, read on.
How To Get To The Elafiti Islands
We already know that Lopud, Sipan, and Kolocep are the three main islands in the archipelago, and all three are pretty small. If you combined all three together, you would get a total population of around 1000 people, which tells you just how chilled out these islands are.
We’ll talk about getting to the individual islands shortly, but all three have direct ferry links every day and these increase during the summer months. Jadrolinija ferry lines run daily between all islands, stopping at each one in turn. You can also get the daily catamaran from Dubrovnik to Sipan with G&V Line.
Of course, if you want to avoid using public transport, you can always book a private tour. These are available via reputable tour agents, and you will find many tours offered in the center of Dubrovnik.
Information About The Elaphatiti Islands
Let’s take a look at each of the islands in turn.
Kolocep is the island closest to Dubrovnik, making it the most sensible choice for a day trip. However, this is also the smallest of the Elaphatiti islands you can visit, consisting of two villages – Gornje Celo and Donje Celo. The island has a population of around just 300 people, but during the summer, you will notice far more people visiting just for the day or staying overnight.
You can get to Kolocep in 35 minutes from Dubrovnik by ferryor you could take a water taxi on a private basis.
Things to see & do: Kolocep may be small, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for a chill factor. It’s a totally laid-back experience, and that may be just what you need after sightseeing in busy Dubrovnik! Of course, the island is free of cars, and there are many walking trails you can take throughout the island and through the fragrant pine forests. There are also some beautiful beaches to spend a few hours on.
Kolocep is ideal for swimming, and there are also diving opportunities, namely at the Blue cave. For those who want to explore on-land activities, head to one of the many churches dating back to the 9th century, including the Church of St Nicholas.
Accommodation: One relatively large hotel on the island has four stars and is also located right on the beachfront. Due to the island’s small sizeyou will need to book ahead of time as there are no other accommodation options.
Lopud is the island located in the center of the main three in the archipelago. Again, it’s a small island with a population of around 200 people, but it does have more in the way of facilities compared to Kolocep. Lopud has plenty of Roman history as it’s thought that there used to be a Roman settlement on the island.
Lopud has one main settlement area, with the same name as the island, and one main beach called Sunj Bay. This sandy beach is located on the opposite side of the coach, although you can easily walk around, such as the island’s small size.
You can reach Lopud from Dubrovnik via ferry, with a journey time of around 1 hour.
Things to see & do: Lopud is small and free of cars, so the main thing to do here is chill out and relax. There are many walking trails you can follow which take you through the center of the island, and this is an excellent way to get over to Sunj Bay, where you can enjoy the sandy beach and crystal clear waters. If you do not want to walk, you can hire a bicycle instead. You can also hire kayaks once you arrive at Sunj Bay.
Many churches date back to around the 15th century to visit a Franciscan Monastery with fantastic views over the island. The fortress is also ideal for photo moments.
Accommodation: If you want to enjoy the slow pace of life for a little longer, you can choose to say on Lopud, and there are a few options you can choose from. There is a modern 4-star hotel on the island and a few other smaller hotels too. You should book these as early as possible during the peak summer months to avoid disappointment.
The largest of the islands is Sipan, made up of Sudjuradj and Siipanska Luka. There are cars allowed on Sipan, but it’s still a laid-back experience, and you will not see a huge amount of cars or traffic. The good news is that means you do not have to walk everywhere as there are local buses.
You can get to Sipan in 1 hour and 15 minutes via ferry from Dubrovnik, and there is a catamaran service that runs all year round, with a 40 minute journey time.
Things to see & do: There are more facilities available on Sipan, including a pretty large beach club that has an on-site restaurant, sunset views, and huge cabanas. You can also head up to the Church of The Holy Spirit, which dates back to 1569. This is a great way to spend a day!
There are many fantastic restaurants on the island, all serving deliciously fresh seafood, and local dishes, so be sure to check those out while you’re basically chilling out and enjoying the laid-back pace of life.
Accommodation: As Sipan is the largest of the Elafiti Islands, that means it does have more in the way of accommodation options, with several on the island, including a 4-star choice.
Now you know all the information about the three central Elaphatiti Islands, which will you visit first?