It may sound exaggerated to describe Elaphiti islands as a hidden paradise, but once you put your feed down on one of these gems you’ll understand why it’s true.
Lush vegetation of the islands paired with the blue of the sea and sky make for the most beautiful and unique location with preserved nature.
It is truly worth to experience and discover this magical corner of the Southern Adriatic.
The entire size of this archipelago is around 30 square kilometers, spreading between Mljet island and Dubrovnik.
Elaphiti consists of a total of 13 islands: three largest and the only populated ones are Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan. The other 10 islands include Misnjak, Kosmec, Golec, Crkvina, Tajan, Olipa, Daksa, Sveti (St.) Andrija, Rude and Jakljan.
Since the ancient times, the islands were a place of comfort, vacation, and delight.
All of this is due to well preserved nature, clean and clear sea, sandy beaches, beautiful pine forests, olive gardens, numerous promenades and footpaths.
Those are the scenes that remain forever in people’s memory, landscapes that make the people come back again.
Elaphiti or Elafiti archipelago name comes from the Greek word elafos, which means deer, therefore they are often called the deer islands. These animals used to inhabit the islands in large numbers.
The characteristic geographical position of these islands very near Dubrovnik and their landscape and mild Mediterranean climate contributed to the richness and diversity of the herbal and animal world.
Elaphiti Islands Ferry
The three largest islands of the archipelago are connected with the ferries from Dubrovnik harbor Gruz. Do not forget that these islands can be reached only as a foot passenger because car traffic on the islands is not allowed.
Ferry tickets are bought at the main office of Jadrolinija in Gruz harbor.
Ferry line from Dubrovnik connects islands Lopud, Sipan, and Kolocep several times per day. In high season ferries are more frequent.
Elaphiti Islands Boat Tour from Dubrovnik
Enjoy a full day cruise tour from Dubrovnik and discover the breathtaking beauty of the Elaphite Islands. Visit Lopud island and Šipan island and enjoy delicious lunch. Take pleasure in the untouched perks of the Adriatic and discover the secrets of Elaphite Islands!
These are the ferry lines you can take to get to Elaphiti islands:
- Line 807 Dubrovnik – Kolocep – Lopud – Sudurad (Sipan)
- Line 831 Dubrovnik – Lopud – Suđurad (Span)
- There is also a catamaran line (no cars) only in high season.
The exception is Sunday and holidays, please check the timetables on Jadrolinija’s website to see if it’s up to date.
Elaphiti Islands – Islands Of Deer
Kolocep Kalamota Island
Kolocep is the first in a series of three big islands, distanced only seven nautical miles from Dubrovnik. It is also the smallest of three islands: 2.35 square kilometers with only 200 residents.
The highest peak of the island is 380 feet above the sea level. The island has been inhabited since the ancient times.
It has been a part of the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) since the 11th century. Its Slavic name was Calamotta, as it has been known for centuries.
Like many others, this islands’s name also has a Greek origin. It is most probable that this name derives from from the Pelleponesian city of Calamotto, which is located in the Greek province of Messenia.
There are two villages on the island, Donje Celo and Gornje Celo, both nested in beautiful coves. Island is car free with a 3 km promenade between these two villages.
Kolocep offers two main sandy beaches – Dun Djivan and Donje Celo beach.
What to see on Kolocep?
Parish church, The Assumption of Mary (13 th century) is located in Donje Celo. The church of St. Anthony (15 century), lies on the way towards Gornje Celo. The per-Romanesque church of St. Anthony of Padova (12 century), is worth visiting in Gornje Celo.
Lopud – Island In The Middle
Lopud is the second largest of the Elaphiti islands, and it is located 7 nautical miles northeast from Dubrovnik, between Kolocep and Sipan islands.
The island can be reached by a boat from the Dubrovnik’s harbor Gruz in the morning during high season (June to August). Off season ferries operate only in the afternoon.
If the entire archipelago is called the Deer Islands, then Lopud, by its shape, symbolizes a deer chest. This island is the most developed tourist island, called sometimes the Island in the Middle.
It’s a “little haven” among the Elaphiti islands with its mild climate, sunny days and moderate amount of rain, offering a perfect vacation venue. The coast is steep and inaccessible on the northeast side. On the western side sandy beaches occupy 1.20 km from its 11.5 kilometers.
800 meters long sandy beach is located in the wide horse shoe bay of Sunj (Šunj). The bay is accessible from Lopud village by a beautiful promenade which leads to the beach. Above the beach there is the 4 stars hotel Lafodia.
You can check here for Lopud accommodation, there’s plenty of great places to stay at.
What to visit on Lopud?
Don’t miss visiting two monasteries, Franciscan and Dominican. The latter was built by Dominicans in 1482 who opened a school which educated many priests, scientists, merchants and benefactors.
Above the port, a Franciscan Monastery with the Church of St. Mary was built in 1483, which had the cloister with eight angle piers, a fortress from 1599 and the defensive wall dating from 1516.
Sipan – island of sailors and Dubrovnik’s nobility
Šipan is the largest and the richest island in the group of Elaphiti islands. It has an area of 16,5 square kilometers, with the the highest point of 243 meters.
The fertile valley of Sipan field extends from the main settlements of Sipanska Luka in the west to the bay and harbor of Sudurad in the east.
The island has been inhabited since ancient times due to its location, well indented coastline and fertile land. It is a real botanical garden.
Among the plants which man has cultivated for centuries the most common are olives, grapes, figs and carob trees, pomegranates, almonds, and rowan. There are also real forests of majestic pines, cypresses and palm trees.
Olive groves on Sipan are the biggest and the richest in the whole area of Elaphiti islands. Besides for food the inhabitants of Sipan also used olive oil for illumination.
Ferries To Sipan Island
Sipan as the biggest island in Elaphiti islands archipelago has the advantage to be connected with catamaran (only foot passengers) from Gruz (Dubrovnik harbor) to Sipanska Luka village by catamaran Nona Ana. Check the timetable and prices!
Timetables for ferry from Dubrovnik to Sipanska Luka
Timetable for January to May and October to December: Ferry route 9807 run by G&V Line.
As this is a foot-passenger only ferry, cars are not permitted on board the ferry Catamaran Nona Ana.
|Days||Ferry Departure||Ferry Arrival|
|Monday to Friday||14:30||15:05|
|Saturday to Sunday||15:45||16:20|
Jadrolinija keeps a ferry connection to eastern Sipan village Sudurad. On this ferry cars are permitted, but it’s not recommended to use cars on this island.
The ferry leaves from top of the pier in Gruz harbor. Tickets can be bought at the Jadrolinija office (opposite of the pier). Tickets are not available on board.
Timetables for ferry from Dubrovnik to Sudurad
Timetable for January to February and October: ferry route 831 run by Jadrolinija. Cars are permitted on board.
|Days||Ferry Departure||Ferry Arrival|
|Monday and Wednesday||08:30||09:40|