The Elaphiti Islands are a small archipelago with lush vegetation, clear blue skies, and pristine beaches. They are found northwest of Dubrovnik, Croatia. There are thirteen islands, three of which are inhabited - Sipan, Lopud, and Kolocep. The islands, due to their distinct topography, have been a place for comfort and vacation since ancient times.
The landscape is filled with a diverse lush flora and fauna, making it a haven for tourist to go to for rest and recreation. The islands have fine Mediterranean weather, makes it a good destination during the summer months. The islands can only be traveled on foot since vehicles are not allowed as means of transport. There is a daily ferry line from Dubrovnik to the islands. The ferry tickets are bought at the Gruz harbor and connect the three inhabited islands several times of the day.
What to Visit in the Elaphiti Islands
It is the largest, richest, and farthest island from the mainland. The terrain is a botanical heaven with its fertile soil and well-indented coastline. It has been inhabited since ancient times with varied plants cultivated for hundreds of years.
The most common plants are olives, pomegranates, almonds, figs, and grapes. There are many varieties of palm, pines, and cypresses that grow abundantly here.. The olive plantations in Sipan are the biggest producers of olive oil in the Elaphiti Islands.
The second largest island and is best known for its pristine beaches. Sunj is the most popular beach around Dubrovnik and ideally situated between Sipan and the Kolocep Islands. Tourism infrastructure is well in place, with the prestigious Lafodia hotel at its forefront. It’s a haven for tourist with its long sandy beach at Sunj, a mild climate, fine sunny weather and a beautiful promenade that is accessible from the beach.
The coast is inaccessible from the north, but sandy beaches abound on the western side. Other places to visit are the Franciscan and Dominican Monasteries. The Dominican Monastery was built in 1482 where a school was opened to educate not only the members of the clergy but the general public, as well. The Franciscan Monastery was built in 1483.
It is the island nearest to Dubrovnik and the smallest. It is a mere 3 miles away from the harbor and a popular sailing spot for tourist who take a boat from a Croatian charter and sail along the coast. Its attraction is the pre-Romanesque church dating back from the 9th to the 11th century. It is situated at the southernmost part of the island and considered as the most indented among the islands. It used to be a shipbuilding site during the period of the Republic of Ragusa or Dubrovnik.
Donje Celo and Gornje Celo
These are two villages that are found on the island . They are nestled in beautiful coves and are connected with a promenade. There are two beaches - Dun Djivan and Donje Celo beach - that are popular among tourist for its clear sandy waters and captivating scenery. Other attractions include: The Assumption of Mary Parish Church, a 13th-century structure in Donje Celo; St. Anthony Church, a 15th-century architecture situated on the way towards Gornje Celo, and; the St. Anthony of Padova Church, a 12th-century pre-Romanesque church), in Gornje Celo.