The Elaphites are a small archipelago northwest of Dubrovnik.
It consists of a total of 13 islands and islets of which only Island Koločep (or Kalamota), Lopud and Island Šipan are inhabited. The name, Elaphite islands, was first mentioned in the 1st century in the work "Naturalis Historia" by the Roman philosopher Gaius Plinius Secundus, also known as Pliny the Elder. The name comes from the Ancient Greek word elaphos (deer) which used to inhabit the islands.
Today, the Elaphiti Islands are a very popular destination among tourists, but also among locals.
How to get to Elaphiti Islands
The most convenient way to reach one of the Elaphiti islands is by taking a ferry from the port in Dubrovnik. However, please note that cars are not allowed on Koločep and Lopud, so if you arrive by car, you can park it at the parking lot in Gruž port.
The islands Koločep, Lopud and Šipan are easily accessible by public ferry - Jadrolinija offers a daily ferry service that stops at each island in turn.
TP Line also operates a catamaran service from Dubrovnik to the island of Šipan. Additionally, there are many private tours departing daily that allow you to choose whether to visit one or all three of the most popular Elaphiti islands.
When to visit Elaphiti Islands
Tourist season on Elaphiti Islands mainly depends on Dubrovnik's own season. For a delightful Elaphiti Islands experience, it's best to visit during Spring and Autumn, particularly in June and September.
These months are less crowded compared to the peak tourist season of July and August. Besides typical beach activities like swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling, the milder temperatures during Spring and Autumn offer excellent conditions for outdoor activities such as hiking. Despite being the off-season, the average sea temperature hovers around 22°C, allowing comfortable swimming in the stunning Adriatic Sea.
Can you stay on the Elafiti Islands?
Accommodation options on the Elaphiti islands are somewhat limited. There are several hotels located right on the beachfront. There are plenty of villas, apartments and private rooms to choose from in the villages. The villages are small and most offer sea views from at least one room.
If you're seeking a peaceful and relaxing vacation amidst breathtaking natural beauty, this are the perfect destinations for you. Since the islands are small, it's advisable to book in advance as there are no other lodging options available.
Is it worth visiting the Elaphiti islands and what to do
The Elafiti islands are renowned for their peaceful ambiance, attracting both tourists and locals, especially during the off-season. With sandy beaches that cater to families with young children, a range of outdoor activities, and a good selection of restaurants, there is something for everyone.
Despite being small with just one or two settlements, the islands are known for their breathtaking and pristine natural landscapes, featuring both sandy and rocky beaches. Life on the islands moves at a relaxed pace, drawing visitors who want to wind down, swim or kayak in the crystal-clear blue waters, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
One of the Elaphiti islands located just over 7 nautical miles from Dubrovnik. The island is relatively small but offers much for nature and sun lovers. Don't miss a visit to Šunj, one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Croatia.
The largest of the Elaphiti Islands. Šipanska Luka at sunset is a magical experience. If you decide to take a trip to Suđurađ, be sure to visit one of the most beautiful villas in the Dubrovnik area - the old Skočibuha Palace.
A picturesque island with two settlements situated in the two large bays: Gornje Čelo and Donje Čelo, connected by a 3km promenade ideal for hiking. The island is covered by dense pine forest whose branches descend all the way to the sea.