The Country of a Thousand Islands


The Elaphite Islands in Croatia

The Elaphite Islands are known for their beautiful natural scenery and sandy beaches, and are best accessed via a tour company. Accounts vary as to why the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder chose to name the dainty archipelago that lies just off the coast of Dubrovnik after deer - elafos in Greek.

Just three of the Elaphite islands, Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan, are still inhabited, each of which can easily be reached by the inexpensive local Jadrolinija ferry that runs four times daily (twice on Sundays) throughout the year from Dubrovnik. All three islands have private accommodation, hotels, and small tourist offices that are open in summer only. Both Kolocep and Sipan are, like the Old City of Dubrovnik, car-free.

Beautifully untouched islands near Dubrovnik. Only three of the Elaphite Islands are inhabited.

Only twenty five minutes by boat from the mainland, Kolocep, the smallest of the inhabited Elaphite islands at a mere 2.35 squares kilometres, was once the favored summer home of the Dubrovnik aristocracy.

The most "developed" of the Elaphite islands, although the word hardly seems appropriate, Lopud was likewise once a playground of the Dubrovnik nobility.

There are few better ways to get a sense of how Croatia and indeed the entire Mediterranean once was than by strolling across the valley at the center of the island along road between the settlements of Sudurad and Sipanska Luka.




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The Elaphite Islands

Beautifully untouched islands near Dubrovnik. Only three islands in the whole Elaphite archipelago are inhabited. More...