Elaphite islands and Mljet travel guide
- Sunj sandy beach on Lopud island
- Waterside restaurants in Sipanska Luka
- Skuba diving from Pomena, Mljet
- Relax on car free Kolocep island
- Salt water lakes of Mjlet National Park
- Must see: Skočibuha Palace, Sudurad
Sipan, Kolocep and Sipan, unspoilt and totally relaxing. Mljet, sandy beaches and a national park. All within a ferry ride of Dubrovnik
A day out from Dubrovnik, or stay the whole week in a charming villa, eat in harbour restaurants, swim on sandy beaches, this will take you back to your childhood Fourteen fantastic, pine covered, small islands are scattered off the Dubrovnik coast. They are known as the Elaphite islands. The three largest are Kolocep
, and Sipan
, each one so beautiful and an absolute must to visit as a day trip from anywhere in southern Dalmatia. These islands were the places where busy and wealthy Dubrovnik merchants and noblemen of the 15th to 17th century built their summer palaces and retired during the hot months of July and August. A few small, picturesque villages of stone cottages are nestling in the islands, and the pace of life is slow and relaxing.
The islands are car free zones (except Sipan) so you can explore on foot, by bicycle and kayaking around them.
Nearest to Dubrovnik
is Koločep where cliffs surround the pebbly beaches, hidden coves and sea caves. The island is rustic, covered with vineyards and olive groves, where you can buy local jams, honey, lemons, figs and the freshest fish. Only two small villages are on Kolocep: Gornje Celo and Donje Celo, each with its own pretty beach, a small restaurant and a few cafes. A special attraction is the "Blue Cave" which is set well into a rock and only reachable by the sea. As you swim into the cave, the water and cliffs turn a magical blue colour and the snorkelling is fantastic.
Lopud has just one settlement but it is a sophisticated place with a long history and elegant old buildings. Visit the 11th-century Benedictine monastery and 16th-century churches. The large and justly famous sandy beach on the east side of the island is an easy walk across the centre of the island form the town of Lopud.
Sipan is the largest of the three islands, and ever since the middle ages it has been a luxury resort for Dubrovnik nobility and rich seafarers. The town of Sudjuradj with its small harbour feels unchanged for 300 years. The largest town is Sipanska Luka (Sipan Harbour), where there are plenty of restauranst and harbourside cafes to choose from.
. Mljet is the Emerald Isle of the Adriatic Coast, surrounded by a clear green-blue sea, sandy beaches, green forests and lakes. It is a southern island, easily reached from Dubrovnik and Peljesac peninsula and the island of Korcula. Mljet, which is just 3 km wide and 30km long is very unspoilt and covered in swathes of pine woods. One third of the island belongs to the National Park which is the greatest attraction on Mljet. The park contains two salt lakes Veliko and Malo Jezero and pretty stone house villages of Babine Kuce and Soline. In the centre of the large lake is an island with a Benedictine monastery first established in the 12th century and rebuilt in the Renaissance period. Mljet is best appreciated by walking or cycling through the national park area and by taking the boat service out to the monastery. There are entry points to the park area at Pomena and Polace. The villages of Prozura and Okulje to the south of Sobra are both on sheltered bays and have delightful water front restaurants/konobas.On the east side of Mljet there are three amazing sandy beaches - Saplunara,, Podkučića and Blace, the last one also visited by nudists. In Saplunara beach you can feast on lobster and grilled fish of incredible freshness at the beach cafe.
. Nearest airport is Dubrovnik.
Ferries and taxi boats travel from Dubrovnik’s Gruz harbor to Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan. The ferry to Mljet runs from Prapratno on the Peljesac peninsula.Croatian Villa Holidays can arrange private speedboat tours to the Elaphite Islands and Mljet.
Elaphite islands and Mljet Gallery