If you decide to spend some time on the Elaphite islands, you will definitely love it! For you, we prepared the list with the best things you should not miss on Elaphite Islands! The Elaphite archipelago is a treasure trove for those looking for natural wonders. The Elaphite’s are a series of small, yet beautiful islands that contain some spectacular hidden bays and perfect spots for swimming and relaxation. While the coastline is mostly rocky in many areas, there are many sandy and pebble beaches to choose from. Still, don’t throw away the rocky coastline just yet. Over time, nature formed some thrilling secluded bays, carved unbelievable caves, cliff diving and sunbathing spots. So stay tuned and discover the best things you should not miss on Elaphite Islands!
One of the most popular locations on Kolocep Island is a Blue Cave and definitely one of the best things you should not miss on Elaphite Islands. It’s a small cave located in the southern part of the island and is only accessible by boat. The cave got its name by the colour of light rays which is reflected from the water inside the cave. The best time to visit the cave is in the early afternoon or in the sunset time as the spectra of light colours are amazing. You can enter the cave by swimming or diving but it’s only 1 meter that you need to put your head underwater. It is wide enough to enter without many difficulties, while the entrance opening is only barely visible from the outside, especially while the tide is high.
There are quite a few very popular beaches on Dubrovnik Islands Archipelago. Some are very popular among locals, some are popular tourist locations, but above all none is universally loved as Sunj Beach on Lopud Island. Yet another best thing you should not miss on Elaphite Islands! Beach Sunj is located on the south side of Lopud, facing towards Dubrovnik while Lopud is the most popular destination for private boat tours and charters. You can get to Shunj on foot from main Lopud village by following one of the marked pathways through the woods which bears Viktor Dyk’s name in recognition of his love with this small island paradise.
Sunj Beach has some beach amenities available like a bar, restaurant and lounge chairs. It is indeed the most spacious sandy beach of Elaphiti and it will remain everybody’s favourite for quite some time. When you want to escape the crowds and have a relaxing day at one of Dubrovnik most spacious and spectacular beaches, head on to Shunj Beach. You can enjoy yourself at the bar in the shaded lounge having a cold cocktail drink or maybe some food from their restaurant while having a most beautiful view of Lopud!
The beach is preety shallow and is the most popular place for a unique Croatian game called “Picigin”. The game is played in shallow water and with a small ball and can be played by any number of people. The point of the game is to keep the ball in the air as much as possible while shallow water and soft sand allows some awesome acrobatic moves from the players to keep the ball flying! If you haven’t seen this game before you will be amazed!
Sikirica Beach in Brsecine is not technically on Elaphite Islands but it’s actually very close to Lopud Island. It is located on the mainland just across Lopud maybe a few minutes ride by speedboat. Sikirica beach is both an island and peninsula just depends on what the tide is at a certain time of the day. When the tide is high Sikirica becomes an island, and when the tide is low Sikirica becomes a peninsula. When the sea is low, you can reach Sikirica without getting your wet feet, but even when the tide comes back the path, now covered by the sea, is still not deep so you can still walk your way to the beach.
The beach is hidden from views, so for this reason this beautiful place is considered one of the most romantic locations in Dubrovnik. Sikirica itself is a bit rocky beach with a few pine trees that create shade, meaning you can come here during peak sunshine. There are never too many people, but there are no additional facilities. It’s a truly untouched wilderness in which you will feel refreshed. If the wind is a bit high or if there are strong waves, you can always switch to the other side which is more sheltered. A special experience is the view of the sunset while the sun falls behind the island.
If you are situated in Dubrovnik or in the surrounding areas you might want to visit this place by car rental or similar. On the road leading to the Sikirica, there is free parking nearby, from where a path downhill takes you towards the beach. If you are taking the boat tour from Dubrovnik this is definitely one of the best things you should not miss on Elaphite Islands.
The picturesque villages of Sudurad and Sipanska Luka offer plenty of options for a leisurely exploration of many bays and secluded beaches. Sipan is a treasure trove of hidden beaches and tiny bays that are only accessible by boat. If you plan to rent a boat, make sure to inquire with the boat rental company about these locations, or even better, maybe you should try to discover them by yourself. What I can promise is that you will not be disappointed.
Koločep is an island that offers the best of both worlds – coastal beauty with high cliffs and hiking trails through pine forests with breathtaking views. There are plenty of places for exploring and getting in touch with nature. The island is a paradise for those who love the great outdoors and adventurous activities such as hiking. Hiking is a great way to get some fresh air, exercise and explore new scenery, so if you like the activity this is one of the best things you should not miss on the Elaphite Islands. The best hike we would recommend on Koločep starts from Gornje Celo village towards Placet before ending up at the Lighthouse with an optional side trip along beaches in between!
Placet is an enchanting spot where cliffs descend dramatically into the sea. It’s a lovely swimming destination down below. There are stairs that are taking you down to this beautiful secluded swimming place but watch out as the stairs are a bit steep so keep your eye on where you step. The hiking path through woods from Placet eventually brings you to the Kolocep lighthouse.
The stairs down to the lighthouse are not in the best shape but it is still fairly easy to get there. From up above, you can see Dubrovnik and surrounding areas as well as Daksa Island standing at the port entrance. A great view that makes an amazing photo opportunity! Just below the lighthouse, there is a natural pool carved in the rocks by wind, waves ad time. This could be an interesting swimming spot.
Some of the most magnificent aristocratic residences are located on Šipan Island while Skocibuha Summer Residence in Sudurad is the most unique. With many old churches and historic residencies, Šipan offers incredible views and boasts an ambience that will leave you speechless!
Hiking across Šipan means walking through olive orchards and scrubs of Mediterranean aromatic herbs. The highest peak, Velji Vrh at 243 metres above sea level makes for an incredible experience! Hiking to the top is not too muscle stressful and you don’t have to be vigorously active, but make sure you bring water and sunscreen along with some snacks for lunch! Enjoy a great view over the island as well as all of its surrounding islands. For activity lovers, this is one of the best things you should not miss on Elaphite Islands.
Charismatic streets and old houses lined by the waterfront will take you to explore further into the charms of this beautiful settlement dating from the beginning of the Dubrovnik Republic. This is the same place where the patrician families used to build their summer residences as escape places during the hot summer months. One of them is the Dordic-Mayneri Summer Residence which is open for the public while its park and botanical garden is a marvellous thing of beauty and is a must-see if you are visiting Lopud island. The ruins of Rector’s Palace are also visible in the centre of this picturesque village.
There is plenty to be admired, from churches and chapels waiting for your camera lens! In fact, you will find out that every house here has its own private chapel so it’s worth stopping for a moment to learn about the amazing tradition of the local people.
You will find many treasures and charming storefronts offering plenty for your taste, buds or imagination. The Franciscan Monastery with a cloister is one of the most impressive buildings in Lopud village, founded in 1458 and abandoned under the French occupation of the Dubrovnik Republic in 1808. The Monastery is now restored and serves as an art gallery and exhibition space. The restoration was overseen by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza who inherited a massive collection of Renaissance art and furniture from Germany, Italy and the Balkans, while many of these priceless works are now exhibited here in a series of spacious rooms.
Behind the village is a hiking path that will lead you to the top of St. Simeon Hill overlooking the island. There, at the most spectacular of viewpoints, you will find Sutvrac Fort, built in 1563. This imposing structure was meant to act as a shelter for up to a few thousand people in case of attacks on Lopud. It is a must-see spot for all those fit enough to hike for an hour up a rocky, steep terrain of Lopud island. With this in mind, pay a visit, just make sure you bring water, sunscreen and most of all – your camera.
With its picturesque views of olive and cypress trees, you might not expect to find a Venice Art Biennale exhibit on Lopud. But there it is – an art display from the 2005 Venice Art Bienniale! First installed at the prestigious Venice Bienniale contemporary art exhibition, the “Black Horizon” Art Pavilion is now permanently housed on Lopud. The project is a remarkable cohesion of art and architecture that challenges visitors to perceive the landscape through a louvred observation platform that essentially creates a new horizon. The structure is an amazing contrast to Lopud’s amusing natural beauty while the installation is a piece of a remarkably interesting concept. If you like art this is definitely one of the best things you should not miss on the Elaphite Islands.