Exploring three Elaphite islands
Elaphite islands are more than just 3 islands which you'll find in most of the day trips offered in Dubrovnik. It is an archipelago consisted out of 13 islands in total; Daksa, Koločep, Sveti Andrija, Lopud, Ruda, Šipan, Mišnjak, Jakljan, Kosmeč, Goleč, Crkvine, Tajan and Olipa. Only 3 of them are permanently inhabited and those are the ones you mostly get to visit while on the Elaphite island day trip. The archipelago was mentioned in the 1st century for the first time by the Roman author Pliny the Elder. From that time the islands got their name, translated from Ancient Greek word for a deer, although there was no evidence of deer’s ever being on any of the islands. All of the islands have some same characteristics like Mediterranean vegetation, pure nature and mesmerizing beaches. Aside from that, all 13 islands are quite different in their history, landmarks, legends, architecture, bays, hidden caves and taste in seafood.
Daksa is the first island visible when starting the day trip from Gruž harbor in Dubrovnik. The island has a dark history to it. It used to be a home to Franciscan monastery dating back to 13th century before it was abandoned prior to the Napoleon conquest. That was not the dark side of the island, that part happened much recent than you think, in 1994. While the World War II was raging in October the Yugoslaven Partisans entered Dubrovnik and captures more than 300 people. Without any trial 53 people were taken to Daksa island and brutally massacred on the accusations of being Nazi sympathizers without any evidence. Recently, in 2009 Croatian authorities had discovered the mass grave on the island, therefore the name of the island; island of Ghosts. If you want to learn more about it, feel free to ask the crew members of your day trip with us.
Koločep, the first island you’ll be stepping on to, actually jumping into. This boat day will take you to Koločep island from another angle then it is usually done. Why? Blue cave of course! Coming from the other side of the island massive red cliffs will appear over the crystal blue deep Adriatic Sea. Cruise from the Gruž will take only around half an hour prior to reaching a little hidden cave, the Blue Cave. Turquoise light from within the cave will glow inviting you in. The only way to reach this cave is by boat and taking a boat tour with us will get you a benefit of using all the equipment onboard including snorkeling equipment. Gear up and swim or snorkel inside this natural phenomenon on the island.
Most populated Lopud island is the next stop on this Elaphite island journey. There are no cars on Koločep or Lopud island, only a few carts for transporting and golf cars. Šunj beach will be our destination as it is the most beautiful beach in all 3 islands. Small white sand covering the whole beach will be a perfect spot for swimming, laying in the shallow sea and sunbathing. One of the most interesting things about this beach is that it is so shallow that you’ll need to walk more than 100 meters from the coast for the sea level to reach your shoulders. The place Lopud, biggest village of the island has a remarkable history monuments like Dominican monastery from 15th century, fort Spanjol, around 30 churches, Franciscan monastery, botanical garden and a number of noble summer residences.
Coming to the biggest of all 13 islands with 410 permanent inhabitants, Šipan island you’ll be able to enjoy the views on Lopud island as both are very close geographically. Some of the wealthiest families that lived in Dubrovnik Republic built their summer palaces on the island, the remains are still there. One of the most popular summer vacancies is from Skočibuha family in the village Suđurađ. Numerous remains of medieval churches are spread across the island for you to explore as on the island the time stands still. Did you know that island Šipan is listed in the Guinness World Records due to the largest number of olive trees per square meter? A lot more to reveal awaits you on this DISCOVER THE ELAPHITE ISLANDS day trip.