Sipan, the biggest Elaphite island

If you’re looking for a charming, Medieval Island with scattered palm trees and is just 8 miles from the city of Dubrovnik, look no further than Šipan.

In the 15th and 16th centuries many noble families from Dubrovnik built their summer residences on Šipan, why is that? We wanted to show and explain why, so keep on reading to figure it out. There are two main towns on the island: Šipanska Luka (pronounced Shee-pan-skah Loo-kah) and Suđurađ (pronounced Soo-joorah). Located in the latter, you can see remains of the renaissance castle of the family Stjepović – Skočibuha, whose construction was started in 1529. Šipan is one of Croatia’s most popular islands for day trips from Dubrovnik because it’s so close.

This peaceful and quiet island might surprise you with a lot of famous people still visiting every year. But the truth is that the island has been a popular destination for those in the know—especially those who want to get away from it all. That includes Princess Caroline of Monaco, Belgian King Albert II, and Francesca von Habsburg. They were all there looking for summer homes on the island. There are 42 in total, and each one has something special to offer. The villa built by Vice Stjepović Skočibuha—which has two towers to defend against pirates—stands out from the rest with rarities like a preserved wooden balcony from the 16th century and an undamaged fireplace with extractor, which is the only such example in the entire Dubrovnik region. When you visit the island of Sipan, you’ll see that it’s more than just an island. It’s a history.

One of the most beautiful villas in the Dubrovnik area is Skočibuha Palace, which is situated in Suđurađ. It is a true Mediterranean garden with its two towers used as protection from pirates and a windmill. The palace also has only preserved example of the ancient balcony from the Renaissance.

Near Suđurađ there is also Bowa Restaurant, which is located on the island of Šipan. Bowa Restaurant offers gastronomic fantasy with a late beach and turquoise sea. The restaurant fully deserves a place in our category of ‘adventurous’ fine dining because it has few restaurants in Croatia so relaxed in the atmosphere and so serious in preparation of food as Bowa on Šipan island.

This tiny speck in the Adriatic Sea was once home to around 7,000 residents, but today there are only about 450 people living here. But they still take care of the olive trees that made this island famous—and for good reason! The Guinness Book of Records has called Sipan the island with the largest number of olive trees relative to its size. For this reason alone, you definitely have to taste the local cuisine seasoned with olive oil and local wine. If you are looking for a family holiday that is quiet and relaxing, look no further than Sipan. Sipan is an island in Croatia that boasts two major settlements: Sipanska luka and Suđurađ. The two main spots on the island are connected by a road about 5 kilometres long that runs through the fertile Sipan field providing you a chance to see what locals grow. The island teems with beautiful beaches, and the sea is clean and rich in seafood. It’s a place where families can enjoy each other’s company without the noise and bustle of nightlife.

The locals have managed to preserve the island from mass tourism, which makes it a unique experience for visitors. You can visit 42 old summer houses, 34 big and smaller churches and numerous chapels on Šipan. You should definitely stroll down to the Rector’s Palace which is situated somewhat above the place, visit the summer houses of the Sorkočević and Katina families, as well as the parish church of Saint Stephen First Martyr.