The charm of Elaphiti Islands

by Kim on June 13, 2013

Think of Croatia and the first things that will likely come to mind are its famous coastal resorts such as Dubrovnik or Split, or perhaps its capital of Zagreb. In recent years, the popularity of this Mediterranean destination has positively exploded and it’s now a firm favourite among young revelers looking for sun, sea and sand, thanks in part to its great selection of musical festivals that you can attend on cheap Croatia holidays.

elaphiti islands

But this isn’t all the country has to offer. Its Adriatic coastline is also home to tranquil islands with the Elaphiti archipelago chief among them. Often overlooked by tourists focusing on the mainland instead, the islands to the south of Dubrovnik offer stunning beauty and are a great example of the breadth that Croatia has to offer holidaymakers – check out the wide-ranging holiday experiences you can enjoy in the country here. In the meantime, we’ll take a more in-depth look at this magical cluster of islands that are worthy of a diversion during any trip to the mainland.

Enjoy the Adriatic’s natural beauty

There’s no denying that the Croatian mainland offers travelers some stunning scenery where land meets the sea. The country’s Adriatic is world-famous for its stunning beaches and harbour towns. But the Elaphiti Islands offer something altogether different: a view of Croatia’s natural scenery that remains much less touched by human hands.

Many of these islets are actually uninhabited and you’ll get a great view of the undisturbed reefs and rocks in these waters during the ferry ride to the three inhabited islands. It’s definitely worth taking some time out from the mainland to breathe in the tranquility that this setting exudes. It will provide you with a much more rounded view of Croatia for very little expense and a day in this exquisite natural setting can be positively life-affirming. Why not try a picnic on one of the Elaphiti Islands followed by an idle stroll among the many sites?

A taste of the finer life

No doubt because of their unspoiled nature and the serene views on offer, the Elaphites have long been popular with Croatia’s aristocracy. On the three settled islands – Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan – you’ll find fine examples of the impressive manors the country’s leading families have built as their summer retreats over the years. The homes on these sleepy islands are nestled among the trees and foliage, creating a picture postcard Mediterranean tableau that you will never forget.

Sipan is the largest of the inhabited islands and a great place for sightseeing, thanks to the fact that its history of settlement stretches back to Roman times. You’ll find examples of ruins that are hundreds of years old, while there are also churches dating back to the 11th century. On Kolocep Island, you’ll be able to sunbathe on beaches every bit as exquisite as those found at Dubrovnik, but without much of the hustle and bustle that tends to be found in the ever-lively city.

Lopud is a happy combination of the other two islands and you’ll love spending an afternoon wondering around the exquisite bay. It’s definitely worth packing a bathing costume for the island is home to Sunj beach – one of the best in the Adriatic. The sandy beach is bordered by shallow waters as far as 100m out, making it an ideal choice for families with children looking to indulge in some watersports!