One of the alternatives in our free day in Dubrovnik was a trip to the Elaphiti Islands. Having visited worderful Islands as Hvar, Korcula or Peljesac we thought that it wouldn't add much to our program, and decided to visit Mostar.
Anyway, the island of Lokrum, just some minutes away from town, was easy to see from the distance, and, though adding harmony to the views of the city, it seemed empty - I know that it has a botanic garden, and a Benedictine monastery, but... one cannot see everything, and the curiosity about Mostar...
The island of Mljet, situated approx. two hours by ferry from Dubrovnik, is partly a National Park worth of visiting.
Most outstanding natural features are dual salt lakes which are interconnected and also linked with the sea. The lakes are surrounded my magnificent pine forest and in the moddle of Great Lake there is a tiny but captivating Isle of St. Mary.
Lokrum is a great place to go to get wonderful views of the city of Dubrovnik. As the boat moves away from the town, enjoy the wonderful sight of the old walled city, but also look down at the waters teaming with fish. As you approach the island on a pleasant day, you'll notice the emerald to turquoise coloring of the water. After disembarking you'll see a map of the island. Head to the nearby abandoned Benedictine monastery. It's a lovely serene place, despite the restaurant built in it's walls. Enjoy a stroll through the old olive grove. If you take the hefty walk up hill you'll come to an old abandoned fortress with a view of the city. On a pleasant day, this can be a great place for a picnic. While waiting for a boat back to town, you may want to relax at the cafe near the dock and grab a Ozuljsko beer and sit in the shade of an umbrella. Or you may want to take advantage of Lokrum's bathing ops, either with or without attire.
The tiny island of Lokrum (shown in the distance in the photo) has a lovely nude bathing area. It's made up of huge rock slabs where you can stake out a spot and enjoy the sun and the sea au natural. Please be aware that in a town that has no established gay scene, Lokrum's beach has helped fill that void, so there is a degree of gay cruising going on. If that is your thing, this may be the place for you. If not, either ignore it or stay away.
Lokrum Island is close to Dubrovnik and easy to reach by boat but it is an entirely different world, with entirely different visitors. Boats leave from the old port every 30 minutes and bring you to Lokrum Island in 10 minutes. It is perfect for a day trip.
The island in the bay in front of the Old Town is called Lokrum and is easily reached from the port by boats that leave every half hour. It only takes about ten minutes to get to the quiet island that is home to both a Benedictine monastery (which you cannot visit) and conversely, a nude beach! The beaches are mostly rocky here and it's a great place to escape the mainland crowds during the peak season.
The area of Sipan is 16.5 km2.
The biggest among the 3 islands & the least developed.
If you're after some peace and quiet and gentle hikes, this is one of the best places on the coast.
Ten minutes along the road to Suduradj, we can see the neglected villa on the harbourfront, which boosts a balcony supported by carved lions, and seems to be crying out for restoration.
Suduradj itself - little more than a clump of houses grouped around a bay - is overlooked by an imposing stone tower, all that remains of a summer palace belonging to the 16th century Dubrovnik shipowner Vice Stjpovic Skocibuha.
Next on the agenda, we moved to Lopud island.
LOPUD is placed between Sipan and Kolocep and the most developed tourist place on Elafiti.
On Lopud You can enjoy crystal clear sea and beaches, the best known being the sandy beach Sunj.
The photo shows the sight as we were moving out of Sipan, going to Lopud.
Lopud island is the most exciting of all 3 islands.
Maybe it's developed to attract more tourists.
It is 7 km from Dubrovnik & the size is 4.63 km2.
It is a car free island.
There are shops & restaurants at the harbour. Many people as well.
I wanted to go to the real deal in Lopud, which is a beach on a horse-shoe bay by the name of Sunj.
As I was walking, 1 km away...I noticed some ladies were following behind me !
There are many small & uncharted islands around the Elafiti archeopelago.
If I had my own boat, I would chart myself on all these islands !
Look at the photo on the left. It looks like the surface of the moon or something...
Oh, by the way, on the boat with me :
An Irish couple, a French couple, husband & wife duos, & some old ladies from UK & USA.
Cheery as they were,...they were amazed of my travel stories !
Err, I was the youngest !
Then, we moved to Sipan Island.
SIPAN is the biggest island of Elafiti, and also the most distant from Dubrovnik. There are two villages on Sipan: Sipanjska Luka and Su?ura?, placed in two counter bays divided by a plain.
Here, we were for about 1 hour & 15 minutes.
For me, just walking around the shorelines.
I could see some tourists from other tours...Not much I could remember what I was doing here except for the beautiful sceneries around the island...
Kolocep is a car-free island. Not even motorbikes are aloowed on here. Maybe you can do your rollerblading thing but I doubt that you could find a flat surface.
The vegetations on the island is sub-tropical, pine trees, cactus even could grow on here.
If you want to escape the hustle & bustle of Dubrovnik, make your time to reach Kolocep island.
On the photo, you can see the excursion boat I took. The one on the left...it's a nice boat, with a captain, he's funny & 2 helpers of him to prepare our meals !
This park blongs to the southern Adriatic group of islands. It is located within the administrative region of the city of Dubrovnik. The Mljet National Park takes in 3,100 hectares. Its confines include the zone of the Veliko and Malo jezero (or Large and Small Lake). Mljet has very largely managed to preserve its indigenous forests, which make it one of the greenest and most attractive islands of the Adriatic coast. Travellers can stay in a hotel on a little island in the middle of the Veliko jezero that is actually a refurbished abandoned monastery, and also in the Odisej (Odyssey) Hotel in the village of Pomena. Many private houses will also put travellers up.
The archipelago of Palagruza is the most distant group of Croatian islands, and the little islet of Galijula from that group marks the southernmost point of Croatian territory. Palagruza differs from any other island by its large range of natural characteristics. It is characterized by an extremely dry climate with a very small amount of precipitation. A specific type of vegetation has developed because of such climate and great influence of sea and salt. Besides endemic plants, there are also different endemic animals. To make up for the lack of precipitation all these animals and plants abundantly use the moisture produced by dew which is greatly present on Palagruza, as well as some other specific adaptations.
Spend a day on the island of Lopud. A 50 minute Jadrolinija ferry ride (22 kn) from Dubrovnik and then a 20 minute walk to the other side of the island and to the beach Sipan. Sandy beach and sea bottom nestled in a pine tree cove. Be sure to walk around the island - beautiful vistas. Set aside some time to have lunch at one of the restaurants facing the cove in the town. The cove has a wonderful promenade lined with palm trees and a few restaurants with seating along the water's edge - really special.