15 Jun Elafiti islands- Small piece of heaven in heart of Dubrovnik
Koločep ( Kalamota)
It is a green island with 100-year-old pine groves, carol-trees, olive groves, with gardens full of orange and lemon tress, fine beaches, all of the island a large park. It is one of the favourite excursion spots of the citizens of Dubrovnik. Two villages, Donje Celo and Gornje Celo, one on the eastern and the other on the western side of the island, are joined by a curving path running through olive groves and gardens.There are still numerous remnants of old architecture to be found all over the island, like the old small pre-romanesque churches, basilica ruins, summer residences, watch-tower the Polyptych painted by Ivan Ugrinovic, 15th century, one of the finest works of the “Dubrovnik school of painting”. There are possibilities of crossing over to the island several times during the day from the Gruz harbour.
The “middle” island of the Elafiti trio (geographically and size-wise, at least), Lopud is home to just over 200 people although is considered the most developed of the three islands. Its name stems from the Greek name for the island, Delaphodia, although it was also named Lafota by the Romans who once had a settlement there. The island became part of the Republic of Ragusa in the 11th century. The island really only has one village, which is also called Lopud and is located in Lopud bay. Sunj Bay – which is sandy – is located on the other side of the island. There are a few sights on the island, including a number of churches from the 15th and 16th centuries. The remains of the Rector’s Palace and the ruins of a Fortress are worth a peek; there’s also a Franciscan Monastery that overlooks the village of Lopud which was built in the 15th century. These days, having been privately restored, it can be rented out as a luxury residence
Šipan is the largest island in the Elaphite group and plays an important role for nautical routes. This is the nearest island oasis to Dubrovnik where you can spend the night, enjoying the quiet atmosphere of a small island that civilisation hasn’t changed much, while still remaining close to the city. Šipan and the nearby Jakljan represent the so-called Boka falsa, a deep bay surrounded by the mainland, the eastern portion of the Pelješac Peninsula and the two islands. Many have sought a good berthing spot in this lake-like environment. Šipan itself has held on to the spirit of the past – time seems to stand still here, and only the reconstruction of a few old summer palaces suggests that you haven’t, in fact, gone back in time. There are two main anchoring spots on the island – Suđurađ in the east and Šipanska Luka in the west, while a third one is located in the Harpoti strait, although big sailboats need to be careful of the electrical cable stretching above it. When you sail into Šipanska Luka, you will find a small berth for yachts on the north side, and a few buoys opposite it.
A small island, covered with forests, in the immediate surroundings of Sipan. There is a rest-home with a camp and a restaurant there.
Olip is the westernmost of all the islands, islets and rocks in the Elaphites. It is almost oval in shape, except for the cape facing north. The islet is uninhabited, rocky and partly overgrown with forest. On the south coast of the islet is a square stone tower with a gallery that serves as a lighthouse. The lighthouse is used to navigate important maritime passageways.
History of the Elafiti islands
The islands get their name from the Greek word elafos, meaning deer; in ancient times the islands were apparently home to a large deer population. The islands are particularly famous as the most skilful mariners came from here. Given their strategic importance due to their location out to sea in front of Dubrovnik, you can perhaps imagine why.
The Elafiti islands came under the control of the Republic of Dubrovnik from 1272. During this time, they were governed by a Rector whose base was split between Lopud and Sipan. In 1571, the islands were attacked by the Turks, after which all defences on the islands were strengthened