10 Things to do Around the Elaphiti Islands, Croatia

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

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Written by Travel Hacker Girl

Croatia became really popular in recent years thanks to the famous TV series called Game of Thrones, which shot many scenes in the country.

Dubrovnik is packed with tourists, especially in the high season. There is however a little piece of paradise not so far from the crowded city walls of Dubrovnik.

The Elaphiti Islands consist of several islands near Dubrovnik, that situated northwest of the city. These 3 habited islands of Dubrovnik are Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan.

In my opinion, these are the best islands in Croatia and should absolutely not be missed when you visit. Visiting is one of the most unique Dubrovnik experiences!

You can reach all three of these islands from Dubrovnik by ferry. Just port of Dubrovnik, you don’t even need to book a ticket ahead, just show up at the terminal and buy it at the ticket office.

Check the timetable ahead of time, to ensure you don’t need to wait for too long. You can also book a private charter with a skipper, but this comes at a high cost!

The Elaphiti Islands offer a wide variety of activities. It has quiet beaches, delicious Croatian food and several possibilities for water sports.

Lopud and Kolocep Islands are car-free. As you can imagine this provides a very peaceful environment.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.

Everything can be reached by simply walking, as both Dubrovnik islands are very small. However, if you don’t fancy walking in the summer heat there is a possibility to use a local taxi.

They are golf carts. Aren’t they just the best? Cycling is another way to get around. You will have the chance to rent some bikes from the locals.

10 Things to do Around the Elaphiti Island

Visit the Elaphiti Islands Croatia, several people paddling kayaks along a wide river next to a shore covered in thick green trees on the side of a hill under a bright blue sky

1. Kayak around the islands

One of the best things you can do is go kayaking around the Elaphiti Islands of Croatia.

It is the best way to explore the coastline while being as kind as possible to the surrounding environment, as they are powered by your arm muscles.

Kayaking is a great exercise, which can also be very relaxing. You become one with nature as you paddle next to the coastline in the Adriatic Sea.

You can find secluded beaches, hidden bays and underwater caves. It will give you an opportunity to see some of the uninhabited islands up close, such as Ruda Island, which has a hidden cave as well.

Take an Elaphiti Islands tour this summer, selfie of person snorkelling with red goggles and blue snorkel floating near the surface of shallow clear turquoise water

2. Snorkel at Sipan Island

The beach at Sipan Island is perfect for snorkelling. You will find a rich marine life here with lots of different fishes, sea cucumbers, sea urchins and shells.

If you don’t have snorkelling gear, you can also buy one in the local village at the souvenir shop. This is a fun activity, which will keep you occupied for hours.

Stay at an Elaphiti hotel on your next vacation, silhouette of person floating underwater between submerged rocks with sunlight beaming down nearby


A truly unique experience is entering the secret underwater cave off the coast of Sipan Island. This hidden place can only be reached by kayak or swimming.

When you enter the cave everything will be very dark. However, in a few minutes, your eyes will get adjusted and you will see the lovely green colour around you.

Since the cave isn’t easily approachable you can often have the place all to yourself. A truly special experience, which can be the highlight of your holiday in Croatia.

Travel to the Elaphiti Islands Dubrovnik, people jumping off large rock formation into clear turquoise seawater with colourful kayaks nearby and green trees behind

4. Go Cliff jumping

Each island of Dubrovnik comes with some awesome cliff-jumping spots. This is a fun activity, which can be dangerous if you are not doing it sensibly.

Only jump if you have made sure the water was deep enough and there was no one under you!

💡PACKING TIP: Make sure you bring a good snorkel, water shoes and a fast-drying towel for all of the beach-going you’re about to do!

Discover the islands of Croatia, coastal road with makeshift hut and handmade road sign reading "Magic Sunj Beach" in front of view of harbour with many moored sailing boats under a wide clear blue sky

5. Relax at Sunj Beach

Croatia has many beautiful beaches, but it is very rare to find a sandy beach. Even the famous symbol of Croatia, the Golden Horn is a pebbly beach, not a sandy one as it may appear on the photos.

Sunj Beach however, has a fantastic sandy beach. It is perfect for families, as the beach is very shallow. There are several sun loungers and umbrellas to use.

There are also two restaurants, so you can grab lunch or some refreshments. There is a possibility to rent jet skis here if you are into watersports.

See the best islands in croatia this year" at the beginning, boat with tall mast floating in large body of water with backdrop of tall rocky mountains all under a wide blue sky with white clouds

6. Go Sailing

Sailing is another great way to explore the coastline of the Elaphiti Islands Croatia. Sipanska Luka is the main port at Sipan.

It is a popular destination for sailors because of its well-protected harbour. Sailing will give you a lot of freedom. You can anchor in hidden bays and go for a swim without other people.

If you don’t feel comfortable sailing yourself or are unable to do so, you can also opt for a water-based Elaphiti islands tour. You can also do some other Elaphiti Islands-Dubrovnik island tours.

Find your favourite islands near Dubrovnik, person walking down dirt path surrounded by tall green foliage with sunlight spilling through the leaves

7. Explore the islands on foot

Going for a walk on the islands can also be a good way to discover something new and do an Elaphiti islands tour at your own pace.

There are several lookout points, and if you don’t mind the heat, you can head up there to get a nice view of the surrounding area.

Đorđić-Mayneri family park on Lopud offers a great place for an afternoon stroll as you walk in the shade of palm and olive trees.

👡 PACKING TIP: Looking for the best shoes for travelling? I highly recommend getting a pair of Chaco’s They are my favourite!

Try out some Dubrovnik island tours, person sitting at table on balcony with view of wide expanse of ocean with some boats moored in the distance and a large backdrop of rocky mountains under a blue sky with wispy clouds

8. Enjoy your morning coffee with gorgeous views

The Elaphiti Islands of Croatia have a population of 850 inhabitants. Most of these people live from tourism in the summer and offer their homes on Airbnb.

It is a good idea to support the local economy and stay at independent guest houses while visiting the islands. Each Elaphiti hotel has its own charm.

You can have a room with a balcony overlooking the village and the Adriatic Sea. Can you imagine anything better, than waking up to this view every day and sipping your morning coffee?

Your next Dubrovnik experiences could be life-changing, dark red sun setting over wide expanse of the sea with long red reflection shimmering on the surface of the water with the silhouette of islands to one side

9. Enjoy glorious sunsets

There is no better way to end a day than watching a beautiful sunset. There is no shortage of lovely sunsets in Croatia.

You can head out for an evening stroll or stay at your accommodation and watch it from your balcony. Either way, relax and take it all in!

Travel to many islands from Dubrovnik, close up shot of plate of food with meat and dip and a large portion of fries on a white plate sat on top of a large table with drinks and condiments nearby

10. Enjoy Croatian food

Croatia is famous for its seafood. Most local restaurants will take great pride of the dish they cook from the catch of the day.

Peka is a popular method to prepare food in Croatia. It is done by putting the pot into the embers of a fireplace.

The dish can be prepared from fish, octopus or meat and always contain potatoes which suck up the juice. A must try on your Croatian holiday!

Cevapcici sausages are also very popular and you will find them on any menu in the country. The Elaphiti Islands have many great restaurants.

Visiting them is a great way to help grow the local economy and fill your belly with tasty local food!

Whatever Elaphiti hotel you stay at, the owners will be able to recommend their favourite local spots to try out!

🎫 TOP TIP: Looking for tickets to some of the best shows, activities and passes? I highly recommend booking via Viator for the best prices and deals!

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ What are the 3 Elaphiti Islands?

The 3 habited islands off Dubrovnik are Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan. Collectively these are known as the Elaphiti Islands.

✅ How do I get from Dubrovnik to the Elaphiti Islands?

Take the line 807 car ferry from the port of Dubrovnik. It takes around 75-80 minutes to get there.

✅ Can you stay on the Elafiti Islands?

Yes, however be aware that accommodation on the islands is limited and you might not be able to get anything last minute during peak season.

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