The stretch of thirteen islands northward off the coast of Dubrovnik are called Elafiti islands. Specifically, they include: Daksa, Koločep, Sveti Andrija, Lopud, Ruda, Šipan, Mišnjak, Jakljan, Kosmeč, Goleč, Crkvine, Tajan and Olipa.
The name comes from the Greek word elafos, meaning a deer. No one can ascertain if there were any deer on the islands, but the islands' formation resembles the buck's crown. Some have been inhabited since the ancient times.
We will here introduce Koločep, Lopud and Šipan.
Koločep's derives its name from Kalamota (Gr. kalos niktos = beautiful nights). It has two main settlements: Gornje Čelo and Donje Čelo (photo) and is a home to about 150 inhabitants. Its golden time was during the 14th ct. when it was rich in corals and had a shipyard. There is a regular ferry line from Dubrovnik should you desire to visit and explore the architectural remains from the times past or simply enjoy a day on this beautiful island.
Lopud. Beach Šunj
Lopud is the second largest island in the group and the most developed one. The single inhabited quay by the name of Lopud is rather beautiful and just steps from the well known beach Šunj.Quite a few curious architectural designs are to be found on Lopud and you might be tempted to spend more than a day on this beautiful island. Hotels and privately offered accommodations allow for comfortable prolonged visits.
Šipanska luka, Šipan
Šipan is the largest of the Elafiti islands and also the richest in cultural heritage. It has about 500 inhabitants living in the two main fishing villages: Šipanska Luka (photo on the left) and Suđurađ. Throughout the rule of the Dubrovnik (Ragusan) Republic it had a Duke and was an administrative center.
There are more than 30 churches on Šipan today, though some only remains of their past edifice. A few interesting summer residences date back to the Renaissance. A three-star hotel (right in the middle of the quay of Šipanska Luka) and privately offered accommodations offer inexpensive and suitable comfort to travelers who decide to prolong their visit.
* Ragusan Republic was a city-state. Mercantile power; Venice's rival; first European state to recognize the independent US; has best preserved archives in Europe.Existed from the 12 ct. to 1806.