Elaphite Islands (Elaphiti Islands)
The Elaphite Islands / Elaphiti Islands (Elafitski otoci) are scattered to the north of Dubrovnik. The islands of Sipan, Lopud, and Kolocep are the only inhabited islands in this archipelago and life is still very slow paced and resources for travelers are scant. In the high season some simple restaurants open but apart from that visitors are on their own. Regular water taxis from Dubrovnik service these islands. The Elaphiti Islands are for the most part forested or farmed but they are known for having beautiful beaches and coves. There are a few old sights on some of the islands, including churches and monasteries.
The Island of Kolocep, part of the Elaphiti Islands, is the closest island in this archipelago to Dubrovnik, and also the smallest. It is home to a population of less than 200 inhabitants, most of who live either in the village of Donje Uelo or Gornji Uelo. Motor boats provide service to the island from Dubrovnik, which takes less than a half of an hour. The island consists mainly of pine trees, underbrush, olive groves, and orchards. It also boasts some nice beaches, both pebble and sand. On a cultural note, the pre-Romanesque church of St Anthony and the church of St Nicholas are worth a visit. There is also a parish church which dates to the 15th Century. For those wishing to spend some time on the island there is accommodation for visitors.
Lopud, one of the Elaphiti Islands, has one settlement, which is also called Lopud, and another cove area with a few facilities which is called Sunj. In the village of Lopud are two forts which date back to the 16th Century, although they are little more than ruins today. The St Mary of Spilica Church and Monastery (Gospa od Spilica) was established by the Franciscans and dates to the late 15th Century. The interior contains some paintings and a 15th Century carved altar.Sunj, with an impressive sandy beach, is on the southeast side of the Lopud Island and has a couple of restaurants.
At 9km / 5.5mi long and 2.5km / 1.5mi wide, the Island of Sipan is the largest of the Elaphiti Islands. Sipan also has the largest population, with close to 450 residents. The islands two main towns are Sipanska Luka and Sudurad. Sipanska Luka is home to Sipan's only hotel and is nicely situated in an inlet, with a pleasant seafront area. Sipanska Luka has a couple of cultural attractions, including the pre-Romanesque church of St Michael, as well as an old Benedictine monastery. In Sudurad are the ruins of an old palace and a castle.The middle of Sipan is an agricultural area with olive trees and orchards. A walking trail leads through this area.