One thing I was adamant that we were going to do whilst in Dubrovnik was the Elaphiti Islands day-long cruise. Although there are 13 islands altogether, this cruise visited 3 of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen – Koločep, Šipan and Lopud.
I’ve mentioned on my blog before that one of my biggest fears is being on open sea water, so this was actually the third time I’d EVER been on a boat on open water. As much as I am scared I’m really pushing myself to start facing my fears and so far I’d say they’ve been some of my favourite memories – especially snorkelling with the sea turtles in Bali.
It’s safe to say when we set off on our tiny boat (there was around 25 of us) I was very scared. I text my Mum to say the boat was incredibly rocky and I didn’t like it at all, then put my head in my hands to hide the fact I could see the boat rocking violently from side to side. I think it didn’t help that there had been a storm the day before as apparently the waters aren’t normally that bad, bloody typical.
After about 30 minutes I calmed down a bit and started to enjoy the panoramic views of the islands and the surprisingly pleasant sea breeze.
Not long after we arrived at the first island – Koločep.
”Koločep is the southernmost inhabited island in Croatia and is locally known as Kalamota. In the 2011 census, the population of the island was 163.”
From what I could see it was a huge island (in comparison to others we had seen off the coast), but not a lot of it was inhabited by people. We only had 45 minutes here so walked along the promenade and had a very brief paddle in the sea. The waters were some of the clearest I’ve ever seen and I was amazed at the fact we could see the fish swimming around our feet. After we dried off we walked back to the boat, where lunch was served.
I honestly didn’t think I’d enjoy a meal that was cooked on a tiny boat, but it was actually pretty good. I opted for the chicken which came with sauerkraut and tomatoes, then ate a tonne of the bread from the middle of the table. Considering we paid around £30 for the whole trip altogether, it really wasn’t bad. Especially as all our drinks for the day were including too!
By the time we finished lunch, we were almost on the second island of the day – Šipan.
”Šipan Island(pronounced shee-pan) is the largest of the Elaphiti Islands. In between is a verdant valley composed of olive and fig trees, vineyards and citrus groves. The island is famous for its wine and for its delightfully laid-back ambience.”
Out of the three we visited, Šipan was definitely my favourite. Again, we only had 45 minutes here so we made our way to the beach and sat with our feet in the water for as long as we could. The waters were clear, the view was incredible and it was so quiet it was a relaxing change from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik.
After Šipan, we made our way back to the boat ready to go to the final island and our main stop – Lopud.
”Lopud Island is famous for having one of the best beaches in the Dubrovnik region. Naturally, it gets busy on summer days when tour boats arrive and everyone in the region with a motorised vessel heads out there for a swim. Yet, when the boats leave and off-season, it’s the Adriatic at its best.”
We had a total of two hours in Lopud – although when we booked we were promised three, which annoyed us a little considering we were not behind schedule at all. Although this was much bigger and had more to do, I didn’t quite see the appeal as much as the other islands we’d visited.
With time to kill, we decided to go to the beach and for a dip in the sea. It was FREEZING of course, but so much fun. I haven’t swum in the sea many times, so for me, it was a great experience. After half an hour in the water I took the chance to sunbathe (the only chance I had the whole trip), so popped my headphones in and completely relaxed for as long as possible.
On the way back to the boat we grabbed an ice cream and prepared for the long journey back to the Old Town.
The trip back to the Old Town took around an hour and 15 minutes and was SO MUCH worse than the journey out there – at one point I thought we were actually going to crash into the rocks it was so bad. It’s a good job there was unlimited wine!
Overall, I think it was probably one of my favourite days from our week in Croatia as it was incredible to get out of the city and see some of the beautiful islands I always hear people talk about. Although I was scared of the boat 90% of the time, it’s made me want to face fears and do a sailing holiday around some more of Croatia’s islands – I feel like there’s so much more to see!