The islands of Lopud, Koločep and Šipan in the Elaphiti group of islands are a frequent destination for day-trippers from Dubrovnik. We hired a traditional Dalmatian boat for a private all day tour to them. Such boat is not fast, is pretty loud when running, but cozy and pleasant to be on. A nice local skipper who spoke excellent English took us to a few key places in the archipelago.
The Blue Cave ♥♥♥ on Koločep is simply mesmerizing, with the way the light enters the low arch and reflects off sand on the floor. There are always many visitors throughout the day, so the entrance to the cave may get congested.
Also on Koločep are the Three Caves ♥. The sea was slightly rougher when we arrived here, so two of the three caves – one dark, and one narrow walk-through – were not safe to go in. We only swam into the first cave, which is wider and has no showstopping features. The water was pretty warm despite the waves. You can also jump from he cliffs – they are not too high – both at the Three Caves and at the Blue Cave.
Lopud ♥♥♥ is just a slice of paradise, good enough that people come here for extended vacations, not just for a day. Sunj beach ♥♥♥ might be the best beach we’ve seen in Croatia. Sandy, not too shallow, but at standing depth good 50 meters from the shore. All amenities onsite. Clear warm water.
Sunj beach is on the other side of the island from the main village of Lopud. The distance is walkable, but not too enticing – 1.5 kilometers up and down the hills. Most people would take a golf-cart taxi, costing Kn15 per person each way. The only downside there is the drivers try to fill the carts with maximum people for each ride (often 6 or sometimes 8); that can be annoying if you are ready to go but have to wait 10 minutes for other people to show up before starting 5-minute ride.
We lingered for a short time on the waterfront of Lopud. Beaches are not as good on this side, but still passable for those who do not want to travel to Sunj. There are several restaurants and a number of shops. The town also has a botanical garden of note and an unusual light show, but we decided not to spend time at either.
We actually did not go to Šipan. There is not much to see on the near (southeastern) part of the island, and reaching the northwestern-side bay would not be possible at the speeds offered by our boat. Anyone renting a faster vessel may be able to visit Šipanska Luka, which reputedly is nice without exceeding Lopud’s charms.
Places to Eat
We had lunch at Restaurant Dubrovnik ♥♥♥ right on Lopud waterfront. Great views over the Lopud bay, excellent service (the waiter pleasantly bantered and joked with us throughout the meal), fantastic fresh seafood. We had oysters, langoustines, and two catches of the day (sea bream and dentex) – all amazing. The fresh fish costs quite a lot, our total bill was Kn2225 for 3 adults and 1 child, with a bottle of wine, before tips. But it’s a case when the experience is worth it. Nonetheless, the whole fish portions are pretty large, so sharing one catch for two people could have been a wise option. Last visit: Summer 2019.