Elaphite Islands

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Koločep Island is the tiniest of inhabited Elaphites. Islands contain two small villages – Donje Čelo and Gornje Čelo, on the west and east coasts. Among thick forests, there are citrus trees, olive groves, and vineyards. Koločep is in The Guinness World Records as the island with the highest number of olive trees concerning its population and size. The island is well-known in Croatia due to its maritime history. There is a legend about two sailors from the island of Koločep were with Christopher Columbus at his ship Santa Maria.

With so much greenery, Koločep is perfect for walking and exploring the charming bays. During your stay at the island, you should visit a parish church from the 15th century located in Donje Čelo village. A famous piece of art – an altarpiece in the church of St. Anthony made by Ivan Ugrinović is also placed in Gornje Čelo. There are numerous ruins and pre-Romanesque churches as well.

The largest of the Elaphite islands are Šipan with two key places on the island, the village Suđurađ and Šipanska Luka (Šipan harbor). Make sure you visit the Skočibuha palace (situated in Suđurađ village), the only completely restored summer villa in Croatia.
The island of Šipan is for nature lovers who are looking for serenity in a beautiful landscape. It is a beautiful oasis of peace and tranquillity, where the magical sunset is waiting for the golden glow of the moon to rise behind the hills — also look out for the beautiful Bowa restaurant near Suđurađ, (accessible only by boat).

Less than five sq. kilometers in area, Lopud has about 200 inhabitants, more than 30 churches, summer residences, several monasteries, parks, gardens, 1.2 kilometers of sandy beaches and 2,584 hours of sunshine in the year. It is the middle island of the three, so is also known as a mezzo. The most famous sandy beach is Šunj on the east side, where you can enjoy the sun, swim and play “picigin” – a traditional amateur sport played in shallow water in which players attempt to keep a tiny ball from touching the water. It is a 20-minute walk to this beach from the port. There are no cars on the island, but you can take an electric golf cart.

Lopud had an important role in the Republic of Ragusa. The island became part of the Republic as a regional center contributing much to economic growth. In the time of the Republic, there was a fleet of 80 ships in the shipyard. Lopud is well known as an island of captains who often built retirement homes here. Regarding its beauty, the island of Lopud was a favorite place for the summer residence of the local aristocracy. In addition to the summer villas, there is the Franciscan monastery from 1483 with its cloisters and churches with some remarkable pieces of art by the famous Ragusan painter Nikola Božidarević and the Italian Girolamo da Santacroce. The richness of the sacred and cultural heritage is shown by the fact that there are 33 chapels, four churches, two monasteries and the ruins of a Spanish fort and the Rector’s Palace.

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