“I am your captain and this is my espresso,” said the captain as he passed out traditional Croatian rakija, the most common form of domestic alcohol served throughout Croatia, to the passengers on board his ship.
“Cheers, salud, Živeli!”
And with that we set sail across the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea on the Dubrovnik Island-Hopping Cruise in the Elaphites Including Lunch. As the fresh sea breeze picked up, I felt instantly relaxed. Our boat cruised along, headed to three different Dalmatian islands. Accompanied by unlimited complementary wine and soft drinks, I knew we were all in for a refreshing and enjoyable day trip.
Not long after departing the dock, we arrived at the small island of Kolo?ep, home to only 130 inhabitants. The welcoming and friendly crew quickly anchored the boat and helped each passenger down to shore safely. On Kolo?ep you can make yourself at home on the sandy beach, where there’s both sun and shade depending on your preference.
If you’re up for more exploring, go for a walk along the crystal clear waters or journey up the hill to some of the island’s many sacred buildings such as St. Mary Church. With a few extra minutes to spare after walking around a bit, I decided to take a seat on one of the benches next to the water and listened to the waves lapping up onto the rocks while looking out over the open sea. Ah, calm.
Before long, it was time to return to the boat and continue on to the next island. Šipan is the longest of all the Elaphite Islands and is known as the place for fishing, homemade extra virgin olive oil and for their red wine. Old meets new with a fifteenth century castle located in the middle of Šipan, nestled in among modern shops and restaurants.
After a quick walk through some of the narrow cobblestone streets, I headed down to one of the pebble beaches where I basked in the tranquility of the island and went for a swim in the Adriatic – the water’s warm, yet another lovely benefit of this unique destination.
An hour later I headed back to the boat where a delicious vegetarian meal had been prepared and was waiting for me. Fish and chicken options are also available for omnivores and carnivores alike. After our meals, it was time to visit our third, and final, island for the day.
As we approached the island of Lopud, our ship captain serenaded us with traditional Croatian songs to welcome us. You have about three hours to spend on Lopud so there’s plenty of time to journey to the other side of the island or browse through the many shops.
I found a peaceful spot on one of the island’s sandy beaches and bathed myself in the warm Croatian sun. Afterwards, I cooled off with the help of fresh gelato from one of the many restaurants dotted along the beach.
Each new turn along the pristine Adriatic Sea revealed island after island, presenting a mesmerizing contrast of cliffs and sea. If you’re ready to escape the crowds of Dubrovnik like I was, jump on board this island-hopping tour, sit back, relax, and enjoy the views!
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