Step off the shores of the mainland, and step into another world. As your luxury speed boat slides through the clear Adriatic waters, its crisp, frothy wake melting away behind you, the rhythms of everyday life will fall just as easily off your shoulders.
Feel the fresh wind and sun against your skin, grab a cold beer or soda and watch as the magical archipelago of Elaphiti draws closer. If anything we write here inspires you to travel with Rewind Dubrovnik, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Elaphiti: a haven for wildlife
The first ancient Roman and Greek travellers to the islands would have had a more onerous journey, sailing from afar and relying on the strength of their oarsmen against the elements. These islands were apparently well worth that journey for them and those who followed.
One of the first documented visitors to the islands was Pliny the Elder. Pliny was taken by the incredible biodiversity of the archipelago, including it in his “Natural History”, and to this day the protected islands offer a haven to rare plants and animals.
When approaching the islands, listen for the resonant chatter of cormorants and the bright, high song of the swifts, known for their swooping, aerial displays. Swifts enjoy a summer stop-over on the islands as part of their migration to Central Africa
The Elaphiti Islands are also included in the migratory journeys of dolphins, storks, eagles, and falcons. Keep a close eye out for these, but prepare for an even more intimate encounter with nature if you stop at one of Elaphiti’s treasured snorkelling sites.
Snorkelling around Elaphiti
Caves and grottoes circle the islands, and the most spectacular is Kolocep’s Blue Cave. Entering Kolocep Blue Cave by boat is an enchanting experience, as shafts of light cast shades from azure to indigo across the walls.
Slip off the edge of the boat with top-quality snorkelling equipment. Immerse yourself in the otherworldly shimmer of the coral, and in the dance of Mediterranean Parrotfish, Damselfish, and stripy Sargo.
If you choose to experience Elaphiti by underwater scooter, you can keep pace with the shoals, doubling back if you spot a rare sea turtle, or, pausing for a mesmerising collection of starfish and sea anemones. Take the sea at your pace and let go of anything else on your mind.
And so, to shore. Feel the warmth of fine white sand under your feet as you step onto Sunj Beach on Lopud Island. Scents of the surrounding pine forests merge with those of the sea, while overhead you’ll hear the calls of Sardinian warblers over the gentle splash of the waves.
After the Greeks and Romans, the islands had several thriving monastic communities, drawn by the serenity of the coastlines and forests. Both Koločep and Lopud islands are car-free, preserving some of the peace of the monastic influence and protecting the wildlife.
You can feel the impact of this slow-paced tranquillity on Elaphiti beaches. These are not the party or tourist hotspots seen elsewhere in Croatia, and visitors share a respect for the natural surroundings and spirit of the islands.
The beaches still hold plenty of vibrancy, with many opportunities to play beach volleyball, if you’re so inclined. Keen mountain bikers can set off on one of the island trails, and intrepid cliff divers can visit Fisherman’s Cave on Lokrum island. Choose an island adventure tailored to your pace with all our Elaphiti island tours.
Travelling around Elaphiti
Apart from the pure joy of the speed boat, you can also enjoy exploring on foot, by bike, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. Take a stroll around Lokrum’s lush Botanical gardens, with treescapes you can see reflected in the architecture of the Benedictine monastery.
Enjoy a hike through the cypress forests and vineyards of Lopud, or take in charming villages on Šipan and Koločep. Look out for local produce being sold, including olive oil, aromatic herbs, figs, and pomegranates. These routes are also great by bike.
Kayaks and paddleboards can be easily rented and are particularly wonderful options on Elaphiti due to the incredible clarity of the waters. You may catch glimpses of fish and sea turtles as you skim along the water, and enjoy sea views of the island’s rock formations and grottoes.
Eating on Elaphiti
The sensory immersion of Elaphiti would not be complete without tasting the local cuisine. All our skippers are foodies, with a wealth of local knowledge on the best places to eat for every diet.
Elaphiti food is peak freshness, whether it is the fish caught that morning, garden-picked fruit and vegetables, or Sipan island olive oil. Expect all the vitality of the Mediterranean, careful wine pairings, and a local passion for treasuring the moment — and every mouthful.
A more unusual local food to try is carob. Carob trees are cultivated on the islands and the chocolate-flavoured seeds are used in cakes, jams, and sweets. Look out for the delicious carob chocolate cake, ideally paired with a local Muscat, such as Kotalenko Yellow.
Elaphiti private boats
Step back on the boat with the Elaphiti peace still holding you. Take in a couple of last evening pleasures; perhaps a sunset dip in the sea or a glass of local champagne on deck. Our boats include fresh towels and blankets to snuggle into in the evening sea breeze.
As the salt of the Adriatic clings to your body and hair, your Elaphiti experience will stay with you well after you rejoin the mainland. With a renewed sense of appreciation for the magic of the natural world, and a day of pure sensual exploration behind you, life will have changed.
Recent research is pointing more and more to the need for multiple types of rest, including sensory and spiritual rest as well as just getting enough sleep. Communities around the world have been aware of this since ancient times, and the “no rush” motto of Elaphiti residents is one example.
An Elaphiti Island private boat tour really offers the perfect combination of adventure, spectacle, and relaxation, and at Rewind Dubrovnik one of our most important principles is that every customer has unique desires and needs to make this happen.
Get in touch with us for personalised advice on how to make your holiday here just perfect. We will be happy to share our love of the islands, including secret local insights and the reasons why exploring Elaphiti by boat has such an important place in our own hearts.