We love our home city of Dubrovnik, with its medieval architecture, bustling cafe culture, and city beaches, but there are times when a person needs to escape from it all…
Fortunately, Dubrovnik’s position on the Adriatic means that paradisal islands, mysterious coves, and picture-perfect bays are only a short boat ride away. And of all Croatia’s clusters of islands, there’s no group more beautiful than the Elaphiti Islands.
This archipelago may only have a total landmass of 30 kilometers, and only 850 (very lucky!) inhabitants, but in our view, it’s one of the most treasured destinations in all of Europe.
Join us today as we discuss some highlights of the Elaphiti Islands, how you can explore them, and the famous Šipan restaurant of BOWA, where you can taste some of the finest ingredients and traditional dishes unique to the Elaphiti.
And if you’re ready to make your dream trip a reality, consider joining us for our full-day Elaphiti Island Boat Trip.
The Magic of the Elaphiti Islands
We recommend every visitor to Dubrovnik takes a trip out to the islands. Sure, Dubrovnik is a marvelous destination in its own right. It’s one of Europe’s most enchanting cities. What other city features as many beautiful beaches? (Read about our favorite Dubrovnik beaches here.) What other city possesses epic medieval walls like Dubrovnik’s? It’s a tremendous place to visit.
However, when you’re in Dubrovnik, you’re only a short distance away from secluded, pristine islands that offer a real taste of the good life. And there’s no better choice of islands to visit than the Elaphiti. Below we pick some highlights from the archipelago.
Koločep – Evergreen Island of Pine Trees
Croatia’s southernmost inhabited area of Koločep is known locally as Kalamota. This Elaphiti is the closest to Dubrovnik and offers a more simple way of life. The motto of the local residents? “No cars. No rush.”
When you’re on Koločep, the modern world feels like it is a million miles away (though it is, in fact, 0.6 km away!). Swim the perfect blue waters surrounding Koločep and visit the island’s most famous feature, the magnificent Blue Cave.
Lopud – World Class Sandy Beaches
Lopud is most famous for Šunj beach, the kind of beach you dream about as you make holiday plans. This island is perfect for relaxing and soaking up the sunshine. Have a refreshing drink on the beach and appreciate the revitalizing effects of time spent in magisterial natural landscapes.
History lovers will especially appreciate Lopud’s historic Dominican monastery – fabulous architecture in a cinematic setting.
Šipan (Sipano) – Island of Fertile Fields
This island is the most inhabited of the Elaphiti, and it’s easy to understand why people choose to live here! The island is known for its local produce, such as wine, olive oil, marmalade, fruit, and much more.
Our recommendation for Šipan? Swim in the waters off its charming pebble beaches and work up a serious appetite, then head to the famous BOWA restaurant where you can try sensational dishes prepared using only the freshest local ingredients.
BOWA Restaurant, Šipan
BOWA stands for the Best of What’s Around, a name that perfectly captures this extraordinary restaurant’s ethos.
Located on the Bay of Vrbova, BOWA offers luxurious and satisfyingly simplistic food. BOWA needs no gimmicks, they don’t want to impress you with unusual taste combinations and fad cooking techniques. At BOWA, they are loyal to the richness of superior ingredients.
The fish they serve is caught daily in the Adriatic. Their vegetables and fruits are grown in their garden. And the olive oil is produced right here on the island.
On BOWA’s website, they proudly tell you that they’re a restaurant born of the sea – the combined vision of a sailor, an architect, and a restaurateur. This passion for the local environment and the produce harvested here shines through with every plate.
And the best bit? After journeying through BOWAs incredible menu, you can jump straight into the water for a post-meal swim.
How to Get to BOWA
If you’re interested in exploring the Elaphiti Islands more widely before eating at BOWA (and we recommend you do!), we suggest taking our unforgettable Elaphiti Islands Boat Tour.
After picking you up from your Dubrovnik accommodation, we’ll take you on a journey to our three favorite Elaphiti Islands listed above. After a day of enjoying the unparalleled natural beauty and swimming in the shining waters of the Adriatic Sea, we’ll head to BOWA for a meal.
At Rewind, we’ll take care of all the organization so you can focus on getting the most out of your trip! We only ask you to give us a couple of days of notice so we don’t encounter issues when booking a table at the restaurant.
This brings a close to our discussion of the Elaphiti Islands and BOWA restaurant. If you have any questions, please get in touch.