Elaphite Islands & Dubrovnik walking tours in Croatia

“An eight day small group walking holiday, starting in Dubrovnik, and hopping over to island idylls for guided hiking on Sipan, Lopud and Kolocep.”

Highlights

Dubrovnik | Climb Mount Srdj Island of Sipan | Island of Lopud | Island of Kolocep | Guided hikes on Elaphite Islands

Description of Elaphite Islands & Dubrovnik walking tours in Croatia

You are spoiled for choice when it comes to walking holidays in Croatia, but this carefully crafted week long itinerary takes in not only the magnificent medieval city of Dubrovnik, including a hike up to its highest peak, Mount Srdj, but also out to some of the archipelago’s most exquisite Elaphite Islands.

Walking on the ancient trails of the Elaphite Islands, with the help of an expert local guide, the southernmost of Croatia’s country long archipelago takes you not only into remote natural nirvanas, but also back in time to a place of traditional island villages, Roman and Byzantine ruins, olive and lemon groves, and to some of the country’s most wonderful waterside tavernas. As well as myriad beaches of course.

On this walking holiday we will visit the islands of Sipan, Kolocep and Lopud. On Sipan we walk through ancient pine forests that dip in and out of remote beaches, through olive groves (it is said to have more olive trees per inhabitant than anywhere else in the world) and past the former splendour of 14th century villas. Kolocep and Lopud are both traffic free, and on the latter our walks take us to a Renaissance garden, orange gardens, laurel groves and other such sensory delights. In the middle of our trip, our day long walk on Kolocep finishes in the traditional fishing village of Gornje Celo, after gentle strolls along pine and sage filled pathways. Given that all of these islands have some of the most stunning remote swimming spots, always have a swimsuit in your backpack.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

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Check dates

2017: 20 Aug, 27 Aug, 3 Sep, 10 Sep, 17 Sep, 24 Sep, 1 Oct
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Holiday type

Small group cultural tours

Typically you will be sharing your experiences with between 4-20 like minded travellers (depending on the trip, operator and how many others are booked on the trip) and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends it's good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as experiencing new cultures.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Elaphite Islands & Dubrovnik walking tours in Croatia

Environment

Islands have water from the mainland, plastic bottles are recycled and collected, local food is available on the small island markets. People mainly grow vegetables, grapes, oranges and lemons in a traditional way. The groups are small up to 10 people and walking is on the existing paths, we leave nothing but foot prints behind. We support the slogan "Help us keep the Adriatic clean" which also includes the islands.

Our guides emphasize on the importance of respecting local people and wildlife. Our tour is fully guided tour and the travellers are advised not to litter. When we pack picnic lunch we use recyclable bags.

In our office, and in the whole region we get the electricity from green energy scheme - hydro electric. We use energy efficient light bulbs We recycle paper in the office and we print out only the documents that need to be printed because of the record keeping. We print out the documents only when it is necessary. We encourage car sharing. Since Dubrovnik is small we walk to our office. We use local ferry transportation and on the islands we do not use cars but we walk.

Tourism in private accommodation has benefited conservation of the local area since the guests are staying in the old houses, that have been there even before tourism started developing. In this way the villages preserved their charm since overbuilding did not occur. Thanks to the incomes earned from private accommodation, these old houses are well maintaned.

Community

We direct our travelers to local private accommodation providers. Overnight in private accommodation enhances the visitors’ experience, since they get an opportunity to be welcomed by a local host and thus get better insight in everyday life of local people on Croatian islands. Also, in this way our travelers are contributing to the local economy. Accommodation in local guesthouses is simple but clean, with own bathroom. Accommodation is licensed by Croatian National Tourist Board. The Island has lovely stone houses.

While walking we stop for lunch in local restaurants. Thus our clients have an opportunity to taste some of the typical specialties of the region and at the same time help local economy. Food in local restaurants that we visit during our walking trips is produced organically where possible. Those are family owned restaurants that are supplied with fresh fish from local fishermen and vegetables from local farmers.

We assist inhabitants of Elaphite islands in their efforts to keep the young generation from leaving the islands by directing our guests to the restaurants owned by local people who employ young local inhabitants. The fees paid to the local community like tourist tax and entrance fees to Old Castle and Rennaissance arboretum as well as local boat tickets will contribute to local economy.

We use local leaders who had training both abroad and home. Djivo graduated from Rochester college of Management and technology, had two years practice in Colorado and Nordic walking training in Zagreb. Ivana his colleague is a professional tour guide. We provide training for our guides and they are certified according to Croatian standards.

As a company we support elderly on the islands not only during the summer season but keep in touch year around as our guides stay in accommodation owned by elder local people and they help carry the groceries and during the winter months if they need anything from Dubrovnik. We also help them to organise transportation to the island (islands are very small and during the winter only basic groceries are available there).

16 c Renaissance castle, Stjepovic-Skocibuha, on the island of Sipan was in ruins for a long time. A few years ago it was reconstructed and opened for tourist visits. Our tour includes visit to Renaissance castle and we pay the entrance for our guests. Money collected from the entrance fees is used for further reconstructions.

Many local people found employment in local restaurants, shops, coffee bars and tourist office. This has reduced the number of people moving to Dubrovnik in search of work. Some of the locals opened shops with handicrafts - paintings, original souvenirs and traditional embroidery. Traditional embroidery is one of the skills known by local people that was in danger of dying out but recently many young girls learned how to do it since it brings them opportunity to earn additional income.

Thanks to tourism ferry connections between the Elaphite Islands and Dubrovnik are more frequent. Most of the locals are renting their rooms and apartments to tourists. This is a very good additional income for them.

Reviews of Elaphite Islands & Dubrovnik walking tours in Croatia

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 19 Jun 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Hiking the picturesque Plitvice Lakes National Park and Krka River N.P. Breath taking views all around.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for a strenous hike and climb in Risnjak National Park.
(Bring shampoo, body lotion and wash cloths as the hotels and guest houses were we were lodged did not supply the usual samples).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


While hiking in Bosnia to capture the essence of the Una River and its waterfalls, our group began picking up trash along the trail, depositing it in a trash bin awhile later. Frequenting local stores for lunch items and staying in guest houses I think helped the indigenous peoples providing services to us.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I enjoyed eating local cuisine such as cevopi and drinking local beers and wines made for a delightful trip. (Beer was an absolute must for me after an arduous day of hiking).

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Some very enterprising, patient and committed staff coordinating what turned out to be not only a whole host of different kinds of holidays (walking, kayaking, multi-adventure for example), but also making sure that all the guests were able to do what they wanted despite unexpected stormy weather most days.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for change of plans but also the operator had very good in-depth knowledge of the local islands, footpaths, kayak routes and even local herbs and other facilities. Have a few ideas of what you would like to do yourself on the islands as there is free time to explore.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, definitely as local accommodation is used all the time and all the hosts were on good terms with the agency. Local transport paid for and used between the islands and local buses on Sipan and in Dubrovnik. We ate at local restaurants where Croatian food sourced as much as possible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was an unusually good experience with a holiday agency. For example, when we were shown around the Old City Dubrovnik by the company director, Ivana, as part of our package it was a really interesting tour with so much explained and so many interesting parts visited. This was the kind of quality the operator managed to maintain all the time. If there were niggles you felt that someone would take them seriously. Thanks to all the staff for respecting our needs, broadening our horizons still more and working so hard.

Reviewed on 09 Jul 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Ending the day in rosy light and silky air while eating fresh caught fish and drinking local wine, as the sun set over the distant islands. Stunning.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't expect a rigid itinerary. Just relax, and let your local Croatian guides take the strain.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All our guides were local people. Our simple accommodation was owned by local people and we didn't come across a chain store in the whole of our holiday.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Just about perfect - exactly the relaxing, 'off the beaten track' break we'd hoped for.

Reviewed on 21 May 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Great guides, very helpful. Great scenery and great food

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be flexible and appreciate the back roads adventure.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Do a degree yes, they benefitted local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Amazing. My only concern was the accommodation on Lopud. Our room was fine, but our friends had questionable rooms

Reviewed on 15 Oct 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Staying with Dubra on the island of Lopud. The accommodation is excellent and Dubra and her family are so kind and helpful. They cooked us a wonderful local meal, highly recommended Lopud has great restaurants and bars, bustling without being frenetic. We were taken to Kolocep for a days walking ending with a late lunch of fresh fish at a small restaurant on a beautiful bay. We swam afterwards and then on the way back on the speedboat we had an unexpected treat when Nada showed us the Blue Cave-magical end to a fabulous day

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you are staying on Sipan and Lopud make sure you stay on Sipan first. It is a lovely island but very quiet with little to offer in the way of bars or restaurants. If you stay on Lopud first this can seem a bit of an anti climax

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Walking with Nada and Radovan was very enjoyable because they were both very knowlwdgable about the islands and were very keen on sustainable tourism. Nada knew so much about the plants and the islands it was a delight to walk with her

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We would definitely be keen to visit the islands again with responsible travel. Everything was well organised, involved the local people and the weather was lovely-apart from 2 days of storms which no one could plan for.

Reviewed on 05 Oct 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I was most impressed with this company, gave them a call from Northern Croatia
confirming arrival a couple of days early, wanted accommodation and they found me a lovely apartment and picked me up, supplied tea coffee bread and a wonderful welcome. Found other people had cancelled tour so they put me on another, plus looked after me on my free days going out of their way to show me around outer areas of the region, lent me a mobile, Nada and Branco are pearls.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Lots of things to do if weather is bad they find something interesting to entertain the group. Stays were lovely, clean lovely surroundings, big breakfasts and friendly helpful hosts. Just go with the flow, I am 70 had a ball did walking and
sea kayaking.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Doing the Elaphite Islands took pressure off Dubrovnik and spread the tourists
over a greater area so they also had the benefit.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Most interesting people very proud of their country, enjoyed the whole visit,
have encouraged my friends to head to Croatia.

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