The small Elaphites Archipelago consists of eight islands and five islets stretching northwest of Dubrovnik in the most southern part of Dalmatia, Croatia, namely:
Daksa, Koločep (Kalamota), Sv. Andrija, Lopud, Ruda, Šipan, Mišnjak, Jakljan, Kosmeč, Goleč, Crkvine, Tajan, Olipa
Only the three main islands Koločep, Lopud and Šipan are permanently inhabited. Many families of The Dubrovnik Republic aristocracy had built their summer manors on these three islands. Some of these manors stand there today unfaded in full beauty reflecting a rich history of the islands and their owners. Each of these islands is like a special pearl, each similar to the other but still somehow different.They are connected with Dubrovnik via the ferry boat Postira which operates up to four times per day.
The Elaphites have a total land area of around 12 square miles (30 square kilometers) and a population of 850 inhabitants.The name Elaphites comes from the Greek word for deer. It’s a moot point whether there have ever been deer on these islands. It is rather supposed that the archipelago’s deer-like shape had been the decisive factor for the naming.
Thanks to a Mediterranean climate with long, dry summers and short and damp but mild winters, the islands are covered with characteristic Mediterranean evergreen vegetation: pine trees, cypress, laurels, carob trees, hollies, brooms, myrtles and many more typical mediterranean plants attract large numbers of tourists during the summer season.