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TRIP OVERVIEW

7 days
Classic
5km/day
Moderate

Trip Dates

2024
16 Jun - 22 Jun
Full
23 Jun - 29 Jun
1 Space
01 Sep - 07 Sep
Full
08 Sep - 14 Sep
Full

Tour Highlights

  • Become a SwimTrek Pioneer and join this new adventure from Dubrovnik to the idyllic islands of Koločep, Lopud and Šipan.

  • Discover the aristocratic hideaways of Šipan, the exotic gardens of car-free Lopud and the pine forests and olive groves of Koločep!

  • Enjoy island crossings and a variety of bay and coastal swims as we uncover many more of the Elaphiti Archipelago's hidden secrets.

The Elaphiti Islands are an archipelago northwest of Dubrovnik in Croatia. Only the 3 largest islands are inhabited - the largest of the 14 islands, which are Koločep, Lopud and Šipan. Dubrovnik itself is a city often called the "Pearl of the Adriatic". Known for its spectacular city walls, baroque buildings and far-reaching views over the Adriatic, Dubrovnik has a rich history, and well-preserved Old Town, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enclosed by ancient walls, the Old Town is a maze of narrow streets, charming squares, and magnificent buildings such as the Rector's Palace, the Franciscan Monastery, and the Cathedral.

A short ferry ride away, the Elaphiti archipelago provides a contrast to the busy walled city, with shimmering waters of vivid turquoise, hidden coves, and lush green landscapes. Each island has its own distinct character. Šipan is the largest and best loved by Dubrovnik aristocracy, who built their houses here. Lopud is a car-free refuge with stone houses, colourful gardens, and ruined fortresses. While Koločep is a little jewel that home to a mere 163 people, covered in pine forests, olive groves and orchards of orange and lemon trees.

The name "Elaphiti" is derived from the ancient Greek word "elaphos", which means deer. It is believed that these islands were once inhabited by deer, giving rise to their name.

During the time of the Roman Empire, the Elaphiti Islands were an important part of the maritime trade routes in the Adriatic Sea. The islands served as a stopover for ships traveling between the eastern and western parts of the empire. Evidence of this can be seen in the remains of ancient Roman villas and structures that have been discovered on the islands. Today, the islands still maintain their traditional way of life through agriculture and fishing.

Looking for a more leisurely adventure? Please check out our Elaphiti Islands – Short Swims trip!


Who is this trip for?

This swimming trip is ideal for those who are looking to combine interesting and varied swims, perhaps with a bustling city break.

Swimmers should also have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average swim distance of around 2.5km prior to the start of the trip. The average daily swim distance is around 5km (split over a minimum of two swims).

We have given this trip a ‘Moderate’ grading. Most swimmers comfortable in the open water will be able to take part and enjoy one of these trips.


Are you a Pioneer?

We are excited to share our entirely new Elaphiti Islands trip for an action-packed 2024 of adventures. Our first departures will be Pioneer Departures. These are perfect for those who want to get out first to experience the relatively unexplored waters that await us. You will have the opportunity to explore the destination in-depth with an amazing group of swimmers, opening our eyes to the possibilities for future trips.


What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday (swimmers only)
  • Professional swim guides and full safety escort on all swims (swimmers only)
  • Six nights' accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches (swimmers only)
  • Full ABTOT Financial Protection

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the trip
  • Evening meals
  • Drinks and additional activities

Sample Trip Itinerary

Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilots will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Hotel Glavović

Start Time: 17:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Hotel Glavović

Finish Time: 11:00 on Day 7

Day 1

After meeting in the reception area, we will head down to the water, immediately in front of the hotel, for your acclimatisation swim. We will then return to the hotel for a welcome drink and a safety briefing before discussing our plans for the week ahead.

Day 2

Our first full day of swimming sees us explore the local island of Lopud. We head round to the western coast and start our coastal swim to finish at the popular Šunj Beach, with its rich blue waters. Here, we rest for lunch and enjoy the views of the neighbouring island Koločep - one we will visit another day in the week. Our second swim takes us along the eastern coast of Lopud before returning to the harbour and finishing our first full day.

Day 3

After breakfast, we head to our second island of the week, Koločep. We start early so we can explore the beautiful caves on the West coast, starting at the three green caves before finishing at the famous blue cave. We rest for lunch on a beach at Don Divan - a crystalline bay on the eastern side of Koločep. Our afternoon swim takes us along the coast to return to the harbour of Koločep, following the rugged coastline.

Day 4

Today, we take the opportunity to swim our first crossing of the week, from Lopud to the third inhabited island of the Elaphiti Archipelago: Šipan. Once we reach the neighbouring island, we head to the bustling bay of Suđurađ for lunch. In the afternoon, we continue to explore the island with a coastal swim before returning to Lopud, offering an opportunity to enjoy the sunset over Sipan. This is also a perfect chance to relax and reflect on the day’s swims.

Day 5

We continue to explore the northern islands for the remainder of the week. After a hearty breakfast, we take a journey on the boat over to the northern reaches of Šipan. Then we spend our day swimming the coastal waters, with spectacular views of the Olipa in the distance and small islands off Jakljan. This is a great day to get away from the busy bays of the inhabited islands.

Day 6

Our final full day of swimming takes us back to Jakljan with its rows of olive trees and scattered islands. The morning swim takes us from the island to the slanted rock of Olipa. After a relaxing lunch in the bay, we weave our way past the four islands of Jakljan as we head back towards Šipan. We return to Lopud to gather for our final group dinner and share achievements from the week’s swimming.

Day 7

We have an exciting farewell swim before breakfast. We catch a local electric cart over to the other side of the island, where we took lunch earlier in the week. Šunj is the perfect location to welcome the sunup and the quiet beach, offers a fantastic final swim together. We return for breakfast before saying our goodbyes.

Accommodation

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Hotel Glavović

Hotel Glavović has been passed down through local generations. The hotel is simple with basic fittings and fixtures but the location is perfect to capture the last rays of sun and enjoy a drink on the hotel terrace.

Location Summary

Lopud

The centrepiece of the inhabited Elaphiti Islands, Lopud, is a picturesque, car-free island. The island is home to the well-loved Šunj Beach, but also boasts an impressive historical and cultural heritage. It is also home to several well-preserved historical monuments, including the 15th-century Franciscan Monastery and the charming Church of Our Lady of Šunj.

Koločep

Locally known as Kalamota - the Greek word Kalamos (or ‘fishing rod’) best describes this island with its deep waters and abundance of fish. Another car-free island, it has several historical sites and is dotted with small, beautiful caves on the west coast.

Šipan

Named after the Latin word ‘gypana,’ meaning "The Island of Eagles,’ Šipan is the largest of the Elaphiti Islands. It now prides itself on cultivating olive and fig trees, vineyards, and citrus groves. Scattered with ancient ruins, the island is wonderful to explore on foot, or to simply relax in one of its many sheltered bays.

Trip Grading

We have given this trip a ‘Moderate’ grading. Most swimmers comfortable in the open water will be able to take part and enjoy one of these trips.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances Swim Distances
Lopud – Šunj Beach 2½km Šunj Beach - Coastal 2½km
Three Green Caves - Blue Cave 3km Don Divan – Koločep Peninsula 2km
Lopud - Šipan 3km Suđurađ Coastal 2km
Sipan Coastal 3km Šipan Coastal 2km
Jakljan – Olipa 2km Jakljan Four Islands 3km

*Please note that these swims are an example of what may take place during your trip and should be used as a guide only. Actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions.

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as sea lice, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Walking Conditions

While there aren’t any significant planned walks, any walks that we do undertake will take place on recognised paths and tracks, however there may be cases where we walk along trails or other unsealed surfaces and care should be taken in these areas.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
June 20-25°C / 71-76°F 20-27°C / 71-878°F
September 21-26°C / 72-77°F 20 -25°C / 71-76°F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. Therefore, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Trip Information

Group Size

This trip has a maximum group size of 15. The group will be split into a maximum of three groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort. 

Boat Support

Boat support on this trip includes one main boat and two support vessels to be piloted by your SwimTrek guides and a local boat pilot. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Equipment Checklist

For your basic, essential packing list, please visit our Packing List page on the website. There are no additional, specific items required for this location.

Getting There

As SwimTrekkers come from all over the world, and join our swimming holidays in numerous destinations, we don’t currently offer flights as part of our SwimTrek packages. We do however want to do as much as we can to ensure that our guests get the best deals when travelling to one of our trips so check out SwimTrek's tips to help you get the best deals for your flights page on the website.

The easiest way to get to Lopud is to fly to Dubrovnik (DBV), take a transfer to the ferry port Gruž and catch a public ferry to Lopud.

Public Transport from the Airport to the Ferry Port Gruž

There are regular shuttles from the main bus station at the airport that stops at the old town Ploče gate and the main bus station at the ferry port in Gruž. You can find out more information and the timetable here platanus.hr/shuttle-bus. You can purchase an open return or single ticket online or at the airport from the Platanus agency counter once you have exited the baggage claim area.

Ferry from Gruž Ferry to Lopud

The ferries from Gruž to Lopud run twice a day on Sundays, at 09:30 and 20:00. The full timetable can be found here www.croatiaferries.com. Lopud is the second stop, after Koločep and takes around 1 hour.

As you approach the island, you will see the hotel directly opposite when you are on the ferry. Once you disembark from the ferry, follow the jetty round, and turn right, the hotel is on the corner of the next street on the beach front.

Accommodation

Accommodation during this trip is at Hotel Glavović - a charming, family-owned guest house. The hotel boasts a large patio area overlooking the bay, with the neighbouring island of Sipan in the distance. It offers the perfect location to relax after a full day of swimming and enjoy the sunset. Our allocation is based on twin and double rooms with one family room available. There are a limited number of single supplement rooms, which can be reserved during the booking process, subject to availability.

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation and Trip Extension Options

If you want to book additional nights either side of your trip, please contact the hotel directly at info@hotel-glavovic.hr.

Food and Drink

All breakfasts and lunches are included in your trip price (swimmers only) - however, dinners are at your own expense. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore and experience the local restaurants of your choice over the course of your trip.

For more information, please visit our food and drink page on the website.

Travel Advice

For more information on any of the following sections please visit the Travel Advice page of our website.

Money, Extra Expenses and Tipping

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as drinks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc. The local currency in is Euro €.

In some countries tipping (gratuities) is not part of the culture - in others it has become an expected norm. We believe that tipping is entirely at your discretion. If you have been provided with excellent service, it may be something you wish to do. Your SwimTrek Guides can advise on local norms for service providers like boat crew, waiters, or taxis. Nothing is expected for your SwimTrek Guides, but many groups like to present something to the Guides at the end of the trip.

Responsible Travel

SwimTrek is conscious of the importance of protecting the world’s natural wonders. We are acutely aware of our responsibility to not only take care of the natural environments which we are lucky enough to explore, but also to educate our guests about the importance of conservation efforts and responsible tourism. It’s for this reason that we have worked so closely with our partners to ensure that our trips are conducted in the most responsible and sustainable way possible, working tirelessly to minimise the impact of our presence on local marine life and the natural habitat.

For more information, please visit our Responsible Travel page on the website.

Passports and Visas

Croatia is part of the European Union. Non-residents of Croatia require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of most countries, including all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter Croatia. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change, and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

As of 1 January 2023, Croatia became part of the Schengen area. Travellers from other Schengen countries do not require a visa to travel to Croatia. Generally, citizens of European countries, regardless of whether their countries are Member States of the EU or not, do not need a visa to come to Croatia but do require a full passport, valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. The only exceptions to this rule are the Russian Federation, Belarus, and the Republic of Turkey. Visa regulations are subject to change, and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Travel Insurance

We consider comprehensive travel insurance to be essential, and we strongly recommend that you purchase insurance which includes, but is not limited to, cover for illness, accident, emergency repatriation, ambulance, air ambulance, helicopter rescue services, cancellation, lost luggage and delays. Your travel insurance should also cover you for open water swimming and any other activity listed in your trip itinerary (including races and competitions, where applicable). Please read your policy details carefully and remember to take them with you on your trip for your own reference.

For further information, please visit our Travel Insurance page on the website.

Here at SwimTrek, we pride ourselves on our focus on safety and the well-being of all our guests. As we operate in some beautiful and remote locations medical facilities are not always easily accessible. SwimTrek Guides, and many staff working for our local partners, are first aid trained. However, we ask that you read our Travel Health page to ensure that you are informed about general Travel and Swim Health precautions.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel where we stay in Croatia.

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit www.worldstandards.eu.


Related Trips

  • We are yet to run this trip for its first season in 2024. Please check back in the future for testimonials from our pioneer SwimTrekkers!