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Friday, May 27, 2016

Kayaking the Elafiti Islands with Adriatic Kayak Tours

Touring by kayak gives you an intimate view of the stunning, dramatic Dalmatian coastline and its many islands! During our recent visit to beautiful Dubrovnik we booked a kayak tour with Adriatic Kayak Tours in order to escape the crowds in the city and explore the gorgeous nearby Elafiti Islands. We had an incredible day exploring Lopud and Sipan Islands by kayak which allowed us to see a great deal in a single day! In addition to our amazing sea kayaking experience we also visited a beautiful cave, a charming fisherman village, hiked on Sipan island, swam in the crystal clear waters and had a delicious, authentic lunch with a wonderful local family. It was an unbeatable day and an incredible way to experience beautiful Croatia.



Our tour group met at the ferry terminal in Dubrovnik's Gruz Harbour where we caught an hour long ferry to Lopus Island. The ferry ride was really scenic and beautiful, as is the whole day so make sure you bring your waterproof camera along on the trip! In Dubrovnik we met our friendly group which consisted of our fantastic guide Mario, a Scottish couple and a Australian/Swedish couple. Everyone was really friendly and excited and so we knew we were in for a fun day with our great group!







Once we arrived on Lopud we got our kayaks ready under the excellent instruction and supervision of Mario! Mario helped us to readjust our foot pedals and ensure that our rudders were working perfectly. He also provided us with all the safety gear including aqua shoes, life jackets and dry bags for all our personal possessions to keep them dry when they were stored in our kayak bulkhead compartments. The kayaks and all the equipment were all in excellent condition and we really appreciated how thorough Mario was with getting everyone ready and making sure we all felt comfortable and confident!



Once we were ready we then set out padding from Lopud, a beautiful island known for its sandy beaches and lively waterfront promenade! Mario was an excellent guide, he was really friendly and patient and always made sure everyone was comfortable in their kayaks and made sure to keep the group together. From Lopud we paddled across the open sea which was a new and exciting experience for most of our group! Our destination was Sipan Island which is the furthest of the three inhabited Elafiti Islands and we after paddling for just over an hour across the sea we arrived in a beautiful, small fishing village with a lovely, calm bay! Sea kayaking is really fun and whilst I've kayaked a lot on lakes and rivers it was my first time in the sea and it was Dan's first time kayaking in over 15 years!









In Sipan we pulled our kayaks onto the beach and set off exploring Sipan's village of Luka Šipanska. Luka is nestled in a beautiful bay and offers majestic views of the outer, uninhabited Elafiti Islands and Pelješac Peninsula beyond. Sipan Island is known for its rich history and is home to some thirty-something stone churches and claims to have more olive trees per square metre than any part of Greece! Mario took us on a short walk through the charming village and stunning countryside where we visited one of the stone churches and climbed to the very top for beautiful views of the whole island and coastline! Mario told us all about the Elafiti Islands and the families who make call it home, many of which are almost 100% self sustainable on their farms in terms of growing, catching and cooking all their own food which is incredible. We were all really excited (and hungry) by this point to be going to visit one of these local families for lunch!










Mario gave the group a few options for lunch which included an a la carte restaurant or a small, authentic family restaurant on the island and everyone unanimously voted on the second option! Here we were spoiled with an incredible six course meal of fresh bread with olive oil, cheese & ham, soup, mussels, a main course of either fish, chicken or pork and a delicious dessert of small donut-like balls! Our meal was only 150 kuna each and also included wine and water, it was incredible! Everything we were served at lunch was either grown, caught or produced by the family and they even entertained us with some traditional music. It was a really delicious, authentic and incredible lunch where we were able to interact with this lovely local family as well as get to know our wonderful kayaking group over a few glasses of local wine!










After lunch we hopped back in our kayaks and were feeling much more confident after a little bit of delicious local wine at lunch! We paddled around Sipan Island to a small beautiful cave where we went in one by one on our kayaks to have a look around! The wind had completely died down after lunch and the sea was so glassy and flat so it was a lovely, relaxing paddle back to Lopud for the ferry ride home.





Once we arrived back on Lopud Island we packed all the kayaks and equipment away and had time for a swim we all jumped in together! The sea felt amazing and it was the perfect way to end a great day on the water! On the ferry back to Dubrovnik we sat with the rest of our group who were fantastic and who we'd gotten to know quite well throughout the day! Everyone got along so well that we decided to go for a drink at a nearby bar to reminisce about how magical our day had been before we all said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.



We had such a fun day escaping the crowds in Dubrovnik and exploring the beautiful Elafiti Islands with Adriatic Kayak Tours. The tour is very reasonably priced at 400 Kuna or €52 (with an additional cost for lunch) and we, along with our fellow kayakers all had such an incredible day! When the conditions are right there is also plenty of opportunities for cliff jumping, visiting additional caves, swimming and snorkelling throughout the day. We'd highly recommend Adriatic Kayak Tours to anyone looking to book a kayaking tour during their time in Dubrovnik, we loved every moment of our day and wouldn't hesitate to book another tour with them if we return to Dubrovnik! Head over to Adriatic Kayak Tours website to find out more about their tours and to book.

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