Šipan Island Croatia: Why Sipan Island In The Elaphites Is A Must

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Post author Ana

Written by our local expert Ana

Croatian born Ana is an avid traveler who is always looking for the next travel story from the Balkans to share. Her passion is creating travel itineraries and in-depth guides.

Are you looking for an exciting and off-the-beaten-path day trip destination in Croatia? Look no further than Sipan Island, the largest of the Elafiti islands! Here is a guide on things to do and how to get there. 

Croatia Travel Blog_Sipan Island Croatia A Must Visit Destination

Otok Šipan, as we know it here in Croatia, is a hidden gem that boasts stunning natural beauty, rich history, delicious cuisine, and a laid-back island lifestyle that will capture your heart.

Whether you’re a beach lover, history buff, or foodie, there are many reasons why the Island of Sipan should be on your travel bucket list.

In my travel guide, we’ll share with you compelling reasons why you must visit and what to see and do in the enchanting island paradise of Šipan! Are you ready to discover the magic of Šipan?

Reasons To Visit The Island Of Šipan

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Without question, the main reason has to be the friendly locals. There are few places in the world where you will find locals as friendly and welcoming as those on Sipan Island. Whether you’re looking for directions, advice on where to eat, or want to have a chat, the people of Sipan will go out of their way to help you.

This is one of the many reasons why Sipan Island is such a special place; here are a few others;

  • Sipan Island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia
  • The island is low-key, making it a perfect place for total relaxation
  • Sipan Island island off Dubrovnik, making it easy to reach
  • The island is home to many delicious restaurants
  • Sipan Island has activities for all ages and budgets
  • There are just two towns on the island of Sipan, they are Suđurađ and Šipanska Luka, which are connected by road

Things To Do In Sipan – Otok Sipan 

The Elaphite Island ferry

Šipan Island is a small yet stunningly beautiful island located off the coast of Croatia. Šipan is the largest island in the Elaphiti group (or the Elaphites).

This small archipelago is home to just 850 inhabitants on the islands of Koločep, Šipan, Lopud, and Jakljan.

The island is home to crystal-clear waters, gentle waves, sandy beaches, and lush vegetation – including so many olive trees. Locals will boast that they have the largest number of olive trees per inhabitant in the world.

You can enjoy plenty of activities, such as swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, kayaking, and more. The island also has several restaurants and cafes, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the incredible views.

Historic Sites and Monuments

Sipan Island is home to several historic sites and monuments, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs. Highlights include as many as 30 – some say 43 churches, many of which are in ruins dating back hundreds of years. 

  • Castle of Stijepovic Skočibuha: built in the 16th century, the castle is located in the town of Sipanska Luka and is one of the most well-preserved castles on the island
  • Church of St. Mary, Polyptych of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary: this church is a single-nave stone structure built in the 14th century
  • Knežev dvor Rectors Palace: the historical Duke’s Palace dating

Scenic Views and Natural Attractions

Restaurant table on Sipan island, Croatia

Sipan Island is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of Croatia. The island is home to numerous scenic views and natural attractions, making it the perfect place to relax and recharge.

Some of the best views on c, 243 meters up at Velji Vrh! But to hike or walk to the top is only for those in excellent physical condition. You won’t get lost, as the routes are well-marked and quaint, with many passing through picturesque vineyards and olive groves.

Delicious Šipan Cuisine

Rijeka Carnirval Weekend_Fish

Sipan Island is home to some of the YUMMIEST cuisine in Croatia. The island’s chefs focus on using fresh, local ingredients to create delicious and healthy dishes. Visitors to Sipan Island will have the opportunity to try a variety of traditional Croatian dishes and some fusion dishes that incorporate elements of other cuisines. No matter your taste, you’re sure to find something you like on Sipan Island. 

To get started, head to Restaurant BOWA (Best Of What’s Around) and choose fresh seafood lathered with local olive oil and served with homegrown sides.

Activities For All Ages

The island is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and summer nightlife. There are plenty of activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy on Šipan.


Families with young children will appreciate the many kid-friendly activities available on the island. Several playgrounds and parks are scattered throughout Sipan, perfect for a day of exploring and playing. For a more educational experience, families can visit the Sipanska Luka Archaeological Museum, which exhibits the island’s history and culture.

Teens and young adults

Teens and young adults will find plenty to keep them occupied as well. Numerous beach bars and clubs stay open late into the night, perfect for dancing and socializing.

Active travelers

Active travelers can take advantage of the island’s many hiking and biking trails. And there are also several boat tours available that offer stunning views of the Adriatic coastline.

Kayakers will love exploring the islands of both Lopud and Sipan by kayak and or by biking in small group tours.

Thrill seekers

Thrill seekers will love the ATV island tour.


Foodies will delight in the olive oil and wine tastings

No matter your age, you’re sure to find plenty of activities to enjoy while visiting Sipan Island in Croatia!

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Planning Your Trip To Sipan Island

Here are tips for planning your trip to Sipan Island:

  • Decide when you want to go: Šipan Island is busiest in the summer months, but if you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, aim for shoulder season (May-June or September-October). Keep in mind that some businesses on the island close down during the off-season
  • Book your transportation and accommodation in advance: this will help you avoid any last-minute hassles and ensure that you get the best rates – and not miss out
  • If you want to stay at a hotel, book as soon as you have your dates: this is due to the fact that there are only two hotels on the island (Hotel Sipan & Hotel Bozica).  Do not worry, though; there are dozens of smaller apartments on the island to rest your head

Getting To Sipan Island

Be sure to book your ferry ahead of time; you book your tickets below;


Accommodation On Sipan Elafiti Islands

Šipan Island, part of the Elaphiti Islands near Dubrovnik, Croatia, offers a variety of accommodation options for you. The island is known for its tranquil atmosphere, beautiful landscapes, and charming villages like Suđurađ and Šipanska Luka.

Here are some types of accommodations you might like on Šipan:

  • Hotels: Šipan has a few hotels that offer comfortable accommodations with amenities such as restaurants, swimming pools, and access to the beach. Hotel Božica and Hotel Sipan are popular choices located in Suđurađ and Šipanska Luka, respectively.
  • Guesthouses and B&Bs: There are several guesthouses and bed & breakfasts on the island, providing a more intimate and personalized lodging experience. These are often family-run and offer a chance to experience the local way of life.
  • Apartments and Villas: For those preferring more independence, there are many apartments and villas available for rent. These range from basic to luxury and can accommodate different group sizes, offering more space and privacy.
  • Agrotourism: Šipan is also known for its agrotourism establishments, where guests can stay on working farms or vineyards, enjoying fresh, locally produced food and learning about the island’s agricultural traditions.

Guinness Book Of Records

Šipan Island is known for holding a Guinness World Record for having the greatest number of olive trees in comparison to its size, making it stand out for its olive cultivation. This fact highlights the island’s rich agricultural tradition and its significance in olive oil production in the region.

Šipan has a long history of olive growing, contributing to the local economy and cuisine with high-quality olive oil. This Guinness World Record is a testament to the island’s dense and historic olive groves, which are a key part of its cultural and natural landscape.

Šipan Island FAQs

What makes Šipan Island unique?

Šipan Island is the largest of the Elaphiti Islands, known for its laid-back ambiance, historical sites, and beautiful beaches. It served as a summer retreat for Dubrovnik’s elite families from the 15th and 16th centuries after they built their summer houses here.

What are the main attractions on the island?

Explore palaces on the island, churches like the Church of the Holy Spirit, and the remains of a Roman villa. Visit Suđurađ and Šipanska Luka, the island’s main villages, for a glimpse of its seafaring past and Dubrovnik aristocracy.

How can one travel to Šipan Island from Dubrovnik?

Šipan Island is easily accessible by car and passenger ferries from Dubrovnik. The island is small enough to be explored without a car, with boat trips available to neighboring islands like Lopud and Kolocep.

What accommodation options are available on Šipan Island?

While there are only two hotels on the island, private accommodations offer the latest offers. Consider staying in comfortable spaces like Hotel Sipan or Hotel Bozica, or explore private accommodation options like Apartments Pavlovic and Tri Sestre Rooms.

What are the unique features of Šipan Island’s landscape?

Enjoy the island’s landscape, featuring olive trees, pine trees, vineyards, and citrus groves. With a small gravel beach in Sudurad and pleasant spots for beach outings, Šipan offers a relaxing environment.

Are there historical landmarks to explore on Šipan Island?

Discover historical sites like the Šipan Island’s palaces and churches, including the Parish Church and the Rector’s Palace, showcasing the island’s rich history dating back to the 11th century.

How convenient is transportation on the island?

Šipan Island remains car-free, making it easy to explore on foot or by bike. Ferries from Dubrovnik provide regular transportation, while catamaran services and timetables make traveling hassle-free

Wrap Up On The Island of Šipan

Sipan Island is an outstanding destination for any traveler to Croatia. Its stunning beaches, bars, and fascinating historical sites offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for an idyllic escape or an exciting adventure, Sipan Island has it all! So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to this beautiful paradise – you won’t regret it!

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