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Named after the Ancient Greek word for deer, ‘elaphos’, the Elaphiti are an archipelago of 13 islands, covered in woodland and rocky karst outcrops. While the large deer populations that once roamed the islands are gone, birds flit between the trees and the clear waters teem with sealife. This full-day, private boat tour takes you far from the busy streets of the mainland cities and brings you to the secluded bays and coves, pebble beaches and translucent turquoise waters that dot the islands’ coastlines. Along the way, your sea captain guide will bring the archipelago to life with tales of its history and inhabitants.

You’re picked up at your hotel in Dubrovnik or Korčula for this private tour of the Elaphiti Islands. At the waterfront, you meet your skipper and board your boat for a leisurely trip across the water. The 13 islands vary considerably. Three are inhabited, and you can explore their towns and villages, while the others are wilder and more isolated, offering a quieter experience. As you cruise between the islands, you can swim, snorkel and sunbathe. Snorkeling equipment and refreshments are provided along the way.

The trip is tailored to your interests and can involve more historic sights, natural wonders or time snorkeling if you choose. Typically, though, you’ll have the chance to see a selection of island highlights, such as the blue caves on the car-free island of Koločep, the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries of Lopud, and the fertile fields of Sipan, where olive groves, figs and carob trees grow between large pines and palms.

There are also several good quality restaurants on the islands — your captain can share advice on where to go and stop at your request.

On your return, you might choose to stop at the popular Slasticarna Palma, a renowned cafe on Lopud, for a taste of Croatian ice cream. At the end of the day, you’ll sail back to the pier in Dubrovnik before being escorted back to your hotel.

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Photos of Elaphiti Island private boat tour