The main trend within Dubrovnik tourism in 2020 was definitely the growing popularity of the nearby islands. With so many holidays cancelled in 2020, the Dubrovnik islands on the other hand have experienced a massive boost of tourism last year, and it looks like this trend is going to continue in 2021. Small, cosy and isolated islands within the vicinity of the Pearl of the Adriatic are considered by many as a much safer place to be than the city itself.
Lesser-known and a true highlight of the entire Dubrvonik area is the island of Koločep, also called Kalamota. A popular island covered with lush vegetation, is definitely a superstar when it comes to the Dubrovnik archipelago. Attractive sandy beaches, laid back rural lifestyle and history blend in equal measure in the smallest of the three populated Elafiti islands.
Historically, Kalamota was part of Ragusa, the Dubrovnik Republic so, since the 1500s, the island was a summer retreat for its citizens. The population of the island started to decrease after the earhquake of 1667, with the decline of shipping industry.
The charming village of Donje Čelo, hidden in a secluded laguna, where the time stands still and the sunsets are spectacular – here you can enjoy the wonderful seafront with some restaurants and coffee bars. This is no place for pulsating nightlife and shiny glamorous hotels. Formerly a fishing village, Donje Čelo is a real haven for those yearning for some privacy and bucolic romance. A red-roofed irregularly shaped traditional stone villas are nestled along the turquoise sea. The beach here is undoubtedly the best on the island: the nice sand is ideal for bathing. More steep rocks and cliffs can be found on the north side of the island.
All nature lovers will be happy to know that the island is actually a car-free zone, with astonishing landscape and calm atmosphere. Walking consists of pleasant easy and safe strolls, perfect for children. The place is also great for picnics in the surrounding area. This is the ultimate destination to sit back and enjoy the delights of the Mediterranean away from hustle and bustle of big cities.
Most people visit Koločep for a day. Boat tours depart regularly from Dubrovnik harbour and the port of Gruž. The best way to stay on Kolocep a bit longer is to rent a private speedboat. And do not forget to ask your skipper to make a swim stop at the Blue Cave – a must for everybody visitng the island with a yacht or a speedboat. If you prefer to dedicate your whole day in the sea to just this island, you will defintiely have enough time to visit both villages on Koločep: Donje Čelo and Gornje Čelo, that are located on the opposite sides of the island. Some sacral buildings on the island are also worth exploring: pre-Romanesque St Anthony and St Nicholas church and Parish church (from 15th century).