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Island Koločep

Airport and transport – ferry to Dubrovnik (around 5 km) and to surrounding Elaphiti Islands; airport in Dubrovnik.

History – inhabited during the Iron Age; afterwards by Greeks than Romans; from 10th century became a part of the Dubrovnik Republic, and afterwards an important shipbuilding site; in 15th century had its golden age; in 16th century the island was fortified with defense towers at all the major strongholds.

Interesting to see: ruins of several pre-Romanesque little churches (9th-11th century; church of St. Nicholas; foundation walls of St. Michael’s Church); church of Saint Anthony of Padua (Gornje Celo; with a dome; 11th-12th century); church the Assumption of Mary (Donje Celo; 13th-15th century); church of St. Anthony (Gornje Celo; 15th century; valuable altar piece); remains of defense towers (16th century); many summer manors (16th century).

Info – locally known as Kalamota; the smallest settled island in the Elaphiti archipelago; free of cars; rich in fertile soil and Mediterranean vegetation (100-year-old pine groves, olive groves, and gardens full of orange and lemon trees); SW coast is very steep, stony and without vegetation, while SE part is very afforested; no water sources or streams, only subterranean waters are used; island is made up of limestone and dolomite rock; highest peak is 125 m; 150 inhabitants; two settlements (Gornje and Donje Celo) situated in 2 largest bays; more than 250 sunny days per year; indented coastline of 11.3 km; sandy, pebbly and rocky beaches; many secluded coves and the Blue Cave (which can be accessed only by swimming from the cove on the S side of the island); surrounding sea abounds in fish, lobsters and shellfish.

Happenings: concerts.

Where to go out: restaurants.

Inevitable to see: in the Church of St. Anthony (15th century) there is a Polyptych (painted by Ivan Ugrinovic in 15th century), one of the finest works of the “Dubrovnik school of painting”.

Inevitable to taste: lobsters and fish.

Good to know: the dwellers of Koločep used to be the best-known coral divers in the Mediterranean (but today they seldom dive and only for pleasure); in 1492 when Christopher Columbus set off to the new world, two crew members on the boat of „Santa Maria“ were from the island of Koločep; one of the richest Croatian emigrant, Pasko Baburica, was born in Količep (in 1875, died in Chile in 1941; major industrialist and ship-owner who worked and lived in Chile); Koločep today is one of the favorite excursion spots for the citizens of Dubrovnik; in the past was a place for summer manors of aristocratic families from Dubrovnik Republic.

For sailors: in Koločep Channel are blowing very strong winds bura and jugo, but they don’t cause large waves;

Donje Čelo – cove is open on the W and NW and those winds cause big waves in the cove; near the coast of capes Ratac and Mačus are shallows; smaller boats can dock near bigger mole (around 40 m; depth 4 m); depth on the head of smaller mole (100 m S) is only 1m; anchorage is situated NE under the cape Ratac (recommendation: mooring to a shore);

Gornje Čelo – berth along the head of the mole with short pier (depth around 3.5 m); depth from the inside of the pier is from 1-2.6 m, and from the outside 0.7-2.8 m. Anchor is possible in S part of the cove;

Warning (Bezdanj): around 70 m NNW from the lighthouse there is a dangerous wreck with mast (only 1m under the surface).

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