We knew on our final day in Croatia that we were going island hopping along the coast of Dubrovnik, but we had no idea what kind of boat or ferry we would be taking.
Much to our hilarious surprise, we realized that the ship docked at the pier was totally ours for the day.
Although the boat could have accommodated well over a hundred people, we had more than a little elbow room with our group of 26, which included our own crew with a bar and refreshments on board for our pleasure.
We headed out early that warm October day to visit three of the fourteen Elafiti Islands off the scenic Dubrovnik coast.
Each of the three peaceful islands had their own treasures with idyllic views,
romantic villas, little chapels tucked away up a hillside path,
and the richest vibrant colors:
the greens of the shallow waters,
the blues of the deeper seas,
and the yellows and oranges of ripening pomegranates.
The grapes were almost ready for harvest at the 15th century Gothic rector's palace we toured on the island of Sipan,
and the fishermen were busy bringing in their catch of the day,
which turned into lunch for us.
The final island we visited was Lopud, which draws the most tourists, but has less than 100 families calling it their home.
The sandy beaches there were a draw for a few swimmers in our group, but
our little foursome decided to relax and take in the view after viewing the fishing ports, shady hillsides, and abandoned "escape" mansions of the old Dubrovnik aristocracy. We didn't run into too many people along the way--the islands in October were very quiet and tranquil, but we did spot two little gals
who had experienced just a little too much fun in the sun, for one day anyway.
A great trip: wonderful memories and vivid photos are what we now hold in our hands and hearts that capture the soul of Dubrovnik. Who knows if I'll ever make it back there--there's a big world out there to still explore, but if you, my friends, have the opportunity to see Croatia someday, grab the chance and take it! You'll be so glad you did.