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Hiking Kolocep Island in Croatia: A Perfect Day Trip from Dubrovnik

Pangiea Travel at Kolocep Island

The island of Koločep, also known as Kalamata, is one of the three inhabited Elaphiti Islands in Croatia. Pick up the Jadrolinija ferry from Gruz Harbour in Dubrovnik and be on the beach within 40 minutes. The island is quiet and has one hotel, which is only open to residents, three independent restaurants, and a couple of cafe/bars to keep you entertained.

There are a few private properties available if you want to spend a night on the island. There are no cars on Kolocep, so the ferry is the only way in or out unless you fancy the swim home! You need to make sure that you have a timetable to hand for the return journey, so you don’t end up stranded.

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Hiking in Croatia

We arrived on the early morning ferry from Dubrovnik, ready to hike Kolocep and enjoy a day with nature. Bring provisions with you as there are only a couple of small shops in the harbour, and make sure you have plenty of water for the hike as there are no shops on route.

The 8km hike takes you through the pine forest, around cliffs and coves and past traditional Croatian villages. The views are constantly changing from dense forest to open views of the azure Adriatic waters surrounding the island.

From the pebble beach, we headed up the steep track at the start of our hike, which passed traditional Croatian houses and a small church. Our reward was a beautiful panoramic view across the Bay of Kolocep.

the view of kolocep, croatia from the start of the hiking route

Further along the track, there were two options to take. One path leads to a shingle beach, and the continuing path is the hiking route around the island. We took the hiking route and were rewarded with the pre-Romanesque Chapel of St Nicholas standing beneath the pine trees.

The chapel dated back to the 12th century and was a peaceful place to take a rest before continuing on our journey through citrus and olive groves.

The church and cemetery along the hike trail on Kolocep

Enjoy the Beauty of Croatia

The scenery was changing all the time, from dense woodland to open views of the ocean but be aware that the walk is on unmade paths and fallen pine needles, so you need to have decent footwear on to tackle it; flip-flops won’t be suitable!

We arrived at an open picnic area where we finally saw some locals and checked with them that we were heading in the right direction as our navigational skills left a lot to be desired.

Steps at this rocky outlet take you down to one of the numerous hidden coves scattered around the island, and it is here that you can swim to the “Blue Cave”, but we chose to sit and enjoy the view before continuing to the lighthouse. The aroma of pine as you criss-cross the paths through the forest is amazing.

View of the blue azure waters around Kolocep island

The sky was changing from bright blue to overcast, and we hoped that it wouldn’t rain. By the time we reached the lighthouse, the sea was crashing against the rocks, and the sky had turned grey.

Sitting at the end of steep steps with no protection from the elements felt quite dangerous. I felt it was a little too precarious to try to reach the lighthouse with huge waves crashing all around the rocks and so on this occasion I admired it from afar!

Kolocep Lighthouse on the rocks

Wandering through the forest, we passed a village consisting of a few houses, some chickens and a cat who seemed to be taunting us. Deja vu kicked in, and I’m sure we had doubled back on ourselves without realising it.

As we walked, the skies turned darker, and the rain clouds came in, it is incredible how quickly the weather can change. The rain came down hard, and we waited for it to ease before continuing our hike.

We passed another small fishing harbour before arriving back at our starting point, Donje Celo Beach. We abandoned our boots, cooled our toes in the water and enjoyed a crisp Croatian wine while watching the sunset – the perfect end to our hike in Croatia.

My honest opinion of Kolocep

What month did I travel? September

How was the weather?  It was a mixture of sun, cloud and rain.

Would I recommend hiking in Kolocep? Yes, it is a pretty island, and a hike around it will immerse you in all nature has to offer. We only saw a few people during our hike, so it feels like you have the island all to yourself. It is a complete contrast to Dubrovnik and is worth the time to explore.

Where did we stay? We were staying on the mainland by Dubrovnik’s City Walls.

Read Next:

What to do and see in Dubrovnik.

About Author

Angela Price

Angie is a full-time travel writer with over 30 years of travel experience. She has always had a passion for travel, and after a 3-month world trip with her 18-year-old son, she created her popular travel blog to share her adventures with a wider audience. When Angie is at home in the UK, she enjoys exploring the English countryside, visiting castles and gardens and planning her next big adventure. Her motto is "Live Life Wandering not Wondering".

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Taupo Accommodation
3 months ago

Thank you for sharing about the hiking Kolocep island in Croatia photo journey with us, this will be really helpful to many. I love reading this blog; keep sharing such informative articles in future.

Jan
1 year ago

Kolocep seems to be a great place for a hike! No cars, no hotels for visitors, few shops………love that peace and quiet. I am impressed you were prepared for the heavy rains and continued your hike. That picture of the turquoise and blue water taken through the trees is simply beautiful!:-)

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Jan
1 year ago

My husband isn’t great at hiking but even he enjoyed it. It felt like we had the island completely to ourselves. I love that kind of peace and solitude.

Nancy Hann
1 year ago

This looks like a wonderful place away from most of the tourists. There’s something about the Dalmatian Coast that reminds me of the Central Coast of California in the U.S. I spent some time just south of Split, Croatia and absolutely loved it. Thanks for sharing all these gorgeous photos. I’d love to get back there sometime.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Nancy Hann
1 year ago

I want to go back and do Split, Hvar and Montenegro. Croatia is a beautiful destination.

WhereAngieWanders
Admin
1 year ago

Just a ferry ride from Dubrovnik.

Yukti Agrawal
1 year ago

Croatia is always on my wishlist and now adding Kolocep into it. Never knew that the island of Koločep, also known as Kalamata is one of the three inhabited Elaphiti Islands in Croatia. It looks perfect place for holidays to me.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Yukti Agrawal
1 year ago

It is very small and quiet compared to Dubrovnik and you can visit the other 2 Elaphiti islands by ferry from Kolocep.

Larch
1 year ago

I have a trip planned to Croatia next year and will definitely include a hike on Kolocep Island, it looks amazing. Thank you for all the tips.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Larch
1 year ago

If you do get there make sure to have a glass of Croatian wine in the bar by the ferry terminal before you leave. It’s lovely!

Catherin
1 year ago

Love your detailed description of the hike and your sights along the way. Beautiful photo montage; we’ll be sure to visit Kolocep if/when we make it to Croatia!

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Catherin
1 year ago

Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. Croatia is a fabulous place to visit.

Nancy Hann
1 year ago

Oh, I love Croatia and you have gorgeous photos here. I just couldn’t get over the turquoise waters when we were in Split, Podstrana and Omis several years ago. Thanks for sharing the beauty of this place.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Nancy Hann
1 year ago

Glad you liked seeing my photos. It is certainly a lovely part of the world and those blue waters are like the Caribbean!

Slavka
1 year ago

Lovely! Croatia is always a great idea to visit. A a hike with such great views and lovely nature…perfect. I would also choose a low season for this trip, summers in Croatia are too crowded now.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Slavka
1 year ago

Glad you enjoyed my blog. The island was lovely and quiet when we went there so we were lucky.

Sinjana Ghosh
Sinjana Ghosh
1 year ago

These pictures could all make it to New year’s greetings cards. such lovely and vibrant places! Thanks for sharing this incredible photo journey

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Sinjana Ghosh
1 year ago

Thanks Sinjana. It is such a beautiful place

Wendy Lee
1 year ago

Looks like a lovely day hike. Definitely something I would want to do while visiting Croatia. Your photos really bring the hike to life for your readers.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Wendy Lee
1 year ago

It was a great way to explore a quiet island. I’m glad you liked the photographs 😃

Anna
1 year ago

I spent some summers in Croatia with my family when I was a child, one of the most memorable was on an island, Hvar. As an adult I think I would enjoy more and would be more active, so I would gladly visit Kolocep!

Sue Davies
Sue Davies
1 year ago

Lovely hike in Croatia. The lighthouse looks beautiful and hard to resist walking to. A good decision not to given the rain. Loved your photos. Only been to Split for a day, so need to go to Croatia.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Sue Davies
1 year ago

I haven’t been to Split but plan to next year. I love Croatia.

Ann
1 year ago

What a cool thing to do, I am guessing that most people travel to Croatia for a sun-vacation, not to go on a hike 😀
Loverly images by the way 🙂

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Ann
1 year ago

Because we were doing a city break to Dubrovnik we hadn’t gone for the beaches so this worked perfectly into our itinerary. 😃

Ann
Reply to  WhereAngieWanders
1 year ago

I keep coming back to your posts about Croatia… we are actually starting to plan a week in Croatia for next spring when it’s not so hot – to look for a proper wedding place for a friend of mine 🙂

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Ann
1 year ago

I want to do a road trip around Croatia next year visiting Split, Hvar , Zagreb etc. Croatia is just so beautiful

Jay Artale
1 year ago

That cat pic is epic!

I visited Dubrovnik years decades ago when it was still Yugoslavia. I remember walking down the street with a Walkman on and the kids buzzing around me because of this new fangled technology they’d never seen before. It’d be interesting to go back to this part of the world to see how much it’s changed.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Jay Artale
1 year ago

We really loved Dubrovnik and would definitely go back for a visit. It is such a unique place. I remember getting a Walkman for my birthday and thinking I was the bees knees 🤣

Sarah
Sarah
1 year ago

Looks a fantastic day out. We are just putting together some ideas on what to do in Croatia and have added this to the list. I hope to bump into that cat lol.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Sarah
1 year ago

Great news. Croatia is fabulous. You will definitely bump into a lot of cats. Especially in Dubrovnik there are hundreds.

Lucy Jane
1 year ago

Oh my god, this looks amazing. I’d love to visit one day!

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