We did two trips with Elite Day Tours while on holiday recently in Croatia. The first one was the three island cruise on the replica Galleon 'Tirena'.
The islands are Sipan, Lopud and Kolocep and they are without doubt very lovely places to visit.
You need to be among the first lot of tourists who are unloaded to get on the boat to get a seat where you might wish to be and even then the seats are hard wooden benches with a table in front, practical but not comfortable at all. You share the tables and benches with whoever happens to get on the boat with you and stay with them for the entire time you are on the boat.
You get a shot of local liqueur when you are setting off. You shortly arrive at the first island and get off but have only a very short time there, 15 - 20 minutes I think, we just walked a very short distance uphill and then walked back to the boat.
The second island had a church that we visited but you had to walk there in the heat of the midday sun and although it was a nice church (now only used for funerals) it was not really worth the walk. We spend a relatively short time there also, just enough to see the church and take a few photos and get back on the boat.
Our guide told us about the buildings on the island and the church and she was very nice and informative which was a real plus for Elite Travel.
The third island, Lopud was the most enjoyable and we spend longer there. When we got off the Galleon we were given a talk on what was on the island and where you could go.
We went for a walk along the promenade and took a few photos. It was extremely hot and so we needed to get into the shade and we stopped at a cafe and had some drinks and some lunch.
We also visited a small park as it had lots of trees and shade and was a means of getting out of the sun.
We had a little browse in a few tourist shops along the front.
There is a small beach near where the boat was moored but it was very busy, there is another beach on the other side of the island but it was really too hot to try to get there.
We hadn't brought swimming things as we had expected the trip to be more sight seeing than relaxing or swimming but that wasn't the case really.
The trip was 'lunch included' but I have to say that really the lunch was dismal. It consisted of a little shredded cabbage, a portion of sliced cucumber and a teeny slice of tomato, just garnish really and a small whole fish.
I don't really like fish and don't eat cucumber and that was our lot so not so good for me.
It was served while the boat was moored and we sat at the benches in the upstairs section in the blazing sun with no shade. Even if the food was nice I couldn't have enjoyed it under those circumstances and I was starting to feel dizzy and ill from the sun by the time we had finished.
There was a bottle of local wine for each table but again not at all appealing in the blazing heat.
There was also water available.
By the end of lunch I was very uncomfortable, hot and hungry and couldn't wait to get off the boat. Desert was a banana which you took from a box on the way off the boat.
Luckily we were able to get some lunch on Lopud island and that is how we spend most of our time.
There were some local musicians playing on the boat also, going around the boat and they did quite a nice job.
Our second trip with Elite Travel was to Mljet island on a motor boat. We arrived there on the boat with no problems and then transferred to a minibus to drive for 45 minutes or so, we then took a small ferry to a tiny island on a lake, had a look at a small church, quickly grabbed a coffee, got back on the little ferry back across the lake (very short ride).
There are two lakes on the island which are very pretty and we then had about 40 minutes to walk around the lake or take a swim.
We just walked around part of one lake but it was really too hot in the middle of the day to enjoy it.
We then got into the minibuses back to the boat driving almost the full length of the island, I think this was so that we could see a lot of the island but by then I was really in need of a snack of some sort and it was about 3pm before we got something to eat on the boat.
Lunch was bread and salad and I think some cold meat or fish and water melon.
Then it was swimming time again from the boat for 15 minutes or so. About half of those on the boat took a dip with the rest remaining on board.
Then we went back to Dubrovnik, that was probably the nicest part of the day as it was much cooler and more comfortable while the boat was travelling at a faster pace over the water and it was also nice to get some lovely views of Dubrovnik and the old city and port from the sea.
We would possibly have been better doing things at our own pace by taking the ferry to some of the islands and following our own agenda but you don't realise until later.
I think the trips are ok but I found the Galleon a bit claustrophobic and uncomfortable and the food not great.
On the Mljet trip we spent too long in the minibuses and waited too long to have the light lunch on the boat. It was a long wait from breakfast at 7 am. We didn't really know what to do while at the lakes as we hadn't taken any reading material or swimming things and it was too hot to walk.
I think it would be a good idea to say that swimming things and maybe some food and drinks are necessary on the trip.
The whole area is very lovely indeed and I would have liked to spend much longer exploring and enjoying the scenery. Everyone involved with the trips was kind was welcoming and helpful.
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