It is the largest among the Elaphite islands, having a surface area of 16, 5 km² and about 450 inhabitants. There are two main settlements and several smaller villages on the island connected with an asphalted road. It is the only island in this group of islands that has regular traffic. Limestone and dolomites with a five kilometres long fertile valley make its landscape very charming. Fishing, production of olive oil and tourism are of importance for the locals.
Šipan changed its name several times throughout its history – Gypanon, Tauris, Giupana, Zuppano, Šipan.
It is called the Golden Island because of its richness in olives and olive oil. Today there are around 27.000 olive trees on the island and there were around 80.000. Tradition has it that in time of the Republic of Dubrovnik every man who wanted to get married had to plant thirty olive trees. Small olive oil presses were replaced by a new modern one that is used nowadays.
Land was valued and owned by the nobility, the Church and the islanders. Vineyards, fig and carob trees, olive groves, pomegranates and many more plants grow in abundance. Fragrances can be enchanting for hikers and bikers.
In the 16th century patrician families from Dubrovnik took pride in owning many summer palaces on the island as it was a question of prestige. Prosperous merchants, ship owners and ship builders followed their lifestyle and built their own summer villas as well. Unfortunately, most of them are mere ruins today. The Dubrovnik Archbishops had their summer residence on the island and one of them, Lodovico Becadelli, wrote letters to his friend Michelangelo, inviting him to visit.
Over thirty small churches and old stone built houses are picturesque and interesting.
Summer time is just perfect to enjoy in its beauty and your pleasant stroll.