Korcula Island, Croatia: The Ultimate Travel Guide!
The beautiful Korcula Island in Croatia is one of the absolute travel highlights of the country. Here on the approximately 48 kilometers long, so-called “green island” await you next to the famous old town of Korcula, a variety of fantastic attractions and incredibly paradisiacal dream beaches. Unique are also the various Mediterranean landscapes, characterized by viticulture, hundred-year-old olive trees and pine forests. In the inland you can find small romantic mountain villages and along the coast you can still enjoy many stunning, partly lonely natural bays. The tourist offer with excellent restaurants, delicious wine and the many good accommodations ultimately make a vacation on Korcula perfect.
In this travel guide, you will find all the important information and tips about Korcula Island in Croatia. We have summarized the most beautiful places, beaches, attractions and things to do in Korcula. In addition, there are great recommendations on where to stay at the island.
General information about Korcula Island
Korcula Island is located in southern Dalmatia, not far from the neighboring island of Hvar and the Pelješac peninsula. Internationally, Korcula in Croatia is famous mainly as an idyllic, green vacation island. Countless beautiful beaches, the medieval old town of Korcula, the many offshore islets, the excellent wines and the hospitality of the people attract tourists from all over the world to the so-called “black island” every year. With a size of 279.03 km², Korcula can be easily explored by car or rental car during a vacation. Finally, the excellent choice of accommodation makes a trip to the island an unforgettable experience.
The history of Korcula dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. This is testified by findings from the Vela Spilja caves in Vela Luka. Only in the 6th century BC, Greek colonies settled the island and gave it the name Korkyra Melaina, which means Black Corfu. And indeed, the island of Korcula is still one of the most forested islands in Croatia. Among the most famous inhabitants of the island was the world traveler Marco Polo (1254 – 1324). According to records, he was born in the old town of Korcula. Today you can visit the house where he was born as a museum.
Best Things to Do on Korcula Island
During your vacation, there are plenty of things to do in Korcula Island. You can expect beautiful places, numerous activities and fantastic attractions. Here we have summarized all the highlights and the best sights of the island of Korcula at a glance.
Korcula Old Town
The old town of Korcula is probably the most beautiful and, at the same time, the most famous attraction on the island. Here you can expect a beautiful medieval old town with a unique flair, lovely attractions and many good restaurants. When strolling through the city, it might feel like you are time traveling. The best way to start the tour is with the beautiful stairs at the old city gate, and then we recommend wandering through the alleys of the historic city center of Korcula.
During a sightseeing tour you will discover countless interesting historical buildings, such as the small church Svetog Mihovila, the City Museum, the Marco Polo House and not to forget the wonderful Cathedral Sveti Marko, one of the most important attractions of the old town. Impressive is also the historic city wall with the four towers, which characterizes the appearance of the city and has given the old town the nickname “Little Dubrovnik”.
Tip: In the middle of the old town of Korcula there are some beautiful accommodations. Really recommendable is the charming 4-star Hotel Korcula in a wonderful location by the harbor.
A visit to Lumbarda is probably one of the best things to do in Korcula. This lovely place enchants in particular with its picturesque sandy beaches, which are to be found rather rarely in Croatia. In addition, the landscape with the many vineyards is unique and absolutely worth seeing. Famous here is the Grk wine, a delicious white wine, which was named after the Greeks, who founded a settlement in Lumbarda at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. Recommended is to join a wine tasting in the many local wine cellars.
Tip: Really recommended is the ECO Aparthotel The Dreamers’s Club. Here, the extremely quiet location and the romantic and playful furnishing of the apartments are very inspiring.
One of the most popular destinations for an excursion from Korcula is the island of Badija with its magnificent Franciscan monastery. It is the largest of the 19 islands that lie in front of the old town of Korcula. For many, a visit is a real highlight because with a little luck, you can meet the fallow deer living in the park in front of the Franciscan monastery. Always searching for food, these small animals are not afraid to be fed by tourists.
Tip: You can get to this little island by taxi boat from Korcula town or Lumbarda, but kayak tours are also offered.
Beach Pupnatska Luka
One of the most beautiful beaches of Korcula and meanwhile a real attraction is Pupnatska Luka. This idyllic dream beach is located on the south coast of the island and is about 15 kilometers from Korcula town. Picturesquely surrounded by dense forests, this bay delights with unique blue sea colors and a very fine, clean pebble beach. A real beach jewel, which you should not miss during your vacation on Korcula.
The island of Vrnik is beautiful and a famous attraction of Korcula. It is a popular destination for a boat tour from Lumbarda and Korcula old town. The best way to reach this small natural jewel is by taxi boat. Vrnik is well-known for the oldest stone quarry of Korcula, but also for its extraordinary ambience with the ancient stone houses, the beautiful views of the deep blue sea and the incredibly beautiful landscape. Regularly, this island serves as a backdrop for painting and art courses.
Cave Vela Spilja
The most important archaeological site on the island of Korcula is the Vela Spilja Cave. Some of the oldest finds date back to the late Stone Age, around 3,200 BC, and are now exhibited in the cultural center of the port city. The cave is situated on a hill, 120 meters above the town of Vela Luka and can be reached by car or by a 1-hour walk. At the top, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the port and the bay. A visit to the cave is possible for a small fee.
The port town of Vela Luka is one of the largest cities on the island, with a population of around 5,000. It is located at the western end of Korcula and enchants with a picturesque harbor and the many beautiful natural bays in the area. Unique here is for example the coastal part Martina Bock, which impresses with the Caribbean Sea colors. Interesting is also the Cave Vela Spilja, which is located on the hill Pinska rat and is one of the most important archaeological attractions on the island of Korcula. Vela Luka is also a great starting point to explore the offshore island of Proizd.
Beaches on Korcula Island
The beautiful beaches in Korcula are definitely one of the reasons why this island has become so popular. On a vacation, you will find a gigantic variety of beautiful bathing places. Starting with wonderful sandy beaches, up to wonderful pebble bays, clean natural beaches and nudist beaches, everything can be found here. Even really lonely beaches are on this island. Pupnatska Luka, as mentioned above, belongs to the absolute dream beaches, but also the sandy beach Vela Przina Beach and the stunning Zitna Bay are true highlights.
The viewpoint of the mountain Hum is definitely one of the most stunning places to visit on the island of Korcula. You can reach it either by mountain bike, by hiking, or by car on a mountain road. At the top you will see the small 19th century Hum fortress, wherefrom you will have a spectacular view of Vela Luka and the west coast of Korcula.
Beautiful and absolutely worth seeing is the island Proizd, in the west of Korcula. Picturesque natural bays with turquoise blue water and an indescribably enchanting scenery await you here. These dream beaches were already voted the most beautiful in Croatia several times. Proizd is uninhabited, and so you can enjoy unspoiled nature and a unique seclusion with beautiful bays during a walk across the island. The best way to get to the island is by taxi boat from Vela Luka. And, with a little luck, you will discover dolphins on the way there.
In the middle of the island of Korcula lies the small mountain village of Smokvica. This village is well-known for the local Posip wine, which is grown in the protected valleys. This village also has a lot to offer in the gastronomic field, and so restaurants and typical konobas serve rustic Mediterranean dishes. They also serve homemade wines and typical liquors. Worth seeing is also the main square with the church of the Holy Virgin of Purity from the 20th century and the Venetian loggia.
Tip: This place is also popular as a destination for tours by bike or e-bike.
Day Tours from Korcula
Not only Korcula Island is worth seeing, but also in the surrounding area there are many possibilities for excursions and activities. So you can discover many beautiful attractions during your vacation. Here are the best day trips destinations near Korcula:
By ferry or excursion boat you can visit some of the neighboring island like the famous Hvar Island, the island of Proizd, the island of Lastovo and also the island of Mljet.
A day trip from Korcula to Dubrovnik is an experience. Absolutely worth seeing there is the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town and the famous Dubrovnik Wall.
Very interesting is a tour to the Pelješac peninsula, where you can visit the beautiful towns of Ston and Mali Ston with the 5-kilometer-long defensive wall.
Where to Stay on Korcula Island
Korcula offers its visitors a wide range of accommodations. From beach hotels and B&Bs to apartments or camping, everything is represented here. You can find our recommendations for the most beautiful places to stay on the island of Korcula here…It’s worth a look!
- 4-Star Hotel by the Sea: The Tara’s Lodge Hotel is directly located on the beach on the north coast and also inspires with a beautiful outdoor pool and great sun terrace.
- Mobile-Homes: Really amazing are the Mobile Homes – Port 9 & Camping. Guests love the good location between the old town of Korcula and Lumbarda and the great infinity pool.
- Apartments with Pool: The Apartments Villa Julija are located in the popular vacation resort Lumbarda and convince with a modern design, pool and the proximity to the beaches.
- Boutique Hotel: The Boutique Rooms Kastel Ismaeli is a great choice for a vacation in Vela Luka. It is situated in a prime location directly at the harbor and scores with a lot of charm.
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