If you prefer peace and relaxation to popular holiday resorts, we recommend visiting Korčula. It is one of the loveliest islands of Croatia with medieval houses, narrow alleys, and beautiful natural sites. What to do in Korčula? Due to the wide range of programmes, you will gain unforgettable memories.
This article gives you an overview of the following topics:
- Things to do in Korčula island: Sandy and pebbly beaches
- What to do in Korčula island: Hiking possibilities
- Discover the main sights of the island!
- Traditions and events in Korčula
- The gastronomy of Korčula
The South-Dalmatian island is rich in marvellous sandy and pebbly beaches. The crystal-clear water in various shades lures visitors. The sandy Vela Pržina can be found in Lumbarda, which is one of the most popular beaches in Croatia. If you would like to visit this place, it is recommended to arrive early. Also, the sandy Bilin Žal is a beloved destination, especially among families with children. Sunshades are available for rent here, and coffee bars, restaurants and supermarkets are near at hand. The main beach of Korčula, Banje, is ideal for families with children due to its numerous facilities.
Similar to Vela Pržina, this beach is relatively crowded in high season, therefore we recommend arriving in the early hours. The sandy beach of Istruga can be found in the bay with the same name, near the village of Brna. If you do not want to lie in the sun for hours, the trees bordering the resort provide pleasant shady shelter from the direct sunlight. Nearby, there is also a court for playing beach volleyball. Would you like to have culinary experience? Close to the beach, there is a restaurant with a pleasant atmosphere that is waiting for its guests with local savoury food.
Generally, there is not much crowd on this heavenly island; therefore, it is primarily ideal for visitors who prefer tranquillity. Its beach is rather rocky, and its crystal-clear water shines in the beautiful shades of blue and green. Here you can find one of the most alluring beaches of Croatia where besides swimming snorkelling is worth trying.
The archipelago consists of 19 islands that are located near the end of the eastern part of Korčula, not far from the old town. The first and closest island is Badija, where you can visit a monastery built-in 1392 and a chapel from the 15th century. Vrnik is the second-largest island, where you can find a quarry from the Roman Empire era. Today, it is the oldest and the most famous quarry of Korčula. Only a couple of families live in Vrnik, and there is a town that received the same name as the island.
On the island of Sutvara, you can also find a tiny beach whereas on Majsan the ruins of a 5th-century old temple. Furthermore, Sestrica consists of two islands: the smaller is Mala Sestrica, the larger is Vela Sestrica. The most famous sight of the latter one is an abandoned light tower erected in 1871.
Mljet is the southernmost and at the same time the easternmost among the bigger islands in Croatia. Due to its beautiful natural sights, it is considered as one of the most magnificent places. Its national park is predominantly covered by forests; therefore, it is often referred to as the green island. The island is characterized by a special panorama and has two astonishing lakes. In fact, the latter ones are part of the sea, and another interesting fact about the two lakes is that one is freshwater and the other one is a saltwater lake. The island can be an ideal holiday destination for those who prefer calmness, but visitors have a chance of cycling tours and mountaineering as well.
Lastovo is 13 kilometres far from Korčula to the South, located among many smaller islands. The island is a nature reservation together with the other islands. Lastovo, besides Korčula, is one of the woodiest areas of the Adriatic, where you can visit numerous medieval stone temples and chapels. Lastovo, the town, is characterized by buildings of gothic, renaissance, and baroque style. Besides, the decorated chimneys are also worth seeing. The island is famous for its premium quality wine, Maraština as well.
On the island of Korčula, one of the most well-known Palaeolithic cave in Europe can be found, the Vela Spila, where you can get a wonderful view of the Vela Luka bay. Similarly, you can admire the gorgeous view from Forteca located on the Hum Hill, which was an Austro-Hungarian fort in the 19th century.
It is an interesting fact that the original town wall surrounding the old town and its numerous bastions are still standing in Korčula. For this reason, it is often called “little Dubrovnik.”
Saint Mark’s Cathedral
One of the major sights and the biggest building of this beautiful island is the Saint Mark’s Cathedral built-in Gothic-Renaissance style. The site is located in the old town of Korčula, on the Main Square. In spite of being built from 1301, the construction of the Cathedral was finished only by the 15th century. Moreover, owing to the alter painting made by the Italian painter, Tintoretto, and the unique sculptures of the church it is regarded as one of the symbols of Korčula.
The birthplace of Marco Polo
According to the locals, the famous Venetian merchantman, traveller, and writer, Marco Polo was born on the island of Korčula. If you are here in Korčula, you can visit the remains of his assumed birthplace. The building has three floors and a lookout, where you can take a look at pictures and maps of Marco Polo’s explorations. You can get a beautiful view from the highest point of the tower. Not only can you admire Korčula from the tower, but also the surrounding islands.
In the case of visiting Korčula, you have to watch Moreška, the traditional game of the island. The interesting feature of the original Spanish or Arabic game is that it was played in almost every Mediterranean country in medieval times. However, today Korčula is the only place in the world where people can watch this game. Additionally, real swords are used during the show. Besides Moreška, you can watch ballets performed with swords, for example, Moštra or Kumpanjija.
Fish, seafood, fruits and vegetables play an outstanding role in the cuisine of the beautiful island. Locals gladly use olive oil, as well as green herbs, and make various side dishes from vegetables. Salad is also a remarkably popular dish, various delicious cheese, octopus, and fish salads are waiting for the guests. Fish and various types of meat like lamb or poultry are usually grilled, but always with varied flavouring. If you have sweet teeth, we highly recommend tasting the klašuni, which is a cake filled with almond, or the krokan. As a matter of fact, the latter one is toasted ground almond with sugar. The hostile, namely doughnut fried in oil, and the kotonjata, which is quince jelly, are also favoured delicateness. Local people also consume fig or self-produced seasonal fruits as dessert.
Most popular wines
Grk, the premium quality white wine is produced in the village of Lumbarda. Besides, the honourable wine of Dalmatia, the Pošip Korčula is the best-known grape and wine type. It has won several prizes not only in Croatia but also on international competitions. Gold colour, fruity aroma and taste characterize this dry white wine. The list of Croatia’s most delicious wines includes the Plavac as well, which is produced on the Pelješac Peninsula, but it can be found on the island of Korčula as well.
The article above gave an insight into the best things to do in Korčula. If you choose this picturesque island, besides the wide range of programme possibilities, delicious dishes and the best wines of Croatia are waiting for you. Read more if you plan Korčula island sailing or rent a boat in Korčula.