Korčula, Dalmatia

What to do on the wonderful island of Korčula

Visit one of Croatia’s largest islands, Korčula, and discover its beautiful scenery and rich cultural historical heritage. Wander the streets of ancient Korčula town where time seems to have stopped or look for romance in a typical Dalmatian village such as Brna. Hike and cycle to learn more about the amazing island, dive to get to know the fascinating underwater world around Korčula and enjoy traditional events such as sword dances for a memorable holiday.

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The Island of Korčula

An island of living traditions

Korčula is the 6th largest Croatian island, and its seductive beauty makes it one of the top island destinations in the Mediterranean.

The Greeks called Korčula black after the thick forests you will see from the ferry. Once you disembark, you will enter a magical world of bays, bike paths, stone cities, and traditional villages where time passes more slowly and life has a better flavour. Feel it in the taste of local Pošip and Grk wines, in the scent of citrus fruits and fresh fish. Experience the tradition of knights’ dances and feel the good spirits of your friendly hosts.

Top 5 experiences on Korčula

  • Marco Polo’s house and the Mediaeval centre of Korčula
  • diving off the coast of Korčula
  • the Moreška, kumpanjija and moštra sword dance
  • island wine tour
  • 20 cycling paths and 25 hiking trails

Top 5 towns on Korčula

  • the town of Korčula and its priceless architectural gems
  • Vela Luka, the largest town on the island with its valuable neolithic archaeological site of Vela Spilja
  • Lumbarda with the most beautiful beaches on Korčula
  • Smokvica and Brna on the southern side of the island beside spacious vineyards of Pošip grapes
  • Blato in the interior, home of the kumpanjija knightly game

The Town of Korčula

An enchanting stone beauty

Carved in stone and surrounded by thick pine forest, the town of Korčula is a favourite destination of discerning travellers.

The walls and towers surrounding Korčula hide a magical Renaissance-Gothic centre full of cobblestone streets, historic houses, and palaces. Curious travellers come to hear stories of Marco Polo, the famous seafarer. Romantics want to see the Moreška, the traditional local sword dance, while the wild at heart will be drawn to cycling paths and diving in the clear sea waters.

You can find many reasons to come to Korčula. It’s much harder to find a reason to leave it.

Top 5 experiences in Korčula

  • Marco Polo’s house and the Mediaeval centre of the town of Korčula
  • diving around Korčula
  • Moreška sword dance
  • wine tours on Korčula
  • 20 cycling paths and 25 hiking trails

Events on Korčula

Music, dance, and local cuisine

Choose Korčula for your next holiday and you will experience spectacular events, many of which are still held only on this magical Mediterranean island.

Learn about the moreška, which will thrill you with its romantic story of a battle between a black and white king over a girl named Bula. You can witness a similar sword dance called the kumpanjija in Blato and Smokvica. Korčula’s cheerful residents will serve you seafood specialties all summer at the Fishermen’s Evenings. Feel the island tradition at folklore evenings and fall in love with the harmonious sounds of Dalmatian klapa folk singing.

Top 9 events on Korčula

  • Folklore evenings - Lumbarda (1x weekly in summer)
  • Smokvica tradition evenings - Smokvica (1x weekly in summer)
  • Moreška, sword dance – town of Korčula (2x weekly in summer)
  • Kumpanjija, sword dance - Blato, Smokvica (1x weekly in summer)
  • Half of the New Year masquerade with live music, masked ball, night swimming, and fireworks – town of Korčula (30 June)
  • Fishermen’s evenings of traditional Vela Luka cuisine - Vela Luka (1x weekly in summer)
  • “Black Island - White Wines” festival with tastings of local Pošip and Grk wines – town of Korčula (July)
  • Makarunada, an event dedicated to local makaruni pasta with workshops and tastings - Žrnovo (August)
  • International Open Jazz Festival - Vela Luka (August)

Korčula’s Cuisine

A place where the fruits and vegetables bring you back to your childhood

If it’s true that the way to the heart is through the stomach, Korčula is a gourmet destination that you will fall in love with at first taste.

And how could you not, when its cuisine was inspired by the crystal clear Adriatic Sea, from which hardworking fishermen deliver fresh fish daily right to your plate? You will also enjoy traditional makaruni pasta and homemade pašticada stew, which pair perfectly with local Pošip or Grk wines. The juicy seasonal fruits and vegetables will take you back to your childhood, as will the taste of the local homemade cakes.

Top 5 gourmet experiences on Korčula

  • anchovies and sand smelt (gere)
  • brodetto with polenta and baked octopus
  • grilled lobster and scampi
  • baked lamb and goat
  • traditional sweets: lumblija, prikle, cukarini, klašuni, kotonjata

... and at least a glass or two of local Pošip or Grk wine.

Beaches on Korčula

Top 7 beaches on Korčula

Korčula is surrounded by crystal clear sea, and its 182km of coastline holds 96 bays with hidden or easy-to-find beaches. We’ve discovered them for you.

  • Istruga beach (Smokvica/Brna) is a small sandy beach in Istruga bay on the southern coast of Korčula. The beach has a restaurant and sports and recreation centre with 2 tennis courts, and is surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation. Istruga bay also stands out because of its 6-metre deep layer of sea mud, which has great therapeutic value.
  • Vela Pržina beach (Lumbarda) is the most popular beach on the island of Korčula, located on the south side of Lumbarda. It faces the open sea and the Lastovo island archipelago. It is surrounded by vineyards and protected from northerly and westerly winds. Vela Pržina is ideal for families with small children and young people in search of fun. It features a beach bar, and you can rent lounge chairs and beach umbrellas or play volleyball.
  • Bilin Žal beach (Lumbarda) is one of but a few natural sand beaches in Croatia. It is located on the north side of Lumbarda, and it has a beautiful view of the Pelješac Peninsula and the islands of the Korčula archipelago. The easy sea entry makes Bilin Žal a favourite beach among families. It also has a restaurant and bar, and the rich undersea life attracts divers.
  • Tatinja beach (Lumbarda) is a sandy beach just a few minutes’ walk to the east of the centre of Lumbarda, in Tatinja bay. It features a few cafés, snack bars, pizzerias, and restaurants, making it an ideal spot for all-day seaside relaxation. The beach offers a breath-taking view of a group of small islands in the Korčula archipelago, the Pelješac Peninsula, and the town of Orebić.
  • Pupnatska luka (Korčula) is located near the village of Pupnat, 15km from the town of Korčula, and is considered by many to be the most beautiful beach on the island. This pebble beach is surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation, and is ideal for anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and everyday stress. There is also a restaurant in the bay, making all-day stays possible.
  • Vaja beach (Račišće) is located 1km west of Račišće and 12km from the town of Korčula. It is covered in pebbles and surrounded by crystal waters. This romantic, isolated place is ideal for those seeking peace, quiet, and complete relaxation.
  • Badija island and its pebble and stone beaches is just a 20 minute boat ride from Korčula harbour, and an excellent choice for a day trip. The island has a Franciscan monastery and restaurants and bars that are open in the summer months.
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The History of Korčula

A polished gem

The town is intelligently laid out in a fishbone pattern: the angle of the eastern streets protect it from Bora, while the positioning of the western streets leave it open to the cool mistral.

In the Middle Ages, Korčula began to develop the craft of stonemasonry, and walking through its streets you will find beautiful examples of 15th and 16th century Gothic-Renaissance style housing architecture. They were built out of local stone, and the facades of its houses, palaces, and churches are covered in intricate decorations and coats of arms. The beauty that will inspire you today was described long ago in the 15th century: Korčula is “as polished as a beautiful gem”.

Top 5 historical landmarks in Korčula

  • the house of Marco Polo, believed to have been born in Korčula
  • Bishop’s palace with the Bishop’s Collection of artwork
  • Town museum with the remains of old stonemasonry workshops
  • town walls, Land and Sea Gates
  • St. Mark’s Cathedral with works by Tintoretto

Culture on Korčula

The island with the longest tradition of knightly tournaments in the Mediterranean

Korčula’s culture lives on in its traditional brotherhoods and sword dances, as well as in the melodies of klapa folk singing, which has earned a place on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Korčula’s residents are especially proud of the moreška - a knightly sword dance from the 12th century once held across the Mediterranean that has survived only in Korčula. Korčula’s brotherhoods, active since 1301 AD, were founded as religious orders whose members were nobles and commoners alike, even despite the great class differences of the times. Visit the local churches and explore their rich heritage.

Top 5 places for culture in the town of Korčula

  • The moreška and the kumpanjija and moštra line dances
  • All Saints’ Church, home of the collection of the brotherhood of All Saints, the oldest on Korčula
  • St. Michael’s Church, home of the collection of the brotherhood of St. Michael, which includes candles that weigh up to 80kg
  • Marco Polo Museum, in which you can enter the world of this famous mariner
  • St. Anthony’s Hill, a 30 minute walk from the centre of Korčula, with a church and fantastic panorama

Activities on Korčula

Find a perfect bay all for yourself

The island of Korčula is surrounded by crystal waters and 182km of coastline with countless beautiful beaches. If you still want more, you can explore the 48 islets off Korčula’s coast.

Korčula is ideal for long seaside walks, cycling on the island’s bike paths, or running. You can also rent a boat and search for the perfect bay for yourself or the whole family. The waters around Lumbarda are excellent for sailing and surfing, while the sandy beaches there are among the most beautiful in the Adriatic. If you want to dive deeper, Korčula’s experienced divers will introduce you to the local undersea world.

Top 5 activities on the island of Korčula

  • diving around Korčula
  • cycling and hiking (20 bike paths and 25 hiking trails)
  • kayaking and sailing
  • a visit to Dubrovnik, top international destination
  • excursions to the beautiful islands of Mljet and Lastovo

Weather on Korčula

365 days. 2700 hours of sun.

The island of Korčula is surrounded by crystal waters and 182km of coastline with countless beautiful beaches. If you still want more, you can explore the 48 islets off Korčula’s coast.

As a full-blooded Mediterranean destination, Korčula is blessed with a mild climate with warm summers and comfortable winters. The average yearly temperature is just below 17°C, and the summer average is a perfect 26.9°C. The humidity is blown away by the refreshing mistral wind that blows over the Pelješac Channel, filling the sails of windsurfers. Korčula’s mild climate will be great for your complexion, and the lush green forests will help relax your eyes.

Top 5 benefits of Korčula’s climate

  • average summer sea temperature around 22.3°C
  • 61% of the island is covered with green forest and maquis
  • the scent of aromatic herbs: immortelle, sage, lavender, rosemary, and marjoram
  • there are various types of game on the island: hare, pheasants, wild duck, and boar
  • rains are rare, at an average of only 41 days a year
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