Korčula is the sixth-largest island in the Adriatic Sea. The Pelješac channel separates it from the Pelješac peninsula and the shortest distance between them both is 1,270 metres. The well-indented coast and a mild climate have been favourable to the development of tourism, which has a long tradition. Amongst other things, the island is interesting for its streets in fish-bone patterns. The largest settlement is Korčula town itself, which is believed to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. A great attraction for tourists, Korčula is proud of its traditional knights’ sword-dance, the so-called moreška. The Cathedral of Saint Mark is the most beautiful Gothic-Renaissance monument in the old town of Korčula. It is also a treasure-trove with valuable works by local and foreign masters. Among some notable villages is Lumbarda which is well-known for its sandy beaches, and Vela Luka, an attractive tourist destination. From the latter you can reach the island of Lastovo and the Lastovo Archipelago Nature Park.
Legend says the world traveller, Marco Polo, in a battle right in front of Korčula, was captured and thrown into slavery, where he wrote the book that would inspire many generations of travellers and adventurers. And he is still amongst the main culprits for why people visit this southern Dalmatian island and remain delightfully captivated. So, wake up the explorer in you and check out for yourself the wonderful natural formations, the many coves and caves, the sandy beaches and rich food and wine selections which this still unexplored pearl of the Southern Adriatic offers on one of the most beautiful kayaking trips of the Southern Adriatic.
For many people the town of Korčula is a smaller and therefore sweeter version of Dubrovnik, which conceals unexpected sensations. Due to the scattered little islands around the town itself, it is possible, in one kayak trip, to visit the ancient quarry on Vrnik, feel the peace hidden behind the walls of the monastery on Badija, and then paddle off and enjoy superb traditional meals and the unique local wines in one of the restaurants right by the sea.
It is this combination of beautiful views of the azure sea and the unique scenery of the fortified town built on the very rocks beside the sea that will fill you with a unique feeling.
The northern edge of the island, starting from Vela Luka, offers an interesting and slightly romantic tour of the nearby islet of Ošjak which is also called the “island of love”, whilst to reach the final point of the tour, the islet of Proizd, needs a good paddle.
However, the reward of the sight of the unbelievable beaches with the view of Hvar and the rest of the Adriatic will help you forget the time spent paddling. The southern edge of the island, on the other hand, offers an invitation to those kayakers prepared to paddle more, and who therefore will be able to enjoy paddling next to the cliffs and steep slopes decorated with drystone wall terraces with vineyards of the endemic sorts of wine Pošip and Grk.
As a kind of Dalmatian brand, lounging in the shade on sandy beaches like those in Pupnat harbour is essential after a full day of kayaking and a guarantee that it will refill your batteries with 100% natural pleasure. These are just some of the postcards from Korčula which will take you back in your thoughts or recall them from the memory of your smartphone with a click to instantly cheer yourself up
Korčula – The Town of Marco Polo
The birthplace of Marco Polo was built on the foundations of a Greek colony, and is the historical and tourist centre of the largest island in the Dubrovnik region. It is famous for its streets that are shaped in the form of a fish bone and well-preserved Gothic and Renaissance buildings.
Among them stands out the Cathedral of sv. Marko [St. Mark], whose rich interior guards the works of great Italian painters. The people of Korčula have preserved their customs and the medieval knight’s game “Moreška” that takes place on the town streets. The gentle Mediterranean cuisine will challenge the palates of even the most fastidious gourmets.
Along with the gifts of the sea (mussels, fish, crabs), delicious desserts such as Cukarin, the Dubrovnik cakes rožata and klašun go very well with the local Korčula wines – Grk, Pošip, Plavac and Rukatac.
Near the town of Korčula, there is an archipelago of 20 uninhabited islands covered with dense thicket, and an accessible coastline. Here is also the slightly larger islet of Badija with its pebble beaches and beautiful Franciscan monastery.
Pošip , Pošip bijeli, Pošipak and Pošipica are all local names for this indigenous white grape variety from the island of Korčula. It can also be found on the islands of Lastovo and Mljet, but can be grown all over Dalmatia. Pošip thrives on sandy soils, protected from wind, and gives large clusters that produce a high-quality, delicious wine. The golden yellow wine is dry, offering a strong aroma of dried apricots and figs, and has 12–13% of alcohol. Pošip wines have a distinct fragrance and high acidity levels, and they make great wines for storing and ageing.
Legend has it that Pošip was a vine that grew wild, found by chance, and scientific research has found that it was probably created as a spontaneous cross between two varieties from Korčula, Bratovina and Blatska zlatarica. It is believed that its name comes from the elongated and pointy shape of the berries, which reminded the people of Korčula of the sharp end of a farming tool known as šip. It is one of the oldest and most highly regarded white varieties, and is associated with Korčula because it has been cultivated there since ancient times. In 1967, the wine that came from the village of Čara on Korčula became the first white wine in Croatia to be awarded the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), and it still holds value today. In fact, the Pošip variety is steadily gaining importance in southern Croatia, spreading and being grown on land as well, in vineyards that are sprouting up across Dalmatia.
This variety can be used to make fresh wines that age in oak barrels, as well as semi-sweet wines for those with a sweet tooth. Pošip can be served with grilled whitefish, barbecued tiny blue fish or bottom-dwelling freshwater fish, clam stew, as well as lobster and European lobster in various delicious dishes.
The picturesque town of Vela Luka is the largest town on the island of Korčula, and the second largest town in the Adriatic islands. Located on the west side of the island, its gulf position is a safe anchorage and port for sailors.
Vela Luka is a place of very talented artists and musicians, a place of interesting traditions and rich cultural heritage. Traces of life in this area go back deep into the past, as visible in the numerous archaeological finds from Vela Spila site, one of the most famous prehistoric sites in Europe. Artefacts discovered there are exhibited in the museum collection of the Cultural Centre, where there is also a collection of wooden model ships, a collection of mosaics, and an international gift of a collection of drawings, prints and small sculptures.
During the summer months the Luško summer, offers a rich cultural and entertainment program, a’cappella songs, concerts, entertainment and classical music and the real attraction – the Knight’s game “kumpanija” performed by the folklore society. Sung in many songs, Vela Luka is an inspiration to every passer and creator!
ACI Marina Korčula
The ACI Marina Korčula is situated right alongside the historical heart of the town of Korčula the towers and walls of which make it mystically attractive. Korčula is also known as the birthplace of the famous explorer and traveller of the world Marco Polo. The ACI Marina Korčula is an excellent starting place for exploring the life of this adventurer, as well as the rich history of the town. The island of Korčula is surrounded by 19 islets with beautiful beaches, and each of them is a real treat for boaters.