Korčula

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Korčula (pronounced 'kor-chu-la') [1] is an island in the Adriatic Sea, in Southern Dalmatia, near Dubrovnik. According to some sources, Marco Polo may have been born here.

Understand[edit]

Korčula is also the name of the eastern-most town on the island. Another town is Vela Luka, 43 km in the west, from where many ferries go. There are many small villages, including Blato, Smokvica, Cara, Pupnat, Zrnovo, Lumbarda and Racisce all worth visiting if you have more time to spend.

Korčula is the most populated island on Croatian Adriatic coast. It has very good facilities for cycling with lots of small tracks with spectacular view. Cycling on Korčula is developing fast since the island has a very mild winter therefore all seasons are ideal for cycling.

Talk[edit]

Croat is the local language, but English is spoken at most restaurants, internet cafes, tourist information centers and travel agencies. Italian is also widely understood, especially among the elderly.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

From Dubrovnik
Follow the coastal road (E65) in direction Split. Then you drive on the peninsular Pelješac until Orebić. In Orebić you take the ferry to Domince/Korčula. The ferry goes every hour, except in the night between 24-4 o clock.
From Split
Follow the coastal road (E65) in direction Dubrovnik about 100 km. In Drvenik you take the ferry to Korčula (it goes at 8:30 and at 17:30 costs: per person €5/ car €25/ motorcycle €10/ camping-bus €40). The camp is situated 500m from there.

By ferry[edit]

from Split
Take the Jadrolinija ferry [2] to Vela Luka (around 10 euros per person), then take a bus to Korčula Town. Alternatively, take the direct 'Krilo' catamaran [3] (one daily service leaving Split at 17:00 and arriving in Korčula Town at 19:45, 65kn per person).
from Dubrovnik
You take the Marko Polo (Jadrolinja) ferry [4] to Korčula (80 kn).
from Dubrovnik
Libertas bus to Orebic (14:15 every day except Sunday) then passenger ferry from Orebic to Korčula (12 kn).
from Rijeka
10 hours, overnight (Marko Polo ferry), 210Kn
from Bari, Italy
12 hours, (Marko Polo ferry)
from Hvar
Take the 'Krilo' catamaran (one daily service leaving Hvar at 18:15 and arriving in Korčula Town at 19:45, 50kn per person, tickets available at the 'Pelegrini' travel agency in Hvar next to the pier)

By water taxi[edit]

If arriving on Orebić you can get your self a ride on one of the water taxis, or order a speed taxi boat that will get you across the canal in under 7 minutes (Water express - water taxi service)098 757043

By bus[edit]

From Zagreb
There is a direct bus to Korčula, which takes 10 hours.
From Dubrovnik
There is a daily coach which takes around 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a minibus run by Korkyra Info Travel Agency which takes around 2 hours (150kn per person) and picks you up directly from where you are staying in Dubrovnik. The minibus can take you from Dubrovnik Airport to Korčula for 225kn per person. Korkyra can arrange a private transfer between Dubrovnik and Korčula if you prefer at 1050kn (per vehicle) and can organise a stop en route on the Pelješac peninsula at a vinery in Potomnje, a seafood restaurant or Ston, the site of the second longest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China.

Get around[edit]

Korčula town has no public transportation. The town is small enough to walk everywhere. The layout of the town is quite simple, with a single avenue as the spine bisecting the village with roads branching from this central avenue toward the sea. A pedestrian avenue circles the village as well.

Bike rentals are available.

If visiting coastal villages its best done with a water-taxi since Korčula has a big archipelago with many small islands well worth seeing (Water-express water taxi service 098 757043)

See[edit]

Do[edit]

There are a bevy of activities to engage in Korčula. If you are the relaxed traveler looking for a quiet getaway, it's possible to soak up the sun on some of Croatia's most beautiful beaches. Be mindful that the beaches in Korčula are quite liberal, and most residents and tourists will be fully nude.

It is important to recognize that most of Croatia's beaches are quite rocky, so it is imperative to wear the correct footwear. If you plan to swim, wear shoes or swim fins in the water—there are many sea urchins! The beaches on Korčula offer gorgeous views of the karstic coastal ranges. One can see the nearby coastal village of Orebic as well. There are two sandy beaches on Korčula, just to the east of the village of Lumbarda, one on the north coast and one on the south coast at the narrowest point on the island.

Rent a kayak (200 kn per day for a double from Kantun tours.)

Rent a snorkel, mask, and swim fins from Kantun tours (25 kn/day or 110 kn/week) and go snorkeling around the island. Or, rent the kayak and snorkel set and go paddle to some of the islands around Korčula and snorkel there! Recommended is the southeast coast of Barija island—there is a nice small beach for your kayak and some lovely snorkeling.

Rent a bicycle (9-12 Euro/day) and ride around the island.

Korkyra Baroque Festival

The Korkyra Baroque Festival is a new annual international event, which will be launched from 7 to 16 September 2012. The festival will showcase a selection of the world's leading ensembles and soloists specialized in Baroque music, including the Academy of Ancient Music (Great Britain), Laurence Cummings (Great Britain), Le Parlament de Musique (France), Currende & Eric Van Nevel (Belgium), La Venexiana (Italy), Red Priest (Great Britain), The Croatian Baroque Ensemble (Croatia) along with others.

Twelve concerts will be held over ten days along with a series of supporting events focusing on Baroque music. Along with the festival's high artistic credentials the event will also promote the richness of Korčula's cultural monuments and the whole town as a unique architectural treasure.

For the Active Traveler

Korčula offers a few activities for those seeking a bit more action. In addition to two nightclubs, tourists can take part in the old island tradition of the Sword Dance, where actors stage a historical battle with eloquent choreography. Tourists can also visit what the town claims is the birthplace of famed explorer Marco Polo (although "Marco Polo's House" was built at least a century after he died!). Additionally, local shops offer bike rentals if you choose to explore the island proper.

Eat[edit]

There are plenty of restaurants on the island, ranging from traditional Adriatic fare to Italian influences.

Don't leave Korčula without trying local dishes such as brodet (fish stew), pašticada (Dalmatian stewed beef), zrnovski makaruni (beef with thin, long pieces of pasta) and pogačice (deep-fried dough).

Local desserts include klašun and cukarin (cookies).

Local wines include grk (a dry white wine from Lumbarda, a village 7 km from Korčula Town) and pošip (a dry white wine from Smokvica and Cara).

Korčula Old Town[edit]

  • Konoba MaslinaKorčula Old Town (As you enter the Old Town, heading northwards, turn right after going up the steps to the Great Land Gate (Velki Revelin)),  +385 (0) 91 517 7420. This eatery serves simple, yet delicious local food, such as pašticada (Dalmatian stewed beef) and pogačice (deep-fried dough), at very reasonable prices (50-60kn for a main dish). The portions are very generous and the service is amazingly friendly. Its menu mainly consists of meat dishes, not seafood. Drinks are around 10-15kn (for example, 15kn for 0,5l of beer). Don't miss out on the homemade local style cakes for desert (15kn for one portion).
  • Konoba Adio MareSv. Roka 2, Korčula Old Town +385 (0) 20 711253 and 098 243845.
  • Konoba Marinero, Korčula Old Town
  • Konoba Mareta, Korčula Old Town
  • Restaurant Kanavelic, Korčula Old Town - Sveta Barbara 12, tel: (020) 711800, 711078

Rest of Korčula island[edit]

  • Restaurant Fresh - Kod Kina Liburna
  • Restaurant Grubinjac - Grubinjac, Zrnovo, Island of Korčula
  • Konoba Malta - Sveti Antun - more info on Konoba Malta
  • Konoba Mijo 098 168 5047. Pupnatska Luka; - more info
  • Restoran Planjak, Korčula - Plokata 19. travnja 1921 tel: (020) 711015, 711202
  • Pizzeria Cinciculjak, Nova Riva - (020) 715822
  • Marco Polo Mistique, Restaurant and Cafe, Nova Riva
  • Buffet Tramonto, Korčula - Ismaelli 12, tel : 098 1921048
  • Konoba Mate, Pupnat, Korčula Island

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

  • Kaleta booking centre. Right in the middle of town, across Old Town main gate, offers it all: rooms, apartments, transfers, excursions, the lot. Friendly young staff will take good care of you.
  • Camping Kamp Kalac. 20 min walking from Korčula town, directly at the beach. There is a small taxi boat between the harbour of Korčula and the Campsite/Hotel, operating twice an hour, for 10 Kn.
  • Hostel Dragan's Den is located 10–15 minutes from Korčula town centre and a short walk away from sandy beaches. The hotel is well-suited for a couple or a larger group. Equipped with en-suite bathrooms and kitchens. There is free Internet access as well and a swimming pool. The owner, Dragan, offers frequent free lifts in his minibus if you want to travel to Korčula town, cliff jumping, or the beach.
  • Maria's Place is right in the center of town, steps from Katedrala Sveti Marca. It has three double rooms with ensuite bathrooms, wifi, and a refrigerator. It is a good, nice, clean, quiet place for the budget traveler. Rooms from 20-35 Euro/person/night, depending on the season.

Stay safe[edit]

Be very cautious about renting boats if you would like to spend time travelling between the small islands around the coast. Some of these boats are not well maintained and if you have little experience, you could easily suffer an engine failure. In this case you will need to be rescued by the company and this may take a long time, wasting your time and potentially putting you in danger as you drift! At least one of these companies (Korkyra Info) will not refund you fully in the case that this happens, despite the fact that this is a relatively common occurrence.

Go next[edit]

  • Mljet (pronounced 'mil-yet') is one of nine Croatian National Parks. It is the greenest island in the Adriatic, with two salt lakes and a small island with a monastery on the big lake. A perfect getaway to get in touch with nature, Mljet is a must see if you visit the Dubrovnik county. Day trip excursions to Mljet from Korčula are organised by many travel agencies.
Kantun Tours organises an excursion to Mljet by speed boat (the journey is around 30 minutes one-way) for 250kn per person return (not including the 90kn entrance fee to the National Park).
Mediterano Travel Agency can provide a return boat journey between Korčula Town and Mljet for 180kn per person or an excursion (including a guide and the National Park entrance fee) for 360kn per person.
Korkyra Info Travel Agency offers an excursion (with a guide and including the National Park entrance fee) for 350kn per person.
Korčula Adventures offers an excursion to Mljet by luxury yacht (guide, lunch, snorkelling gear and National Park entrance fee included) for 450kn per person.
  • Orebic (pronounced 'O-re-bich') is just a twenty minute ferry ride away. Orebic is a picturesque coastal village with lovely beaches and fantastic views of the Adriatic. Ferries depart Korcčla Town seven times per day between sunrise and mid-afternoon. On Orebic, tourists can sample local crafts and Adriatic cuisine. The restaurants offer a seafront atmosphere and the best octopus salad you ever tasted!
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