In recent years, Korčula has become a true gem of Dalmatia. Unofficially labelled as a “mini Dubrovnik”, its medieval town offers similar aesthetics but with a pastoral way of life. Korcula is dotted with ancient olive groves, vineyards, and architectural delights, as well as stone walls in the ancient port, bobbing boats, and white and red tiled roofs, where you can smell all the smells of the local fish stews and Croatian wines. With so many things to offer, we’ve narrowed it down to the top eight things to do on the island.
1. Explore the town
Korcula Old Town is small, quaint, and can be explored in a half a day or less. It’s here that you will find lots of shopping, the island’s top attractions, and all of the yummiest restaurants. You’ll also find here some of the best views on the island here, whether you’re peering at the Adriatic through the cobblestone streets or looking at it from above at the top of Cathedral of Saint Mark.
2. Go for a day trip to Hvar
There are several islands off the coast of Korcula, and to be honest, they are all stunningly beautiful and each have something unique to offer every type of traveler. Your best bet, however, is Hvar, one of the most popular of the Dalmatian islands of Croatia. Just an hour away from Korcula, Hvar is a go-to summer hotspot for partiers and relaxation-seekers alike. There’s truly something for everyone here.
With hiking trails, tons of history, some of the world’s most beautiful and untouched beaches, and incomparable views, you will literally feel like you’re walking through a fairytale.
Although you can come for a day trip from Korcula to Hvar, it’s definitely worth your while to stay at least a couple of days.
3. Go to the beach and try your hand at snorkeling
Some of the best Korcula beaches to visit are in Lumbarda, a small village on the eastern side of the island. Your best options are Vela Przina beach and Bilin Zal beach, both of which are sandy beaches. Here you can board a yacht, luxury boat or even a paddle boat and sip on wine as you bounce around from one snorkeling spot to another, admiring the breathtakingly clear, turquoise waters.
4. Visit Marco Polo’s house
Although there is some debate about his actual birthplace, it is widely believed that Marco Polo, the famous explorer, was born in Korcula. When you visit the island, you can visit what is believed to be the home he grew up in. Visiting the house itself is free, but if you want to climb to the top of the bell tower (you do), there is a small fee. The view, however, is worth every kuna.
Where: 20260, Korčula, Croatia
Opening hours: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
5. Watch the sunset
Shades of yellow, orange and pink paint the sky as the island welcomes one of its main attractions: A gorgeous sunset over the sea. If this is your example of a good time, then you’ll want to make your way to the west side of the island for the perfect view. You can also go to the top of Cathedral of Saint Mark for an equally epic view.
6. Try the local wine
Croatia has a longstanding history of winemaking. Dating back to the days of the Roman Empire and ancient Greek settlers, Croatian wine is some of the best and most underrated in the world. Many of the ancient practices are still in place today, and some of the best grapes can be found along the coast and on the islands.
Korcula specifically is widely known as a wine-producing island, and is especially famous for its homemade wines. A visit to the island would be incomplete without a wine tour, many of which include honey and olive oil tastings as well. Some of the most popular wines that have been traditionally produced here for centuries are Grk and Pošip wines.
7. Sword dancers
Originating in Spain and Italy and associated with the conflict between the Moors and Christians, Moreška is a traditional sword dance and performance that depicts two kings and the conflicts they face, as one captures the fiancée of the other. Korcula’s sword dancing troupes have been around since at least the 16th century, with shows regularly being held for those who wish to watch the mock, dramatic battle.
When: During the summer, every Monday and Thursday in Ljetno Kino
Pro tip: There are other places on the island where you can watch these performances, but the ones in Ljetno Kino are the most popular.
8. Eat your way around the island
Of course, Korcula is an island, so it’s no secret that seafood here is an absolute delicacy. Octopus salad specifically is extremely popular here, plus you get some local olive oil to go with your dish as well. Dalmatians have a saying that goes, “A fish should swim three times. First in the sea, then in olive oil and finally in wine, when you eat it!”
Being part of Dalmatia means that black risotto (from cuttlefish ink) and Dalmatian ham (prsut) are must-eats. Korcula island’s specialty is zrnovski makaruni, a traditional homemade pasta that is served with a variety of sauces and often with seafood, if you so desire. Surprisingly, pizza is also popular here as a result of Italian influence that has remained from the times of the Roman Empire.
Pro tip: Check out Massimo’s, a two storey, 14th century fortress-turned-cocktail bar, where you have to climb a ladder to get to the roof!