You may have started thinking about your 2017 summer holiday – and you may be wondering exactly where you should go. After all, there are plenty of wonderful destinations to choose from. Korcula in Croatia may not be the first place that springs to mind (simply because not many people have heard of it), but once you begin to explore this rather lovely place you will begin to wonder why you had never considered it before.
Korcula is an island in the stunning Adriatic, and has been said by some to be a miniature version of Croatia – an easy-to-explore place that offers everything the popular ‘touristy’ resorts do, but with an added twist of elegance and peace. Most of the island is untouched by the hand of progress, with sleepy fishing villages and quiet little hamlets hidden away in the forests and out on the coast. Korcula Town (the birthplace of Marco Polo), however, is a holiday destination to be reckoned with and the ideal spot to spend some quality down-time.
Please note that we do not offer transfers to Korcula so please ensure - when you choose your flight times - that there are transfer options available to and from your destination.
Korcula is a top pick for the British when it comes to holidaying in Croatia. It has beautiful coves and beaches (over 200 at the last count), but is also close to cosmopolitan Dubrovnik. Apart from the beaches, there are also numerous olive groves and vineyards that are just waiting to be admired, and many of them offer private tours if required (this often includes free samples).
The famous St Anthony’s steps should at least be attempted. There are 101 of them and they are quite a climb, but if you can make it to the top the view is nothing less than spectacular - something that will remain with you forever. On the site of a hermit’s home – a priest, no less – the top of the steps is now the preserve of those looking for spiritual peace or wanting to enjoy the views (and the challenge).
Korcula Town is also a lovely place to be. The entire town is enclosed by honey-coloured stone walls, which lends it a feeling of magic. Once inside, the narrow streets all point towards the central square, where there are many bars and restaurants to enjoy.
Stonemasonry is an important industry on Korcula, and when you go wandering you may well come across stonemasons carrying out their work in the heat of the sun. Say hello and you’ll be amazed at what you can discover.
Wine and Dine
It will probably come as no surprise that the main – and most famed – ingredient used in the majority of restaurants on Korcula is seafood. With over 150 miles of coastline and a thriving fishing community, it would be a shame if that wasn’t the case. So when eating out in Korcula you can be sure that any fish you order is fresh and it is local. There is really nothing better than that.
If you don’t want fish, or you simply want to try something a little different, Korcula excels in cooking a variety of different meats. The special local delicacies consist of either lamb or goat – or both. Baked in a pot with an ember-covered lid called a peka, these meats are tender and juicy and, once cooked, can be served in a number of different ways. One of the most popular is as a stew or goulash along with a local version of pasta called zrnovski makaruni.
You could enjoy a sumptuous homemade dessert in any number of restaurants in Korcula or you could treat yourself to a visit to Cukarin - a small but famous sweet shop in Korcula Town. This little shop has become something of a cult destination for lovers of all things sweet, and if you do go you must definitely try the cukarin sweets (the shop is named after them) – they taste of lemon and are made in a crescent shape.
Wine is something else that is made locally, or rather one specific type of wine. It is known as Grk, and is only made in Lumbarda on Korcula. It is a dry white wine that only a small number of local producers are able to make.
Korcula is a paradise for families. It’s safe, friendly and packed full of things to do, places to see and beaches to play on. What makes it particularly good for the little ones is that it is close to both Dubrovnik and Split, so flights and transfer times are fairly short. There are also plenty of places to stay to suit all family types from those with babies to those with teenagers who would rather be in their own space. Self catering can often be a good idea with small children and there are many villas and rooms that will allow you to do just that – many with swimming pools (although the beach is never too far away).
Of all the areas on Korcula to take your family, Lumbarda probably comes out on top. It’s less lively and busy than Korcula Town, but still allows you to visit all the sites and get involved with any activities you might want to. The beaches there are sandy and shallow, unlike some of the others around the island. Lumbarda also has specific kid-friendly events during the summer including donkey racing and inflatables on the beach.
Action and Adventure
This is a laid-back kind of place and if you’re looking for something to fire up the adrenaline, you’ll need to head off to Split or Dubrovnik. However, if your idea of action and adventure is a leisurely bike round around Korcula island or hiring a sea kayak for a peaceful paddle, you’ll be in heaven.
Life's a Beach
As we’ve already mentioned, there are over 200 different coves and beaches surrounding Korcula – it is an island, after all. The majority of the beaches are shingle or pebbles, but there are some sandy beaches if that’s what you were looking for. Those can be found on the south coast of the island and are perhaps the most family-friendly of them all. Beautiful Plaza Przina is a particular favourite, thanks to the range of activities and the number of bars and restaurants around.
If you like the idea of going diving them you might prefer Vela Luka on the west of the island. Here the water is clear and deep and whether you are an expert or a beginner, someone will be on hand to guide you through the important aspects of the sport.
There are beaches all over Croatia, but the ones on Korcula are considered the very best – it’s no wonder, then, that this holiday destination is becoming more popular every year. Korcula boasts over 150 miles of coastline and that incorporates every type of beach you can imagine: sandy, rocky, pebbly, hidden coves, real ‘bucket-and-spade’ beaches. So although you might choose to spend every day of your Korcula holiday on the beach, that doesn’t mean every day of your Korcula holiday will be exactly the same (unless you want it to be).
The nightlife on Korcula consists mainly of the fantastic restaurants and bars, with very few nightclubs to visit. There are some, however, and they are all located in one area of town, making a night out much easier should you wish to try them all! Really, nightlife in Korcula is about kicking back with a good cocktail or glass of something cold and enjoying the atmosphere and memories you have made during the day.
Korcula might be a good spot for families, but couples looking for a peaceful and romantic getaway will enjoy the place too. Because many of the coves are completely secluded, you can pack some drinks and a locally-sourced picnic and spend the day there without seeing another soul. And even when you do find a busy beach, it’s never so crowded that it feels uncomfortable.
The restaurants in Korcula happily cater to couples and the scenery is spectacular - so romantic moonlit strolls are definitely in order.
The residents of Korcula are quite rightly proud of their most famous son, the explorer Marco Polo, and there is a festival dedicated to him every year. It’s a pop concert with some wine tasting thrown in and that’s the ideal combination for some great fun. Don’t miss the traditional sword dances that take place by the walls of Korcula Town – it’s a unique and mesmerising display that will leave you speechless (just don’t try it at home!).