Best Things to See in Korcula
Korcula is a small island, 20 miles long and only four to five miles wide on average, but when it comes to things to see and do, it packs a big punch. Discover charming villages and storybook walled towns, vineyards, olive groves and sandy beaches edged by some of the bluest water you’ve ever seen. It can be enjoyed as a stop on an unforgettable cruise, or as a destination of its own, easily reached by ferry or catamaran from Dubrovnik. While you’re here on this island that’s alleged to be the birthplace of famous merchant traveler Marco Polo, put these top spots to see on your itinerary.
Old Town Korcula
Old Town Korcula is sometimes referred to as a “mini-Dubrovnik” with its endless medieval delights, including 13th-century stone defensive walls with ramparts, towers, and gates. It was once controlled by the Venetians and still retains plenty of glimpses from its past which can be seen while strolling the maze of atmospheric streets, laid out in a fishbone pattern to help protect residents from the elements. Simply get lost in the narrow alleyways, popping into unique, family-owned boutiques and galleries, and then dine at one of the many outstanding traditional eateries, perhaps along the waterfront, followed by sampling the nightlife in a lively bar or club. If you’re here in the summer, you can even watch a Moreska sword dance performance.
St. Mark’s Cathedral
Within the Old Town are a number of impressive sites, with the most notable St. Mark’s Cathedral. Built over the 15th– and 16th-centuries from Korcula limestone in a Gothic-Renaissance style by local and Italian artisans, it has a statue of St. Mark above the entrance with incredible detail like the naked figures of Adam and Eve on the pillars of the door, while the gable cornice contains an elephant and two-tailed mermaid. The interior features a ciborium over the main altar, created by a talented local stonemason, Marko Andrijic, and below is a restored Tintoretto.
Korcula Town Museum
This museum sits within a 16th-century palace, showcasing the history and culture of Korcula. Some of the highlights include a tablet that records the Greek presence on the island in the 3rd-century BC, examples of traditional Korculan dress and exhibits covering archaeology, ship building, stonemasonry, art and furniture.
The View from Marco Polo’s House
As the purported birthplace of Marco Polo, one of the popular attractions to see is the Marco Polo house. The real appeal is the view that can be enjoyed from the watchtower as the actual house was built in the 17th century, some 400 years after the famous explorer was born. Inside the house’s narrow tower is a tiny museum with a few displays. After a look, climb the steep steps for a view over the town’s rooftops and out to the sea.
Vela Spilja Cave
Vela Spilja Cave is located above the town of Vela Luka on the west side of Korcula. It’s considered to be one of the most important prehistoric archaeological sites and it also offers gorgeous views of the bay and nearby islets with its entrance facing the south. The fascinating finds have shown that a number of prehistoric communities once lived here and used the cave to bury heir dead as well as for daily life. Thousands of ceramic pieces, whole vessels and other items have been uncovered here, with an impressive collection displayed at the Culture Centre Museum in Vela Luka.
The Folk Museum and Etno House
Run by a local family in the picturesque town of Blato, Dita and Velimir Skrablin turned part of their house into this living museum. It features an impressive folk and ethnographic collection with some 3,000 artifacts, including farming and kitchen tools and other household items common in peasant life in the village and surrounding areas. Visitors can buy delicious oils, caramelized almonds and local spirits, and enjoy some samples too.
Vela Pržina Beach in Lumbarda
Korcula is blessed with many spectacular beaches, with its southern part mostly sandy stretches that are often tucked in secluded bays. The pebbly beaches on its northern side are edged by mostly flat, shallow water. The seaside village of Lumbarda is just 3.5 miles south of Korcula’s Old Town and boasts some of the best beaches on the island. Vela Pržina is hidden behind vineyards, rushes, and agaves, an idyllic crescent of sand with amazing views across the sea all the way to Lastovo, with the shallow water fabulous for swimming or paddling. You may want to spend the whole day here with two open-air eateries right on the beach for casual bites and refreshments. As the grape-growing center of the island, inland are acres of vineyards producing Grk, the excellent local white wine, providing a refreshingly cool, crisp beverage to enjoy on a warm summer day.
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