Korcula town is the miniature of Dubrovnik. I have heard this affirmation from many visitors, especially those approaching this ancient town by boat or ferry.
For the Croats this town is considered as a small Dubrovnik, crowned by the old bell tower of the St Mark Cathedral, walls and towers, which once protected the city from the enemy.
This small romantic town offers the same medieval charm that his older and more famous brother has. Narrow streets and old stairways, old churches, palaces, mighty walls, cannon protected fortress, romantic small restaurants, red roofs and something more.
It’s a debatable birthplace of famous Marco Polo. Local records say that Marco Polo was born in this town (don’t argue with a local on this point) and his house makes an interesting visit.
Korcula Town Attractions
Once you start strolling the old town streets. your first impression is the enormous influence of Venetian architecture, visible at every corner of the town.
Exploring the above map of the old town, you can easily plan your own tour starting from a large square in front of Cathedral St. Marco (Sveti Marko). This is the heart of the town, probably the most beautiful place to start from.
Take a coffee in one of Pjaca’s (Square) bars watching all buildings around the square and I’m sure you won’t get bored. It’s my favorite place in Korcula.
The biggest and the most beautiful building of this romantic town is the Cathedral of St. Marco. Bishop’s palace stands immediately right to the Cathedral. It is a Renaissance building, built in the 17th century.
It has a balcony across its whole front. It is considered to be the longest balcony in the country. It used to be the Bishop’s Palace. Today there is a museum there with a rich collection of Croatian and Italian Renaissance artists.
Opposite of the Cathedral Sv.Marco is the Arneri palace, built in the rich Gothic style, with a nice renaissance and baroque cloister with Gothic facade.
Korcula town has a lot of renaissance and baroque palaces, belonging to famous aristocratic families like Arneri, Kapor, Boschi, Ismaeli, Gabrielis, Kanavelic, Spanic, Kapor. One of the palaces Lesic Dimitri Palace, has been converted into a luxury hotel.
Lesic Dimitri Palace is situated next to the house of Marco Polo. The Palace is transformed into a high-end apart-hotel, restaurant and spa with six luxurious residences, which range in size from 50 sqm to 162 sqm, and a restaurant.
Korcula Town Walls & Towers
Approaching the town of Korcula, the first thing you will notice, are the city walls and towers, which make this city similar to Dubrovnik.
The Old Town is surrounded by 14th century thick stone walls and towers. There were 12 towers by which Korcula was surrounded in the middle ages.
There are two main entrances in the Old Town. The south entrance called Land Gate (Kopnena Vrata) leads trough Revelin Tower (built from 1493 to 1496) into the old town and to the main town square.
The west side entrance is called Sea Gate (Morska Vrata) that leads through Baroque stairway from the harbor along the open loggia from 1584 (today local Tourist Office) to the town.
Korcula Town – A Short Historical Overview
The first known inhabitants of Korcula were Illyrian tribes, who lived from farming and fishing. Upon the arrival of the Ancient Greeks, Korcula became a Greek colony.
Both tribes lived for centuries together but Greeks never associated themselves with the Illyrian, probably because Greeks considered Illyrian as a part of a lower social status.
In 7th century AD, the Croats (Slavs) came to the Adriatic coast, from the fertile Neretva river valley but the first Croats arrived on the island of Korcula in the early 9th century.
It’s undeniable Venetian influence on town architecture. They ruled this town from 10th to 14th century and was during this period that the Venetians left its unique mark on town’s culture and architecture, which has been well preserved to the present day.
An old historical document from this period ‘Statute of the town and the island of Korcula‘ from 1214 (displayed in Town Museum), reveals that the golden period for Korcula was between the 13th and 15th centuries.
During the Ottoman expansion, Korcula was repeatedly threatened by only seemingly invincible Ottoman Empire. One of the most famous battles was in 1571, against the Ottoman naval leader Uluz Alija, who attempted to conquer the city.
Thanks to the courage of local inhabitants, both from the town and the surrounding villages, Korcula town managed to defend and to banish the invaders.
The rule of Venice had ended in 1797 and Korcula became part of the Austrian empire for over a century. It is a period of stagnation in the development of the island. Upon the fall of Austrian empire at the end of the First World War, Korcula became part of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
After the Second World War, Korcula became a part of Yugoslavia inside the Republic of Croatia, until 1991, when Croatia become an independent state.
Korcula Town Beaches
Only few islands on the Adriatic can boast with a large number of sandy beaches, like the island of Korcula. If you are looking for family with children type of beaches than Korcula is the perfect destination.
Although sandy beaches are not in the immediate vicinity of Korcula town, Luka Korculanska a large bay situated on the eastern part of the town, has a nice little sandy beach, mostly used by Hotel Bon Repos guests.
Beach Banje is an old town beach right in the center of Korcula town, close to Hotel Marco Polo and Hotel Park. This pebble beach is very popular among the locals but in the summer time, is crowded with tourists from nearby hotels.
On the eastern end of the old town there is a popular rocky beach, near the same name tower. It’s Zakrjan beach with a lot of large rocks, popular place for sea jumping as the sea is safe and water is deep enough. The sea water is very clean and transparent.
On the deserted islet of Badija which lies east of the town of Korcula, naturist will find a real paradise. It’s only twenty minutes away by boat. It has a surface of about one square kilometer and is covered by dense pine, cypresses and olive trees.
Recommended transport to Badija, Water Taxi Boat that runs from Korcula town to Badija Island.
On the map there are two small islets Velika and Mala Stupa, not far from Badija, also often visited by naturists. There is also a small cafe restaurant for fresh food and cold drinks.
The owner of the restaurant has his own boat to give you a lift there. For info call mobile: ++385 (0)98 933 76 11.
Lenga nudist beach
Rocky naturist beach situated 1 km to the east from the Lumbarda village on the island of Korcula. This is a long stretch of coast with several pretty small bays. The sea is especially beautiful, crystal clear and blue. Although majority of sunbathers are naturist, also “textiles” can be found there.
Vaja nudist beach
This is a small white pebble beach in a Vaja cove hidden in rocks about 1 km from Racisce village on the island.
Its crystal clear water provides a perfect place for swimming, with the cove of Samograd, which has a natural cave nearby whose entrance is covered by bush. Racisce is a settlement 12 km west from the Korcula town, settled in a beautiful bay where the Korcula Channel meets the Peljesac Channel.
Lumbarda Village Beaches
Accommodation in Lumbarda
If you are really looking for sandy beaches, by which the Korcula island is known, the best place is Lumbarda, a small village located on the eastern side of Korcula island. It can be reached by asphalt road winding through picturesque pine wood and olive groves.
Lumbarda is 6 km from the Korcula town and is well connected to the town by regular bus service. The regular local buses run each hour from Korcula bus station. The bus ticket costs 15 Kuna (2 Euro), on way, while a taxi price is 100 Kuna.
On the above map you can see, three main sandy beaches in Lumbarda area. Two the most beautiful Lumbarda sendy beaches are Bilin Zal and Przina.
Przina beach is located in the extreme part of the island to the south, surrounded by vineyards, many coves and beautiful beaches. In a large bay there is beautiful sandy beach Vela Przina. The beach is protected from northerly winds. During the summer is well visited and rather crowded.
Getting from Split to Korcula Town
From Split to Korcula during the whole year, there are daily only catamaran (only passengers) connections. There are two companies that keep this connections, Jadrolinija and Krilo company.
Jadrolinija – High and Low Season Schedules