Korcula Island undoubtedly holds a privileged position among the Croatian islands. Here are perhaps more legends, tales and monuments than anywhere else.
The island has a number of famous towns including Korcula, Lumbarda and Vela Luka. The oldest written monument in Croatia, the "Lumbardska psefizma", in Greek, was found in Lumbarda.
According to legend, Korcula was established by the Trojan hero Anthenor in the 12th century BC. Korcula is, after Lokrum and Mljet, the third most densely wooded island of Croatia. There is much evidence of a highly-developed social life on Korcula even in the 13th century. The Statute of Korcula, signed in 1214, prohibited the slave trade for the first time in Europe. It also spoke about the order and management of the city. The famous travel writer, Marco Polo, was, according to sources, born in Korcula.
The people of Korcula were famous stonemasons, shipbuilders and seafarers. They left their mark in stoneworks, sculptures and buildings all over Dalmatia, but they saved their best works for their own city. In its long history, the town streets, laid out in a regular herringbone pattern, have seen many battles. Nowadays, each summer they come to life with the old knights dance of Moreska, dating from the 15th century.
The dance evokes the battles with the Moors and was popular all over the Mediterranean. But today it has only been preserved on the island Korcula. Representing good and evil, the white and black kings fight with their armies for a maiden. Fortunately the white king prevails. In Blato, situated like Rome on seven hills, there is another, equally interesting knights dance called "Kumpanija" (company). It symbolizes the struggle for freedom.
The Natural World of the Island of Korčula
Korčula is one of the most forested islands in the Adriatic, it is an island of contrasts. Around 65% of the islands surface is covered in rich and diverse Mediterranean vegetation.
It was given its old Greek name Korkyra Melaina (Black Corfu) for its dark and densely wooded appearance which even today natural erosion nor the human touch have managed to thin out. Also found growing on the island is jasmine, which has for centuries been used in Korčula’s wooden shipbuilding. Besides jasmine (Quercus ilex) the following are prominent: Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis), clustered pine (Pinus pinastes), black pine (Pinus nigra Dalmatica), pine nut and cypress. The wild olive (Olea oleaster fiori) completes the Mediterranean landscape, while the cultivation of olive groves and wine-yards represents a traditional source of life on Korčula, it is still today an important part of its culture.
Rent a boat
Boat rental on island of Korcula
The waterfronts of Korcula Island and the 50+ surrounding islets are best explored by boat. For experienced sea-going visitors, we have at their disposal a variety of speedboats, inflatable boats as well as other kinds of small boats.
The town of Korcula, the historical centre of the island, has a very nice location in the Peljesac Channel. It is also known for its outstanding cultural and historical heritage and a long tradition in seafaring, shipbuilding and stone-masonry. It is the birthplace of the adventurer and traveller Marco Polo.
Today Korcula is an important tourist centre. Tourism has a years-long tradition on the island. The first modern hotel, Korcula, was opened in 1912, in a building erected in 1871. Hotel guests have been enjoying the sunset at the hotel terrace for decades, which is a unique experience in the early summer.
Blato - With its harmonious urban whole, Blato aroused interest of a number of travelogue writers as early as the 18th century. The centre of the town features a nice line of lime-trees, stretching for more than 1 km, providing a unique experience in June, when lime-trees are blossoming.
The most beautiful view on Blato and its surroundings is offered from the road leading to the southern coast, where many accommodation facilities are located. These are the picturesque coves of Grscica and Prizba, Karbuni and Potirna. In front of them is a group of islands with beautiful beaches. On the northern coast is the Prigradica Cove with a nice harbour.
Vela Luka is located on the western part of the island of Korcula at the bottom of a sharply cut and wide bay indented by many private coves.
The surrounding slopes descend slowly to the sea, covered with vineyards and olive , fig and pine trees. Vela Luka, with its typical mediterranean surroundings, is the ideal place to have your relaxing vacation...
On the hill spilinski rat, Northeast of the village, on about 100 m attitude above sea-level, is the Vela Spila (the big cave) - the most significant pre-historic deposit of Korcula. the rich Neolithic culture of the “Circle of Hvar” (3200 before Christ) communicated over sea with the neighbours of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean.