Tradition is alive and kicking on Korčula, with age-old religious ceremonies, folk music and dances still being performed to an ever-growing influx of tourists. Oenophiles will adore sampling its wine. Arguably the best of all Croatian whites is produced from pošip grapes, which are only grown here and to a lesser extent on the Pelješac Peninsula.
Our first stop was on the breathtaking shores of Proizd Island, just 300 meters form the western point of Korcula! In 2007 the little island was chosen as the Beach of the Year by the Croatian Tourist Board, whereas the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph placed it among the five most beautiful Adriatic beaches. Proizd has a rocky and pebbly coast and its north side is absolutely breathtaking. This is where Bili Boci, a beach with white smooth rocks immersed in a turquoise sea, can be visited. Not to be missed for a refreshing stop!
On the way back to the west before our long navigation towards the town of Korcula we decided to stop again for a swim in Gradina Cove, located on the north west of Vela Luka Bay. This broad bay is protected from most winds and represents an ideal anchorage for small boats with a freeboard of up to 4 m. The cove is shallow, with a partially pebbly coast and a sandy bottom, which is why it is often chosen by families with children. We really suggest a stop here, you will find calm seas and exceptionally bright blue waters.
Korčula Town is a stunner. Ringed by imposing defenses, this coastal citadel is dripping in history, with marble streets rich in Renaissance and Gothic architecture. Its fascinating fishbone layout was cleverly designed for the comfort and safety of its inhabitants: western streets were built straight in order to open the city to the refreshing summer maestral (strong, steady westerly wind), while the eastern streets were curved to minimise the force of the winter bura (cold, northeasterly wind). The old town is full of restaurants and small galleries and during the summer months it literally does not sleep because its narrow streets are swarmed by visitors. The most beautiful examples of palaces and churches originate from the 15th and 16th century and were constructed in a gothic-renaissance style. St. Marko’s Cathedral is situated in the most prominent part of the town, at the top of the peninsula. A big altar painting with representations of Korčula’s patron saints Marko, Jerolim and Bartul, mid-16th century work done by the famous Venetian painter Jacopo Tintoretto, stands out among the paintings inside the cathedral. In the old town you can also visit the house of Marco Polo, who is believed to have been born in Korčula in 1254.
Visiting Dalmatia without stopping in Korcula is like going to Rome and forgetting to take a look at the Coliseum! We suggest to stop here at least for 1 night…and this is what we did in Luka Bay, just 10 minutes walking from the town centre.
Just in front of Lumbarda, we had the chance to explore Vrnik Island, Planjak Island and Badija Island. This tiny archipelago (it has many other islets) has something extraordinary: even if we were in hot summer days in a typical Mediterranean location we had the feeling, for some moments, that we were in an Alpine environment. The air was so pure and clear, the mainland and the islands have a rich vegetation (mainly pines), the seaside was almost motionless…well it seemed to be on a lake in Northern Italy or in Switzerland!
Stay tuned for the next part of our trip! We visited some hidden coves on Brac Island, and a very special place called Vrbovska on Hvar Island!