Known for all kinds of things like sword dancing, folk music, art and…Marco Polo; Korčula is becoming a popular destination for island hopping tourists. More recently the island has been receiving nationwide recognition for its outstanding olives and grapes, both of which we sampled in abundance.
We were there to escape the city for four days of relaxing, swimming, lounging, eating, drinking and exploring via scooter.
Korčula is not connected to the mainland by land or bridge, so to reach the island you must arrive by ferry. We caught a ride with Jadrolinija Ferries from Split to Korčula via Hvar for €17.50 (130kn) each, one way. Check the website for timings as additional services run during the peak season, I think our ferry departed at 12:00 and took about three hours. You can book tickets online through the website, or get them in person at the local ticket office as we did.
If you are coming from Dubrovnik there is a bus available as well as the ferry, the bus can board the car ferry at Orebic to reach the island. Buses depart Dubrovnik bus station once a day at 15:00 and will take anywhere from 3.5 to 4.5 hours, costing €12.50 (94kn). Ferries depart twice daily, take 2.5 hours and cost €12 (90kn).
Korčula has multiple ports, so be sure to either catch the correct transport to your closest port or be prepared to travel onwards once you arrive on the island. We arrived in Korčula town itself and were kindly collected by our host. If your accommodation is close to the town of your port, just ignore the taxi drivers and walk, the towns are very small.
Hint – Always check your preferred port and seasonal schedules before buying tickets or planning ahead, departure times and prices will vary throughout the year.
After an exhaustive search, we settled on a great apartment in Medvinjak, about 20 minutes walk from Korčula town, for €51 per night using Tripadvisor. We actually loved being away from the action a bit, as we had a quiet little swimming beach almost to ourselves every day, and the lovely walk along the water to town passed by bars, restaurants and local artisan shops which we frequented. We were also able to avoid the cruise ship crowds as they descended on the town during the peak hours each day. The few times we needed a ride home with shopping or tired feet, the taxi only cost €6.70 (50kn). Check out Apartment By The Sea if you are looking for a quality view and a good host.
Hostel options are slim, with the only option in the old town being Hostel Caenazzo, they have dorm rooms starting at €19 per person. There is also a hostel 20 minutes walk outside the old town amazingly named Dragan’s Den, run by a local named…you guessed it, Dragan.
Bnb’s are cheap, you can get a double room from around €27 per night and a whole apartment from €37 per night, even in the old town itself.
Hotels and guest houses are abundant with prices ranging from €29 per night for a double room, right up to €130 per night. The quality in Korčula seems to be quite high, so I wouldn’t worry about taking a cheaper room, you will most likely still stay somewhere nice with a view.
Camping is possible in Korčula, with the closest being Campsite Kalac, which is roughly a 20-minute walk from the old town centre and is rumoured to have its own boat taxi service. Camping is €7 per person and an additional €6 for a tent per night.
It’s not necessary to stay in the old town itself if you don’t mind walking, but you will need to go there for food and drinks most of the time.
Hint – It’s not a problem if you don’t want to book ahead, when you get off the ferry you will be greeted by a bunch of guys offering rooms. Our friends did this and stayed in a nice place, right in the old town itself.
Korčula has a supremely chilled vibe and as such it attracts people looking to relax, away from nearby party islands like Hvar. We spent our days wandering to and from town, swimming, eating and drinking to our heart’s content.
The most popular beaches in Korčula are the sandy Vela Przina beach in Lombardia, and the pebbled Pupnatska Luka on the opposite side of the island. When I say beaches, I mean places where a lot of people congregate to sunbathe and swim, but really the whole island is one giant beach, with swimming spots everywhere. Korčula town itself has 10 official named beaches, you really can just choose your spot and dive right in. More than once we stopped at the side of the road to rest and take a dip in the calm turquoise water surrounding the island. One thing to watch out for is sea urchins, they are very common and seriously hurt if you step on them. Either swim with footwear of some sort or be super careful like we were and deal with a couple of jabs.
Eating will take up a lot of time in Korčula; there are restaurants (konoba) in abundance everywhere you go. We can recommend the excellent Konoba Mareta for beautiful food in a lovely setting (don’t follow google maps, it’s in the old town), and Konoba Komin for a more traditional, easy-going style meal. If you venture towards Račišće make sure to stop at Bistro Dalmatino, they have seats almost on the water in a beautiful setting and the grilled food is fantastic. A good restaurant meal for two people might set you back somewhere in the €18 (140kn) to €32 (240kn) range including drinks, depending on where you go.
All restaurants will allow you to visit for drinks only, but if you are after somewhere booze-specific try wine bar Vinum Bonum for some local wines; Pošip grapes are grown on the island and make lovely wine. If you visit here make sure to try the olives they offer. Without a hint of exaggeration, these are the best olives I’ve ever eaten and they are grown locally. Also make sure to visit Massimo Cocktail Bar, which is located on top of Zakerjan (Berim) Tower at the bottom of the old town. You need to ascend by ladder and the drinks are served by pulley but the view, particularly if you can catch a sunset, is breathtaking.
If you have the time and money I would thoroughly recommend renting a scooter for a day. We rented one for eight hours from Nautica in the marina and it cost us €25 plus something like €4 for fuel. Deposit is €67 (500kn) which you get back when you return the bike. Having the scooter enabled us to zip around the island to beaches, cruise through vineyards and visit dreamy little towns (we got as far as Račišće) for the day and was the best thing we did all holiday. It’s hilarious and easy, just do it.
Hint – If you head out of the old town towards Medvinjak, just before Sveti Nikola Church there is an old artists residence that has been turned into an art gallery by enthusiastic owners; featuring a bar and restaurant with wonderful outdoor seating. Also, across the road from here is an amazing local shop selling homemade liqueurs, soaps and lotions.
Korčula for four nights;
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