Grand European Tour – Setting Sail For Korcula
This is one in a series of blog posts detailing our 10-county trip around Europe on trains, buses, cars and ferries. All the posts highlight what we got up to (without the boring bits) along with some tips and helpful overviews should you wish to visit the destinations. This post focuses on our trip on the Dubrovnik ferry to Korcula Island. You can see all the posts from this trip here.
With over a thousand islands dotted along the Croatian coast, there was plenty of choice when choosing an island getaway. To be honest, Korcula (Korčula) was a little bit random, but it was approximately halfway between Dubrovnik and Split which fell neatly in with our plans.
The Dubrovnik ferry to Korcula was a catamaran and way more comfortable and roomy than our recent bus journeys, and by this time we were reasonably sure we’d shaken off our Dutch student friends! So onto our first Croatian Island.
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Korcula – Small But Perfectly Formed
Korcula (pronounced KOR-chu-la) is a small island, about 29 miles long and about 5 miles across. The main town is Korcula town which is where we stayed. Korcula town is like Dubrovnik in miniature, fortified walls surround the town, and although it is popular with tourists, it was not over full on our visit, unlike Dubrovnik which was very busy.
The main entrance to the medieval old town is over a stepped bridge through the Land Gate, built to honour Leonardo Foscolo, a hero of Dalmatia during the 17th century, and this is how we wound our way to our apartment after being met off the Dubrovnik ferry to Korcula by our accommodation host.
An Evening By The Adriatic Sea
After settling into our new temporary and rather spacious home, we took a walk around the town walls and found a nice little pizza restaurant (Tesoro Pizzaria) with an outside table overlooking the Adriatic and nearby Pelješac peninsula (Croatia). Yes, it was warm enough to sit outside, just.
Korcula is not a big town, so the next morning we spent time exploring the little streets, including the one where Marco Polo, Korcula’s most famous son, was reputedly born. There seemed to be interesting little shops around every corner for souvenirs and jewellery. We then grabbed a couple of sandwiches from a local deli and headed along the coast for about a mile and then up into the hills for a couple of hours’ walk. Korcula Island is known as the green island given that its interior is densely forested, so great for hiking. This time of year we didn’t bump into another soul and were rewarded with stunning views over Korcula and the nearby peninsula.
Back to Sea
The following day we had a little time to kill, so spent the morning relaxing and trying to work out where exactly our next outbound ferry would arrive from the rather vague instructions we received on the booking. Korcula currently has two docks (East and West) where ferries arrive and depart, so if you are catching a ferry from here it is worth checking where you need to be, as it will not necessarily be the same dock you were dropped off at (it wasn’t for us). Again it was a catamaran, this time to take us back to Split for a quick overnight before heading to Italy the next day.
The next instalment of the Grand European Tour will be online soon.
Or for more tips and insights on Korcula please continue reading below…
How to Get to Korcula
By Air: Korcula Island doesn’t have an airport, but the nearest ones are Dubrovnik and Split Airports. From either of these two hubs, you can generally catch a ferry to Korcula – see below for further details. We would recommend using Skyscanner to find flights to Dubrovnik and Split, and, if you are flexible when you go/return using the ‘search by month’ tool to find the most economical flights.
By Ferry: Being an island, the easiest way to access Korcula is by ferry (such as the Dubrovnik Ferry to Korcula we used). There are numerous routes to Korcula, including from Split, Dubrovnik (in Croatia) and Hvar (on Hvar Island). Depending on where you are coming from, ferry crossings can be as little as 30 minutes, and during the peak summer season, there are around 10 sailings to/from Korcula. In the off-season, there will be significantly less. You can check out ferry crossings to Korcula here.
Getting around Korcula Island
There are lots of options for getting around Korcula,
Walk: Korcula town is small, in particular, the old town with its narrow pedestrian streets is perfect for walking. It is also easy to venture further afield on foot as we did into the nearby hills. To make things easier download the AllTrails app.
By bicycle: If you want to venture further afield into the island then hiring a bicycle is also a great option. Bikes can be hired from several places in Korcula town so it is easy to explore the island on two wheels.
By Bus: Local buses are a good and convenient option to get you around to the main towns on the island. See here for further information.
By taxi: Taxis are also available on the island for more comfortable transportation, but note that the island does not yet have Uber.
Hire a car: Of course, for complete freedom when exploring the island hiring a car is a good option, especially if you are planning on a few days here, but remember Korcula old town is walled and pedestrianised so there is no need for a car if you are staying in the town. You will find local car rental companies in Korcula town.
Top Tips – Korcula
For Hotels including self-catering apartments we use Booking.com, where you can filter by review score and many properties have a pay later/late cancellation policy should your plans suddenly change.
Check our resources page for more budget tips and discounts from our days in transit!
Where to stay on Korcula
Here are a few accommodation options for a stay on Korcula
A couple of places worth considering ais the beautiful Villa Soul Sisters if you want to be right near the beach and not too far from Korcula town itself, or Korcula’s oldest hotel, the elegant Aminess Korcula Heritage Hotel.
A private apartment such as the very spacious Apartments Sunny Town where we stayed, could also be a great option.
The Top 10 Things to See and Do on Korcula
Korčula is a beautiful gem of a Croatian island, known for its stunning landscapes, historic sites, and vibrant culture. Here are the top 10 things to see and do on Korčula:
Old Town of Korčula: You can easily explore the charming Old Town, with its with narrow medieval streets and well-preserved architecture. Visit the Cathedral of St. Mark, Marco Polo’s alleged birthplace, and enjoy the chilled atmosphere in the main square.
Marco Polo Museum: Learn about the legendary explorer Marco Polo, who is believed to have been born in Korčula. The museum showcases his life and travels through exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia displays.
St. Mark’s Cathedral: Admire the impressive St. Mark’s Cathedral, a Gothic-Renaissance masterpiece with a beautiful facade and interior. The cathedral is home to notable artworks and sculptures.
Get out into the country on an eBike: The countryside of Korcula offers some great views and chances to explore, but it is an island so there are hills, so why not take an eBike tour to see the island in all its glory with a little less effort.
Korčula’s Beaches: Relax on one of Korčula’s picturesque beaches. Pržina Beach, Lumbarda Beaches, and Vela Pržina are popular choices, offering clear waters and a peaceful atmosphere.
Visit Vis Island: Take a boat trip to Vis Island and its Famous Blue cave only accessible by boat and one of the most enchanting spots in Croatia.
Wine Tasting in Lumbarda: Korčula is renowned for its excellent wines, particularly the white wine made from the local Grk grape. Visit Lumbarda for a wine-tasting experience paired with stunning sea views.
Moreska Sword Dance: If you are in Korčula in the summer, try to catch a performance of the Moreska (usually performed in Korčula town on 29 July -St. Theodore’s Day and Saturdays during the summer tourist season). This is a traditional sword dance that has been part of Korčula’s culture for centuries. The dance tells a story of conflict and resolution and is a unique cultural experience.
Korčula’s Local Cuisine: Sample the delicious local cuisine in Korčula. Especially try the fresh seafood, grilled fish, lamb dishes, and local specialities like pasticada. Many restaurants in the Old Town offer a charming setting for a delightful culinary experience.
Korcula is known for its friendly locals and laid-back atmosphere, and the crime rate is low.
If you have an emergency, dial 112 for assistance.
It is important, as with any trip, to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage to protect against, cancellations, theft, illness etc. For this, we use and recommend using Staysure – specialists in over 50’s travel insurance, as we have always found them fair and easy to deal with.