Croatia

15 Great Things to Do in Korcula, Croatia

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Korcula, the beautiful island on the Adriatic Sea, was one of my favorite places to visit in Croatia. It was also a great surprise as I didn’t expect to enjoy it that much and to find so many excellent attractions there.

But there are many great things to do in Korcula, and spending time on this laid-back island is always a joy! It doesn’t matter how long you have to visit Korcula; you are in for a treat. It’s impossible not to fall in love with this place.

things to do in korcula

If you are looking for a perfect Adriatic getaway that is not overcrowded with tourists (like Dubrovnik or Hvar) but offers a combination of historical sites, beautiful landscapes, and great options to relax – Korcula, Croatia is the place for you. I put together this guide with the best things to do in Korcula so you can plan to visit Korcula soon.

things to do in korcula

Where is Korcula, Croatia

Korcula, the beautiful island on the Adriatic Sea, is located in the southern part of Croatia, in the Dalmatia region, not far from Dubrovnik.

Is Korcula worth visiting?

Yes! Not only will you find crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic here, with numerous beaches and coves to relax, but there are also plenty of historical sights and beautiful landscapes. If you like to spend active holidays, you can do it in Korcula too, as there are some great hiking and cycling trails all over the island. This is also a great destination for foodies, as the island is known for its wine, olive oil, and a few local dishes (more about those later in this article).

Korcula is the perfect combination of all you are looking for during your holidays. At the same time, it’s not as busy and popular as nearby famous Croatian destinations. Even when there are many visitors (mainly on a day trip from Dubrovnik), the place doesn’t get too crowded. And if it’s too much for you, you can always avoid the Old Town in the peak hours and focus on other things to do in Korcula, only to return to its heart when the crowds are gone in the afternoon.

things to do in korcula

How to get to Korcula

The only way to get to Korcula is by ferry. There is no airport there, so you must first fly to Dubrovnik or Split and then continue your journey to the island by water. There are catamarans from both cities that will take you directly to Korcula town, arriving right in front of the Old Town – they are fast and comfortable and the best way to reach the island.

Depending on the season, there is at least one direct catamaran per day to Korcula (many more in the summertime). You can book your tickets here.

If you travel by car, you can take the slower ferry to the island, either from Split to Vela Luka or from Orebic to Korcula Town.

things to do in korcula

Where to stay in Korcula

You will find many accommodation options all over the island, many of which are privately owned apartments. I recommend staying in Korcula Town – not only is it easy to get to, but it’s also the most beautiful place on the island.

Here are some of the recommended places to stay in Korcula:

things to do in korcula

How to get around Korcula

The best way to get around the island is by car – you can rent it in Korcula (click here). Bike is a good option, too.

There are public buses on the island, operating all year long, but their schedule is limited and might not always work for your itinerary. You can check it here.

things to do in korcula

Things to do in Korcula

And finally, here are the best things to do in Korcula Town and beyond

Visit the Revelin Tower

The picturesque wide stone steps lead to the entrance to the Old Town, and once you pass the Town Gate (one of the two Old Town gates in Korcula), you can explore this amazing area. But before you start your tour in this charming part of Korcula, it’s worth stopping here for a moment, not only to admire the beautiful structure with the Venetian lion and the plaque commemorating Croatian king Tomislav but to visit the Revelin Tower, attached to the Town Gate.

For a small fee, you can go to the top from where you can admire a wonderful panorama of the Old Town with its red rooftops, the rest of Korcula town, and the nearby Peljesac peninsula with its domineering mountains. The tower, part of the town’s fortification system, was built in the 13th century, but recent renovations restored it to its former glory.

Many visitors miss this viewpoint, hurrying to the Old Town, but looking at the area from above not only guarantees great vistas of the beautiful surroundings but can also give you a sense of Korcula’s rich past and history.

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

Find Venetian lions

The Lion of Saint Mark above the Town Gate isn’t the only Venetian coat of arms you will find in Korcula Old Town. For centuries, Korcula was under Venetian rule, and still today, you can see many Venetian lions adorning the buildings in the Old Town. Just wander around with curiosity and pay attention to details, and you will see many of them.

You will also find a few old Venetian lion basreliefs hidden under the palace’s arches just after the Town Gate. They are not in the best shape, but the sculptures are a great testimony of the long history of Korcula. There are even more of Saint Mark’s lions in the Town Museum.

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

Wander around the Old Town

Korcula is often called “a small Dubrovnik,” and as soon as you enter the Old Town, you will realize why. This is such a charming and picturesque part of Korcula and the resemblance to the famous Croatian town is really big.

Even if the Old Town is relatively small, it’s a beautiful maze of winding, narrow lanes, with laundry hanging above, arches connecting buildings, and plants adorning the pavements, making this place even more beautiful.

You can also feel centuries of history on every step – this is one of the best-preserved medieval urban complexes in the Adriatic, and not much has changed here over the years. There are numerous historical buildings around: houses, palaces, and churches. When wandering around, it might feel like the time has stopped in the Old Town of Korcula.

Since this is a pedestrian-only place, the vibe is very laid-back, perfect for lazy strolls. You need only about one hour to explore every corner of the Old Town, that’s how compact it is.

If you visit Korcula outside of tourist season, you can enjoy the Old Town with hardly any people around, which is such a nice change from busy towns like Dubrovnik, Hvar, or Split.

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

Visit the Cathedral

Right in the heart of Korcula Old Town, you will find the Cathedral of Saint Mark, dating back to the mid-fifteenth century when local craftsmen and masters built it. Its building stands out with its massive structure (in comparison to the other places nearby), and the facade is decorated with distinctive features from the Gothic and Renaissance styles.

This is probably the most important historical landmark in Korcula. Until 1828 (when it lost the title to Dubrovnik), the Cathedral was the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Korcula).

For a small fee, you can also visit the Cathedral inside. It’s not as spectacular as you might expect when looking at the exterior, but it’s still worth seeing. You will find the twin limestone colonnade and some valuable works of art there.

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

Climb the Cathedral Tower

Another great viewpoint of Korcula and beyond is the Bell Tower, attached to and built at the same time as the Cathedral. You need to get a separate ticket to enter, but it’s definitely worth it. The view from the top is amazing; you can see the whole of Old Town, the rest of Korcula town, and the Croatian mainland.

Even if the tower is not very high, getting to the top can be thrilling as the steps are very narrow, and passing people going in the opposite direction can be challenging. The viewing terrace isn’t wide either, but that’s all part of the experience.

And as soon as you see the panorama of Korcula Old Town and its surroundings, you will forget about the thrill of going up.

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

Visit Marco Polo house

It is believed that Marco Polo, the famous 14th-century explorer, was born in Korcula (however, Venice and Constantinople also claim this title). Today, you can visit the house where he was allegedly born (although historians say the house was built a century after Marco Polo lived).

Inside, you will find a small museum dedicated to the world-famous traveler and his impact on the world’s history. You can also climb up to the tower attached to the house to see the Old Town and the surroundings from another perspective.

things to do in korcula

Visit churches

While the Cathedral of Saint Mark is the most significant religious site in Korcula, there are more churches you can visit, even if only for sightseeing. They are usually rather small, incorporated into the maze of the Old Town streets.

If you see them open, look inside, as they might hide an interesting interior with valuable artifacts. During my strolls around, I found three lovely churches along the main Old Town street.

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

Visit the Town Museum

If you would like to learn more about Korcula and its history, visit the Town Museum, located across the street from the Cathedral, in the 16th-century Gabrielis Palace. Inside, you will find an exhibition of artifacts showing the island’s long history, from ancient times to the present day.

What you can see is only a part of the collection, as due to the lack of space, not all the items are on display. Even if today Korcula seems like such a relaxed, inconspicuous island, in the Town Museum, you can see what an important place this was and how rich in history it is.

things to do in korcula

Admire Town Walls

When you arrive at Korcula by boat from Dubrovnik, Hvar, or Split, the first thing you see are the impressive town walls, a testimony of the island’s greatness in the past. The fortification system was built here in the 13th century to protect the town from the attacks. Over the years, it was only improved to serve its function better.

Still today, you can see the well-preserved Town Walls with a few towers – they have not changed much with the passing of time. The walls give the Old Town a somewhat secluded look and feel, which works so well for the vibe of the place.

things to do in korcula

Explore more of Korcula town

While the Old Town is the highlight of the island, where you will find most of Korcula attractions, the town outside of the walls is pretty nice too. Streets and lanes are a bit wider, yet houses are still nice, built in a similar style typical for the Croatian seaside.

There is even a street with umbrellas above – it’s worth finding it not only for the colorful pictures but also to visit a great coffee shop nearby. This part of Korcula town has more of a holiday vibe, but it’s still a charming area to wander around and explore.

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

Find the best viewpoint

While in the Old Town, there are some really good places to look at Korcula from above, there is another panorama spot located a bit away from the center of the town. It is just a random place on the side of the road, but through a clearing in the trees, you can admire probably the best (and most popular) vista of Korcula.

You can see the Old Town in its full glory, with the walls, red rooftops, and the Bell Tower. The white and red colors of the Old Town are a perfect contrast to the blue waters of the Adriatic Sea and the green and grey colors of the Peljesac peninsula.

To get here, you need to walk about 15 minutes from the Old Town (part of it goes uphill), but the view is definitely worth the short trek. Here is the location of the viewpoint.

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

Explore more of the island

Korcula town is the most popular destination on the island since that’s where you will find most of the attractions and historical sites. However, the island has so much more to offer, and if you have some extra time in your itinerary, you should explore it.

On the outskirts of the town, you will find St. Anthony’s Hill, with a 14th-century church dedicated to St. Anthony’s. To get there, you need to go up some two hundred stairs along the beautiful cypress alley dating back to 1708. The walk to the hill is already a rewarding experience.

Some of the nice towns and villages along Korcula’s coast are Lumbarda, Račišće, Brna, Vela Luka, and Prigradica, but basically every place along the sea is worth stopping at.

You can also explore the interior of the island, where you can find some lovely places and perfect nature getaways, such as Kocje Nature Park near Žrnovo or Vela Spila cave near Vela Luka.

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

Relax at the beach

Even if the island is full of interesting sights and attractions, the main reason to visit Korcula is to relax and enjoy the warm Adriatic Sea. There are numerous beaches and coves along the coastline where you can spend time sunbathing or swimming in the sea. Those in more remote areas are usually better and less busy, but you can’t go wrong with any beach in Korcula, really.

Just a word of advice – like most other places in Croatia, Korcula beaches are hardly sandy. You can expect mostly pebble or rocky ones, so come prepared with rubber-soled shoes to keep your foot safe and make walking much easier.

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

Enjoy the food scene

Another good thing about visiting Korcula is its food scene, with numerous restaurants serving delicious local dishes, especially seafood. Some of the things you should try are Zrnovski makaruni (the regional style of pasta), brodet (a local fish), lešada and popara (fish stews), pasticada (a hearty meat dish), and BBQ dishes. You also can’t miss local olive oil, cheese, and bread.

There are many places all over the island where you can try local food. The best ones are not necessarily in the tourist hotspots, but if you choose the one near Korcula Old Town, you can enjoy food with stunning surrounding views.

things to do in korcula

things to do in korcula

Try local wine

Korcula is also known for its wine, especially Grk, which is made only in Lumbarda village. You will find many wineries on the island, mainly in and around Lumbarda and Smokvica, where you can stop to learn more about the local production and try Korcula wines.

There are also wine tours that you can join to combine sightseeing with enjoying regional wines from Korcula. Here are some of the highly-rated ones:

things to do in korcula

Where to go next

Once you are done exploring Korcula, you can continue your trip to Hvar and Split or to Dubrovnik (either directly by boat or with stops on the Peljesac peninsula along the way). You can even go further to Bosnia and Herzegovina (Mostar) or Montenegro (Kotor).

I have covered many of those places already on this blog; here are some articles that you might find helpful when planning your trip to Croatia (and beyond):

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things to do in korcula


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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Marina
    09/03/2024 at 21:19

    Hi Kami. What camera/lens are you using here? Thanks!

    • Reply
      kami
      27/03/2024 at 11:53

      These pictures are from my old camera Fujifilmxt10, now I upgraded to xt30 after the old camera broke down. As for lenses, it’s Fujinon XF18-55. I’ve been using Fujifilm for years now and I’m really happy with their cameras and lenses

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