2 day trip to Korcula

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shutterstock_133569929 No trip do Dalmatia is complete without a visit to one of the islands. Those you will find near Croatia’s crown jewel of Dubrovnik include the smaller islands of Lopud, Koločep, and Sipan, and the bigger ones of Mljet and Korčula. Each of them, of course, has its charms and something different to offer. But if you’re visiting Dubrovnik, it might be apt you opt for Korčula as the nearby island of your choice, as it is home to what is often referred to as “little Dubrovnik” – its main town, which also bears the name of Korčula.

The island

Korčula is the second most populated island of Croatia after Krk, which is located to the north. The island’s main settlements include, in addition to Korčula, Vela Luka and Blato. The island is one of the Adriatic’s greenest and it’s abundant with vineyards and olive groves.  The beaches and coves are mostly located to the south of the island, where you’ll also find no less than a couple hundred of caves.

Getting to Korčula from Dubrovnik is fairly easy. You can take a Jadrolinija ferry directly from Dubrovnik, June through September, or the catamaran Ferry Nona Ana which runs four times a week during July and August. Alternatively, you can catch a ferry in the little town of Orebić on the Pelješac peninsula, located a little further to the north.

What to see in town

Korčula Town’s nickname of “little Dubrovnik” was earned for the thick 14th-century stone defence walls and towers which surround it. Within the walls are narrow cobbled streets, branching off of the main street in a layout designed to temper the local winds, particularly the bora. A walk through the town will reveal old churches and palaces of aristocrats built in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.

Cathedral

When approaching the island you’ll be able to see the impressive 15th-century bell tower from the island’s Gothic-Renaissance cathedral. Located on the main square of the town, the cathedral hosts works by Venetian Renaissance painter Tintoretto above the main alter and in the southern name and it also features a 13th-century Romanesque portal.

Where to find it: Strossmayerov Trg, old town
When to go: May-Oct daily 9am-2pm and 5pm-8pm, Nov-Apr variable

Entrance fee: 5 kn

Contact: + 385 20 715 701

City Museum

Just across from the cathedral in the town on Korcula’s main square is the Town Museum, in a 16th century Renaissance palazzo. The star of the museum is in its archaeological collection — one of the oldest written documents in Croatia. It’s a stone plaque in ancient Greek dating back to the 4th century B.C. called “the psephism from Lumbarda.”

Where to find it: Strossmayerov Trg, old town
When to go: Jul-Sep daily 10:30am-9pm; Apr-Jun and Oct Mon-Sat 10:30am-2pm and 7pm-9pm; Nov-Mar Mon-Fri 10am-1pm.
Entrance fee: 10 kn

Contact: +385 020 711420

Marco Polo House

Did you know Marco Polo was born on the island of Korčula? Attesting to this fact are not only the frequency of the last names of Polo and Depolo but also the adventurer’s recorded presence in 1298 at a naval battle between Genoa and Venice which took place just off the coast of the island. Last year a museum was opened in Korčula in honor of him. Located in Polo’s house of birth, the museum can be found just off the main square, behind the cathedral. See seven scenes from the life and travels of this most famous of explorers. Then climb the Marco Polo tower for wonderful views of the town below — perhaps they inspire you, too, for further travels.

Where to find it: 33 Plokata Square, old town
When to go: 9 a.m. to midnight
Entrance fee: 25 Kn

Contact: 385 98 970 5334

Also not to miss

While visiting the island of Korčula you should be sure to try to catch a performance of the Moreska Sword Dance, which dates back to the 16th century. Telling tells the story of a battle between two kings and the involvement of an abducted princess, the dance was once widely performed throughout southern Europe. Today it is practiced only in Korčula. Be sure not to miss it while there.