The sixth-largest Adriatic island at 29 miles long and 5 miles wide, Korčula is also one of the greenest. It’s blanketed with dense woods of Aleppo pines, olive groves, and vine-striped hills. Peaceful stone villages are peppered throughout and the coastline is edged with indented coves, quiet, harbor-side restaurants and resorts, and a varied collection of beaches, from sandy to pebbly to slabs of rock.
The island’s main drawcard, however, is Korčula Town, a medieval walled city with eight centuries worth of Venetian influence evident in the culture and architecture. Boasting a well-preserved Old Town of tidy grey stone houses and narrow streets—rumored to be the birthplace of Marco Polo—Korčula Town is also home to a variety of local-food restaurants and provides easy access to Lumbarda wine country and beaches, as well as ferries to the closeby Pelješac peninsula.
Planning Your Korčula Itinerary
Given Korčula's proximity to the rugged Pelješac peninsula, it is possible to spend a single afternoon in Korčula Town. Though it's best to settle in for at least a night to experience the top highlights and then have a little time left over to at least discover the Lumbarda wine country and its sandy beach. This quick 5-day Best of Dalmatia tour does just that. You'll ferry from Split to Hvar and then island-hop to Korčula and end the adventure in Dubrovnik.
For those with more time, this leisurely two-week trip offers three nights in Korčula Town with a whole day devoted to exploring the island from coast to coast. What's more, Korčula makes for a unique way to travel up the coast between the popular cities of Split and Dubrovnik, as seen on this epic 10-day sailing adventure. Featuring a single night in Korčula, you'll spend an additional seven days cruising the Adriatic Sea to five islands that encircle Korčula.
See more Korcula itineraries to help you plan your Croatia trip.
When to Go
Similar to other Adriatic islands like Brač and Hvar, Korčula is a destination best experienced during the mid-season months of May, June, and September. The weather is sunny and warm, but not stifling like in July and August (perfect beach weather if you can handle the crowds), and prices for flights and accommodation are more reasonable. And while the island can be visited throughout the year, the chillier (and stormier) winter months outside of April to mid-October, have reduced ferry and flight options and few activities scheduled to entertain holidaymakers.
Read Best Time to Visit Croatia for more information.
The easiest way to get to Korčula is by ferry or bus. In the summer months, there are many direct ferries from the mainland and between islands. The closest airports are Dubrovnik or Split airports on the mainland.
From Dubrovnik: From May to October, a direct ferry is available. It takes 2 hours and is 110 HRK ($17 USD) per person. The bus takes 3 hours, including a ferry ride. 100 HRK ($15 USD) per person. Bus timing can be unreliable
From Split: Ferries are available year-round. It takes 2.5 hours and is 120 HRK ($18 USD) per person. From Mljet & Hvar there are direct ferries available. From the other islands, there are indirect ferries available.
Highlights & Things to Do
Korčula is famous for its white wine. Grk wine is a white wine grape variety found in the village of Lumbarda. Rent a scooter, bicycle (40-minute ride) or catch a taxi at the Old Town’s bus station (12-minute drive) to visit the local wineries. For a fun and intimate wine and cycling tour, check out Korčula Explorer's tour.
Tip # 1: If visiting Korčula in July - you will get a chance to take part in the wine festival which takes place in Korčula town all of July where wineries come together to provide samples of their wines.
Tip # 2: Bring your bathing suits, Lumbarda is also known for its sandy beaches!
Explore “Little Dubrovnik”
The nickname for Korčula’s old town. St Mark’s Cathedral is a must-see. The quaint town is full of history and old medieval architecture. Korčula town also claims to be the childhood home of Marco Polo even though there is not much evidence to prove this. Walk through the narrow streets and grab lunch at one of the delicious restaurants serving Dalmatian cuisine.
Expert tip: Explore Korčula town early, because after 9 am the cruise ships come in and it is packed with tour groups.
Scooter around for the Day
Rent a scooter and explore Korčula’s many hidden beaches (see below) and small villages such as Smokvica and Cara. Scooter rentals available around the island.
Cycle and get your exercise in
Korčula is perfect to explore by bicycle all year round. From Korčula town you head along the southeast coastline, there is an easy, hill free bicycle route with beautiful coastal scenery and roads that lead through the Lumbarda vineyards. Bike rentals are available around the island.
Walking around Korčula
Korčula also has great walking trails all over the island. The best time to walk around would be in the Spring and Autumn when the temperature is cooler. One example of a great moderate 40-minute walk from the village of Zrnovo, is to walk to Kocje, a park filled with wildlife and rock formations worth visiting. While in Zrnovo you can also take a pasta-making class (see below).
Happy Hour with a View
Watch the sunset from Maksimilijan Garden. This tiny bar has one of the best views in Korčula.
Expert tip: Try the homemade limoncello there.
Take A Local Cooking Class
Experience the local culture by learning to cook a local specialty - Zrnovksa Makaruni. This dish is a homemade pasta in a tube shape that’s topped with a sauce that is similar to goulash. Take a pasta-making class at this quaint family-run restaurant named Konoba Belin in the historical town of Zrnovo. Even if you’re not interested in taking a class, sit with a glass of wine and order this specialty.
Windsurfing in Korčula
One of the most popular water sport activities here because of the perfect weather it gets from the constant sun and wind in the afternoon that blows thru the channel. Take a lesson with a windsurfing school for an afternoon!
Getting wet and relaxing by the beach
There are so many beaches to choose from on this island alone, it’s hard to choose which ones to visit. But we listed a few favorites below:
Vela Przina Beach in Lumbarda. This beach has sandy shores and is nestled in a large bay offering amazing views of the sea. Great for families, so arrive early to get a good spot and spend the day here.
Expert tip: get ice cream from one of the stands and ask for “pola-pola” which is two flavors for the price of one!
Bilin Zal in Lumbarda is popular for its sandy bottom beach. You can go barefoot on shore and in the sea - which is ideal for families and children. Tip: Bring an umbrella as there is no natural shade at this beach.
Pupnatska Luka a small, pebble beach that is popular for swimming. Even if you do not go swimming, the views from the shoreline are worth visiting this beach for! It’s 15km away from Korčula town and is family-friendly as you can rent kayaks, there are portable toilets and a few restaurants nearby.
Vaja Beach is a more secluded beach if you want to get away from the crowds. A 20-minute drive from Korčula town to the west, its closest to the town of Racisce.
Expert tip: Make sure you wear appropriate shoes since you’ll have to climb up a steep hill to access the beach.
Day Trip From Korčula to Nearby Locales
There are so many different day trip options from Korčula. They all mainly consist of sailing around….
The Peljesac Strait, sail along the northern coastline of Korčula and out to the archipelago. A 45-minute cruise that departs hourly. You can hop off at one of the different islets, explore hidden rocky swimming areas, snorkel, drink some wine, bring a picnic and return on a later boat.
The islet of Vrnik, known for the clear blue waters and stone quarries.
The islet of Badija, famous for the 14th-century Franciscan monastery.
Eating on Korčula
Korčula is known for their delicious Mediterranean seafood and wine. Here are a few restaurants to check out and get a taste of the local flavor:
Where to Eat
Simunovo - 5km from the village of Zrnovo, it’s a local family-run konoba. Serving traditional vegetables, meats, fish and wines with views of the Korčula Channel
Amfora Buffet Pizzeria - serving some of the best pizza on the island
Restaurant Konoba Adio Mare - one of the oldest restaurants serving traditional Dalmatian cuisine. Make sure to make a reservation.
Massimo Cocktail Bar - on a town wall tower in Old Town overlooking the ocean - have to climb up and down a ladder
Restaurant Filippi - a family-run restaurant with a beautiful seafront terrace with stunning views overlooking the ocean
Last but not least enjoy your time there, it’s not every day you’ll be on an island in the middle of the Adriatic Sea.