Day Trip to Korčula Island: Savoring the Charm

Discover the enchanting allure of Korčula Island on a day trip that centers around the historic Korčula Town and the picturesque Lumbarda village.

Wander through the car-free, fishbone-patterned streets of Korčula Town and then venture to the idyllic Lumbarda village, a haven of peace and natural splendor.

This day trip to Korčula Island offers a perfect blend of cultural exploration and scenic relaxation, making it an unforgettable experience.

Morning Visit

Korčula Old Town

This walled city, echoing the Venetian Renaissance, captivates with its unique fishbone-patterned streets, designed ingeniously for protection against the wind and sun. 

Korčula, often referred to as ‘a small Dubrovnik‘, is a car-free zone, offering an authentic medieval atmosphere. 

Explore historical marvels like St Mark’s Cathedral and the Town Museum, or climb the cathedral’s bell tower for breathtaking panoramic views

The town’s guided walking tours are a treasure trove of insights into its medieval urban planning and architecture.

Highlights: St. Mark’s Cathedral in Korčula Town

  • Working Hours: Open 24/7, specific access times vary
  • Ticket Prices: 4 € (adults), 2 € (children)
  • Exploration Time: ~30 minutes
  • Accessibility: Challenging climb to bell tower

The majestic St. Mark’s Cathedral in Korčula Town is a beacon of historical and architectural splendor. This cathedral stands as a testament to the Gothic-Renaissance era, boasting a richly decorated interior that captivates visitors. 

Its facade, a masterpiece in itself, is complemented by the works of both local and Italian artists, including the renowned Tintoretto.

The cathedral’s bell tower is a journey into the skies of Korčula, offering panoramic views that are simply breathtaking. 

Be prepared for a climb, as the journey involves navigating narrow and steep stairs, but the reward at the top is unparalleled.

Korčula Town Museum

  • Ticket Price: €6 for adults, €2 for children
  • Exploration Time: Approximately 45 minutes
  • Working Hours: 9 AM – 9 PM Monday to Saturday; 3 PM – 9 PM Sunday
  • Facilities: Good toilet facilities in the basement
  • Accessibility: Spans 5 floors, with more modern history as you ascend

Korčula Town Museum is conveniently positioned at St Mark’s Square, directly facing the Cathedral Sveti Marko. This cultural haven, housed in the Gabrielis Palace, stands as a remarkable example of 15th and 16th-century residential architecture. 

The museum offers a captivating journey through Korčula’s rich cultural and economic history, spanning from prehistoric times to the present day.

Its diverse collections include artifacts from Ancient Greece to modern times, with the highlight being the Lumbarda Psephism, an ancient Greek stone tablet and the oldest written document found in Croatia. 

The museum also boasts an impressive array of Renaissance architectural carvings and coats of arms, alongside detailed shipbuilding exhibits featuring old timer ship models and tools.

Visitors can explore a typical Korčula house exhibit, complete with kitchen furniture and artefacts, and admire art exhibits showcasing sculptures, drawings, and paintings by local artists, including works by Ivo Lozica.

The museum’s layout is thoughtfully chronological, allowing visitors to embark on a seamless journey through time, with the third and fourth floors being particularly noteworthy.

Korčula Town Gate

  • Working Hours: Open 24/7
  • Ticket Price: Free
  • Exploration Time: 10 minutes

Korčula Town Gate, a gem in the heart of a Venetian medieval city, offers a unique glimpse into history with its minimalistic yet striking design. Free to explore, this site is a must-visit for anyone seeking a blend of history and beauty.

The best time to experience its charm is in the early morning, away from the bustling crowds. As you approach, you’ll notice the stairway and small bridge leading to the gate, nestled inside a square tower. 

The high relief sculpture of a lion holding an open book is not just an artistic touch; it signifies that the gate was constructed by Venice during a peaceful era.

Mid-Morning Activity

Badija Island with Church and Franciscan Monastery

In the Korčula Archipelago of Croatia, Badija Island stands out as the largest near Korčula Island, a haven of natural beauty with its pine and oak forests and a coastline of rocky and pebble beaches

The island’s crown jewel, the Franciscan Monastery, dates back to the 14th century. This architectural masterpiece blends Gothic and Renaissance styles, with its cloister, completed in 1477, being a prime example of Dalmatian Gothic style and renowned as one of the most beautiful on the Croatian Adriatic coast

The monastery’s history is as rich as its architecture. Constructed by Franciscan monks from Bosnia in the late 14th century, it has served various roles, including a stint as a sports center from the 1950s to the 2000s, before being returned to the Franciscan order. 

The church within, dedicated to the Assumption of the Mother of God, showcases a Gothic-Renaissance style with a single nave and a tall barrel-vaulted ceiling. Its main stone altar, crafted in 1724, is a sight to behold. 

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the large Gothic Crucifix from the 15th century, believed to be miraculous. The cloister’s arcades and columns are intricately decorated with leafy details, a testament to the skill of its creators.

Highlights: Reaching Badija Island is a brief 15-minute water taxi ride from Korčula town, making it an ideal destination for those spending more than two days in Korčula. 

Visitors can explore the monastery, enjoy a 5km loop trail perfect for walking or running, and even encounter tame deer

The island’s beach, known for its cleanliness and white gravel, offers a serene spot for relaxation.

Practical Information:

  • Ticket Price: Approximately 3 €.
  • Working Hours: Generally open during daylight, but check local listings.
  • Exploration Time: Allow at least 2-3 hours for a fulfilling visit.
  • Best Time to Visit: Consider visiting during spring or early autumn for milder weather and fewer crowds.
  • Accessibility: Some areas may have limited accessibility due to the historical nature of the buildings and natural terrain.

Lunch Spot – Two Options

De Canavellis

De Canavellis is a charming restaurant nestled in the heart of Korčula, notable for its stunning location just up the first ramp leading into the center of town.

This delightful spot boasts a few tables lining the side of the ramp, offering patrons an incredibly gorgeous view of the Adriatic and the mountains.

The ambiance is accentuated by the intimate and beautiful atmosphere inside the terrace, making it a magical dining experience. The restaurant specializes in Neapolitan pizzas and offers a variety of sandwiches, pizzas, and snacks.

With its unique location in a fortress by the city walls, De Canavellis creates a truly magical atmosphere, making it a favorite for both breakfast and brunch, enhanced by the breathtaking sea view.

Recommended Dishes:

  • Homemade Mozzarella (Buffalo) Pizza
  • Cheesy Bread
  • Burrata Salads (customizable to taste)
  • Italian Pizza (highly recommended by patrons)
  • Refreshing Orange Juice (perfect for breakfast or brunch)

Practical Information:

  • Location: In the heart of the old town, Korčula
  • Average Price Range: Reasonably priced for the area
  • Hours of Operation: Ideal for breakfast, brunch, and dinner
  • Reservation: Not specified, but recommended due to popularity

Pizzeria LEUT

Pizzeria LEUT offers decent pizza, renowned for being a good value for the price. Located just outside the old town, opposite the small old town Korčula beach, it provides a quiet and pleasant atmosphere.

The restaurant is unique for making its own pizza dough and offering homemade juices. It’s a great spot not only for pizza but also for breakfast and coffee.

Praised for its great service, cheerful and friendly staff, and the convenience of accepting cards, Pizzeria LEUT stands out in the area.

It’s particularly noted for prioritizing quality over quantity and for being one of the few places open year-round, demonstrating a dedicated approach to customer service.

Recommended Dishes:

  • Calzone – highly praised by customers.
  • Margherita Pizza – a classic choice.
  • Sandwiches – known for their excellence.
  • Homemade Juices – a refreshing complement to any meal.

Practical Information:

  • Location: Just outside the old town, opposite the small old town Korčula beach.
  • Average Price Range: Fairly priced, with middle pizza around €10, cheaper than other local pizzerias.
  • Hours of Operation: Open throughout the day, all year round.
  • Need for Reservation: Recommended when coming here during prime time.

Afternoon Visit

Prvi Žal Beach – Lumbarda

Prvi Žal Beach, located in the picturesque Lumbarda in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia, is a stunning coastal gem. Situated on the Adriatic Sea, this beach is set against an urban backdrop with mountainous scenery, offering a unique blend of natural beauty.

Highlights: The beach is characterized by crystal blue waters and a light pebble shoreline. It’s a series of tiny bays, providing a sense of seclusion and untouched nature. 

Prvi Žal Beach is well-equipped with loungers and umbrellas, a beach restaurant, changing rooms, and toilets.

It also boasts a range of water activities, including catamarans, jet skis, and a water park with inflatable toys. Additional activities like sup-surfing and sea kayaking are available.

Practical Information:

  • Accessibility: The beach is easily accessible, located close to the road with parking available directly on the beach.
  • Facilities/Amenities: Alongside the basic amenities, the beach offers a cafe, massage service, aquapark, sunbeds, and a surf center.
  • Safety: The beach line is supervised by a lifeguard during the season, ensuring a safe environment for all visitors.
  • Cleanliness: The beach is generally well-maintained, contributing to a pleasant beach experience.
  • Crowd: The beach can get partially crowded during the high season, but it still maintains a relaxed atmosphere.

Activities:

  • Water Activities: A variety of water activities are available, including swimming, catamaran rides, jet skiing, and enjoying the water park.
  • Land Activities: Relaxing on the beach, enjoying the live music in the evening, and exploring nearby attractions.
  • Nearby Attractions: The beach is surrounded by several attractions, including 9 other beaches within a 5 km radius, Sea adventures, Alegria Lumbarda, Popić Winery, and Knežić.

Recommendation: Highly recommended for families and those seeking relaxation. It’s advisable to wear special shoes due to the pebbly beach. The beach offers a great ambiance, especially in the evening with live music.

Late Afternoon Activity

Lovrić Winery (Lumbarda)

The Lovrić Winery is a gem nestled in Lumbarda, celebrated for its premium wines such as Grk and Plavac Mali. This winery, uniquely positioned on the ground floor of a guest house, offers an intimate and personal wine tasting experience.

Visitors get the chance to immerse themselves in the world of winemaking through a tour of this family-run winery. The tour provides valuable insights into traditional production processes and the opportunity to savor award-winning wines.

Adding to the allure of this experience are the delicious smoked ham and cheese pairings, perfectly complementing the wines.

Notably, the Grk Lovrić, a premium white wine, is renowned for its unique pollination process, making it a rare and intriguing find. Plavac Lovrić, on the other hand, is a celebrated dry red wine known both locally and internationally for its exquisite taste.

Highlights: Lovrić Winery is a must-visit for its remarkable wine tasting experience. The 1-2 hour exploration of the winery not only allows guests to taste exceptional wines but also offers an educational journey through the winemaking process.

The Grk Lovrić and Plavac Lovrić wines are the standout highlights, offering a unique taste of Korčula’s wine heritage. Visitors consistently praise the winery for its excellent wines and the welcoming atmosphere.

The tours are especially notable for their personal touch and deep dive into the rich wine culture of the region. Moreover, it’s a family-friendly destination, accommodating even those with children, making it an ideal spot for all.

Practical Information:

  • Exploration Time: 1-2 hours
  • Working Hours: Monday – Thursday 16:00 – 19:00; Saturday 16:00 – 19:00; Friday and Sunday Closed
  • Prices:
    • Grk – 4 € per glass, 20 € for a bottle
    • Plavac – 4 € per glass, 16 € for a bottle
    • Rose – 4 € per glass, 12 € for a bottle
  • Best Time to Visit: Consider visiting during the weekday afternoons for a more personalized experience.
  • Accessibility: The winery is located on the ground floor, facilitating easy access.
  • Additional Offerings: Smoked ham and cheese pairings available with wine tastings.

Dinner Spot – Two Options

Pensatore

Pensatore is a highly acclaimed restaurant known for its exquisite cuisine and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant specializes in a range of dishes, focusing on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

They are particularly renowned for their freshly baked focaccia, delicious seafood dishes like carpaccio and octopus, and unique butternut squash preparations. The ambiance is enhanced by beautiful views, especially if you manage to get a prime seating spot.

The service at Pensatore is exceptional, with a friendly and attentive staff that ensures a memorable dining experience.

The restaurant’s location in the heart of the old town adds to its charm, offering both a waterside view and a cozy alley seating.

Recommended Dishes:

  • Focaccia (freshly baked)
  • Carpaccio (local specialty)
  • Octopus (popular choice)
  • Butternut Squash (unique preparation)
  • Seabass & Prawn Pasta (fresh and delicious)
  • Special of the day (e.g., prawns with homemade pasta)
  • Truffle Pasta and Gnocchi Ragu (main courses)
  • Chocolate/Orange Dessert (not too sweet, beautifully combined flavors)

Practical Information:

  • Location: Inside the old town
  • Average Price Range: Reasonable, offers great value
  • Hours of Operation: Not specified, but booking is recommended for prime seating
  • Reservation: Advised, especially for waterside seating
  • Additional Notes: Offers an amazing selection of Croatian wines. The restaurant accommodates both waterside and alley seating preferences.

Levant

Brief Description: Levant is a new restaurant with a unique location right next to the sea, offering a combination of immaculate service, delicious taste, and excellent value for money.

The establishment encompasses a bar, cafe, and restaurant, all featuring a beautiful and modern design. The ambience is enhanced by a large terrace with stunning sea views, making it a perfect spot for a relaxing social evening.

The restaurant is notable for its affordable menu and a selection of local beers. It caters to a wide range of guests, being kid-friendly and wheelchair accessible, with a spacious layout and easy maneuverability.

Recommended Dishes:

  • Black Risotto
  • Pizzas
  • Fish Soup
  • Makaruni – Locally handmade pasta with fresh tomato sauce
  • Pizza with Prosciutto and Rocket Salad
  • Beeftatar and Tuna Tatar
  • Chicken Parmigiana stuffed with Mozzarella and Pesto Genovese

Practical Information:

  • Location: Near the sea, easy to find
  • Price Range: Affordable, lower than most local restaurants
  • Hours of Operation: Not specified
  • Reservation: Not mentioned, but advisable due to popularity
  • Additional Features:
    • Vegetarian and Vegan Options
    • Kid’s Menu

Evening Entertainment

Massimo Cocktail Bar

At the Massimo Cocktail Bar, perched atop a tower in Korčula, guests are treated to a truly unique experience.

The journey to the bar itself is an adventure, requiring a climb up stairs and a ladder through a ceiling hole, a note of caution for those with mobility issues.

Once there, you’re rewarded with breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views, making it an ideal spot for sunset admirers.

Highlights: The bar’s ambiance is unmatched, offering a blend of history and modernity. While the menu features both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, be prepared for prices about twice as high as standard bars, a small price for such an exclusive setting.

For a more intimate experience, visiting right at 4 PM is recommended, as evenings tend to draw larger crowds. Seating here is an experience in itself, with a unique pulley system delivering your drinks.

To fully enjoy the views, reserving a table along the edge is wise. Be aware, though, service can be hit or miss, so don’t hesitate to flag down a server.

Practical Information:

  • Working Hours: 4 PM – 12 AM
  • Prices: Approximately twice as high as standard bars
  • Best Time to Visit: 4 PM for a more intimate experience
  • Dress Code: Comfortable attire recommended, considering the climb
  • Accessibility: Challenging for those with mobility issues due to stairs and a ladder
  • Parking: Available for a fee west of Korčula old town

3 Alternative Activities

Spirit of Korkyra Kayaking Tours

Brief Description: Embark on an extraordinary kayaking journey with “Spirit of Korkyra.” This unique experience offers several tours around the picturesque islands near Korčula.

Each tour is designed to showcase the stunning natural beauty, historical sites, and the serene ambiance of the Dalmatian coast.

Whether you’re a history buff, a wine enthusiast, or simply looking for a memorable adventure, these tours provide an immersive way to explore the hidden gems of Croatia.

Highlights:

  • Sunset Tour: A mesmerizing trip through Vrnik Island’s historical quarries, the Franciscan monastery on Badija Island, and Gubavac Island for a spectacular sunset view. Enjoy local “GRK” wine, canapé sandwiches, and “Klašun” pastries.
  • Half Day Kayak Tour: Covers Sutvara and Planjak islands in addition to similar routes as the Sunset Tour. Includes a coffee or tea break with “Klašun” pastries and “GRK” wine.
  • Whole Day Kayak Tour: A comprehensive trip from Lumbarda to Korčula’s old town, visiting Vrnik, Sutvara, and Kamenjak islands. Features include lunch at a hidden restaurant, swimming stops, and signature refreshments.
  • Secrets of Korkyra Tour: An adventurous multi-day expedition around Korčula Island, tailored for experienced kayakers. This tour includes overnight camps and a variety of dining experiences.

Practical Information:

  • Departure Point: Lumbarda
  • Tour Duration:
    • Sunset Tour: 3.5 to 5 hours
    • Half Day Tour: Approximately 5 hours
    • Whole Day Tour: Approximately 8 hours
    • Secrets of Korkyra: Multi-day
  • Start Times:
    • Half Day & Whole Day Tours: 09:00
  • Experience Level: Suitable for various levels; Secrets of Korkyra for experienced kayakers.
  • Additional Notes: Tours include kayaking equipment, refreshments, and guide services.Top of Form

Moreška Sword Dance

The Moreška Sword Dance, a vibrant spectacle in Korčula, dates back to 1571. Originating in Spain and introduced to Korčula via Dubrovnik, it represents the historical conflict between Moors and Christians, reflecting the struggles against the Ottoman Empire.

The dance features two groups, the “Moreškanti,” wearing red and black, symbolizing the armies of the White and Black Kings. The story unfolds around the White King’s fiancée, Bula, who is captured by the Black King Moro, leading to a dramatic sword battle and her rescue.

Highlights: The Moreška Sword Dance is a must-see for its historical significance and dramatic presentation. Key highlights include the thrilling sword battle between the two kings and the rescue of Bula.

The dance is performed at the ‘Ljetno Kino’ (Open-air cinema) or at the Dom Kulture in case of rain, providing an immersive cultural experience. Recognized as a protected immaterial cultural heritage, it’s a symbol of local pride in Korčula.

Practical Information:

  • Working Hours: Weekly in low season, Mondays and Thursdays in high season.
  • Ticket Prices: Free for children under 4, €10 for ages 4-14, €20 for adults.
  • Exploration Time: Approximately 1-2 hours.
  • Best Time to Visit: High season for more frequent performances.
  • Location: ‘Ljetno Kino’ or Dom Kulture near Old Town.
  • Accessibility: Planning the route in advance is advisable due to scarce signage.
  • Language: Performed in Croatian, but easy to follow.
  • Recommendation: Understanding the story beforehand and choosing a seat close to the action enhances the experience.

Marco Polo’s House and Museum

At the heart of Korčula, Marco Polo’s House and Museum stands as a beacon of historical intrigue and cultural significance. Located at 33, Plokata Square, 20260 Korčula, this museum is a must-visit for anyone fascinated by the legendary explorer.

Korčula, believed to be Marco Polo’s birthplace, holds this house under the protection of the Korčula Town Hall. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of the town, a testament to its historical and cultural roots.

The debate over Marco Polo’s true birthplace adds a layer of mystery to your visit. The town’s celebration of its connection to Marco Polo is evident in its annual Marco Polo Festival of Song and Wine every July.

Beyond the museum, Korčula enchants with its narrow streets, city walls, and a plethora of activities like hiking, cycling, and vineyard tours.

Highlights:
The museum, open daily from 9:00 AM to midnight, takes you on a journey through various scenes like ‘The Beginning of the Dream‘ and ‘At Kublai Khan’s Court‘. Each exhibit is a window into Marco Polo’s adventurous life, including a touching ‘Love Story of Marco Polo and Princess Cocacine‘.

Practical Information:

  • Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM, Monday to Friday; closed on weekends.
  • Ticket Price: Approximately 8 €.
  • Exploration Time: Around 20 minutes.
  • Guided Tours: Highly recommended for a comprehensive understanding of Korčula and Marco Polo’s legacy.
About the author

Tomislav is the main contributor and creator of Croatia Wanderlust. With a deep appreciation for his homeland, he dedicates his time to sharing detailed stories and insights about Croatia's rich culture, scenic landscapes, and historical landmarks. His writings aim to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of what makes Croatia a unique and must-visit destination. Through his articles, Tomislav hopes to inspire travel enthusiasts and curious minds alike to explore the beauty of Croatia.

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