Korcula is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea. The island is easily reachable by road, ferry or flight. It is more famous as the home town of Marco Polo, the famous writer and explorer. The whole island is spread at a stretch of 47 Km with a population of around 15000 people. We reached there by a ferry from Hvar island and made it our home for 2 days. Although there are many day trips that you can take from here, this is how we spent 2 days in Korcula.
The island is blessed with cypress and olive groves as well as beatific pine trees. The old town has Marco Polo home, a museum in the making, palaces which are now turned into shops and restaurants.
Before entering the Korcula town we head straight to the serene and tranquil village of Lumabarda. It is at a distance of just 5 Kms from Korcula and so a must see area when staying in Korcula.
Korcula is known for its vineyards and sand beaches. We pass several exotic vineyards and wineries selling olive oil and wine on our way to this particular winery- the Bire winery, which has been in business for about 200 years. We were given four different varieties of wines to taste, and they were definitely very flavoursome. We bought a bottle of white wine and left for our next destination.
Our next stop was the beautiful sand beach of Przina which was just a few minutes from the Bire Winery. It is convenient to swim here since the beach is sandy and the waters not too freezing. Croatia has rocky beaches and it is difficult and often painful to get to the water without rubber shoes. There is a small restaurant to fuel yourself or just enjoy the enchanting view with a cup of coffee.
Since the swimming season had not started yet due to the cold weather, we found almost empty beaches which is not the case in summers.There was yet another sandy beach nearby which was very less populated, maybe because the peak season was yet to start.
After travelling to Korcula from Hvar, visiting wineries, taking a stroll in the vineyards, swimming in Mediterranean Sea, we yet had another adventure waiting for us.
It was time for a kayaking trip to the Badija island.
We had pre-booked our kayaks for the destination. Rowing the kayaks required quite a bit of physical strength but the gorgeous postcard scenery around us just made up for any exhaustion that we felt. Kayaking in the greenish blue Mediterranean Sea, feeling the fresh cool breeze over our skin and being surrounded by sheer silence except for the splashing of water against the kayaks was like a dream come true. We could see the monastery located on the island from quite a distance but as we came nearer it looked more beautiful and vintage. To reach the island by kayak took us 3 hours, but no complains.
Historical stories say that the monastery was destroyed in one of the wars and the people from neighbouring islands helped rebuilt the monastery.
We strode along the path surrounding the Franciscan monastery. There was dense vegetation along with pine and cypress trees. There are several spots for swimming in the cool, clear waters around the island. When we were strolling around the monastery we saw some monks in the premises strolling in the vegetable garden. There were potato gardens and olive trees, the olives are harvested and then preserved in the form of oil.
Croatia manufactures high quantities of olive oil as the climate is favourable for growing olive trees.
One of the most breathtaking feature of the island which we were not prepared for was the sighting of deers in the area. When I saw them very calmly eating away their leaves from trees we just stopped there like statues, afraid that they might hear us and run away. Well, it was unbelievable to see them looking, acknowledging us, and very peacefully continuing with what they were doing. This was my first experience with deers when they did not shy away and run after seeing a human. First we spotted one deer, then two and a total of three were in sight . It seems a few deers were left on the island in the 15th century and these were their descendants.
Again, as it happened so many times in my Croatia tour, I was transported to another gone by era where animals and humans lived in perfect harmony with each other and there is no fear from each other.
The dense vegetation, ancient monastery with deers around, serene atmosphere, gorgeous water to swim in is what you should expect from the Badija island.
Since we had to kayak back all the way to Korcula, we decided against swimming and left for Korcula port before the weather changed. It was a tough job to kayak against the winds in our return journey but the distance was much shorter.
After an exciting day visiting wineries, beaches, and an island, we entered Korcula town, concluding the day by taking a long stroll in the town.
The 15 th century St.Marks Cathedral is located in the old town and is built in Gothic – Renaissance style. It is prominent in the little town square. The old town has narrow alleys with many small palaces converted into cafeteria’s or shops. According to some people, the famous traveller Marco Polo was born here in Korcula. It is highly contended, as the Italians say he was born there in Italy.
You will find his home in the old town which will be made into a museum in the near future.
We climbed up a hill which had a well made pathway with houses lining along its side. As we reached the top of the hill, it was time for the Sun to set and we had a glimpse of a charming view. At sunset the Sun shines its golden rays in its finality of the day over the old town of Korcula and the town shines like a piece of gold.
The wall of Korcula shone in its golden glory giving a royal feel to the town.
From up there it is too enticing – a must do activity at sunset in Korcula.
After a good night sleep, we woke up bright and shining, all excited for our next adventure. We were thrilled to take off for another ferry ride in the deep blue sea to the Mljet Island for a day trip.
Mljet island is one of the larger Adriatic Islands of Croatia.
Mljet National park has two lakes, Veliko and Malo Jezero which translates to large and small lake. It has few villages which are sparsely inhabited. The best way to explore is by foot or by cycle. We opted for a bike ride and it was a good decision.
This gorgeous island can be seen on bike by riding along the lakes on well done up path. The park was not at all crowded so it became fun riding and devouring natures best in the park at a slow pace.
There are many spots to swim around the park. You can swim, sunbathe or simply sit and gaze at the stunning postcard view. Or else do what I do!! Click lots and lots of pictures.
On the Mljet island we saw yet another island on which stands the 12 th century Benedictine monastery that has now been converted into a cafeteria. The monks lived there previously many years ago but now it is open for tourists. So we get to kayak to reach the monastery, have coffee and come back to the main island.
We took breaks from our cycles for refreshments in small restaurants along the path facing the beautiful lake. The people running the place live there and operate from their homes. So expect home cooked food and the taste will be different from the restaurants that we are so used to.
We took one such break in Soline. Since the tourist season had just started there were hardly any main course meals available especially vegetarian so we opted for french fries and Turkish coffee. It was a small place run by an old lady with a warm smile. The small eatery was facing an amazing view of the lake.
When we inquired as to what they did in low season when there were no tourists, the answer came that they saved the money they earned in peak season and used it for the rest of the year as the cold climate did not permit them to do much work.
Just about five minutes walk from the eatery we came across a clearing with man made benches where one could just sit and watch the Adriatic Sea in all its charismatic beauty.
We tried the impossible task of capturing the beauty of the stunning park in our cameras. Well, we did succeed to some extent but to experience the captivating beauty, put it in your to do list.
Fatigue crept in as we sailed back in the ferry to Korcula. It had been non stop adventure for 2 days continuously.
The adventurous two days will always be in our memories for a long time to come. The absolutely captivating scenery was etched forever in our minds. I literally travelled back to enjoy the enchanting views in my mind as I write about my 2 days in Korcula. In Croatia it is always places like Split and Hvar which take the cake when we google about places to visit in the European country.
I would suggest you to go to the smaller, not so populated islands to relax, enjoy and take back memories. You will find ample of things to do in these places too.
Lumbarda village with its beautiful beaches, Badija island, the Mljet national park are stunning places and a must for your Croatian itinerary.