Abound with rustic charm, the medieval settlement of Korčula town has a year-round appeal. The palm-lined streets and ancient surrounding walls regularly invite comparisons with nearby Dubrovnik. And it's not hard to see why - but Korčula town tends to remain unbothered by the droves of tourists swarming the maritime capital over the summer months. All the better for the locals, and in-the-know vistors, who revel in its laidback, Mediterranean lifestyle. Read on for our insider's travel guide to Korčula town.
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Things to do in Korčula town
The main street, Ulica Korčulanskog statuta, leads to St Mark’s Cathedral, one of the finest examples of Dalmatian church architecture and design. Taking three centuries to build, it features several styles, including Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque. Beneath it is the sar- cophagus of St Theodore, the protector of Korcula. Here you can also see St Mark with St Bartholomew and St Jerome, an early work by Tintoretto, whose Annunciation also stands in the south nave. Next door, the Abbey Treasury contains a collection of Dalmatian art from the 15th and 16th centuries. Opposite the cathedral, the Town Museum, set in a 16th century Venetian palace, contains a copy of the fourth-century Greek tablet from Lumbarda, the earliest evidence of civilisation on the island. Down a side street is the excellent Icon Museum and, entered through it, the 14th-century Church of All Saints. The Memorial Collection of Maksimilijan Vanka, on the water-front near the Monastery of St Nicholas, shows the art nouveau and Expressionist works by this 20th-century painter and hosts temporary exhibitions by renowned Croatian artists throughout the summer.
Places around Korčula
Korčula is scattered with small villages and hamlets filled with centuries-old stone buildings, and is sparsely populated for much of the year, with spikes over the summer and in the olive harvesting month of November. The sun beats down from March to early December, and swimming off the rocky shoreline is superb. Read on for our guide to the best places for exploring on the island.
There was a time when the word ‘boutique’ simply meant a shop. Nowadays there are boutique hotels, boutique restaurants, boutique festivals, even boutique banks. Less hyped than Hvar, and more remote than busy Brač, Korčula is the kind of place that might convincingly be branded as a boutique island. The 50km-long ridge of rock has largely shed the seven-days-in-a-package-hotel image that it was lumbered with in the Seventies and Eighties, emerging as a destination that offers intimate upscale accommodation, unique experiences and crafted natural products. The island’s main town of Korčula contains the Lešić Dimitri Palace, one of the few genuinely boutique hotels on the Adriatic, and also a boutique sweetshop in the shape of the famed Cukarin. In addition, the island can claim to offer a boutique white wine in the shape of Grk from the village of Lumbarda, a boutique local pasta in the form of Žrnovski makaruni, and boutique olive oils from the family-run presses around Vela Luka. The dramatic sloping rocks of Proizd island, just off Vela Luka, provide Korčula with a likely contender for the title of Dalmatia’s foremost boutique beach. In terms of visitor numbers, Korčula has always enjoyed a fair-sized share of the Dalmatian cake. However the island’s established hotels have been slow to catch up with an increasingly choosy travelling public, and it is Korčula’s more human-scale accommodation options that have taken up the running. The Lešić-Dimitri Palace is a case in p
Where to eat and drink in Korčula town
Recommended restaurants in Korčula town
A string of venues line ulica Korčulanskog Statuta or the surrounding street of Šetalište Petra Kanavelića in Korčula town – ranging from the dependable (Pizzeria Caenazzo) to the decidedly swish (the LD restaurant at the Lešić-Dimitri Palace Korčula). Alternatively, sample one of the rustic bistros advertised on wooden signs by the road between Korčula town and Vela Luka. Korčula island is known for its sweet cakes. Under the general heading of cukarini, they come in different varieties, such as prikle (deep-fried dough with almonds and raisins) and lumblija (sweet bread with wine and spices). Marinero has theirs baked daily. Renowned cakeshop Cukarin is set in a sidestreet in the Old Town.
Korčula and Pelješac gourmet tour
The local ingredients are tremendous, the cooking is straightforwardly stylish and there are dozens of wineries, all of which will be delighted to welcome you in for tastings accompanied by authentic local dishes. We’ll go back to Pelješac and Korčula again and again – it’s got just as much sun, comparably good food and far friendlier locals than Tuscany, without the latter’s Chiantishire overcrowding. It was three o’clock in the morning and the manager of the Lešič Dimitri Palace, a former opera singer, was belting out ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in between swigs of lemon rakija. The assembled hotel guests, glowing with good wine and small-hours camaraderie,were enraptured. The Liverpool supporter sat next to me was close to tears, and gazed adoringly at the wild-haired, barrel-chested singer now tipsily segueing from Gerry And The Pacemakers to ‘Nessun Dorma’. We were on the island of Korčula, just off the tip of Pelješac (pronounced ‘Pellyshatz’) – a beautiful peninsula which juts out into the Adriatic – and had just come to the end of a foodie road trip. It had kicked off four nights earlier in Dubrovnik, a decent foodie destination itself and a city whose beauty compares with Venice, its main rival for centuries. From there we made our way along winding mountain roads to Ston, at the foot of the Pelješac peninsula. Ston is famous for three things: it’s home to the second longest wall in Europe (after Hadrian’s); it produces excellent sea salt; and it has some of the wor
Where to stay in Korčula town
Korčula luxury hotel guide
In Korčula, boutique really is the word. And, since HTP hotel group's big renovation, there's a whole crop of newly spruced up hotels and properties, and more luxury options here than ever before. Check out these classy places to stay with our guide to luxury and boutique hotels in Korčula.
Where to shop in Korčula town
Electric Ladyland Design Shop
Electric Ladyland Design Shop presents pool of designers from Croatia and beyond, including a lot of really cool and imaginative stuff that you’re unlikely to find on your nearest highstreet. Look out for ultra-glamorous footwear by Magdalena Klašnja and Milenika, post-apocalyptic, cargo-cult necklaces by SestreS, the ingenious (and eminently affordable) recycled-electronica brooches of Đuveđ, and a whole lot more jewellery, accessories, applied artefacts and unique souvenirs.