With Korčula Town as an administrative center on one side and Vela Luka on the other side of the island, there are at least 7 other villages and small places that are worth visiting and exploring. Let’s start from the far east of the island and move towards the western part of the island.
Around 7 kilometers away from Korčula town, this is our favorite village. We love it for its beaches, cool beach bars and that something, the air and peace, vineyards and local Grk wine of top quality to be found only here. If you like wines and you happen to be here, its a must to try! Also, locals know and not only them, the best pizza is to be found in Torkul pizzeria. We have to recommend two other family run places for dining, especially for sea dishes and of course a good selection of wines – Agrotourism Bire and Konoba Diva Faustina.
History tells how Lumbarda first inhabitants were Illyrians, ruling the island during the Bronze and Iron Age. Then came the Greeks leaving behind the Lumbarda Psephisma, a stone inscription with a written decree detailing the agreement surrounding the establishment of a Greek colony in the 4th or 3rd century BC. Love Lumbarda. Definitely, has a special place in our heart. Artifacts and other findings from Lumbarda rich history can be found in Korčula Town museum. And also, one insider note – stone masonry is quite big in this area as well as stone related art.
Known as ‘the pirate bay’ of the island, Račišće is small, peaceful and simply put – true and real Mediterranean place you might be looking for. It is around 12 km west of Korčula town and it is often a cycling destination for those who rent a bicycle in Korčula town for a day. Nearby hidden bays Samograd and Vaja are superb!
Why do we love Žrnovo? Because it is also very quiet, it is rural, houses are made of stone, there are numerous small churches scattered throughout the village and its hamlets – Prvo Selo, Brdo, Kampus and Postrana. Imagine August, it is scorching hot, around 3 PM. Almost everyone is on the beach or is hiding from the sun, cooling down inside the house, protected by thick stone walls. You can hear the crickets, no one is to be found on the streets. Local cafe bar at the centre of town, under a lush tree providing so much needed shade is open. For us, it is an ultimate zen state of mind to sit there, have a coffee, daydream, read a book or write. Interested?
Gastronomy wise, once in Žrnovo, you definitely want to try local delicacy – Žrnovski makaruni. In August, there is a whole event with workshops and competition how to make Žrnovski makaruni. If you have the chance, really beautiful gastro happening that will have your appetite most certainly satisfied.
Also, you may want to visit Kočje, a nature park in Žrnovo vicinity. A fairy-like place.
Around 12 kilometres away from Korčula town, with its 500 inhabitants, Pupnat is the smallest village on the island, famed for Konoba Mate, home run family restaurant with amazing dishes, sweets, grappas and wine carefully chosen and designed to satisfy and surprise guests who are in search for food that is home made, organic and local. About 4 kilometers to the southwest of Pupnat, you can find a bay of Pupnatska Luka. It is becoming a rather popular destination during summer when locals and guests choose it as their spot where they will find refreshment in its waters or in the shades of the near Beach bar Mate (yep, run by the younger generation of aforementioned Konoba Mate team).
Pupnat is also a great place from where you can start your walking or cycling tours to the peak of the island (Klupca, 568 meters), to the village of Račišće on the northern coast, to the Zukovica valley on the southern coast, and to the town of Korcula, by a prehistoric walking path (around 3 hrs walk). The dates when you want to be in Pupnat – 5th of August when Our Lady of the Snows – ‘Gospa od Sniga’is celebrated and on 24th of August when Blazeni Marko of Pupnat is celebrated. Then you will probably have a chance to see Pupnat Kumpanija sword dance. Pretty impressive.
Čara, Smokvica, Brna, Zavalatica
In case you rent a scooter, car or a bicycle and you decide to cross whole of the island that is around 46.8 kilometres long, you will pass through Čara and Smokvica inland villages and in case you decide to stop somewhere by the sea you may end up in nearby Brna or Zavalatica villages for such refreshments. Or for a really nice, relaxed family holiday for that matter. On your way, you will notice how green is the inland of the island and once in Čara and Smokvica you will notice neat vineyard fields together with big wine distillery in Čara. Most famous wine produced here? Pošip.
Blato and Vela Luka are actually towns on Korčula island. Blato is around 40 km away from Korčula town and Vela Luka around 47 kilometres. Both, Blato and Vela Luka are amphitheatrically built on several hills around relatively small central valley. Blato is known for its long avenue of lime trees called Zlinje and is especially visited by catholic believers because of Marija Petković sanctuary. Patron of Blato is St. Vincenza and is celebrated on 28th of April, so if you happen to be nearby, join people of Blato in celebration of their biggest day of the year. And also, good to know, people from Blato are probably one of the most connected islanders with rest of the world due the mass exodus of its people during 1924 and 1925, when phylloxera attacked the grape vines. About 890 residents then abandoned their homes and left Blato. Whole families immigrated to Australia and Brazil (especially São Paulo). Far from sucking up to Blato people, but the word going around about them is that they are very hard working people. And where do people from Blato and their guests go swimming and resting by the sea? Prižba, Gršćica, Karbuni, Prigradica.
Vela Luka is the last settlement and town where you will end up in case you started your trip from Korčula town. Several hugely famous Croatian singers are from here. If you want to get to famed Proizd island and beach, you do so from Vela Luka. Also, note – many archeological and architectural points of interest are located in Vela Luka with Vela Spila (Big Cave), one of the mostIMPORTANT prehistoric cave dwellings in Europe.