Korcula Island

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About Korcula Island

There is a legend that Korčula (pronounced Kor-choola) was founded by the Trojans in the 12th Century BC but it is more likely that the Greeks colonized the island, calling it Korkyra Melaina (Black 'Corfu') because of its dark forests. The beginnings of the walled stone city date from the early 13th century and are described in the statute of the town dating from 1214 - this is one of the oldest European town statutes. More recently, there has been a claim that Marco Polo was born and grew up on the island.

There are so many rocky inlets in and around Korčula that are ideal for sunbathing and swimming, usually in solitude if that is what you are after. There is a tradition of wine making on the island and we recommend you try some GRK whilst on Korčula, it is one of Croatia's best. The main town on the island is a tight cluster of narrow streets, designed in an ingenious herring-bone pattern to ease the cooling sea breezes through the town. There is much to see in this wonderful little place that would keep even the most hardened sun worshippers interested for a couple of days - cathedral, museum, town walls and Marco Polo's birthplace.

Korčula is reached by a pleasant two hour drive from Dubrovnik, along the Pelješac peninsula to the ferry terminal at Orebic. Outside Korčula Town the whole island is pretty much unspoiled and a wonderful place to explore; the countryside is verdant and there are many villages and beautiful little beaches to enjoy. There is just one main road running the length of the island all the way to the small port of Vela Luka on the west coast; Blato is the main town along the way. From Vela Luka, you can take a taxi boat out to the idyllic Proizd island.

There are lots of options to explore Korčula by bike, on a food tour or guided walk. Other activities include surfing, diving and wine tasting. During the season there are many special events including the famous knight pageants, Dalmatian harmony singing, a reconstruction of the historic battle involving Marco Polo in front of the walls of Korčula and some beautiful religious processions. The men and women of Korčula are justly proud of their ancient sword dance, the Moreška, performed previously all over the Mediterranean but for more than 400 years has taken place only in Korčula. Not surprisingly this is a great tourist attraction each year and is performed at least once each week during high season.

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