Where is Korcula Island?
There are just over 1200 islands in Croatia, one of which is Korcula. Lying almost halfway between Split and Dubrovnik, the Island of Korcula is part of the South Dalmatia region. Nearby islands include the Skoji archipelago (located between Korcula Town & Lumbarda), Lastovo, Mljet and Hvar. Korcula is separated from the mainland, the Peljesac Peninsula, by a mere 1270 metres.
Korcula Island has many descriptions. These include “little Dubrovnik”, picture-perfect, the crown jewel of the Adriatic and the Emerald Isle. Korcula is a true example of the natural beauty that the country of Croatia boasts. This small island oozes with culture and is characterised by a diverse landscape and has a rich history. The island spreads over 279 km2 and is home to about 17,500 truly hospitable people.
History of Korcula Island
Korcula has been under the rule of so many different powers. This includes the Illyrians, the Greeks, the Venetians, the Austrians and the Brits, amongst a flurry of other civilisations. Each has left their mark on the island. The stamp of each power has positively shaped the island. For example, the Greeks bought grapes and their knowledge for producing delicious wines. The Venetians left the most noticeable mark due to the skilled artisans who carved architectural triumphs in Korcula Old Town.
The people of Korcula have always been at one with the land and the sea. They can be found in fields cultivating grapes and olives. They can be found out at sea fishing and steering boats. Historically they were famous ship-builders bending & shaping wood into unsinkable vessels. All of these traditional trades are still visible on the island today. Centred around the family is good food and of course good wine. The island way of life is relaxed and filled with music and dance. The joyful nature of the island is epitomised through the historical sword dances and the soulful acapella voices of Klapa groups, which are performed here.
Korcula Island is extremely fertile. It is densely covered with evergreen conifers and pines, as well as Mediterranean plants and herbs. All of which heavenly scent the air. Alongside the olives and grapes grow citrus fruits, pomegranates, figs and carobs. They cover the landscape in a beautiful array of colours all year round. Then where the lush green fields end, the stunning blue sea takes over. Amazing beaches and bays dot the coastline. Except for a few sandy beaches (well known in Lumbarda), most of the beaches are pebble or rocky. However, this results in incredible sea clarity. Trust us when we say the water around Korcula will be some of the clearest you will ever swim in!
Below and above the sea, the island is home to a range of animal life. Fish, crabs, octopuses, squid and urchins can all be found beneath the sea. You may be lucky enough to spot a dolphin or a turtle skimming the surface. On land, the wildlife includes mongoose, wild boar, tortoises, pheasants, snakes and an array of birds.
A few Korcula facts
- The “c” in Korcula is actually pronounced “Kor-CHEW-la” and not as in Dracula!
- Marco Polo, the legendary explorer, was said to have been born on the island.
- The Italians called Korcula Curzola and the Greeks called it Kerkyra Melaina (Dark Island).