I fully meant to spend more time blogging about our trip to Korcula island, off the coast of Croatia but Christmas came, and other trips just sort of pushed it out of mind. What a shame because this one deserves some reliving.
Islands in Croatia
There are a lot of Croatian islands to choose from and picking the right one was a bit like Goldilocks with her porridge:
Hvar and Brac were too crowded and too party.
Solta was too secluded and not party enough.
Korcula seemed just right for travelers like us who aren’t livin’ la vida loca, but who still appreciate a little bit of activity and a lot of wine.
This island needs to be on your list if you like:
- Peaceful, chill swimming in calm seas
- Views for days
- Bunnies on leashes
Korcula is long and fairly narrow with many small towns sprinkled across it. The most popular area, and where the ferry docks, is Korcula Town on the eastern edge. It’s a small but densely packed area of restaurants, shops, churches, and accommodations and is easily walkable.
This island is a little further away than some of the others and the ferry doesn’t come here quite as often which means that it’s less crowded than its counterparts.
While wholly a part of Croatia, Korcula has its own personality, brimming with history but fully embracing that slow, island kind of life.
We stayed at an Airbnb in one of the old buildings. It looked rustic on the outside but had been fully modernized on the interior.
The highlight of our stay was renting bikes and exploring the island.
Day 1: Bikes & Wine Along the Coast
On the first day we rented normal (non-electric) bikes and rode along the coast to Lumbarda, about 4 miles away. It was an easy, flat route with a bike lane for most of the way.
Although it was a little tricky wending our way out of the town, we eventually managed to find the open road while simultaneously impressing native Korculans with our u-turn skillz.
There are several wineries in Lumbarda and we spent quite a long time at them tasting wine, snacking, and enjoying the views. No reservations are required, but their opening hours seemed more aspirational than concrete. We missed visiting one altogether because the doors were open, but no one was home.
Korcula is known for a crisp white wine made with the only grape in the world with no vowels: grk. Aside from that claim to fame, Korcula is the only place to produce grk, both the grape and the wine. It’s very rare to find it anywhere off the island.
So if you’re the kind of person who likes one-of-a-kind, can’t-get-anywhere-else kinds of things – you’ve gotta come here and grk out!
Grk is crisp and fresh and similar in taste to Sauvignon Blanc. It goes perfectly with warm breezes and sunshine, which may be why it’s so at home on Korcula.
If you get hot while biking, there are several opportunities on the way to Lumbarda to detour directly to the coast and take a quick plunge in the Adriatic.
However, there is more to Korcula than just an amazing coastline. The interior of the island rises steeply into heavily treed hills and offers beautiful views.
Day 2: Biking Into the Hills
On our second day we headed inland. This time we rented electric bikes with pedal assist and boy were we glad. Even with the help, we got a hefty workout. However, I think my elevated pulse was mostly due to the hairpin turns we shared with busses and trucks.
We headed up to a small enclave called Pupnat, in the middle of the island. There we found a hidden family restaurant, Konoba Mate, that had been enthusiastically recommended to us by our Airbnb host.
He didn’t steer us wrong. We ate our fill of homemade goat cheese and garden grown tomatoes in fresh olive oil, swiped up with crusty scratch-made fennel bread. Our table was directly underneath living grapevines heavy with fruit. When we remarked on it, our server happily plucked some for us as sweet treat to end the meal.
There are other things to do in Korcula besides beaches, biking, drinking wine, and lingering for hours over meals but honestly, who cares?
So was Korcula the best island for us? We had an amazing time there although I can’t say with 100% confidence that it’s the perfect island because well, it’s the only one we visited.
Who else has been to the Croatian islands? I’m interested to hear your thoughts about Korcula or any of the others – did we miss out on an even more amazing place??