Vela Luka is the largest and most modern town on Korcula. It provides an all-around holiday destination on the island. You can fill your time chilling on pretty beaches, exploring caves and enjoying the sounds of local music. There are a number of restaurants and cafes providing you with plenty of opportunities to sample local delicacies. The town is located on the far west of Korcula Island. The two attractive small islets of Proizd and Osjak lie just off the town’s shoreline.
Historically, Vela Luka is quite a modern town by Croatian standards, with settlement only really beginning in the early 19th century. But don’t be fooled by its youth, the area surrounding Vela Luka is rich in archaeological discoveries, and untouched nature as well as being a treasure trove of Dalmatian culture, music and art.
Go exploring the cave of ‘Vela Spila’
Home to incredible archaeological discoveries that date back to the Stone Age, Vela Spila roughly translates to ‘Big Cave’. Researchers found here pottery and human remains. The cave is the earliest known home of modern humans on the Adriatic. Blue mountaineering markers guide the way from the Riva, passing through Vela Luka’s backstreets.
A demanding, 30-minute uphill walk will take you to the limestone cave. There is natural light spilling in the cave through two large openings on the top. You can easily find the ongoing excavation and information plaques for visitors. Certainly, it’s worth the hike ends if not for the cave’s significance than for the magnificent view to the west of Vela Luka’s bay. Moreover, it’s a lovely spot for a fiery sunset.
Take an Island Boat Trip
Proizd is located directly in the middle of 4 of Croatia’s most popular island destinations — Korcula, Vis, Hvar and Brač — although looking at a macro view of the area, you would never know it existed! Proizd is completely uninhabited. The only evidence of man is the main pier, a small restaurant, and scattered signs around the island intended to help guide you to the different beaches.
What to pack: Proizd travel essentials
Bring a backpack or beach bag packed with anything you might need for the day. Here’s a list to get you started: bathing suit, towel, sunscreen, snorkel, food, drinking water, waterproof speaker, portable cooler to keep your food fresh and drinks cold and any medicine, insect repellent, or bee-sting precautions you may need.
Now you are ready for exploring this beautiful, small island. Enjoy turquoise waters and white pebbled beaches. It is virtually a hidden gem and a perfect beach getaway. There are four different beaches and a ‘kissing spot’ mosaic perfect for lovers.
Get a taste of the local cuisine
To experience the autochthonous cuisine and ambiance, we recommend you visit Konoba Lučica. They serve top-notch fish and meat dishes and sell high-quality homemade olive oil. Nautic restaurant is a perfect choice for those who’ve dropped their anchor in Gradina bay. After great Mediterranean food, grab drinks at one of the local café bars, such as Casablanca, Roxy, or Cesarica.
What you need to try?
- Žrnovski makaruni – a handmade pasta variety that hails from the island of Korcula and is mainly associated with the village of Žrnovo. It is prepared with a simple pasta dough that is flattened and then wrapped around a wooden stick in order to achieve its typical elongated, rolled form.
- Olive oil – The olive oil made on the island of Korcula is well known and recognized for its high quality and unique characteristics, which are the result of a broad range of factors, including weather and long historical heritage. This olive oil is produced using two autochthonous olive varieties; Lastovka and Drobnica.
- Grk – a native Croatian grape from the island of Korcula that is mostly used in the production of dry white wines. The grape rarely gives high yield, and it is mainly grown on sandy soils that surround the city of Lumbarda.
- Pošip – a native Croatian grape that was discovered by chance on the island of Korcula. Although it is cultivated in other Dalmatian regions, the grape is still extensively grown on Korcula, and it achieves the best results in the vineyards located around the villages Smokvica and Čara.
Listen to local singers
Vela Luka is the home of Dalmatian a cappella music called klapa; it is a form of singing that is soothing to the ears. You can sit back, relax, sip on a glass of wine and listen to local singers performing in groups and sing about the sea, love, life, wine and olives. Another music related thing all locals are proud of is the famous Croatian singer Oliver Dragojević. Croatians often call him The Seawolf. If you decide to stop by any restaurant or café bar, we’re almost certain you’ll hear his music chiming in the background.
Experience a dream view
The Hum is a mountain on the west end of Island Korcula. With a height of 376 m above sea level it is the dominant mountain at the western end, above Vela Luka gulf. Hum lies south of the deeply cut bay and the port of Vela Luka, the town on the western end of Korcula Island. The observation deck allows you to circle and see the Island Hvar, Mainland, Peninsula Peljesac, Islands Mljet, Lastovo and Vis. During clear weather, you can even see the Italian coast. This one we strongly recommend and it is just here, a 5 minutes drive, 20 minutes cycle or and 1h15 minutes walk away from the town. Take your camera with!