Take a Relaxing Retreat in the Dalmatian Islands

If you’re in Croatia, venture away from the mainland for a few days and enjoy the slow-paced lifestyle and natural beauty of the Dalmatian Islands.

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Korcula, Croatia

If you’re in Croatia, you should try your best to venture away from the mainland for a few days and enjoy the slow-paced lifestyle and natural beauty of the Dalmatian Islands. While the islands of Brac and Hvar tend to draw more visitors, I opted to spend a few days on Korcula, which lies a bit further south. Korcula offers everything you could want from an island getaway including music, history, delicious local wine and food, endless opportunities for recreation and, most importantly, stunning coastlines. Amidst a full itinerary in the Balkans, the time I spent here was a deep breath of fresh air and the perfect destination to relax and reset.

Korcula Old Town

The old city of Korcula Town is located on the coast and carefully fortified with walls in a way that allows air circulation, but protects the streets from strong winds that blow through the sound.

Get to Know Your Neighbors

Since it was forbidden to build outside of the fortifications until the 18th century, the structures of the city center are tightly packed, only allowing for limited foot traffic through the narrow alleyways.

Cathedral of St. Mark

This Roman Catholic cathedral built in the 15th century is an iconic landmark prominently situated at the highest point in the center of the old town.

Bell Tower Views

For a small fee, you can climb the bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Mark for some of the best 360-degree views of the city and harbor you can find.

Bike and Scooter Rentals

Just outside of the old town, you can find a number of shops offering road bike, mountain bike and scooter rentals. Since there aren’t a lot of car ferry options and public transit is limited, these are the perfect option for exploring other beaches and towns around the island. Korcula is hilly, so only rent the bikes if you're looking to get in a good workout while exploring!

Spend a Day in Lumbarda

A few miles east of Korcula Town is the small coastal village of Lumbarda, known for its vineyards and beaches.

Visit a Vineyard

If you’re a wine lover, you can’t go to Korcula without trying at least one glass of Grk. A bittersweet grape that has only grown since the 5th century in this small region, Grk is predominantly used to make white and dessert wines; some of the rarest and most unique you can find in the country.

Lumbarda Beaches

Rarely found on the rocky coastlines of Croatia, Lumbarda has a number of sandy beaches where you can relax for the day and enjoy the pristine waters of the Adriatic. Vela Przina and Bilin Zal are the most popular, but I also enjoyed the quieter (and rocky) Lenga Beach.

Franciscan Monastery on Badija

Hop on a water taxi and spend an afternoon on Badija, a small, unpopulated island just east of Korcula Town that's home to a 14th-century Franciscan monastery.

Badija Beaches

A walking path circumnavigates the entire island, so if you’re willing to venture a bit from the boat dock and monastery, it isn’t too hard to find a private spot along the rocky coast to enjoy a day lounging in the sun and cooling off in the turquoise sea.

Catch a Sunset

In the evening, make your way to one of the restaurant patios overlooking Korcula Town's western harbor to enjoy unbeatable sunset views.

Go for a Swim

If you want to go for a quick swim without leaving Korcula, there are stairs periodically along the eastern walls of the old town that lead down to the water's edge. (It's also a good spot to catch a sunrise.)

Walk the Harbor

Explore the east and west harbors outside of the old town. In the evenings settle down to some live music playing in one of the open-air restaurants that line the coast and see the lights of the city center reflected in the inky water.

Set Sail!

Want a day out on the water? Hire a boat and learn how to harness the winds that funnel through the channel.

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