Korcula is a summer dream come true. Often overshadowed by flashy neighbor Hvar, the island really holds its own as a must-visit destination in Croatia. It’s a very easy place to visit, conveniently located between Dubrovnik and Hvar. The ferry drops passengers along the city walls of Korcula Town where most visitors end up staying, eating, drinking and swimming. The picturesque meandering cobbled lanes, ancient houses, fortress towers and storied churches in this Old Town remind me so much of a storybook kingdom. Below is my complete travel guide to Korcula including the best beaches, viewpoints, photo locations, island day trips, restaurants, hotels, Airbnb’s and travel tips, as well as a complete four-day itinerary. This post contains affiliate links.
Exploring the charming alleyways of Old Town.
This spectacular viewpoint is a short drive from town on Novi Puti Roadd.
Afternoon hangs along St. Mark’s Church in the heart of Old Town.
FOUR DAYS. While Korcula Town itself only requires a day, there’s enough to see on and around the island to fill four full days. This will give you enough time to explore the main town, visit the best beaches, check out the viewpoints and day trip to a couple of offshore islands.
My perfect day – a book, a towel and a Croatian island.
The best view of the city.
St. Mark’s Church.
ISMAELLI STREET GALLERY WALL
This little street located just off of St. Mark’s Square is lined with picture frames, potted plants, little trinkets and a small stone bench for photos. Very charming.
Korcula Town is the beating heart of the island, home to boutique hotels, restaurants, bars, churches, tour agencies, water taxi stands and the main tourist port. It’s a mini version of Dubrovnik, a medieval maze of narrow cobbled lanes. My favorite times of the day to visit are early morning when it’s quiet and empty, and in the evening when town is abuzz with summer energy.
Two spectacular viewpoints that overlook Korcula Town are located on Novi Puti Road (aka Ul 45 on Google Maps). The panorama from up here is the best on the island offering up clear views of the walled city surrounded by the sea. There are two viewpoints up – make sure to visit both. The second one is located a little further down the road (literally a 45 second walk). Roadside parking is available along Novi Puti Road, but it’s also possible to hike up from town if you don’t have a car.
PUPNATSKA LUKA BEACH
This is the prettiest beach on the island. Pupnatska Luka sits on the south coast of Korcula, a 30-minute drive from Korcula Town. The expansive pebble beach is a large protected cove where calm, clear water sparkles every shade of turquoise. There are sun beds and umbrellas available to rent, or lots of space to lay out a towel for free.
It’s a windy drive down to Pupnatska Luka from the main highway. If you start the drive down and find yourself on a dirt road, turn back to the main highway and drive further east. You’ll see a sign for Pupnatska Luka Beach at the start of a paved road. Both routes lead to the same place, but the paved road is much easier to drive (most GPS coordinates lead drivers to the dirt road).
ST. MARK’S SQUARE & CATHEDRAL
This bright, beautiful square sits in the heart of Korcula Town. The Gothic Renaissance church dates back to the 15th century, and it’s a beauty. Climb the narrow staircase to the top of the bell tower for spectacular views over the town and the surrounding sea.
If you walk west of Korcula Town along the waterfront, you’ll find yourself at Sveti Nikola. The stretch of promenade is lined with narrow piers that are more popular with sunbathers than boats. People lay towels on the mini docks for specular views of the walled town while sunbathing, sleeping and swimming.
Another gorgeous beach located on the island’s south coast. It’s a lot smaller than Pupnatska Luka, but the rocky slabs for sunbathing are quite the vibe. Zitna’s narrow channel of intense turquoise water reminds me a lot of the calas on Mallorca.
Pupnatska Luka is my favorite beach on the island.
The Škoji Archipelago is made up of 20 small islands, of which Badija is the largest. Water taxis drop visitors at a small pier that is a short walk to a beautiful 14th century Franciscan Monastery and a small restaurant (the only one on the island). The water surrounding Badija is calm and clear, but there isn’t much in terms of a proper beach. It’s actually the free roaming deer that make the island so memorable. They are everywhere – the church, the beach, the pier. A word of warning: the deer are beautiful, but they are looking for food, and can be aggressive. Badija Island is part of an island hopping ticket the water taxis offer – tickets can be purchased from the water taxi kiosks located along the waterfront outside of Korcula Town.
This is one of Croatia’s hidden gems. Proizd sits off of Korcula’s western tip, accessible via a 35 minute ferry from Vela Luka (there is a set timetable for departures and returns). The uninhibited island is surrounded by some of the most stunning water I’ve seen in Europe – just intensely clear, turquoise and sparkly. There are four main beaches on the island – Veli Bili Bok, Srednji Bili Bok, Donj Bili Bok and Batalo (all walking distance to each other).
Vrnik is the prettiest island in the Škoji Archipelago. There are historic quarries scattered around the island, once home to craftsmen and and stonemasons. It’s the sparkling shallow waters though that visitors flock to, and one of the prettiest beaches is just steps away from the water taxi pier. Vrnik Island is part of an island hopping ticket the water taxis offer – tickets can be purchased from the water taxi kiosks located along the waterfront outside of Korcula Town.
Lesic Dimitri Palace is a former Bishop’s palace that sits on the cutest street in Old Town. This is best place to stay on the island if you can snag one of their residences.
Apartment Marina is located along the waterfront facing spectacular views of Korcula Town. It’s a short stroll to reach the sights, restaurants, cafes and shops. The renovated apartment is modern and clean, making for a very comfortable stay.
A small apartment located in Korcula Town close to the main square – everything is within walking distance. The exposed stone walls bring a bit of character to the space that is otherwise very simple. Apartment Nona Kata is clean and up to date, but nothing fancy. A nice budget option for Korcula.
There are very few luxury options on Korcula, so best to book Lesic Dimitri Palace well in advance. It’s the loveliest property on the island, located on the most charming street in Old Town. Formerly an 17th century Bishop’s Palace, this Relais & Chateaux property has been converted into six exquisite rooms, suites and residence villas. All the spaces are beautifully ornate, but the private wood carved balcony of the Venice residence is especially lovely.
Possibly the most special lodging location in Korcula. This beautiful Luxury Loft sits in a 600-year-old Ismaelli Palace, right off of St. Mark’s Square. The space is roomy and modern with historic design cues that give the two-bedroom apartment loads of character. And the central balcony that surrounds an airy medieval courtyard is absolutely breathtaking.
Magical Oasis is a lovely one bedroom apartment located in Korcula Town behind Kanavelic Tower. The space is small, but clean and cozy with stone walls and wood beam ceilings.
Modern boutique hotel located on the water. The rooms at Tara’s Lodge are a clean, simple and minimalist chic. It’s the beachfront location that is the real selling point. The water is calm and beautiful with a small stretch of beach outfitted with bean bag loungers and umbrellas.
Konoba Mate is hands down the best restaurant on Korcula.
Pizza night at De Canvellis.
If Konoba Mate is the best restaurant on the island, then Marco Polo is a close second.
Aroma scoops delicious homemade gelato, offering more than two dozen flavors including orange with ginger, blueberry, chocolate with orange, raspberry, rum raisin, tiramisu, peppermint chocolate and more.
This is the tastiest option for fresh, thin crust pizza on Korcula, and the tower ambiance in the evening is pretty fabulous.
Konoba Mate is my favorite restaurant on the island. This small family-run konoba is located in Pupnat Village. They serve up a variety of fresh handmade pastas, homemade sauces and sides that are absolutely delicious, particularly the homegrown tomato sauce, almost pesto with homegrown cherry tomatoes and the fresh bread. The restaurant is a 15 minute drive from Korcula Town in what feels like the countryside, but a reservation is still a must for dinner in high season.
LD Restaurant has a Michelin star. It’s part of the Lesic Dimitri Palace where the tables sit overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The tasting menu changes but can include nigiri, scallops with black truffle, wagyu, prawn gyoza, beef tenderloin and lemon ice cream amaretto.
MASSIMO COCKTAIL BAR
The rooftop of a medieval tower has been converted into a cocktail bar, and it’s one of the most popular summer spots on the island. The views and ambiance from up here are amazing, especially at sunset.
Marco Polo is the best restaurant in Korcula Town. It sits on a narrow cobbled alleyway where the handful of tables are occupied 24/7 during the summer. My favorite item on the menu is the grilled sea bream and potatoes w/chard. Completely delicious. Reservations are a must.
Yup, it’s Croatia’s chain bakery. But it’s still delicious, and my favorite quick breakfast option in Korcula Town. This Mlinar location sits just up the road from city walls.
When the sun is out, Zitna is a vibe.
Views over Zitna Bay on the hike down from the parking lot.
If you’re based in Korcula Town, most restaurants, bars, shops and water taxis are within walking distance. If you’re interested in exploring more of the island (I highly recommend it!), just rent a car or scooter for the days you plan to explore. Rental agencies are located outside the city walls below the Town Gate.
Twinning with all the shutters and doorways around Old Town.
Korcula is a tiny island that is only reachable by boat – no airports. Most tourists arrive by ferry which connects Korcula to Dubrovnik, Hvar, Mljet and a few more destinations. I use Ferryhopper to look up ferry schedules and book all my ferry tickets – very reliable and easy to use.
A stroll along the edge of Old Town has all the feels of a medieval kingdom.
Badija Island and its free roaming deer are a short boat ride away from Korcula.