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The island Korcula in Dalmatia - history and tradition of "the black beauty"

The island Korcula in Dalmatia - history and tradition of

The "black beauty" of the Adria!

With the measurements of 280km2, 47km in length, 5-8km in width and about 17,000 inhabitants, she is quite good-looking: “The Black Beauty" of the Adriatic - the island of Korcula.

Excavation findings from 7000 BC show us: Stone Age people already recognised the advantages of the island and left their mark in the “Vela Spila” cave near Vela Luka.

However, the island was the first time ever titled as black in the 4th century BC by the Greeks, who founded a colony here. Because of the thick dark green forest, then called Korkyra got the addition "melaina" (black). Dense pine forests, holm oaks, cypresses, olive trees and a variety of shrub-land still characterise the island today. The Romans found the name appropriate, but used their word for black - "nigra" - as an addition.

In 1214, Korcula’s Statute was first mentioned, as the first written legal document, which contains the most important regulations for urban and economic affairs, as well as the needs of the inhabitants of the individual places from Korcula to Zrnovo, Lumbarda, Pupnat, Cara, Brna and Blato to Vela Luka.

From 1413 to 1420 Korcula was part of the Republic of Dubrovnik and after that it belonged to the Republic of Venice for 377 years. This had the biggest influence on the cultural history of the island and is still clearly recognisable today. The government of Korcula changed frequently, including Austria and France, until it finally became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) in 1921. The Republic of Croatia was declared independent in October 1991, which now of course also includes Korcula.


The city of the same name is mostly called "Little Dubrovnik”, because of the fortress walls with their cannons and towers, the narrow streets and the marina. Many restaurants and cafes invite you to linger and the small shops with souvenirs to browse. Did you know, that the birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo is located here? Take your time and learn more about the history of the city, its traditions and its residents.

You can do this pretty relaxed on one of the many mild summer evenings, because during many city festivals you can admire the ancient sword dances Moreska and Kumpanija or listen to the captivating singing of the Klape. These are the usual a capella groups that mostly refer to the beauties of the island or to love.

Or visit the island's old fishing villages: Brna, Racisce and Zavalatica. Each one has its own charm. The largest fisherman’s village is "Vela Luka" (large harbour), with its long promenade, marina and ferry port it has now become a real town, but still has its maritime flair.


Visit Vela Luka, try local specialties and discover “Vela Spila” - in which the Stone Age people left their mark. Visit the exhibition of thousands of years old findings in the cultural center. Or take this as a starting point for a boat trip to the island of Proizd.

The island is so diverse, so steep in history and hospitable, but with its beaches and bays offers countless remarkable places where you can also enjoy unspoiled nature and absolute seclusion.
If you have booked one of our villas in South Dalmatia, then you should definitely get to know the "Black Beauty" - chances are big that you will fall in love!

Daniela Vuleta

+385 1 222 70 50