In part two of our guide to the best beaches in Croatia, This week we take a look at the beaches in and around Korčula Town and further afield on the island. The important thing to know about beaches in Croatia is that there’s no such thing as a private beach. All the coastline must be accessible to the public (no matter whether that’s by land or sea. Even if a beach looks like a private hotel beach, you can lay your towel or beach mat down, and bask.
What should you take to the beach?
Before you head to the beach, unless it’s one of the few sandy beaches on Korčula, be prepared for the pebbles. You’ll find water shoes (neoprene slip-ons with a rubber sole) for sale all over Croatia. Trust us, they’re worth the (reasonable) expense, even if you leave them behind at the end of your trip. Your hotel may be able to provide beach towels (don’t take the bathroom towels) or you can buy an inexpensive beach towel if you don’t have one with you. Many of these beaches don’t have a lot of shade, or umbrellas available even, so be sure to pack some sunscreen. We recommend reef-safe or eco-friendly sunscreen to minimise any environmental damage.
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Korčula Town Beaches
The old town of Korčula itself doesn’t have too many beaches within walking distance, but here’s a guide to those you can get to easily
Banje Beach is is right in the center of Korcula’s Old Town, close to Hotel Korsal as well as to the local swimming and water polo club ‘KPK’. This pebble beach can get very busy, crowded with tourists as well as locals. With several cafes and restaurants close by you can get a drink or a bite to eat without the need to change out of beachwear.
The beach is very popular with locals who live around the Borak area, as well as the members of the swimming and waterpolo club, who like to go for swim at Banje after their training sessions at the adjacent pool.
Zakerjan beach below Zakerjan Kula (Zakerjan Tower, on the northern side of the city walls) is very popular with locals. It’s a mixture of rocks, more rocks, and jetties. Although it’s in the center the water is very clear and it is also great for snorkeling. As the promenade is just around the corner it is convenient to grab a bite or a drink.
To prove that to locals, any place you can get into the sea is called a beach, we have Sveti Nikola. It’s purely sone slabs and jetties, but if all you want is a convenient way to get in and out of the water for a quick dip, it’ll do.
This pebble beach is close to Sveti Nikola, and is popular with locals. There are a couple of cafes and a restaurant on the nearby promenade.
Luka Korculanska Bay
If you’re staying in Korcula town and don’t feel like going to Lumbarda, the good news is that a sandy beach can be found only a 15 minute walk from the old town in Luka Korculanska Bay. Near the beach several bars serving food and refreshing cold drinks. If you’re looking for some quiet and relaxing time on the beach, the bad news is that this beach is usually overcrowded with families with small children.
Lumbarda is a small town just a few miles from the old town of Korčula with plenty of restaurants popular with locals. There are several ways to get there from the old town. You could grab a water taxi from the city centre, but one of our favorite options is to rent a bike and enjoy the scenery while cycling through the vineyards – also you can always make a stop and go for some wine tasting en route. Or you can take one of the hop on and off taxi boats from Korčula town. Walking is also an option but in the warm summer days it is just too hot. Besides being a cute spot for a quick getaway from the city, Lumbarda has few beaches worth a visit. Two of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the area, Bilin Zal and Vela Przina, are located in Lumbarda.
Prvi žal beach is located in the centre, and unlike the other Lumbarda beaches, this is a pebble beach. There are a few bars close by so if you are in the mood for a refreshing cocktail you don’t have to go very far.
Bilin Zal is a small beach, popular with locals, especially those with kids. It’s about 10-15 minutes along the coast on foot on from Prvi žal. Although it’s a sandy beach the water is still crystal clear. There is a konoba nearby and also a small beach tavern where you can get a snack and a drink.
Carry on the coast a little further to Vela Przina. This is a longer beach and in the summer it fills up from early in the day with both tourists and locals. There’s a small restaurant serving cold drinks and snacks. If you’re up for some skinny dipping, just follow the road straight ahead after the sandy beaches and turn left when you get to the pine forest. Soon you will reach a nudist area.
Beaches on the Islands near Korčula
To reach the islands and islets off Korcula’s coast you can take one of the regular water taxi services that leave from Korcula town’s main harbor. You can buy one-way tickets as you wish, or a hop-on, hop-off ticket for the whole day, for around $32, which makes sense if you want to visit more than a couple of islands.
Badija Island Beaches
Badija island beaches are just a short water taxi-boat ride from Korcula town’s main harbor. Badija has a lot of swimming spots and pebble beaches all over the Island. There are many naturist beaches on Badija, so if that’s not your thing, consider yourself advised. Badija is very popular among locals too for weekend day-trips and picnics, so it can get crowded at the weekends. Although there’s a small cafe/restaurant on the island, we advise taking snacks with you. There’s plenty of other things to see on the island, particularly the sprawling Franciscan monastery (see the picture above), which was seized by Tito’s government after WWII and has been recently returned to the order. The monks have been busy restoring the monastery and cleaning up the island ever since. Besides the beaches and monastery, Badija is a lovely place to take a walk under the shade of the pine trees.
This is another place to enjoy secluded swimming spots and pine trees shades. Vrnik is an islet closer to Lumbarda, and like Badija can be reached by water taxi. It is the location of one of the oldest and most famous quarries in Korcula – on this ‘tiny’ island you will find 29 quarries! There are only a few families living here nowadays. Fun fact – Korcula limestone is incorporated in some famous buildings – Haggia Sophia, the Austrian parliament building in Vienna, and Stockholm Town Hall! You can also visit the church of Our Lady of Succors. You can also have a meal or a snack as there is a restaurant and also a fast food place on the island.
Home to a famous instagram spot with a see-saw in the sea (a sea-saw?). There is a pebbly beach and Beach bar, very popular in the summer (especially with trendsetters 😀 )
Beaches Within Driving Distance from Korčula Town
Some of the best beaches on Korčula islands are quite a distance from the old town. If you’ve got a car, or feel like renting a scooter, then your beach possibilities are much wider. For all of these beaches however, do consider that the road to them isn’t always paved, or particularly easy to navigate, so take care.
This small secluded bay has a lovely pebbly beach. It takes some time to reach it with a car, lot of curves but it is worth it! Don’t forget to make a stop while going down to take some amazing pictures. It is possible you might be out of phone service here. There is also a small tavern on the beach where you can have refreshments and a meal, but as it can happen they run out of food, we recommend bringing a snack. There’s not much shade here, so be careful!
This pebble beach is situated on the southern side of the island in a charming cove. The road to get there can be slightly discouraging as you need to take an unpaved road with a lot of bends but in the end it is definitely worth it. After about a 15 minutes drive from the main road you’ll find yourself on a long beach with a crystal blue sea surrounded by untouched nature and the sound of cicadas. There is also a beach bar and the tavern above the beach so you can plan to spend the entire day relaxing at this small paradise 🙂
As it’s quite close to Korcula Town, this can be a bit of busier area, but it has nice pebbly beaches, and you’ll have lovely views of Peljesac peninsula across the channel. It’s about a 35 minute walk or 10 minute drive from town. As such it’s a great candidate for reaching by bike. There are a few spots to grab a meal and also a beach bar where you can rent beds or cabanas, enjoy music, have some drinks – for something a bit fancier this is the place. There is also the possibility of renting paddle boards.
Beaches new Vela Luka
Vela Luka, literally Big Harbor, is at the opposite end of Korčula Island to the main town. This is where the car ferries from Split dock. The drive takes around 40 minutes by car.
Although there are many beaches around the town of Vela Luka, pebbly, rocky ones, some in secluded bays, some with facilities, one of the attractions is for sure Proizd islet. A stone beach on Proizd is shown above. Reachable by taxi boat service from Vela Luka, this is also an Instagram spot – white beaches, turquoise sea – a small paradise. You can also enjoy views of Hvar island. There is a restaurant where you can have a meal and a drink
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Ivana came to JayWay with plenty of experience in tourism, alongside a degree in Tourism and Marketing. Although she worked with several big British tour operators over the years, Ivana found that working with big group tours wasn’t for her, since she preferred to get to know the people she was working for, and devote time to them, so JayWay was a perfect fit. Ivana naturally loves to travel, and is a big foodie, but she especially loves to read a good book, and enjoy excellent Croatian wine.