Here are the top ten beaches on Korčula island, this is a highly subjective selection.
In this article, the top ten beaches are ordered clock-wise, from the Western-most tip of the island and the beaches on the islet near Vela Luka, and their order is purely geographical.
Here’s a map that will help you find those beaches listed below:
Proizd islet is located near Vela Luka, and its beaches have often been referred to as the “best beach in Croatia”, including in foreign press. To get to Proizd, you will have to get a boat from Vela Luka, and there are many options to do that, either just get yourself transferred there and back or pay for a meal as well. Since this is in no way a hidden wonder any more, you can expect quite a lot of people on the island, as it is actually quite small, but there are many options on where to set your towels for the day. There are several smaller beaches, which are not really beaches, rather slabs of stone diving into the wonderfully clear sea. In addition to the three magnificent “bok” (the Croatian word for the slabs of stone we talked about), there is a rather shallow bay Batalo, great for small kids to play in without much danger. There is some vegetation on the island as well, for those who would rather not spend the day at the sun. There is one restaurant on the island, but don’t expect much from it as it is always working at full capacity during the high season.
Vaja is not a beach to be reached easily. It is situated near Račišće village, about one kilometre from the centre of the village and around 15 km from Korčula town, and you can drive quite close to the beach on an unpaved road. Once you’ve parked, that’s when the adventure starts. The way down to the beach is steep, it’s not very long but still, you really REALLY don’t want to forget something in your car so you have to go back up there to get it. But, as it usually happens, once you get down there, it’s close to heaven. The sea is perfectly clear there, there usually isn’t that many people on the beach (there will be some people who came by boat, but they won’t be able to appreciate it like you do, having walked down to it), the pebbles are wonderful, there’s even some shade where you can hide from the sun. There are no bars or restaurants, of course, or any added “content” to this beach, this is a place to get away, put on some sunscreen and really enjoy the sea and the sun.
Somewhat closer to Korčula, very close to the main road that leads to Račišće along the northern coast is the Kneža bay, and at the bottom of it the lovely Kneža beach. Very easily accessible, as it is a couple of dozen steps from the road, it tends to be somewhat busy during the main season. It does offer some privacy if you walk a bit further away from the main beach pebbly section and on to the rocky part just to the north of the beach. There’s no natural shade on the beach itself, so if you plan to stay longer make sure to have enough sunscreen. There are two islets in the bay, so good swimmers might want to explore those and find some privacy there. Since the bay is oriented to provide some shelter from the afternoon’s wind “maestral” (and the islets are also helping!), you can expect to see a few boats moored in the bay. There are several bars, restaurants, konobas and shops in the vicinity of this beach, in the Kneža village.
Vrbovica is a large bay, located a few kilometres west of the Korčula town. There are several smaller and larger beaches you can find in this bay, which has recently been turned into a rental’s heaven, with many apartments and houses for rent. However, the beaches in the bay don’t really get too crowded, even during the highest season, and there are sections of the bay where you can go to in order to have some privacy and quite time, if that’s what you’re after (especially the cape to the north of the bay). In the bay you can also expect a few boats and sailboats, especially in the afternoon. The bay is very near the road, so don’t have to worry about the access to the beaches in Vrbovica, and of course, you’re quite near several bars, restaurants and shops in Žrnovska banja so you don’t have to worry about bringing anything extra with you. Added value: there’s a camping site in Vrbovica bay, so if you’re into camping about 10 meters from the beach, maybe this is the spot for you.
This is not just one beach either, but rather a set of beaches, wonderful rocky spots and a lot of beach-goers content in the Uvala Luka. It’s a bay just south-east of the old Korčula town, where the Port 9 Resort is located (one of the biggest hotels in Korčula, along with their camping site). The other side of the bay hosts other hotels, so you can expect a lot of people on the beaches around those hotels during the season, but the beaches are really nice, you have pebbles and also some rocky parts to enjoy, there’s of course bars and restaurants and you’re literally 10 minutes away from the centre of the town. There’s a small islet right in the centre of that bay, easy swimming distance from the beaches (trust me: there is a small islet even if Google maps deny that fact! It’s there!), just beware of the many boats in the bay if you decide to swim there.
Well, this is definitely not a beach in the narrow sense of the word, but it’s a very popular place to go to from Korčula town to enjoy the sea. It’s a short and very affordable boat ride, and you’ll find yourself on a lovely islet with a monastery, some ancient ruins, a bar-restaurant, a foot-path around the island and 4 kilometres of coastline just inviting you to put your towel down and go for a swim. There are 2 main beaches, one between the monastery and the restaurant and the other one on the north-eastern side of the island, but there are many other small patches of wonderful pebbles around the island. You can never really expect to have much privacy there, though, because of many tourists on the island and many boats around it, but there’s just no way around it – if you spend your vacation on Korčula, Badija is a place you must visit. And you’ll almost certainly catch a glimpse of one of these guys while you’re there:
Vela Pržina is probably the most famous of the beaches on Korčula. It’s a quite a long sandy beach near Lumbarda, at the eastern-most tip of the island, facing south (thus the name, as the sun tends to be very strong there and that would be the literal translation of the name). It’s easily accessible by car (although you will have to pay for parking there), and you can also walk from Lumbarda, and it’s basically a children’s paradise. It’s sandy, the sea is really shallow and thus quite warm, it has a safety net to shield from any (not very smart) sailing people who’d like to come too close, so you understand why parents love bringing their kids here. Since it is popular, you can find a lot of stuff beach-goer needs here, so there are two bars (at least one of them is a restaurant as well), you can rent parasols and deck chairs, there’s a beach volleyball court there; you can even get a massage there if all the kids start to get on your nerves. If you want to get away from the crowds at the sandy part of the beach, you can just walk a bit towards the West and find wonderful spots on the rocks there, but in that case you’re in the sun, as there’s no natural shade there either.
Bilin Žal is a beach just across from Vela Pržina, 10 minute walk between them, facing north (so it has a really spectacular view of the archipelago and Pelješac). It’s also sandy in part; it’s somewhat smaller than Pržina but it’s also a paradise for children and their parents. There are also restaurants there, and it also gets quite crowded during the high season, but if you decide to walk either east or west from the centre of attention, you will find some of the nicest rocky spots of privacy on the entire island. There you will be able to put your stuff in the shade, swim in the perfectly clear sea, the only downside is that the entrance to the sea and exit back to those rocks might be demanding for those used to the ease of a sandy or a pebble beach, but that’s just the price you have to pay for an otherwise perfect setting.
The next-door neighbour of the Pupnatska Luka, Bačva is another one of several bays at the southern side of Korčula Island, facing toward the Lastovo Island. It is also a pebble beach, somewhat smaller than Pupnatska Luka beach and a bit less crowded, but otherwise quite similar to it – and there’s even a restaurant there too. The sea is perfectly clear and turquoise in Bačva as well, the pebbles are wonderfully soothing to walk on, it will be just as big of a challenge to find some shade in Bačva (so bring your own parasol with you if you plan to spend a day there). The road to Bačva beach is a bit less comfortable (but you can have some figs from the tree if you’re there in late August if you just look closely enough) and you will have to look a bit more closely for the road sign directing you where to take a left turn if you’re going from Korčula to Pupnat but once you get to the beach you will remember nothing of the trip as you will be fully immersed in the sea and the sun, as if nothing else exists.
Pupnatska Luka beach is another of favourites on Korčula, and there’s good reason for it. On the southern side of the island, at the bottom of a deep bay, almost always shielded from winds, this sandy beach is a very popular destination for day-trips. It’s 15 km away from Korčula town, near the village of Pupnat, and you can drive down the unpaved road very close to the beach itself (although, during high season don’t expect it will be easy to find a parking spot there, and you might end up paying for parking). If you don’t have a car, you can take the bus to Pupnat and hope that you’ll be able to hitch a ride to the beach. There’s not much natural shade on the pebbles of the beach, and even an attempt to search for shade on the rocks on the “sides” of the bay might not end up successful, so you should either bring your own parasol or rent one on the beach. There are two bars/restaurants on the beach.
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