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In the early 19th century, the town of Vela Luka was established. According to Croatian standards, Vela Luka is quite a modern town, yet the surrounding area is rich in archaeological findings.
The inhabitants of Blato founded the town in order to export their oil and wine. Enjoy untouched nature, Dalmatian culture, art, and music. A trip to Vela Luka takes you into the glorious Dalmatian past.
The quiet town of Vela Luka is on the western end of the island of Korcula. The name ‘Vela Luka’ translates to ‘Big Port’ since it is tucked away in a wide bay. It is the biggest town on the island of Korcula. To learn more about Korcula, you can read our blog “7 best things to do in Korcula, Croatia“.
So it has everything you might need to restock your charter boat supplies. Enjoy the welcoming seafront restaurants, artsy pursuits, stunning scenery, the beautiful sea-facing row of 19th-century houses, historical artifacts… Just to name a few. Interesting fact: the streets of Vela Luka are numbered and do not have names.
Vela Luka has always been a safe haven for sailors thanks to the picturesque long bay it is located in. Moreover, the town has a newly built marina Korkyra with 135 berths. With the favorable geographical location and modern design, Korkyra is arguably one of the safest port in the Adriatic. All of this makes it the perfect nautical destination whether you start from Nava base in Split or Slano.
Best Things to Do in Vela Luka
Hike or bike to the top of Mount Hum
There are two ways to reach the top of Mount Hum. For example, if you rent a bike (contact Mediterano tourist agency), we recommend the paved road. The other option is the winding, rocky trail, which passes through olive groves and forests and takes approximately 1.5 hours to summit. The ruins of an abandoned Hapsburg era fortress sit on top of Mt. Hum. It is obvious why they fortified this spot. The mountain top has commanding views of the maritime approach to Vela Luka below, Lastovo towards the south and the long gray form of Hvar to the north. The hike is perfect for a golden hour photo shooting.
Go exploring the cave of ‘Vela Spila’
Home to incredible archaeological discoveries that date back to the Stone Age, Vela Spila roughly translates to ‘Big Cave’. Researchers found here pottery and human remains. The cave is the earliest known home of modern humans on the Adriatic. Blue mountaineering markers guide the way from the Riva, passing through Vela Luka’s backstreets.
A demanding, 30-minute uphill walk will take you to the limestone cave. There is natural light spilling in the cave through two large openings on the top. You can easily find the ongoing excavation and information plaques for visitors. Certainly, it’s worth the hike ends if not for the cave’s significance than for the magnificent view to the west of Vela Luka’s bay. Moreover, it’s a lovely spot for a fiery sunset.
On the small island of Proizd, enjoy turquoise waters and white pebbled beaches. It is virtually a hidden gem and a perfect beach getaway. There are four different beaches and a ‘kissing spot’ mosaic perfect for lovers. Another great swimming stop is the small Island Ošjak, located at the entrance of the harbor. The best part of chartering a boat is that you get to visit such little gems without excess crowds on small taxi or excursion boats.
Take a stroll along the Riva
The locals’ favorite pastime is to take a stroll and see this town come alive in the evenings after sunset. It’s a must-do activity. Locals welcome you for olive oil and wine tastings in their tiny shops, while cozy restaurants grill fresh seafood.
Get a taste of the local cuisine
To experience the autochthonous cuisine and ambiance, we recommend you visit Konoba Lučica. They serve top-notch fish and meat dishes and sell high-quality homemade olive oil. Nautic restaurant is a perfect choice for those who’ve dropped their anchor in the Gradina bay. After great Mediterranean food, grab drinks at one of the local café bars, such as Casablanca, Roxy, or Cesarica.
The Vela Luka Cultural Centre
The Vela Luka Cultural Centre has an archeological collection and an art museum combined into one. There are two Henry Moores and archeological finds from Neolithic times, from the nearby Vela Spila. The art exhibitions held in summers, feature modern art by contemporary Croatian and international artists. Moreover, the Centre for Culture, the town’s museum, is open even in evening hours in the summer months.
The World’s Longest Mosaic Street
Vela Luka’s local people are ambitious and artsy. Currently, they are trying to make ‘The World’s Longest Mosaic Street.’ You will find the sidewalk on the main street decorated with stone mosaic depictions of life by the sea, nature, and animals. Almost daily, local artists host free workshops to teach about the mosaic craft to the visitors to Vela Luka. Tourists even have the chance to get hands-on in creating their very own mosaic design. These designs will then be placed permanently on the sidewalk.
Home of Klapa Music
Vela Luka is the home of Dalmatian a cappella music called klapa; it is a form of singing that is soothing to the ears. You can sit back, relax, sip on a glass of wine and listen to local singers performing in groups and sing about the sea, love, life, wine and olives.
Another music related thing all locals are proud of is the famous Croatian singer Oliver Dragojević. Croatians often call him The Seawolf. If you decide to stop by any restaurant or café bar, we’re almost certain you’ll hear his music chiming in the background. He’s the Croatian version of Frank Sinatra or Gilbert Bécaud.
Visit Vela Luka with Nava. Send us an email and our charter team will get back to you as soon as possible.