We can’t believe it’s that time already! As the inhabitants of Korcula Island begin to hibernate for a well-needed rest after a busy few months, we reflect on the best of summer 2017.
We had an incredible summer and thank everyone who joined us on a tour this year and booked accommodation or a transfer with us.
It’s been a record year for us. The duration we ran our tours was from the beginning of May until 27 October, which is our longest consecutive period. We ran 38 cycling & wine tasting tours, 33 walking & wine tasting tours and a total of 30 other tours (including our boat & wine tasting tour and olive oil tasting tour). The cycling & wine tasting tour continues to be our most popular tour.
We had two new tours running this year – the Olive Oil Tasting Tour and also the Posip Wine Tasting. The latter we won’t continue next year, but we will be working with a fellow expat and friend next year who will be running a cycling & wine tasting tour in Smokvica. The Olive Oil tour worked really well and we also learnt a lot more about olives ourselves. We are making a few amendments to this tour so that the focus is even more on the olives and oil and are really excited to continue it in 2018.
We meet a lot of honeymooning couples, a lot of newly engaged couples, people celebrating anniversaries, several fun groups of friends, as well as making lots of new friends ourselves along the way! And probably shared a couple of heavy heads the following morning after a couple of continued drinks back in town after the tour!
We hosted a few group tours this year. For the 3rd time we worked with a group of American students here on a study program where we arranged kayaking, walking and traditional meals allowing them to learn more about culture and life on the island. We also had great fun hosting a group with Curious Kat. Starting from Dubrovnik we visited the Arboretum, stopped in Mali Ston for lunch and spent a couple of days on Korcula boating, wine tasting and taking a guided tour of the town. The tour will be returning this September (further details to follow).
We received some lovely feedback from people who joined us on one of our tours as well as on tours run by friends and partners on the island, including Mario’s boat trip around the archipelago, Frank & his family’s walking & culinary experience in Zrnovo and Brian’s trip across the Peljesac tasting delicious wines and oysters!
What we’ve done
We had a few personal return visitors this year, so made sure we had some beach time. We didn’t venture to any new beaches this summer, but had a couple of visits to our favourites – Bacva near Pupnat and Vaja in Racisce. We’d always recommend trying to get to a beach away from Korcula Town, where you find some stunningly beautiful spots, typically with less bathers.
We attended our 7th Half New Year party this new year. Every year Korcula celebrates half new year on 30 June. It’s a big masquerade outdoor party with music, dancing and lots of eating and drinking. The costumes are always very impressive. We didn’t dress up this year but we will definitely next time. Any recommendations of costume designs welcome in the comments box below!
We haven’t been for a couple of years, but this summer we went to the Grk Wine Festival in Lumbarda. For three Sundays across July and August, this wine festival is held in the central square of Lumbarda. All of the Grk wine producers attend and you are able to try their wines. You pay 50 Kuna per person for a glass and then you are free to taste island wine including the white wine only produced in the village, Grk and the regional red wine, Plavac Mali. Live music plays whilst you sip and it’s a fantastic way to meet local winemakers and mingle with the locals.
Not so much doing but seeing, we had a couple of “firsts” this summer. We saw dolphins in the Peljesac channel, which was incredible and we saw a couple of amazing water spouts (sea tornadoes) also in the channel.
Where we’ve eaten
In the last couple of years, there’s been several new restaurants open on Korcula and this has definitely raised the overall standard. You can now find great quality traditional restaurants, but also those with a modern twist offering less “typical” Croatian fare. We’ve certainly enjoyed some great meals out this summer.
Some of our firm favourite restaurants seem to mimic those which feature at the top of TripAdvisor. Belin in Zrnovo with their delicious grilled meals and local specialty zrnovski makaruni, Filippi offering top quality dishes with a great wine selection, Aterina which we love for their use of fresh ingredients and daily specials, Silk and their Asian inspired street food (which is a great take-away spot for us), Torkul in Lumbarda for their fantastic pizzas and being a big hit with our young son, Tedeschi also for their constantly tasty & top value pizza and pasta and a new place for us this year, Skafetin. Here you’ll get tasty dishes served in a relaxing ambience served by a charming host.
Of course we can’t go through summer without a peka or two! Again the meat peka from Maha is flawless, but we also tried somewhere different this year in Zrnovo, called Gera. This family run restaurant operating out of their front garden, is fantastic value.
Finally, we visited two more restaurants in more remote spots; both which we highly recommend. Located on a beautiful terrace overlooking olive trees, Konopica located near to Cara serves traditional, plentiful home-style food. Also the small restaurant at Bacva Beach is perfect. Whether you opt for meat, fish or seafood, you won’t be disappointed. And the house wine at both places is very drinkable!
Wondering what peka and zrnovska makarun is? Head on over here to see what you should be eating on Korcula.
Where we’ve drunk
Where did we head for wine, when we weren’t enjoying a glass of Grk on one of our wine tours? To Bokar and Vinum Bonum. The two guys running Bokar, a quirky wine bar tucked down one of the Old Town streets, are extremely friendly and helpful, offering fantastic wine advice. Here you can try local wines, but also wines from other parts of Croatia and craft beers. Vinum Bonum is a fun local spot, with a range of house wines, rakijas & liquors on offer, as well as selling Korcula & Peljesac wine by the bottle, at a great price.
Of course, summer is all about the cocktails and we enjoyed a few of these over in Lumbarda. The Prvi Zal cocktail bar located on the beach of the same name, has been a firm favourite for several years. Friendly staff, a range of flavoursome cocktails at some of the best prices on the island. Another great cocktail and beach bar is Antonio, which we went to for the first time this year. Located just a few metres from Przina sandy beach, this family run bar is in a fantastic location overlooking the sea.
Winter and 2018
We will be leaving the island soon for a few months. We are heading back to the UK for Christmas to catch up with friends and family there. Then we are returning to Sarajevo where we will continue our winter venture. We hope to bring even more offers through Sarajevo Explorer which will focus upon skiing and winter activities in the fascinating capital city of Bosnia, Sarajevo.
We’ll be back on the island for Spring, which is a beautiful time to be here and finish any preparation for the 2018 season. We’re hoping to add a couple of tour options next year and we’ll share the details with you as soon as we have everything prepared.
Although we won’t be on Korcula, we will continue to share photos and information about this stunning Croatian Island on our social media channels, (facebook, Instagram, twitter and pinterest), on the website and here on the blog.