27 May 2009

Dalmatia - Korčula

When you tire of gorging yourself on shells in Mali Ston, drive to the end of the peninsula and take the ferry across to this miniscule city on the island of the same name. Referred to many as a miniature Dubrovnik, we politely decline to agree, but do concur that the old walled city has its own charm. According to local stories, Marco Polo was born here, and you may be lucky enough to catch the “Moreska” – the battle of the armies of the White King to save the princess abducted by the army of the Black King, every 29th of July (although you might think the Black King would tire of taking the princess every year just to get beaten again).

Pensions or short-term apartments are your best bet for accommodation whilst on your pilgrimage to the birthplace of the man who brought pasta to the West; however, if you can’t find acceptable private accommodation, go for the Hotel Korčula, which may have tired rooms (these rooms may actually have chronic fatigue), but at least has an excellent location in the old town, and the lobby is a real shrine of Yugonostalgia. Check KorculaInfo and KorculaNet for random information, the former has bus schedules. Oh, and skip the Marco Polo Tower – but don’t skip the Massimo bar in the Zakerjan tower at the end of the peninsula.

Yes, the ubiquitous Jadrolinija runs the frequent, small ferries running from Orebić on Pelješac peninsula to Korčula. The port is also on Jadrolinija's route running Split - Stari Grad (Hvar) - Sobra (Mljet) - Korčula - Dubrovnik - Bari (Italy).
Plokata 21.travanj bb
+385 (20) 715 410 or 711 101

Korkyra Info Tourist Agency
Ulica 58, broj 8
+385 (20) 711 750 or +385 (91) 571 4355
Cars, scooters, boats, bikes, rooms, and real estate, as well as a small internet cafe.

Hotel Korčula
Šetalište F. Krsinica bb
+385 (20) 711 078
The ultimate Yugonostalgic lobby. Stop for drinks, but for accommodation just get a private apartment. The website is interesting - it is "dedicated to the famous Hotel Korcula".

Šetalište Petra Kanavelića
Great views of the sunset from the top of the Kula Zakerjan – a medieval tower which used to guard the city – and now just serves up a variety of cocktails. Watch out – you have to scale back down that ladder. Not even the drinks can make it up that way – they travel via a dumbwaiter mounted on the outside of the tower.

Konoba Morski Konjić
Šetalište Petra Kanavelića
Surprise – a seafood restaurant catering to tourists with a twee name like “Seahorse”. The food is standard, but it is located next to Massimo so handy when you’ve been atop the tower enjoying drinks at sunset.

Where does this fit in the itinery?

Korčula is a good match with Dubrovnik (via bus or ferry) as well as Mostar, Mali Ston (at least for lunch!), or Hvar & Split (via ferry). If you are a windsurfer, don't miss Viganj just across the channel on Pelješac. It is also a good base for exploring the vineyards of Pelješac (as an alternative to staying at Hotel Astrea in Mali Ston).

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