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Croatia  Korcula

Image1 Island of Korcula Croatia it's one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic sea. It is also one of the most popular travel destinations in this part of Croatia. Like most of the Croatian islands, the Greeks, who gave it the name Korkyra Melaina or “Black Corfu” for its dark and densely wooded appearance, first settled Korcula. The island itself is rich in art and culture, as well as beautiful nature such as numerous tiny and secluded beaches and bays, small and uninhabited islands and breathtaking views. The main town on the island is also named Korcula. It is a typical medieval walled Dalmatian city, with its round defensive towers and cluster of red-roofed houses. Marco Polo (1254 - 1324) the famous world-traveller and writer, as well as a Venetian merchant, is reputed to have been born in Korcula. In the old town of Korcula where his supposed house of birth is located. It will shortly be turned into a Museum of Marco Polo

Besides Marco Polo, Korcula has a long art and cultural tradition, including museums, galleries and festivals. The sword dance Moreska, is world famous folk drama / dance, which used to be played all over Mediterranean. it is now only performed in Korcula.
Korcula has a lot to offer to a visitor to see and learn - its art and history, its culture, traditional crafts and skills of stone masonry and shipbuilding, sword dances, music, writings as well as its most famous inhabitant – Marco Polo and his heritage, besides all the natural beauties, views and beaches.

Image2Korcula town | Prehistory
The island of Korcula and the peninsula of Peljesac were inhabited even in the Neolithic Age, i.e. six to eight thousand years ago. There are numerous archaeological findings from that time, ranging form the first settlements, caves, tumuli, and old stone buildings (gradine) to the earliest tools such as stone axes, pieces of ceramics and flint knives. The most important localities dating from that time are: Vela Spilja (Big Cave) near Vela Luka, Gudnja and Spila on Peljesac, and Jakasova spilja (Jakas's Cave) near Zrnovo. There are also numerous tumuli and stone buildings, the earliest types of fortified settlements, using natural unworked stone; nmthey are most often situated on peaks and hills, providing a good view and difficult access for the possible invader. It would appear that the whole territory of Korcula and Peljesac was parcelled out according to zones of interest.

Even today the inquisitive visitor can find numerous fragments of ceramic products at various localities which are often called old town. These are the last remnants of the pre history of this region. The most important grad are near Smokvica, Vela Luka, Zrnovo, Pupnat, Donje Blato and Potirna on the island of Korcula, and Grad near Nakovanj, Gradac, Humac, Gradina, Crkovna Glava and Velike Stine on the peninsula of Peljesac.

Grad near Nakovanj, on the way to Loviste, can be easily visited as it is near the road. A natural large stone rock tops this hill and dominates the whole valley. The prehistoric men knew how to organize life on this plain of rock - they dogged out holes for gathering rain water an cut out stairs on the South side where access was not easy in order to enlarge the surface and make the fortification more secure. They built massive supporting walls in dry stone. Unfortunately the complete forms of these settlements can only be guessed at.
The first known inhabitants of these settlements in the Korcula and Peljesac region were Illyrians, as they were later called by the Greeks and Romans. They were united in tribes, were ethnically quite homogenous and occupied quite a large area, living from agriculture and cattle breeding.
Greek colonization was rather sporadic. The Greeks did not come as conquerors but looked for a modus vivendi, making no attempt to assimilate the Illyrians, who were thus able to continue their tribal life. The Greek colony lived for centuries parallel to and separate from the large Illyrian territory, having no special influence.

In the VIth century B.C., Greeks came from the small Asian town of Knidos during the first big Greek colonization of Sicily, South Italy and the Adriatic, when Great Greece (Magna Grecia) was created. The historians Pseudo-Skymos, in the IIIrd century B.C., and Pliny the Elder mention the colonists from Knidos who founded their settlements on Korcula. Pliny the Elder mentions that ancient town in his work "About Nature": "The distance from Issa to what is called Black Korkyra, with its Knidian town, is 25 miles..." There is also a legend, recorded almost two thousand years, ago, that the town of Korcula was founded by Antenor, a Trojan warrior, who fled to Korcula after the fall of Troy. The XVIth century stone plaque at the Western entrance to the town mentions Antenor as the founder of Korcula. This legend is also described by the writer Dihtys in his work about the Trojan Wars, which he based on the Greek original from the Ist century; he says that Trojan fugitives, led by Antenor, founded the town. The stone town of Korcula was also incorporated into old Greek mythology; according to Apolonio from Rhodos, Poseidon ordered Ezop's daughter Kerkyra, to settle here, and when the Argonauts were passing by Korcula and saw dense wood cover, they called the island Black Kerkyra.

Proof that the Greeks were the first colonists on Korcula is provided by an extremely valuable document, a pephism from Lumbarda of the IVth century B.C. This stone tablet, written in Greek. concerns the Issa families, Greeks from the island of Vis, who came to the island and how they planned the city and the land for use.

There was a great disparity between the way of life of the Greeks, with their urban culture and social organization, and that of the Illyrians, who had preserved their ancient ways. Therefore, not even a hundred years later, Korcula became the seat of Ilyrian pirates. The Romans attacked Korcula, Lastovo, Mljet, Peljesac and the Neretva area during their crusades to extend their empire. The repeated clashes with the Romans came to a climax in the Ist century which proved fatal for the inhabitants of this region, who had for so long been unconquered; the Emperor Augustus, in his crusade against Korcula, exterminated almost all its people. The various were killed and the rest were either moved or sold as slaves. This initiated a strong Roman influence on the island. That was the time of great ascent of Rome, its great military successes, the expansion of the empire throughout the whole of the Mediterranean and the creation of Roman provinces. Korcula found itself in the provinces of Dalmatia, and this immediately led to the organized immigration of Roman citizens, a more progressive exploitation of the land, and the building of numerous villas, Thus the area was Romanized. Villas appeared throughout the territory of Korcula and Peljesac.

The Western Roman empire finally disintegrated In 476 due to, among other reasons, the constant pressure of militant groups which, although the Vth and VIth centuries ravage tile territory of the vast empire, a part of which was Dalmatia. After a short period under Goths (Teodorik), Korcula, together with coastal Dalmatia, came under the rule of the Byzantine empire. Little remains from that period, but Byzantine coins are found, and there are numerous churches dating from the late Hellenic and early Christian period on the islets of the Korcula archipelago: Sutvara, Majsan, Lucnjak, Gubavac.

The Croats came to the Adriatic coast in the VIIth century, in the course of the great migration of peoples. They came to get her with other groupings of Slavs and Avars. As is natural, the islands were populated somewhat later, the first tribes from the Neretva valley settling down in Korcula, Brac, Hvar, Mljet and Vis in the IXth century.

Its exceptionally favourable position in the middle of the Adriatic and on the important trade route enabled the Neretva tribes to constantly endanger navigation and the sea trade. This trade was becoming more and more intensive due to the strengthening of Venice. But the principality of Neretva became so strong that Venice for some time had to pay a tribute for free naval passage in this part of the Adriatic. The "economic" activity of the Neretva tribes consisted, to a great extend, of piracy. Their domination of the seas of central Dalmatia was primarily due to the ideal disposition of the islands, their control of the critical points of this of this maritime route, and the prowess of these militant and experienced Neretva seamen. One of these critical points was the island of Korcula, lying in the channel which was called by its name. is most probable that this town was situated on today's site, because it dominates the important strategically point over which the Neretva tribes had power and control. This fortified settlement and maritime passage became the battlefield for the struggle with the Venetians in the year 1000. The Venetian duke Peter II Orseolo came with his military fleet in front of Korcula, anchored near the islet of Majsan, conquering it and the island of Lastovo. He waited here for the representatives of Dubrovnik to pay him tribute.

This was, however, a rare appearance of Venice in the East Adriatic for it was not strong enough at that time to be able to defend its sovereignty over the Adriatic. Venice would do this much later in the XIIIth century, after she had resolved her relations with the rival towns of Pisa, Rome and later Geneva, which also envisaged fertile trade relations with the East.
In the meantime, Korcula changed its rulers: first Zuhumlje, then Croatian-Hungarian states, and, at the beginning of the XIIIth century, Dubrovnik. All these changes in government, through which Korcula never lost its own citizenship, are coloured by the fact that Korcula was far from being one of the main preoccupation of the Byzantine empire, as its real problems lay on other borders. Venice similarly could strengthen her influence only with a large military expedition. Thus the Korculans expelled the duke Marsilie Zorzi in 1256, only two years after he had taken power, but recognized him again when he returned to the island with armed galleys. The struggle of the island community with the masters of the island is a permanent characteristic of the Middle Ages.

However, the princes of the Zorzi family won the hereditary right to govern Korcula, but according to written rules i. e. according to the written "Statute of the town and the island of Korcula" of 1214. The Korcula statute is a very important historical source which reveals and explains a great part of Korcula's cultural and economic history over a long period, up to the XVIth century. But the statute is more than that - it is a picture of the constant effort of the inhabitants to maintain the independence of the island and the town in spite of foreign rule, to make official the forms of liberty, and to consolidate their rights. When Marsilie Zorzi was chosen as the hereditary prince of the Korcula and Mljet principalities, the inhabitants of Korcula did so of their own free will defining his salary, confirming his lands and demanding that he ruled according to the mutually confirmed statute.

Venetian power and influence in the Adriatic grew thanks to enormous trade, great accumulations of capital, a strong naval fleet, and an extremely subtle or arrogant diplomacy depending on the circumstances. Its relations with the rival city of Genoa greatly occupied Venice. When diplomatic relations came to a crisis, a great clash occurred between these two Mediterranean powers.

This clash took place in the waters of Korcula in 1298. 180 galleys took part in this great naval battle. Genoa won, but losses were great on both sides. The commander of the Venetian fleet, Andrija Dandolo, was killed and many other famous Venetian captains were imprisoned. No less a man than the world traveller, the first explorer of the Far East, Marco Polo, was imprisoned, defending his Venetian Korcula in this battle. During his year of imprisonment, he narrated the events of his fantastic journeys all over the Far East to his fellow prisoner, the scribe Rusticiano of Pisa, who recorded them. So the famous Marco Polo travel book was written, which aroused great interest in Europe, and still does even today. Korculans are proud of the real possibility that Marko Polo was born a Korculan.
The princes of the Zorzi family maintained their position in Korcula up to the middle of the XIVth century. Then Korcula came for a short time under the rule of Hungarian-Croatian kings, Ludovik and his successors, who wanted to make the islands of Hvar, Brac and Korcula the center of their naval force. At the very beginning of the XVth century, Ladislav Napuljski ruled Korcula for a short time.

The year 1420 was decisive. In that year, Venice gained domination of Korcula for the fourth time, together with the greater part of Dalmatia. From then up to the Napoleonian wars and the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, Venice dominated Korcula, this last time for 370 years, via 149 princes.

In the XVth century, Europe was threatened by a new aggressive power from the East - the Turks. Their penetration into the Balkans was gradual but relentless. They conquered Belgrade at the beginning of the XVI century and, after the battle on Mohac, they even came to Sisak, Siget and Klis forming a fatal geographical wedge in our territories. The political map of the Balkans was changed radically, and Turkish destruction and pressure were the real threat and danger for the whole of Europe for many years.
Korcula was only marginally involved in these great changes and even, in the XVth and XVIth centuries, experienced its greatest period of prosperity. Directed by the will of Venice to relations exclusively inside Serenissima, it managed to create its own prosperity and achieve a stable development from these long-range economic and political relations. Korcula was at its height, unequalled before or since.

Although Turkish pressure existed, it was much less evident on the sea than on land. However, the neighbouring Dubrovnik, and Venice especially, had numerous clashes with the Turks (the Candi wars). At the end of the XVIth century, in 1571 to be precise, Korcula witnessed the great battle between the Turks and the united forces of Venice, Spain and the papal state, known as the battle of Lepanto. One part of the ships, immediately before the clash, left for the Adriatic towards Hvar and cochlea, led by the Algerian vice-king Uluz-Ali and Karakozi, the commander of Valona.

An authentic text by a participant in this siege, the archdeacon Rozanovic, who also commanded the defence of the town, has been preserved. Korcula experienced dramatic moments during the siege. Rumors about Turkish ships came on August 2 from refuges from Epir and Ulcinj, and on August 15, thirteen days later, the Turkish galleys appeared.
Existing on the border territory of the Venetian Republic, Korcula lived with Turkish danger in front of the doors of their city and island, in the XVII. century. This was during the period of the Candian War (1645 - 69) and the Morean War (1684 1699). Some of the Korculan patricians had actively participated in these battles between the Christian and Islamic world, and were under the very command of the Venetian war fleet. In this way, for instance, Jakov Arneri distinguished himself in the service of the Venetian Admiral Leonard Foscolo, in whose honor the Korculans raised a stone arch of triumph/tower on the very entrance into the city. The Arneri family placed his statue in the courtyard of their palace.

During the XVII and XVIII centuries, Korcula did not repeat it's heights in building workmanship from the previous two centuries, but instead continually developed to a greater extent it's shipbuilding activity. Hence in 1823, the first shipbuilders cooperative society under the name of BANCA DI SAN GIUSEPPE was founded. The Venetians, for reasons of concurrence, by the decree from 1669, prohibited Korcula from building larger ships. However, the craftsmanship of the Korculan shipbuilders could not be totally ignored, so that later, they themselves constructed and repaired their ships in the Korcula shipyards. An important event for the economic life of Korcula took place in 1776, when the Venetians transferred their famous arsenal from Hvar to Korcula. As a result of this, it became the main naval stronghold and army shipyard on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. In Korcula, war ships with from 20 to 40 cannons of the "nave gregata" and "vascello" type were built.
On the other side of the Peljesac Channel, one other Republic Dubrovnik, protected it's interests and defended it's territory from the Turks as well as from the Venetian Republic. In spite of the administrative prohibitions which existed on both sides, as well as the conflicts, the connections between this part of Peljesac and Korcula in this time had multiplied, especially in seamanship and shipbuilding. The sea and the ever-passable sea route through this strait meant the true joining of these two shores, today's unique tourist region.
It's first nucleus actually started to form when, in the XVIII. century in Orebic, Kuciste, and Viganj, houses started to sprout along the very seashore, after piracy had lost it's meaning. In this way, this region of the Peljesac Channel, along with it's building effect, completed and created a unique natural and building spirit on both shores of this region. This was recorded by Venetian travelling writers and reporters who had called it "the most beautiful Channel".
At the end of the XVIII. century, with the Peace Treaty of Campoformio in 1797, Venice lost it's dominance on the Adriatic, submitting to the war strokes of Napoleon.
In this way, a new era had started for this Korcula-Peljesac region, which will formally include them in a mutual state administrative entirety.

This stormy period in the European history, which began with the French revolution, could not leave Korcula and its surroundings unaffected, as had basically been the case during the Turkish reign of terror over all the Balkan peninsula. After the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, Korcula came under the power of Austria, but this reign quickly ended by the Peace of Pozun in 1805. Napoleon's army took Korcula together with the whole of Dalmatia, in 1806. That was the time of the war between Russia and Prussia on one side and Napoleonic France on the other. The strategic position of Korcula played its role again. The Russian fleet sailed into the Adriatic and shot from its cannons at the town of Korcula in April 1806, forcing the French to retreat within two days.
Less than a month later the French cunningly disembarked in the strategically placed cove of Racisce and seized the town of Korcula without a fight. But two days later, two big Russian ships and one frigate forced the sparse French force to flee. After a few months, the French entered the town again with an army of 900 soldiers and many ships. The Russians, together with the Montenegrins, took the town again after a battle. After the Peace of Tilzit, the Russians handed Korcula over to the French, who remained here until February 1813, when British troops, as victors over Napoleon, entered Korcula, keeping it in their power until 1815.
This short period of British rule under the command of Peter Lowen left an important mark on the island; the new stone West quay was built, as well as a semi-circular paved terrace with stone benches on the newly built road towards Lumbarda, and a circular tower, "forteca" on the hill of Sveti Vlaho. This fortress completely dominated the channel and was to play an important role in the history of Korcula as a perfect watchtower and a fortification. According to the terms of the Congress of Vienna, the British left the island of Korcula to the Austrians in 1815 on July 19.

Austrian rule and the Austro-Hungarian rule which followed lasted for more than a century and were typified by the motto of the world powers of that time: Divide et imperia (Divide and rule). The Austrian policy of denationalizing the Dalmatian coasts and favouring the immigrant Italian minority left its mark in the political division of the population as best expressed in the political parties: the People's Party and the Autonomous Party.
This political division also had its roots in class, as the greater part of the autonomous party, which wanted Dalmatian autonomy in the frame of Austria and was against joining the other parts of Croatia, as wanted by the People's Party, belonged to the richer strata of officials and administrators.

Agriculture could not offer an easy existence to the peasants, who were subjugated into a semi feudal relationship with a few rich patrician landowners. The undeveloped trade and the customs barriers signed by Austria hindered the sale of agricultural products to other countries. If we also consider the stagnation of the traditional Korcula occupations, fishing and stone-cutting, then in becomes even more evident that the alien reign could not bring prosperity to Korcula and its inhabitants.

Only shipbuilding and navigation continued somewhat more successfully due to the great ingenuity of the Korcula masters and the Peljesac captains and seamen, who cooperated with each other.

An important political change occurred in 1870 when the People's Party won the majority in the Dalmatian parliament (Sabor). This was helped by the changed political climate after the victory of the Austro-Hungarian navy over the Italian fleet near Vis, in which many people from Korcula and Peljesac took part. The mayor of the first Croatian community in the town of Korcula, the popular leader of the People's Party, Rafo Ameri, greeted Emperor Francis Joseph in Croatian in Korcula in 1875.

The Korcula shipyards and the "Peljesac Maritime Society" in Orebic, founded in 1865 on the modern principles of the shareholding society, were spreading the fame of the Korcula-Orebic shipbuilding and sailing tradition over all seas and oceans.
Revolutionary technical changes left Korcula and all Dalmatia on the margins of industrial development. Moreover, plant pests, especially peronospora, which came from America, devastated the vineyards. But the tough and persistent inhabitants of Korcula and Peljesac started to restore the vineyards.

After the removal of the clause limiting exports limit in the Austrian-Italian trade agreement in 1902, Korcula wine, especially that from Vela Luka, began to be exported successfully and at a very good price.

A new economic activity - tourism - started in Korcula and Orebic at the very beginning of the XXth century. New societies for "embellishing the town and its surroundings", first in Orebic and then in Korcula, organized the planting of parks and new ways of using public properties. A small shipping line was founded as well. The first modern hotel, the "De la ville", was built in 1912 on the Western quay so that it first struck the eyes of the tourists coming by ships, which were rather luxurious for these days, from Venice, Trieste and Rijeka. Public bathing places were put in order, and the first tourist, guide of Korcula was published in a few foreign languages in 1914.

However, this relative prosperity was soon disturbed by events on the world scene. The first World War, and later events on the World scene brought not only great loss of human lives, but also economic catastrophe to the inhabitants of Peljesac and Korcula, many of whom were forced to emigrate, especially to America.

Image3Blato | Blato is situated forty two kilometres away from Korcula in an amphitheatre on seven hills in the middle of the West part of the island. The town is a harmonious whole, gathered around a raised paved square, on which lies the parish; church of Svi Sveti (All Saints) from the XVIth century with a tower and a loggia.
One can look from the tower to the white-roofed houses arranged on terraces on the surrounding hills. The three-aisled church and its tower are examples of the skill of the local stone-masons who combined Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance elements in its building. Three important works of art lie in the church: a restored painting by Girolamo di Santacroce at the main altar, the gift of the poet Kanavelid, choir benches in the late Renaissance style and a late Baroque carved frame for the side altar as well as a rich collection of silver church objects (candelabras, crosses, etc.).

Especially interesting is the only monument of the pre-Romanesque style from the XIth century on the island: the Church of St. Kuzma (Cosmo) and Damjan (Damian] in Zablace near Blato, which gives proof of early Croatian; Construction on Korcula. There are a lot of other XIVth century churches in Blato: Sveta Marija in Velo Polje, Sveti Martin in Mala Krtinia, Sveti Mihovil on the hill near the field of Blato. The later churches are: Sveti Vid on the top of Veli Ucjak, Gospa od zdravlja (Our Lady of Health in Mali Ucjak, Sveti Ivan in Vela Strana. Sveta Barbara in the area of Vlasinia, Gospa od navjestenja (Our Lady of Annunciation) in the area of Dovicine, as well a number of small churches and chapels in the surroundings of Blato.

The field of Zlinje divides the South and North part of Blato with one of the most beautiful elm tree alley in this part of the Mediterranean. The "Blato" modern wine Cellar produces wines from the field of Blato and other regions of the island. Blato is also an industrial centre. The "Radez" firm has a world-wide reputation for producing the steel hatches. There is also a small textile factory, "Trikop", which also exports its products, even to the United States, and some workshops and repair shops. The artistic tradition of Blato is continued by the contemporary painters: Natasa Cetinic, Ante Sardelic and Frano Franulovic, who has an atelier/gallery in Blato. The natural bays of Blato are Prizba and Grscica to the South and Prigradica to the North. A wide road leads to Prizba and Grscica, eight kilometres from Blato; they can also be reached by the Brna road along the South part of the island.
Prigradica is connected by road with Blato (nine kilometres away) and has a stone quay where ships can dock. There is a new bed-and-breakfast hotel, which also serves specialties, on the quay. Tourists are also attracted to Blato by its folklore, which draws its roots from the remote times of ritual sacrifices but has been modified by dances commemorating the heroic defenses of Blato from various foreign invaders. One of these heroic battles is the famous defense of Korcula from the galleys of Uluz All. Many inhabitants of Blato took part in this battle, even though Blato is far from Korcula, proving thus once again the historical fact that the town of Korcula and the island are vitally connected.

Lumbarda | Lumbarda is small fishermen's village of around 1200 inhabitants. It is situated at the eastern part of Island of Korcula, about 5 kilometres from Korcula Old Town. The village is built around small bay and on the hills behind it, and is surrounded by large sandy vineyards. To reach Lumbarda one can drive along a nice asphalt road passing through a picturesque area of pine woods and olive groves.

In the 3rd century BC a Greek (Hellenistic) agricultural settlement was founded here from which originated the Psephism and the gnathia vases found in graves (can be seen in the Korcula Town Museum). There was a Roman villa rustic (rural estate) in the field north-east of the village near Bilin beach. Since the 16th century prosperous Korcula landowners built summer houses called "kaštel" (pronounced 'kashtel') on the best sites around Lumbarda, some of them still well preserved and inhabited by local families.

For centuries the people of Lumbarda were farmers, mostly grape growers, fishermen and stone-masons. Several prominent modern Croatian artists, sculptors and painters were born here: Ivo Lozica (1910-1943), Lujo Lozica (1934), Stipe Nobilo (1945), and the most important of all, Frano Krsinic (1897-1981) who created the bronze Second World War Memorial (right photo) in the centre of the Lumbarda and the bronze relief Fishermen near the hotel Lumbarda. There are few local amateur sculptors and painters who live and work in Lumbarda, among them : Ivan Jurjevic-Knez and Tino Jurjevic.

Image5Vela Luka | The main island road bypasses Blato and ends in Vela Luka, forty two kilometres from Korcula and situated at the end of a big naturally enclosed by the woody island of Osjak. Vela Luka, together with Blato and Korcula, is one of the three island centres with a developed touristic, industrial and urban infrastructure.

Neolithic remains have been found in a cave in Spilinski Rat, while Roman remains, more numerous than Greek ones, have been found in Privala, Tecar, Bradat, Kovnice, Picena, Gradina, Garma, Poplata, Proizd and many other nearby localities. An interesting monument can be visited in Gradina , a small church on an island which was separated from the island of Korcula in the distant past; around the church are the ruins of a monarchs' shelter. The oldest preserved building is the "castle" of the Ismaellis Korcula princes.

Sveti Josip Church was built in the XIXth century when its priest, don. Petar Jokovic, took advantage of the visit of the archduke Francis Karlo, the father of the emperor Francis Joseph, and asked for help in building the church. Before that services were held in the XVIth century church of Sveta Vicenca.

Image6Lastovo | The virgin island of Lastovo is located on the south of Croatia (Dalmatia) with natural beauties, clean sea, rich with fish. The green forests and 46 cultivated valleys (mostly vineyards and olive trees) are spread over its 56 km². Lastovo island is surrounded by 46 smaller islands and cliffs with untouched nature and numerous bays. Lastovo is among ten Mediterranean islands that have the most preserved original value of untouched nature and beauty.

There are more than 30 churches and chapels on the island, some of them originating from ancient times. The very name Lastovo came from ancient times too, first known as Ladesta from the early IV century B.C. The Romans named it Augusta Insula, meaning The Emperor's Island. Later the name was changed into Ladeston and finally Lastovo.
The island has Mediterranean climate with mild and humid winters and warm, dry and lengthy sunny summers

Cara Cara is a village about 20 min bus ride from Korcula town (25km) right in the middle of the Island. Cara is well known, together with Smokvica, for its famous white wine Posip which is cultivated here, as well as in Smokvica.

Smokvica Smokvica is a village (pronounced Smokvitza) which is located about 30 kilometers from the Korcula Old Town. It is a small village of about one thousand inhabitants. Smokvica lays on the southern slide of surrounded hills which gives this village pleasant climate as it is protected from the BURA - unpleasant and cold northern wind. History of Smokvica dates back from 15th and 16th century, when Slav tribes from the Croatian mainland arrived here to find a refuge of Ottoman attacks. Traces of life in this location is found in Gradina ( Smokvica suburb) which dates back to Illyrian times. Smokvica has long established tradition of vine as well as olives growing. The large Smokvica Field is location of the well known Smokvica vineyards, where famous vines Posip and Rukatac are grown for centuries. These are quite well known dry vines from the area, known as excellent vines among the vine-lovers.

Racisce A twenty minutes bus ride from Korcula town there is a fisherman and seaman village of Racisce, situated in the one of the northern Korcula bays. It is quite small place, with only about 500 inhabitants, mostly sailors and their families. The bays Vaja and Samograd, with its prehistoric cave, are both attractive for swimming and sunbathing.

Pupnat Is a village in the interior eastern part of the island of Korcula, about 12 kilometres west of the town of Korcula. Pupnat is located on the regional road running along the island. The population of Pupnat is about 500 inhabitants and this is the smallest village on the Island. The name Pupnat, according to some interpreters, derives from "pampinata"- which means vine leaves.

The Illyrian lived around Pupnat, in the area of Mocila, where remains of Illyrian graves were found. Location of the village of Pupnat was chosen by its settlers, in the hilly part of the island, not to be noticed from the sea and in this way Pupnat was through the centuries protected from pirates.The graveyard church of St. George was first mentioned in 1383 and the three-nave parish church of Our Lady of the Snows was erected after 1620.
From Pupnat, the road climbs up almost to the top of the island from where a wonderful panorama stretches as far as the island of Mljet to the southeast and the island of Lastovo directly the south.

Hidden in a valley between high hills, Pupnat is a very pleasant and interesting visitors destination. It is the starting point for a number of interesting walking tours: to the peak of the island (Klupca, 568 meters), to the village of Racisce on the northern coast, to the Zukovica valley on the southern coast, and to the town of Korcula, by a prehistoric walking path.

Zrnovo Is a village located about 4 kilometres from Korcula Old Town. It is a small village having just over thousand inhabitants.
Zrnovo is a village that is spread on the large area and it consist of 4 separate villages/areas/hamlets which are Zrnovo-Prvo Selo, Zrnovo- Brdo, Zrnovo-Kampus and Zrnovo- Podstrana. Zrnovo is one of the oldest settlements on the island.The prehistoric life that existed in the area was found in Jakasove Spila (cave). Zrnovo has numerous small churches one can see walking along the road from East to West.
On the very entrance to Zrnovo from direction of Korcula, there is a crossroad to the right which leads to the area BRDO (croatian word for 'hill'). This area is located on the hilly position so there is a nice view over the reset of the village.
If one continues to walk further, for another 1.5 mile, one will come to the area called Koclje. Kocje is an interesting area, and good place to walk as it is located among high rocks with unusual dolomite rocks of chalk formation.