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Vela Luka – the Town Made Famous by a Love Song
Only now I see what Vela Luka, the sea and you mean to me, memories is all I will have left... these are the verses of the song that has made Vela Luka widely famous, a town on the western side of the Island of Korčula, which, with its 276 square kilometres, is the sixth largest island in the Adriatic. Located at the very end of a deep bay, Vela Luka is surrounded by many little coves harbouring vineyards, olive groves, fig trees, carob trees, pine tree forests and other Mediterranean greenery.

With less than 5,000 inhabitants, Vela Luka is the second largest town on the Adriatic islands, and with its position, it is one of the most protected harbours of the mid Adriatic, which makes it a safe anchorage and suitable for yachtsmen.  As a town Vela Luka did not begin to develop until the end of the 18th century. The cultural centre, located in the ancient villa Kaštel, harbours the valuable archaeological prehistoric collection from a nearby Neolithic locality and Roman localities, as well as a collection of contemporary art by domestic and world artists.

On the southern slopes of the hill Pinski rat an archaeological finding site was discovered, testimony to man living in this area in prehistory (around 3,200 B.C.). The plateau in front of the entrance to the cave offers a view of almost all parts of the Vela Luka bay, the western end of Blatsko polje and the open sea from Vis, Sveti Andrija, Biševo, all the way to Sušac and Lastovo. From the nearby hills, the southern parts of Hvar and Pelješac and the tips of Biokovo can be seen in good weather.
 
In the middle ages, Vela Luka was an area where the dukes and aristocrats of Korčula would build their villas and castles. Vela Luka is a town where the traditional original Croatian ‘a capella’ band music, the ‘klapa’, is still very much alive, it is a town with an interesting and rich cultural heritage. The Vela Luka cultural and entertainment summer festival, Luško Lito, begins on June 24th, on St. John Day, with a revived regatta of row boats from Gradina bay to the town centre. In its program, which lasts until the beginning of February, Luško Lito includes over 40 nights of cultural and entertainment events. Especially interesting will be the performance of the folklore association Kumpanija, performing ancient Vela Luka dances and knightly games, fishery nights, olive oil nights, as well as theatre nights and nights of classical music.

A must see destination for all visitors of vela Luka, especially in the summer months, are the tiny islands Ošjak i Proizd. The first is located in the very centre of the entrance to the Vela Luka bay and is completely covered by a thick pine tree forest, crossed with hiking trails leading to accessible karrens and places ideal for swimming and sunbathing. On the western side there is an exceptionally beautiful cave surrounded by rocks and the sea. Ošjak has become to be known as the "island of love".

The somewhat bigger island Proizd is located around half an hour boat ride from the town centre, luring visitors with the natural beauty of its beaches located in hidden coves, turquoise sea and aromatic pine trees and salt. Three beaches stand out, known as the "Bili Boci", located on the northern side of the island and offering a view of the neighbouring Hvar and the open sea. Three years ago, Proizd was named the beach of the year in the Croatian Adriatic.

The hotel accommodation in Vela Luka comprises the hotels «Adria», «Posejdon» and «Dalmacija» and the guest-house «Jadran», while many rooms, suites and summer houses are offered in private accommodation. There is also the auto-camp «Mindel» with the accommodation capacity for around 200 visitors, located five kilometres from the town centre. The contemporary sanatorium "Kalos" offers various rehabilitation and preventive treatments as well as a spa program.

Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board
www.visitdubrovnik.hr

Vela Luka Municipality Tourist Board
www.tzvelaluka.hr
 
 

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