The pretty little town of Vela Luka is a located in a deep inlet on the western end of Korcula Island. This is a lively place during the summer months and has been home to mankind for over 20,000 years; with its sheltered harbour and myriad of coves indenting the inlet it easy to see why. Vela Luka is a wonderful harbour to add to your list potential ports of call for your yacht charter.
Around the head of the bay there are a string of restaurants and shops. In fact, as this is the biggest town on the island, you will find everything you need to re-provision your charter yacht. For better quality vegetables, look out for the stalls set up in the various back streets.
Prices at the restaurants vary considerably around the town. For some good quality local Dalmatian dishes and cheaper prices proceed north around the bay and check out what is on offer around there.
The town quay is managed by friendly local officials and offers lazy lines, power and water. It is reasonably priced here compared with many of the other quays in this sailing area. You can also stay for up to two hours free if you just want to resupply or stock up with water. Water is cheap and good quality here. (50 Kuna/per boat 2015) Protection on the quay is good but it can get a bit bumpy in a strong westerly winds.
To the west of the town quay there is a good fuel dock and beyond that a large mooring field. Buoys here will set you back 150 kuna per night for a 12m boat (2015); again this is cheap for this area! The sea is fairly clear here for a harbour so try not to get too alarmed by how shallow it looks; there is a good 3 to 4 meters under you even in the back line of buoys.
You are permitted to anchor in the harbour but room is limited due to moorings and depth of water. You will be charged to anchor. (100 Kuna per night 12m yacht 2015) The harbour authorities are entitled check and charge anchored boats, under local bylaws, in all the bays of the inlet. This authority extends from Vela Luka harbour out to Gradina Bay, where there are also port authority moorings.
While in Vela Luka don’t miss a walk up to Vela Spila (Big Cave). This is one of the most important archaeological finds in Europe as it provides a continuous glimpse into life here for over 20,000 years.
The cave is perhaps a bit less than impressive at first glance but it is still being excavated in conjunction with the Cambridge University (UK) and new finds are made every year; including skeletons of the dead that were buried here.
“Stanko” is one of the oldest skeletons ever dug up in the Mediterranean at around 9000 years old.
The items found (including an amazing significant selection of pottery) are exhibited in the museum in Vela Luka below. It is a short uphill walk of about 1km from central Vela Luka to the cave and from the path you have excellent views down into the harbour. To make it a round trip you can follow the road up from the cave and sweep around west and then back into town from the north.
Vela Luka is also known for its long history with traditional music and folk singing. During the summer season many concerts are performed in the St Joseph Church square. There is also a Vela Luka version of the sword dance made famous in Korcula. Here it is called the Kumpanija and is performed during July and August on a Tuesday at 2100 hours – to get the most out of the sparks flying!