Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Marina Korkyra: Vela Luka Port Finally on Nautical Tourism Map

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 22nd of June, 2020, it's a well-known fact that Croatia is a nautical superpower, and the country is even a global leader by many standards when it comes to charters. Nevertheless, investments in new nautical facilities, primarily marinas, are relatively rare and mostly modest in their nature. That's why the project of Marina Korkyra, which recently came to life in Vela Luka on Korčula, is interesting.

Marina Korkyra is a huge investment of 42 million kuna made by a company called Ovalis nova, owned by the entrepreneurial family Šegon, which built a hotel of the same name in Vela Luka back in 2011 - Hotel Korkyra.

According to Ivo Šegon, the director of the aforementioned marina, after several decades of efforts, a new marina was built and opened in Vela Luka. Thus, Vela Luka can finally be presented as a new port of Croatian nautical tourism.

"Since the 80's, the project of the Port of Nautical Tourism has been waiting to come to life and bring some long-awaited changes to Vela Luka's tourism, as well as the future development of the place as a whole. Although the project took a little longer than we planned, during 2018 and 2019, construction work was carried out, and this year the marina was opened - we received the necessary permit back in mid-May,'' says Šegon.

Marina Korkyra boasts 132 berths, as well as a bar and restaurant overlooking the entire bay of Vela Luka. The marina is made as an island with two modern pavilions that are connected to the coast by bridges, which, according to the director, puts a special "stamp" on the recognisable visual appearance of the marina.

In the first pavilion there is a reception, souvenir shop and toilets, and in the second there is a bar and restaurant which are both open to boaters, as well as to all guests of Vela Luka and of course to the locals. The restaurant, says Šegon, offers dishes based on a combination of traditional and modern recipes, and most of the ingredients are procured from local suppliers.

The designers of Marina Korkyra, Maja Kuzmanović, an architect, and Mladen Vučković, a maritime designer, pointed out that at this moment in time, only the first phase of the marina has been completed, a large breakwater which works to protect the entire marina from adverse weather conditions and the elements, which also provides mooring for boats and promenades for tourists.

They add that this is a unique example of a marina that has pavilions on a large pier rather than on the shore, thus opening up additional space for users. The specificity of Vela Luka and its beautiful 9.5 kilometre-long-bay makes it a naturally safe place for boaters on the Croatian Adriatic.

As they are quite far from most Croatian airports in Vela Luka, as well as the main international roads, Marina Korkyra is currently filling its capacities with transit guests, the director notes.

"We have more and more inquiries from foreign guests who want to transfer their ships to a permanent berth here and we're happy about that,'' Ivo Šegon said.

For more, follow our travel page.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Konoba Gulin in Vela Luka: Where Good Food Meets UNESCO Protection

Honestly, when the plans were made for my little group to go to Konoba Gulin, a restaurant near Vela Luka, for a dinner, I knew almost nothing about the place. But, after the first visit, I am sure there will be many happy returns.

The first thing you should know about Konoba Gulin is that it's owned and managed by a real character: Tonči Miletić. He will take your phone calls to make a reservation (a word of advice, the kind you really should take: make a reservation, if you're planning on eating there during the high-season; we witnessed him turning more than a dozen people down, who came without reservations, so don't make that mistake in August), he will call you on the day of your arrival in the morning to tell you what's on the menu that day, and he will welcome you to his restaurant like you're a part of his family.

And then his friends will come, and the group will start singing, and even if you're not the biggest fan of klapa a cappella music (just like I for one am not), sitting just above Vela Luka, on a terrace with the view of the sea, in the olive groves on an August evening, you will have to admit that their song is just perfect for the setting.

So, as I said, I had no idea who he is, who the group is, so I asked, and it turns out it's not just any group of Tonči's friends, it's the quite well-known Klapa Ošjak from Vela Luka, who have recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, and who gained national attention last year when they sang during Oliver Dragojević's farewell from Split, upon his arrival in Vela Luka, and at his funeral. Tonči from the restaurant is the first tenor, and in addition to listening to him and his friends sing, if you get a chance, you should look at him sing: he's smiling the entire time while he's singing, and that's amazing to see!

He says about himself that he's one of the rare people around who's involved with three separate UNESCO protected heritages: the klapa song, the olive trees in Croatia and the dry stone walling. 

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And, yes, he can make dry stone walls! The entire restaurant is made of the traditional dry stone, and it is an impressive feat, to be able to do something like that. When I talked to him, I told him that if I were able to sing like he does, I wouldn't do anything else in my life, but the same goes for the dry stone walls, as they're so, so impressive you just want him to do as many meters of them as possible. 

Then there's the food. Like I already mentioned, when you come to Konoba Gulin, it's either going to be fresh, or you're not having it. We wanted to have some tuna steaks, he said that he would try to get some, but then called to tell us that there's no tuna today, but that he got a perfectly fresh swordfish, and would we care to have some of that? Well, of course we would, and yes, if you're wondering, it was perfect. As fresh as it gets, and prepared expertly on their grill by Tonči's son, who refused to get out of my perfect shot, because he needs to deal with the fish for the other customers (of course he was right and I was wrong: get your photos later, lady, once everyone has eaten!) 

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The view from the terrace is, like I mentioned already, amazing, perfectly positioned to experience the most beautiful sunset, and that's just one of the wonderful things you will get to enjoy while at Konoba Gulin.

If you're anywhere near Vela Luka, make yourself a favour and go to Konoba Gulin for one of those truly astonishing, authentic experiences of Dalmatia. Just make a reservation before you do!

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

VIDEOS: Oliver Dragojević Honored Around Croatia

The legendary Oliver Dragojević was honored around Croatia with concerts and song on July 29th, one year after his passing. 

An intimate concert was held in Oliver’s beloved Vela Luka, accompanied by an orchestra performed by his friends and colleagues - Gibonni, Zorica Kondža, Tedi Spalato, Dupini, Antonio Serrano, Klapa Ošjak, Alan Bjelinski, Ante Gelo and Nikša Bratoš, reports Jutarnji List on July 29, 2019. 

Oliver’s celebration in Vela Luka was attended by members of his family, as well as several hundred lucky fans who succeeded in snagging tickets for the instantly sold-out event. 

The atmosphere was glorious, and the emotions reached a peak that could only be reached at one of the singer’s famous concerts. The intimate spectacle was attended by about 450 lucky guests who were given a CD at the entrance.

The citizens of Split also honored Oliver by gathering at the central Pjaca for the first anniversary of the singer's passing.

Like last year, they paid tribute to the music giant by singing his songs for a full two hours, with a sizeable spontaneous Split choir led by members of Marjanke.

The young Zadar singer Jure Brkljača also decided to pay his respects to Oliver by doing a rendition of 'Ajde zbogom'. Brkljača said Oliver had been his role model from a young age.

“We will miss him forever, but his music will live forever. He is the one and only,” Jure said. 

Another young Croatian singer, Dino Petrić, paid tribute to the singer by singing 'Galeb i Ja'.

American TV producer Ashley Colburn and her singing partner from the hit TV show 'Singing with the Stars', Bojan Ambrošić, also remembered Oliver as a 'true inspiration'.

The famed and favorite Split musician forever closed his eyes in the early morning hours of July 29, 2018, following a tough battle with lung cancer discovered in August 2017. Oliver Dragojević left behind his wife Vesna, sons Dino, Davor and Damir, and five grandchildren, as well as numerous bereaved colleagues and fans. The day of his death was proclaimed a national day of mourning, and for his final farewell in Split on July 31,  2018, tens of thousands of people paid their respects in a spectacle that will be remembered and recounted for many years to come.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 22 March 2019

Vela Luka: Construction of Passenger Terminal and Fishing Port in 2019

As Morski writes on the 21st of March, 2019, a session of the Municipal Council of Vela Luka on the island of Korčula was attended by the county's deputy prefect Joško Cebalo, who expressed the wider county's support for all of the innovative projects currently being prepared and implemented by the municipality, which are aided by EU funds.

''This time especially, I'd like to emphasise sincere congratulations to all of the employees of Vela Luka's home for the elderly for the municipal award that will be given to them today,'' Joško Cebalo stated, adding that the project of energy renovation for the home, which is worth more than four million kuna, will soon begin.

Port infrastructure is still seen as a top priority for Vela Luka. Deputy Prefect Cebalo stressed the fact that this issue really is a matter over which the county's administration is continuing to take care and that one of its main priorities is the continued renewal and further construction of Vela Luka's highly important port infrastructure.

According to him, the county is currently preparing as many as eight projects worth over 500 million kuna in total, and the most important for Vela Luka's residents were highlighted, these include the construction of a new ferry-passenger terminal worth 60 million kuna, which should be implemented this year, and the project of the construction of a fishing port, for which the project documentation is currently being prepared.

''As the completion of the construction of Pelješac bridge will be the symbol of the first decade of Croatia's membership of the European Union, these two projects in Vela Luka will symbolise [our] development thanks to EU funds, as well as our care for the islands,'' concluded Vela Luka's deputy prefect.

Make sure to stay up to date on the construction of infrastructure in Vela Luka and far beyond by following our dedicated lifestyle and business pages. If it's just the island of Korčula you're interested in, give Total Korčula a follow.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Oliver Dragojević to be Honored with Museum in Heart of Vela Luka

It's been just over 3 months since the one and only Oliver Dragojević left us. The iconic singer was remembered especially over the last few days, as family, friends, and local citizens visited his gravesite in his hometown of Vela Luka on Korčula, leaving flowers, candles, and prayers.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Ferries in Dalmatia When the Sun Don't Shine: Vela Luka to Split (VIDEO)

Ferries in Dalmatia. Gliding through a millpond, a gentle breeze through your hair under perfect blue skies, gliding along the islands and mainland of Croatia's Adriatic coast. 

That is the romantic summer version of taking ferries in Dalmatia (and much of rest of the year too). 

But when the weather turns foul an a storm is brewing, it takes on an altogether different experience. 

There is some very severe weather in Dalmatia at the moment, and the other side of ferries in Dalmatia was captured by Index.hr reader Andrej Pavicic, who captured yesterday's ferry from Vela Luka on Korcula to Split, with the Jadrolinija ferry Bartol Kasic having a very rough time of it as it passed the island of Hvar. 

Check out the ferry and Index video by clicking on the image below.

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Monday, 15 October 2018

A Villa from Korčula Awarded "Best Holiday Home Beach House" Title

The European Holiday Home Association, EHHA, has awarded the best holiday homes in Europe in 2018, in 14 categories.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Top Five Things Not to Miss in Vela Luka

At the western tip of the island, Vela Luka is a must-visit! 

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Vela Luka Outdoors to be Held in Vela Luka on Sept 8

For the fifth time, Vela Luka will host a MTB recreational marathon, starting at the centre of the town, with two courses, one 58 km long, the other, easier one 28.

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