Vela Luka, Town
The town of Vela Luka is located in the eastern end of the inlet of Zaljev Vela Luka at the western end of Otok Korcula. Approaching up the inlet watch for the lit islet of Kamenjak on the north shore around 2nm inside the western end of the inlet, and for the larger unlit island of Osjak on the south side of the inlet around 3nm in. The entrance to the greater Vela Luka harbour is well lit with a red light on the north shore and a white light on the end of the ferry pier. Beyond this a green light marks the western end of the town harbour wall.
This harbour wall is one of those few popular spots in Croatian sailing where you will struggle to get a berth... The best example of this is Hvar Town, where you may have to anchor up over-night then slip in during the morning to claim your place against the trendiest harbour wall in the Adriatic. And here is the mystery, Vela Luka is a wonderful place (deeply under-rated by many including most of the guide books) but it is certainly no Hvar Town, in fact the two are poles apart.
Vela Luka harbour wall has (currently) 10 places – and this limited number of moorings may explain part of the problem. To be sure of a spot you really need to be in the harbour by early lunch time. We arrived at 1330 and picked up one of three available places, the last two were gone 30 minutes after that.
The harbour and anchorages offers one of the best all round sheltered moorings at the west end of Korcula. With power and water it is a popular stopping point and talking to several people who had arrived the same morning the habit seems to be to take an anchorage in one of the attractive bays out in the inlet of Zaljev Vela Luka, then come into the harbour in the morning. During two visits (on in 2010 and one in 2012) it has surprised us how quickly these limited moorings fill up. Arriving at 1600 in 2010 there was no space to be had and the same could be said by 1330 on a Tuesday in late June in 2012.
There are good anchorages in the bay so do not despair if there is no space available on the wall, and since our 2010 visit there are also 13 laid buoys added in the west side of the bay between the fuel berth and the ferry pier. According to the harbour master on duty during our visit these buoys will take boats up to 15 metres but there is an issue of size as they are laid close together. There is talk of adding another 7 buoys to bring the total to 20.
If you manage to find a space by the wall the staff are helpful (one chose to give us a good-natured lesson in how to throw a mooring line) and charges are reasonable and made on a menu system with mooring itself being scaled on length and paid to the harbour authorities. You can then choose whether you want power, water, neither or both and pay a small fee for each to the town authorities. Rubbish disposal is charged automatically (with no choice). One night with power, rubbish and no water came to 230kn in 2012. Its not as complex as it sounds the harbour master takes a single payment for what you need but presents you with two reciepts, one from the harbour authority and one from the town council.
As with many of Croatia's harbours there is talk of building a marina (where the mooring buoys are currently located). We have to hope this does not happen as it will change the dynamic in what is otherwise an interesting and attractive working harbour.
New moorings with power and water have been laid along the new harbour wall to the west of the Fuel Berth and the ferry terminal - however the depths along this piece of wall were extremely limited (less than 1 metre) during our visit in 2010 and this area of moorings appeared to be unfinished and abandoned in favour of new mooring buoys during our visit in 2012.
Vela Luka is a pleasant and useful stopping off point at the western end of Otok Korcula, whether on the way to Lastovo or Vis, or intending to head along the Peljeski Kanal to Korcula Town and points south. One thing to remember however is that the town and its anchorages lie 5nm east of the western tip of the island, so allow at least another hour on your travel time as you head in or out from the port to traverse the length of the inlet.
Most of the town services and most accessible eateries are located along the eastern shore, which is peppered with old and often ramshackle wooden jetties that run out into the harbour over narrow stretches of shingle beach and bare rock.
Ferries arrive from Split once or twice a day and head on to (or return from) Lastovo, carrying cars and passengers. From the centre of town you can then catch buses that run to all of the major settlements on the island including Blato (the major inland settlement 5 miles to the west of Vela Luka) and Korcula Town. Highlights within the town centre around its museum and art gallery which includes an archaeological collection of prehistoric artefacts from the ‘Vela Spila’ or great cave and some interesting paintings and two Henry Moore sculptures. The building itself was decorated with mosaics during an international art festival in 1968.
For more information about Korcula click here
For more information about Vela Luka click here
Harbour wall - water and power
Port of Entry
Harbourmaster, Customs and Police
Fuel available from the west end of the Town Quay
Shops (wide range including a supermarket)
Crane, Slipway and Engine Repair (in the Vela Luka ship yards)
42°57’80” N 16°43’02”E
Harbour Master : +385 (0)20 812 023
Port of Entry: Customs: Office adjacent to the Post Office
Police: (Korcula Town) +385 (0)20 812-026
Hospital: +385 (0)20 812-040
Vets: (Korcula Town) +385 (020) 711-751
Tuesday, 4 September 2012
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