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Located between Dubrovnik and Split in the Adriatic, Korcula offers visitors crystal clear waters, beautiful unspoiled beaches and rocky coastlines, and a densely covered countryside of olive trees, fig groves and vineyards. The walled medieval city of Korcula (pop. 3,000) is built in the ornate architectural style of Venice, its former imperial ruler. The very center of the town is free of cars.

Settled by the Greeks in the 4th century B.C., Korcula was ruled by the Romans after 35 B.C. From 1000 A.D. to 1797 the Venetian empire controlled Korcula in four separate eras, most notably from 1420 to 1797. According to local legend, Marco Polo was born on the island; perhaps more historically documented was his detention on the island in 1298 after Korcula defeated the Venetians in a large naval battle. The long island stretches from east to west in the Adriatic. Vela Luka, the island's main port town, is situated on the west side of the island; Korcula, the biggest lure for tourists, lies at the east end.

The island, which relies on tourism for much of its economy, has been rediscovered in recent years and is often cited by travel writers as one of Europe's hidden gems. It has a growing number of good restaurants, typically featuring fresh fish and local wines. Some visitors rent boats for excursions, others bring windsurf boards or snorkels and masks, and many a stack of books to pass their days quietly overlooking the Adriatic.