''Najlipša vala na svitu'' is the birthplace of many renowned artists, athletes and scientists, who, through their work, knowledge and love, enriched this area. Vela Luka will welcome every visitor with arms wide open and will host them nicely with song, cuisine and preserved tradition.
Vela Luka is situated in the deep and protected bay on the western side of the island of Korcula. It is a place of valuable and versatile people, built by farmers, traders and fishermen. It is interesting that it's inhabitants are, whether they were self-taught or academics, very prone to all kinds of art. It is a place for artists, painters, sculptors, poets, musicians and songs.
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It is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the Mediterranean and Europe. It is situated on a hill above the town, with beautiful panoramic views of the Vela Luka part of Vela Luka archipelago. Hiking trails and paved roads lead to Spila. Radiocarbon dating showed that human activity in Vela Spila goes back 20,000 years. Found archaeological material provides evidence of settlements and all forms of life of several prehistoric human communities that used the cave for everyday life and to bury their dead.
Thousands of found fragments of ceramics, whole vessels and other objects represent findings of the utmost importance. On them are printed pages of cultural, social, spiritual and economic relations of users from Vela Spila with immediate and distant parts of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean. One piece of pottery has a name Vela Luka culture, named by its unique way of painting. Pottery that was found a few years ago, is the second oldest pottery in the world (17,500 years old, and belongs to the Ice Age).
In 1986 there were discovered the remains of rituall-buried two adults. Scientific studies results of their bodies show that they most likely lived during the late Neolithic. Local people from Vela Luka call them Baba and Dida.
As a part of the center of culture, there is also an archaeological collection, with part of the artifacts found in Vela Spila.
- MOSAICS AND MEJE / STONE WALLS
Meje - stone walls: Coming with ECA seaplane to Vela Luka, you can observe the entire network of stone walls, twisted by the whole part of the western part of the island. Here we have miles and miles of walled fences, so-called Meja. They are inextricably linked together with hundreds of stone houses, most of which are square layout, covered by a roof of stone slabs. And occasionally we encounter on a round layout, so-called vrtujke. Most of this architecture was created in the late 19th and early 20th century, at a time of intense deforestation - "conquest" of the land for planting grape vine. The stone walls with the houses witness the hard way of life on the island, as well as the history of farmers who had no formal architectural knowledge, had no special tools, no bonding material, but still created admirable architecture, and without compromising reshaped their landscape. They are a permanent monument to human labor!
Mosaics: The Vela Luka in 1968 held the first International Meeting of Artists, and the initiators of the meeting were artists Peter Omčikus and hair Bokšan. It is an event that permanently marked the cultural and artistic life of the place and brought a new perspective in its urban development.
If we look from today's perspective at the international meetings of artists, held at the end of the 60's and the 70's of the last century, we can conclude that they are a reflection of the aspirations towards European unity, achieved through art created dialogue between east and west.
Artists from around the world, with different artistic approaches, came to Vela Luka and created mosaic as a collective work, and left it to Vela Luka permanent ownership. Walking through the place, you come across the mosaics, made by known and renowned artists, everywhere.
On 21.06.1978. Vela Luka was hit by a tidal wave that caused great material damage to the place. Artists who were already residing in Vela Luka, headed by the sculptor Ante Marinovic, took action. Thus a large international gift collection of drawings, prints and small sculptures was created. There are prominent names of Croatian and foreign artists such as Edo Murtić, Ivan Kožatić, Frano Kršinić, Jesus Raphael Soto, Errό ... and the collection is dominated by two bronze sculptures by Henry Moore.
- ISLAND PROIZD
At the entrance of a deep bay of Vela Luka, there is a beautiful small island of Proizd - Magic Island! In 2007, at the option of the Croatian Tourist Board, it has been named the most beautiful beach on the Adriatic. About him as a top beach write foreign reputable journals. So Daily Telegraph incorporates it to 5 most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic coast; The New York Times recommended it among the 12 most beautiful trips in the world; The Richest site puts the island Proizd to 9th place between the 40 cleanest seas in the world; at Trip Advisor, Proizd is located on the 3rd place in the category of things to Do in Korcula island … Taxi boats to the island run only during the summer months. The departures are from the center. The trip takes just over half an hour and will bring guests to the little bay where there are a bar and a restaurant. Except to this part, everything else on the island's natural. The most beautiful beaches are located on the other side, to where the hiking trails lead. The sun on this island is quite strong, so we advise all those who visit it to keep away from the strong sun. Proizd wins everyone with its natural beauty, its white beaches, turquoise sea and the scent of salty freshness.
At the beginings of inhabiting area of Vela Luka, people were concentrated on the vine as the main culture that they planted and cultivated. Production and trade in wine, was the main industry in the emerging. Due to the outbreak of the disease of the vine, there was great poverty of the population, which in the end resulted in a large exodus …
Vela Luka's olive growing is the most developed of all areas in the Adriatic, which is clearly illustrated with a view from the air. Only in this area there is nearly 100 000 trees of this noble culture. Specifics of the strong flavor and dark green oil are generated by mixing several kinds of olive trees, some of which are indigenous, and many sunny hours. In Vela Luka there are 5 processing plants for oil, and olive has deserved here its own museum. Olive oil is indispensable in the daily diet of the local people: in addition to seasonal salads, with all the ways of preparing fish and salted fish. Oiled must be ''gruda''- wild, aromatic herbs, which is boiled, a tradition that has been preserved to this day in local kitchen.
In 2015 Korčula's olive oil received the designation of origin.
Kumpanija is particularly attractive dance with swords, which is performed by men and is danced exclusively on the island. This is an old knight game resulted from an organized national army that defended the island from various invaders in the troubled times of the past. The dance is accompanied by dialogue, playing the mišnjice and drum. The drum passes through the town, collects kumpanjole and informs people about the show. The dancers are dressed in old, rich costumes, and are dancing with real swords, insinuating fight. Kumpanija is a custom that radiates beauty, patriotism, honor, faith and sublime desire for nurturing and transferring it to a new generation.
In the past, it was a dance performed only during religious and national holidays. Today it is performed once a week during the tourist season.
Do not miss the magical sunsets in Vela Luka. Every day you are again surprised, and it takes your breath away with its unreal colors. Sun in Vela Luka falls in the sea between the two islands: a celebrated island of love- Osjak and small island Kamenjak - home of quite e few colonies of seagulls. Sunsets here are a romance that is constantly repeated. Whether you're sitting on a bench on the boulevard, on the terrace of some of the cafes in Vela Luka, or the restaurant, the kissing splot, the austro-hungarian fortec on the highest hill Hum, or you're walking on the jogging path along the coast, long more than 4 km, stop and enjoy!