Day 11: Korčula
We took an early ferry at 8 a.m. from Korčula to Orebić on the Pelješac peninsula for a day trip. There are many ferries between both towns and they just need about 15 minutes to cross the sea. We hadn´t heard of particular points of interest in Orebić apart from the beaches. But we had seen a church, located high up on the mountain, overlooking the sea and wanted to go there. There weren't many people yet, and we had a lovely passage.
We couldn´t wait to swim and decided to go to the beach first before hiking to the church, which was a Franciscan Monastery. When we walked along the shore, there were many places to swim, but Orebić also has a bit of a sandy beach. When we arrived there, it looked nice, but there were already a lot of people, so we went further until there were pebbles instead of sand and a lot fewer people. The water was splendid, like everywhere else in Croatia.
The heat was burning when we started to go from the beach towards the Franciscan Monastery. After a short stop at another church and buying some bottles of soda we came to a hotel after some time, from where a road leads up to the Monastery (there´s also a sign). After a short time, there came a diversion with a small, rocky path and we opted for that instead of the road. It was a nice walk through the woods, getting slowly higher until the trail ended and we came out on the road again, just below the Monastery. The view from up there was great - with Korčula, many little islands and the sea.
The Monastery itself was closed unfortunately (opens at 3:00 p.m. only and we got there around 11:00 a.m.) so we just got a look at it from outside. Then we looked at some curiosities at the cemetery next to it before we went downwards, this time on the road. After having a snack nearby the ferry pier we took one of the small boats back to Korčula, which offer their services in addition to the bigger ferry.
Back in Korčula, we had seen an interesting looking church on our city map. It looked like it has a massive stairway up to the hill. We haven't seen the southern part of Korčula yet, so we gave it a try. There were signs for the "Sveti Antun", and with our map, we came close, but at one crossing, the indication wasn't clear to us which way to go, and we took the road on the right and eventually landed in the middle of nowhere. Apparently, we took the wrong one. Just when we wanted to go back, two people came out of the thicket near the bus stop. I've noticed a small hiking path that seems like not being used for a very long time. The trail was overgrown with bushes and vines, and we were quite sceptical, but we braved it anyway. There was a marking, identifying the path like some hiking trail, leading upwards. Finally, a stonewall and markings were leading to cleared footpath over the wall so we climbed it and voila, there was the church.
The church "Sv. Antun" on the hill was a pleasure to see, especially after all the walking and not knowing if the path leads to it. And after taking some time there, we walked down on the stairway, which is not exactly like "Bom Jesus do Monte in Portugal", but still impressive.
We felt, we had earned another swim, and when we were back in Korčula, we went to a beach nearby the apartment and took another plunge in the crystal and fresh water before going "home" for dinner.