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Vrnik is a popular island to visit for anyone who is visiting the area around Korcula Old Town, Lumbarda or Zrnovo. Situated within the archipelago of dozen of small islands and islets in the channel between Peljesac and Korcula island, the island is easily reachable by local water taxi boats from either Lumbarda or Korcula.

Vrnik is the only inhabited island in the archipelago. It features a peaceful village that gets almost deserted in the winter. In summers, visitors are attracted to the lovely pebble beaches created by the erosion of the debris from the Island’s stone quarries.

The stone from these quarries was used to build many Adriatic towns including several palaces in Dubrovnik, Venice, Vienna, and Washington.

The Island is 850 meters long and 450 meters wide and covers the area of 0.35 square kilometres.

Church in the centre of the village
Church in the centre of the village

History of Vrnik

The stone quarries on Vrnik were used from the Neolithic times. There is some evidence that Roman’s emperor Diocletian was using Vrnik’s stone to build his palace in Salona near Split. From the 14th century onwards, a stone was exported to Dubrovnik, Sibenik and Zadar.

Vrnik has been permanently inhabited since the 17th century. Before that, the stone-masons lived in neighbouring places – Korcula town, Lumbarda and Žrnovo and were commuting daily, in the dawn to the islands’. During the week they would, sometimes, even overnight in the workshops on the island. Later on, they started to build the houses on the island and move there together with their families. In some periods, there were up to 600 people working in these quarries.

The last larger stone excavation on the island was at the end of the 1960s and in 1966 the whole business seized down.

The oldest building in the village is Kaštil, located in the southeastern part of the island. It was built in the 15th century, in Gothic-Renaissance style, as a summer residence of Korcula noble family Gabrielis – Ismaeli whose palaces are still standing in Korcula old town. The oldest church in the village was designed by Toma Azali and was built in 1674.

Electricity has reached the village in the 1950s while the freshwater pipeline arrived at the island in mid-1980s. See some more facts about history of Vrnik here. See also some info about history of Korcula.

Water taxi on Vrnik island
Water taxi on Vrnik island

Water taxi on Vrnik

Where to stay

  • Beach house on Vrnik island – situated in the very heart of the village, at the waterfront, this beach house is one of the rare places available for rent on the island.

Where to Eat

The island has two restaurants that are serving local dishes. The opening times are June to September, from midday onwards.

Quarry on Vrnik in the 1920s
Quarry on Vrnik in the 1920s