Apart from enjoying the mild Mediterranean climate with an abundance of sunshine and with the azure sea at your disposal, there are plenty of places to go and things to see once you are in Vela Luka. Let us guide you through the attractions and events which simply must be included on any itinerary.
The Big Cave is one of the most significant prehistoric archeological sites in entire Europe. It was inhabited as early as 18000 BC, and various excavated ceramic, stone, and bone objects mark the very beginnings of contemporary civilization. The skeletons of two adults were also found, which the locals have named 'Grandma' and 'Grandpa'. The Big Cave itself is very attractive and easily accessible. Located on a hill just above the town, the cave provides a spectacular view of Vela Luka bay, which along with the cave's limestone arches and large openings in the ceiling create a perfect backdrop for amazing holiday pics.
Equally, a stunning view awaits you on the top of Hum hill. This highest peak in Vela Luka (376 m high) can easily be reached by marked hiking trails, and apart from enjoying the spectacular view of the Adriatic, you can also explore an abandoned military fortress.
The romantic in you will not be disappointed should you visit the island of Osjak, also known as the Love Island. Located at the very entrance to Vela Luka bay, this islet is a perfect oasis for all those wishing to find a bit of tranquility and romance in untouched nature. Here you can completely relax and immerse yourself in the seductive potion of pinewood aroma, crystal clear sea, and abundant sunshine.
In Vela Luka, the beginning of the summer season is marked by a special event - St. John's Regatta. Held on 24 June on St. John's Day, this pedal boat race is worth attending as it is exciting for competitors and spectators alike. Teams in paddle boats test their endurance on a 4.5 km long route starting from Gradina bay and finishing in the town center, while spectators support them from the shore by loud singing and cheering. If you happen to find yourself in Vela Luka on this date, do not be a stranger and join this festive regatta.
One special trait Vela Luka is known for is amazing acapella singing. Do not miss out on live performances of traditional Dalmatian songs which will linger in your mind and evoke pleasant memories of your Adriatic holiday long after you return home. Local folk dances are also worth seeing. Sword dance 'Kumpanija' is particularly attractive. Accompanied by drums and bagpipes, the dancers represent the local militia that once protected the island from invaders.
If you wish to hear more of those cheerful Dalmatian notes and treat yourself with typical local cuisine in a casual and friendly atmosphere, pop into weekly organized Fishermen's nights. A combination of joyous music, tasty homemade dishes, and local wine is a sure recipe for a good time and a great opportunity to mingle with the locals and their guests.
For all those music enthusiasts who prefer smooth jazzy tunes, the Open Jazz Festival is a place to be. This two-day music event held in August hosts prominent Croatian and international jazz musicians and does an excellent job in combining mesmerizing jazz music with hot Mediterranean nights.
But music is not the only cultural segment worth experiencing in Vela Luka. All the diversity and richness of the town's cultural heritage can be seen in the Cultural Centre. Appropriately located in the town center, it consists of a museum, a gallery, and a library, and it exhibits invaluable collections including the archeological collection, the collection of drawings, graphics, and small sculptures, made by eminent Croatian and international artists, as well as the collection of wooden carved ship models. The see the best of the town’s history, art, and culture in just one place, simply visit the Cultural Centre
The end of the summer season is marked by yet another sporting event. Vela Luka Outdoors takes place in September and includes a bike and trekking race. Many sports enthusiasts visit Vela Luka to take part in this event, and locals are also keen on participating.
This was just a short guide through the most significant sights of Vela Luka. Upon your arrival, you will find that there is so much more to this Mediterranean little town, as every old house, every cove, every alley, and every garden have a charm and story of their own, just waiting to be rediscovered.