A village nestled between the three hills, above the vinyard that streches as far as you can see. Culture, tradition, pilgramage of world importance... olive oil and wine production across the fields and hills strethcing from south to north coast. History full of threat. Exodus. Survival.
No, it's not Rome, nor Provance... it is Blato, the island is Korcula.
A small pitoresque village with a kilometer long linden tree alley you will never forget.
It's not hard to get there, actually, you can't miss it either way. The main road from the ferry port in Vela Luka will get you to or by Blato in about 5 minutes.
The location of the village is very typical for an island settlement in past times. You had to be close enough to the fields and far enough from the sea and the dangers. Some sources state the history of its parish church all the way back to the 10th century.
Later on, the little sea ports of locals, both on the south and north coasts of Blato developed and now tell the biggest part of the tourist story of Blato.
Blato definitely has a charm of its old times. The steep narrow streets, the architecture, churches and the surrounding stone terraces are a constant reminder of the difficult yet joyfull and history. Whatever the cause, the people of Blato are trully welcoming and have a great sense of humor and hospitality it is difficult to find elswhere in nowadays.
Throughout the history it was always organised around the parish church and the nobleman that lived in the tower houses of which most can still be seen. Noblemen gathered in the loggia that can still be seen on the main square of the parish church. The peasants lived in typical stone houses, worked hard and put their lives into development of this beautiful place.
The phylloxera plague that destroyed most of the wine fields marked the end of an era and life know that far, for over the centuries. People emmigrated to South America and on to Australia in one of the biggest exoduses in history, but so typical for those times on all Dalmatian island. That is the reason that most of the locals have families abroad.
The new era brought development around shipbuilding and later on the wine production as well as the olive oil production was regenerated.
We mentioned the dangers of the invaders over the centuries. Make sure you see the sward dance on the main square, or even the reenactment of the battle on the hill above the village that happens as a part of a summer festival. That way you will have a chance to feel a part of what was going on right there.
Many pilgrims from all over the world come toi visit the the Sanctuary Of Blessed Maria of Jesus Crucified Petkovic, who was a local saint. This place is a true oasis of peace and quiet, a place to conemplate and pray. Confessionals and small museum dedicated to the life and the work of the Blessed is right next to it, a minute from the Parish Church and the main square.
The village is some 4 to 5 kilometers from the coasts. If you go south, across the little hill, you will arrive to the seaside villages of Karbuni, Grscica, Prizba... and if you go North, you will soon be in Prigradica on to Babina. These bays and coves are full of great houses to stay at, bars and restaurants to enjoy the typical local drinks and gastronomy at, relax and enjoy the sea and the true island vacation.
In case you have chosen to stay in the nearby coastal villages or you are just passing by, be sure you will notice the beauty of this trully interesting jewel of island living, so typical, yet so special.
In one word – Blato.