There are numerous islets in the Korčula archipelago, and the largest and most visited of them is Badija. In addition to the turquoise sea and beaches, tourists are attracted to this islet by the deer that live here, but also by the Franciscan monastery, which is also a Catholic spiritual center where spiritual renewal takes place along with a series of activities organized on the islet.
Badia has an area of 0,79 kilometers and this name was mentioned for the first time in 1737, as the School of St. Peter in 1368. They also called Badija by the names Otok, Veliki skolj, Veliki skolj, School of St. Maria.
The first inhabitants of Badija were monks, Benedictines who founded a monastery here in the 10th century. After their departure in the middle of XIV. century, the Franciscans were given land for the construction of a monastery, and later the entire island.
Badija was a witness to the stormy history that in 2003 the Croatian Government returned the islet to its owner, the Franciscan Province of St. Jerome from Zadar, who in 2005 handed over the monastery and the island of Badija to the Herzegovinian Franciscan Province of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary for 99 years. In the same year, the province of Herzegovina, as the new owner, begins the renovation of the church and monastery.
You can reach Badija by excursion boats from the old town in Korčula, a famous tourist resort Aminess Port 9, but also from Lumbarda, and the price of a return ticket is around 10,00 euros per person. This is an excursion that we definitely recommend if you are on Korčula. When you get off the boat, you are very likely to spot deer. They arrived here from Brijuna, and today they are the biggest attraction for families with children, which is why children of all ages like to visit Badija.
Beaches, a walk, a gallery and even a garden...
Right at the pier there is a concrete beach with sunbeds as well as a restaurant. But a ten-minute walk will bring you to the rocky beaches with the irresistible turquoise color of the crystal clear sea, so it's definitely worth a walk around the island.
After the monastery on the island has been completely restored, it becomes a Catholic spiritual center which, in addition to its spiritual programs, also offers accommodation services to priests who bring their pilgrims for spiritual exercises, renovations, seminars...
Here is also "Fr. Bernardin Sokol" art gallery, and the permanent exhibition consists of works by Croatian fine artists. Namely, Emilija Karlavaris and Izvor Oreb donated a valuable artistic donation of their paintings and sculptures to the Franciscan monastery of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Badija. The gallery is open to visitors from May 1 to October 1 from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Badija is an island of peace and perfect relaxation
Nowadays, it is difficult to list many locations that have kept their charm and peace far from mass tourism, and Badija is one of those pearls of the Mediterranean. You will especially be delighted by the monastery and its irresistibly charming garden, where you will experience peace and tranquility and will surely want to stay as long as possible.
An ideal break from tourist crowds, and only half an hour's drive from an extremely attractive tourist destination, which Korčula certainly is. So close is a completely different experience that rarely leaves anyone indifferent.