Racisce is a small coastal village situated in a deep bay carved into the northern coast of Korcula Island and facing the edge of Peljesac peninsula. Located 13 km from the town of Korcula, Racisce is the end point of a local road that connects this little village with the island’s most famous town. There is also a regular local bus line that goes down this road and it is available several times per day, connecting Korcula Town with Racisce and other little villages and coves along the northern coast, such as Medvinjak, Zrnovska Banja, Tri Zala, Kneze, etc.
Racisce is one of the youngest settlements on the island with approx. 500 inhabitants and the bay was completely uninhabited before becoming the safe haven for the refugees from the Makarska coastal region and the neighboring region of Herzegovina. Fleeing from invading Ottomans during the Venetian-Turkish wars, they founded the village at the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century. Thanks to the origin of its settlers, it is the only part of the island where the Croatian dialect “stokavica” (characteristic mostly for continental parts) is spoken unlike the rest of the island where the “cakavica” dialect prevails. These resourceful refugees quickly accepted the maritime way of life so Racisce became well known and famed in Croatia for its capable sailors and fishermen since fishing and sailing was the main profession of its inhabitants for many centuries. From the end of the 19th century until 1950, people from Racisce were the owners of the biggest island’s fleet of cargo sailing boats, having around 40 wooden schooners with large and impressive masts and sails, which locals called “trabakul”. Bearing in mind the number of its inhabitants, this fleet was indeed something to be proud of and it used to sail around Adriatic as well as Mediterranean Sea. After 1950, the fleet was disbanded and more modern ships were acquired by which they carried on sailing around the world, but the large and long breakwater and stone quay, built to protect the fleet of wooden schooners, lost its purpose since the new and much larger ships couldn’t fit in. Nevertheless, thanks to that same breakwater and quay, Racisce is very popular among sailors nowadays since it serves for mooring yachts and sailing boats, but it also harbors little fishing boats of local people and makes it a sheltered and safe port in any kind of weather.
There are a lot of old, typical Dalmatian houses around the bay, as well as couple of old, but well preserved churches. The oldest church, from the time of the foundation of the village, is the Church of St. Blasius with its Baroque loggia built in 1682, also known as the Church of Our Lady of Christian Aid. The other, newer church from the 19th century is the Church of St. Nicholas, which today serves as parish church. Besides the historical buildings, the village has a store, a few restaurants, café bars, but also its own small hotel named “Mediteran” as well as a lot of privately owned apartments and rooms available for rent. Racisce is surrounded by beautiful beaches and little coves and further to the west from Racisce you will find two especially favored ones – “Vaja” and “Samograd”, which are accessible only by pedestrian path. The beaches were formed out of remains of white stone, which used to be excavated long ago in the nearby quarries. One of the distinctive features of Samograd beach is also its prehistoric cave – a narrow tunnel that leads into a large chamber with stalactites, stalagmites and other typical cave ornaments, certainly worth seeing if you are interested in this natural phenomenon. The coast east of Racisce, further to the little village of Kneze, is rocky, with deep water, strong currents and rich marine life, which makes this part of the coast very interesting and inviting for divers and possibly the most interesting part on the northern coast of Korcula Island for this activity. There is a possibility for renting small tourist boats, which presents a great way of seeing the natural maritime beauties of this area and in the village you can find organized excursions to neighboring islands. As Racisce is located beneath the high hill, it is also a great place to enjoy hiking, mountain biking and exploring surrounding area covered in lush vegetation. There are lots of small and uncharted roads and paths that can take you to unusual and secluded spots like vineyards and olive groves, from some of which are a very nice viewpoints with stunning views of Peljesac peninsula and the Channel of Peljesac.
All of the above make Racisce the ideal choice for those who look for a peaceful family vacation or an active holiday with plenty different options to explore. The vicinity of the city of Korcula is also great for those who seek entertainment and nightlife, but want to keep their accommodation in a quiet and relaxing surrounding. Racisce? Yes, please! 🙂