SMOKVICA, twenty nine kilometers from Korcula, is situated on the hill overlooking the huge field of Smokvica, where the biggest vineyards on the island lie. Not far from the village, one can find significant traces of life from the Illyrian times on the location of Gradina and others. The XVIIth century parish church was destroyed and a new one was built in 1920 in a neo-romanesque style; the original loggia near the church has been preserved. There was much building in this fertile area in the medieval times.
A small road leads from Smokvica towards bay of Brna, a built-up bay with a quay from many yachts and small boats The "Feral" hotel lies at the very cape of the bay. The biggest wine-cellar on the island, lies on the road to Brna; the famous "Posip" and "Marastina" wines are prepared here by a modern wine-making process. This cellar also produced the "Lozovaca" and "Travarica" brandies.
The nearby bay of Istruga contains layers of "liman", a medicinal mud which helps cure rheumatic ailments. Today, this is the entertainment center for tourists from Brna, and also from nearby Priscapac Prizba and Blato, with tennis terrain’s, a dancing terrace, restaurant, all in the immediate vicinity of sandy beaches. As is the case with other seaside settlements on the island of Korcula, the Bay of Brna was developed later than Smokvica because the inhabitants built their houses far a way from the sea from fear of pirate attacks.
During the time of the slave trade, 260 Turkish pirates disembarked from two galleys in Brna; they plundered the area and even set houses on fire in Smokvica, which this time could not be protected by the distance as the invaders felt strong in their numbers. This happened in the middle of a sunny summer day on the 10th of June 1715. When they set on fire the house of the parish priest, don Marko Bon of Zrnovo, he fought them, killing two of them. The pirates took him in chains to Ulcinj where he was sold publicly as a slave. His relatives managed to buy him back two years later.
A special atmosphere is given by the untouched nearby cove of Zitna, with it's small sunny beach on which there is a Dalmatian wine cellar restaurant.
COMMUNITY OF SMOKVICA TOURIST
It is not very well known that, beside in Vela Luka, on the island
of Korcula there are also rich layers of peloid, medical mud, in the vicinity of the bay
of Brna, more exactly 500 meters to the north in the bay of Istruga.
The bay of Brna has been well-known tourist resort for more than thirty years. The hotel "Feral" and numerous smaller tourist objects with various facilities have been built here. Rich layers of the medical mud liman can be found in the bay of Istruga which is 500 metres long, 150 metres wide with the layers of mud 6 metres thick extending to the half of the bay.
This is a mud of a high hygienic standard and very good quality, as there are practically no buildings here except a smaller sport and recreation centre with two tennis grounds, a restaurant with a dancing terrace and two family houses. The whole this region is exceptionally rich in pine coniferous wood and other Mediterranean plants, as is almost the whole island, and especially its south part.
Limans belong to the group of sea mud’s and they are created by the sedimentation of organic and inorganic substances at the estuaries of streams and rivers, i.e. on places where there are possibilities of mixing of substances brought by river and sea waters. This liman is of a greasy, smearing, sticking and mushily or plastic consistency and of uniform small-grained structure, dark-grey to black colour. It smells on hydrogen sulphide, and its taste is salty, bitter and acrid. It does not contain almost broken down remnants of sea organisms (algae, snails, shells), of land flora (green and wooden parts of the plants) nor crude sand or small stones. The limans realise their therapeutic effect by physical action first of all, which can be used in the combination with sea water, i.e. hydrotherapy, to treat a series of chronic diseases as:
If we add to this local microclimate conditions of a very pleasant Mediterranean climate without bigger temperature oscillations, a big number of sunny hours during the year (2.715), and a series of other natural medical factors, as a high concentration of oxygen due primarily to a rich vegetation, pure air, ethereal oils, sea aerosols etc, then we can see that, on this small location, all the preconditions for the development of medical tourism exist. Therefore, there is a great need for building a medical-recreation centre in the bay of Istruga. Otherwise, an invaluable natural wealth which we have lies unused.