In the southwest part of Korcula Island, one can find the Valley called Crna Luka. On its gently shores, an estate belonging to Bacic family is located. It is a mansion of considerable size, where foreign visitors are always welcome, and where one can learn a thing or two about winemaking and cellar management. But Bacic family has another unique activity which they offer to their guests: olive picking on Korcula Island.
Island’s Big Hit
The Bacics run an agricultural family business, overseeing around 250 olive trees, which annually produce up to 700 liters of first-call oil. Of course, somebody has to pick all those olives. That is hard work, as the terrain is unsuitable for complex machinery, so the tiny fruits need to be picked by hand. In addition to their hired workforce, Bacics allow their guests to help in harvesting. What has begun as a simple attraction soon became their most recognizable tourist program.
“Olive Picking on Korcula became a huge hit on the island. We are doing it for 15 years now,” said Zlatko Bacic. “There is a huge interest in this activity, and we actually prolong the season with our picking sessions”.
Olive Picking on Korcula
“The experience begins at 10 a.m. Our guests come to olive grove, where they are given a small token of welcoming. This usually includes a basket of local fruit. Depending on the season, this might be a number of dried figs or oranges,” Zlatko describes the picking. “Then I give them a short introduction to olive’s value for people of Korcula, and how they were harvesting the plant during the centuries. And then, the actual picking occurs, followed by singing and laughing. To many people, it is the first time in their life to work on an agricultural field. It is, by every mean, a real adventure for them.”
As already mentioned, olives are picked by hand. Guests spend an entire day in the outdoors, surrounded by perfect nature and wonderful Korcula scenery. They also like the idea of participating in centuries-old tradition, helping the locals along the way.
“During olive picking on Korcula, we choose the so-called Godfather and Godmother of event,” Bacic continues. “These people then plant a new olive tree, as a symbol of peace, friendship and love.”
At the very end, guests can taste olive oil, the final result of their work. The golden liquid is one of Croatia’s most desirable consumables. Attendees will also have an opportunity to try local wine brands. And since Zlatko’s son is a professional enologist, one can expect great things.
“The interest has skyrocketed in recent years. Olive picking on Korcula has limited advertising, yet we are sometimes completely booked in a matter of weeks,” Zlatko concludes with a smile. “Hopefully, more people will start offering this kind of activity to Croatian guests. After all, we are a country known for olive oil and wine.”