The town of Vela Luka is situated in the west of the island Korčula, in a 9.2-kilometres–long bay that is one of the best anchorages in the eastern Adriatic. The surroundings include many picturesque islands, deep coves, cliffs and fertile plateaus that make this area a suitable place for living as well as a good holiday destination. Vela Luka is a small, peaceful Mediterranean town that bases its economy on traditional agriculture, fishing and tourism, the latter in particular benefiting from the beautiful scenery and unspoilt nature. The hilly landscape around the town is dominated by a 376-metre-high hill called Hum. Besides around ten karst valleys, there are no other bigger cultivation areas in Vela Luka Municipality, with the exception of Blatsko Polje, a plateau that is a few square kilometres in size and is important for, among other things, ensuring water supply security.
Olive growing is the only culture that has survived in this area of terraced fields and anthropogenic soil, turning the sunny slopes above Vela Lula into a famous olive-growing region, well known for its neat olive orchards and quality oil. The remains of indigenous evergreen forests of holm oak, strawberry trees and other shrubs typical of Mediterranean maquis have only been preserved in places that are hardly accessible.
Vela Luka owes its position as the most developed place on the Croatian islands to the fact that its inhabitants have engaged in shipbuilding, seafaring, fishing and agriculture for many years. A number of boat types and some rescue equipment have been developed in Vela Luka, and its trawlers are still among the most beautiful in the Adriatic. The focus on shipbuilding required education not just in the building of ships, but in related professions as well, resulting in a significant number of university teachers at various technical universities originating from Vela Luka.
In addition to a rich social and cultural life, Vela Luka has a well-developed infrastructure that sets it apart from most other places on the Croatian islands: there is a primary and a secondary school, a kindergarten, a health centre, a hospital, an old peoples’ home and a culture centre. Cultural and sports groups and happenings that should be mentioned include klapa vocal groups, sports clubs, the “Kumpanija” Folklore Society, the Vela Luka Summer Festival and St John’s Regatta.
Transport links to and from Vela Luka are frequent and regular and include ferries, catamarans and buses.