Getting from Split to Korcula includes several options – you can get there by car ferry, fast passenger direct ferry, bus, taxi, Uber, water taxi, and/or private transfer. The road distance from Split to Korcula is about 200 km while the distance across the sea is about 130 km. There are no trains nor direct flights between Split and Korcula island.
How to get from Split to Korcula is a question that is sometimes asked by people who fly to Split Airport and would like to proceed to Korcula Island. Although Split seems further to Korcula than Dubrovnik, due to the introduction of cheap flights to Split, people often fly there, instead of Dubrovnik Airport which is actually Korcula Town’s nearest airport.
Another reason why Split is a good access point to Korcula is that ferries from Ancona and Pescara (Italy) arrive here so people who arrived by early morning ferry from Ancona to Split can get to Korcula on the same day. Also, if you are visiting Vela Luka, getting there from Split is a better (faster) option. Here are all available options to reach Korcula from Split:
The only car ferry that goes from Split to Korcula island is the one that sails to Vela Luka. There are no car ferries from Split to Korcula town.
If you are traveling by car, you can take a direct car ferry from Split to Vela Luka. There are two daily car ferries sailing all year round. The alternative is a car ferry from Orebic to Korcula. This is the cheaper option than the direct ferry to Vela Luka but it takes a longer time (2. 2 hours as opposed to 3.5 hours traveling time).
So, if you decide to drive, go from Split towards Orebic, using either Ploce to Trpanj car ferry (which will shorten your driving time and give you an opportunity to enjoy this one-hour long sail that offers some beautiful views over the channel) or cross via Peljesac Bridge near Komarna and drive further along Peljesac to Orebic to cross to the island (check details on the below map).
If you are heading to the island from Split Airport, drive towards Dugopolje on E65 road, and turn from there towards Dubrovnik. Once you cross Peljesac Bridge, follow the sign to Orebic / Korcula island. Split Airport is located between Trogir and Kastela, which is about a 30 km distance from Split.
There are at least 3 available ferries getting from Split to Korcula island, daily, all year round. Two of them are fast passenger ferries and one is a slower car ferry. If you are a foot passenger, choose a fast passenger one if you can. The alternative is the slower ferry that also carries cars. Here is what is available:
All ferries depart from the Split ferry port, situated in the center of the city, on its waterfront promenade. Note – Fast passenger ferries (catamarans) usually do not sail in bad weather. If that happens, take from slow car ferry to Vela Luka instead. For all detailed schedules consult the croatiaferries.com website.
There is a daily bus that departs from Split, and drives to the island all the way to Vela Luka, stopping in every village on its way. The bus arrives in Split from Zagreb via Split. This option may be a bit inconvenient as the journey starts very late in the night (see below photo) and arrives in Korcula town in the early morning. Here is a screenshot of the bus booking panel:
This bus is the last public transport option to travel from Split to the island. Good to consider if you miss all earlier ferries.
There is an Uber service from Split to the island. The quoted price is about 300 Euro (see the below screenshot). You can also get or pre-order a taxi from the airport or town to the island. The price is calculated on basis of the number of passengers, pick-up time, and season. The standard rate quoted to me is 250 euros for Split and 285 euros for Split Airport >> check and book your taxi here
You can also get a water taxi (private speed boat transfer) to take you from Split or Split Airport to the island. The price for this service is calculated on basis of the number of passengers, pick-up time, and season. The current standard rate quoted for a water taxi to Vela Luka is 600 Euro and to Korcula Town 800 Euro (plus 100 Euro to Airport) >> check and book your water taxi here
On the below map, you can see all available routes to reach Korcula from Split (and Korcula to Split):
Here is a video of one of the fast passenger ferries sailing on this route:
The buses and ferries are in operation every day so they are a pretty reliable means of transport. They are comfortable and air-conditioned and there are some nice views of the islands and bays as you travel along the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
Sometimes, if it is very very bad weather, some of the fast ferries are not in service so I would suggest you, in such case, take the slow car ferry to Vela Luka as this one is slow but sturdy and capable to cope with big waves.
All ferries are run by Jadrolinija, Krilo Kapetan Luka, and TP line ferry companies. All of them offer advance online booking. Consult croatiaferries.com site where you can find updates for these and all other ferries in Croatia.
See also articles I wrote about getting from Brac island to Dubrovnik and from Hvar to Dubrovnik both relevant to getting to Korcula (and this one for the opposite direction). Some info in these articles may be useful for your travel options.