4 bedroom 2 bathroom with sea and vineyard views in a village
- english, french, german, russian, italian, Croatian
About Alexander Paine
I am on the left of the photo. I am British and we live in London. We spent between 2001-2014 living in Bosnia and Slovenia. We bought the house in 2005 but only finished the restoration project in 2013, since then we have been doing the interior. We have only just put the house on the market - starting rather late in June 2016. This is our first year! I work for a large development bank in London and work a lot in Eastern Europe. We have two kids and used to have a lovely old mongrel dog from Sarajevo. My wife and I both grew up in Italy and this project is a real "once in a lifetime".
Alexander Paine purchased this Villa in 2005
Why Alexander Paine chose Čara
If you are seeking a stone dalmatian house then Kastel Spanič is a classic. We have spent the last 6 years restoring the property under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture as it is a listed building and categorised as a National Monument. The Bishop of Korčula built Kastel Spanič in 1674. With a dominant view over the Adriatic it served the purpose of providing advance notice of any sea borne threat as well as ensuring that the inhabitants of Čara paid their dues. The original fortifications still exist and include 16 firing ports or “gun loops” and four “bartizans” at each corner of the top room looking down on to the ground. The house is one of the island’s more important historical buildings. The Spanič family crest of three roses and mailed fist holding a sword still adorns the house. Korčula is one of three islands that dominate the southern Adriatic coast of Croatia (the other two being Hvar and Brać). It is 46 kilometres in length, with good roads connecting its two ports of Korčula and Vela Luka to the mainland hubs of Split and Dubrovnik. Trojans, Romans, Illyrians have been settling on the island on the Dalmatian coast since C12th BC. The Venetians held considerable sway over the island and Marco Polo is reputed to have come from the main town of Korčula. Korčula was the last outpost of the Venetian Empire for 200 years. Immediately to the south lies the Dubrovnik Republic.
What makes this Villa unique
Čara, the village, is one of the oldest settlements on the island of Korčula and spreads out on the south slope of the surrounding hills, just above a large and fertile field called Čarsko Polje, famed for its Pošip white wine. Čara enjoys a lot of sunshine all year around, while at the same time enjoying a good sea breeze. The house is designed for those wishing to enjoy the more traditional island way of life. You are surrounded by sea and vineyards and it is removed from the tourist centres of the island. It offers the opportunity to enjoy the small but unique village life of a wine growing community. Access to the sea is by car - with the closest swimming made of secret coves and small outcrops rarely accessed by most tourists. The local harbour town is 1.4 kilometres away with two restaurants and a coffee shop with wi-fi, and a great harbour wall to leap off. From here you can hire boats to farther outlying islets, secret inaccessible coves and near tropical beaches close to the island of Lastovo - Croatia’s farthest inhabited island before Italy. Check our house website:
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Could not have been better
This surassed expectations. The pictures do not do the propery justice.
Alex the owner could not have been more helpful.
Time spent in a small village
The property was beautiful and we really enjoyed staying in a national landmark with such a rich cultural history. The view over the vineyards to the sea was so calming every morning as we enjoyed our coffee out on the terrace. Delightful landscaping ... all the roses and jasmine were in bloom while we were there.
The castle is well located in the middle of this small island, everything is quite accessible. We found the local beach to be only 5 minutes away with several other beaches only a short drive. We liked the Lumbarda beaches very much.
We got used to the hourly bells which are in the church across the street from the castle. Also, the market is conveniently right next door with a lovely little coffee cafe facing the main street. There is also dedicated parking for the car which can be hard to come by in Croatia.
We found Alex to be a great host who made sure we had everything we needed. He was very responsive to our queries when we were first settling in. He also helped us figure out some of our other travel plans. We would definitely stay at Kastel Spanic again.
Amazing property in excellent location. Plenty of outdoor space and sensational views!
Really lovely converted castle (!) sitting towards the top of Cara village with sensational views across the vineyards and out towards the sea. Plenty of character and outdoor space. Great, central location for exploring Korcula island. Alex is a great host and provided loads of useful information on where to go. Our favourites included jumping off rocks into the harbour at nearby Zavalatica, getting a boat to Proizd island where the beaches are amazing and beautiful Vaja Bay. The local wine’s pretty good too!
Dear Nigel Team, it was delight to have you there. I hope your postcards you left get to their destinations! The wine will continue to improve for sure! Alex and team
Stand out Property with 'Wow'
My wife and I were planning a multi stop trip along the Dalmation coast and thought we would include one of the islands along the way. We chose Korcula as it has traditional working villages as well as larger historic towns to visit. Korcula old town and Vela Luka are both around 25 minutes drive away from Cara, in opposite directions, so you are very central and there are other villages and smaller towns nearby too.
The owners description of the house, the village and the area is absolutely spot on. The village of Cara and the work going on daily in the vineyards can be seen from the commanding views of the house. They have provided a welcome folder with lots of information such as nearby areas to swim and excellent restaurants in neighbouring villages. The folder also shows photo's of the Kastel before and during the extensive restoration project and illustrate what an outstanding result they have achieved. The house is a 'lived in' family home for parts of the year and this gives it a warm, comfortable and very pleasant feel as well as being well equipped, both indoors and with outside equipment. There are pleasant breezes from the South, which blow into the main bedroom, if the shutters are left open, which we did every day. The patio looks over the local vineyard (and church... whose bells dong quite a bit... but you do get accustomed to it!) and the huge locally made table is ideal for outside socialising, with plenty of room. There is also another patio just down the steps by the Annex, which has another area, ideally suited for outdoor entertaining such as a BBQ and all the facilities you need for that, are stored in a large utility area with a secondary kitchen. TheWiFi is connected to the mobile network and worked very well, without any problems the whole time we were there.
The housekeeper and her husband, who helps with maintenance, live nearby and are delightful. They called in to check if we needed anything or had any questions about the property or the surrounding area and reassured us that we could call them anytime if the need arose. Alex, the owner is a mine of information about the local area as well as the whole Island and beyond, so do ask him about things if you wish.
To conclude, Alex's description tells you a lot about the house and the area. If we venture to Croatia and this beautiful part of the world again, we would have no hesitation in staying again at Kastel Spanic! Thank You ;-)
Dear Brian and Anne, thank you for this review. So pleased you enjoyed your stay and the island, which we hope will leave you with a desire to come back again! The bells....aaah yes, they are in full swing. But remember that the church is at the centre of village life, and am quite sure that people rely on these rather than time pieces to organise themselves!!! All the best. Alex
Des vacances merveilleuses.
Gâtée par un temps estival,je viens de passer une semaine dans ce petit château du XVII ème magnifiquement restauré tel qu’il était á l’origine.
L’interieur De style anglais,c’est á dire,élégant,confortable,original,arrangé avec goût,est un repos salutaire après une journée de plein air. il y avait longtemps que je n’avais si bien dormi.
Čara est un petit village authentique oú j’ai retrové tout ce qui entouré mon enfance dans le Sud Ouest de la France.
Comment ne pas apprécier le charme des traditions villageoises,les cloches,le chant des coqs,les oiseaux,le parfum et la variété des herbes,et même le nid d’une hirondelle au creux d’une meurtriére et tout cela dans un cadre méditerranéen,l’amer,le soleil ,la chaleur et la paix.
Je ne suis plus trés jeune ,mais j’espére revisiter Korčula et tout spécialement čara dans les années futures,
Merci beaucoup a vous!
Small castle with stunning view
The property was even better than described by the owner - a 17th century Castel (small castle) with stunning sea view from the large terrace. The interior is beautifully decorated with antique style furniture, spacious and well equipped. The closest beach is few minutes away by car and the restaurant in Zavalatnica proposed by the owner was superb.
The wide stone walls keep the temperatures surprisingly cool, which together with the quietness of the village Cara was great for sleeping late in the mornings (even our two year old boy slept on average 2hrs longer than usual). We enjoyed Cara for its authenticity of a small Croatian coastal village - centric bar and grocery store are the key gathering points of the few local inhabitants. Unfortunately we left just before the week of 25 July, during which we were told the traditional days of Cara (vine tasting, local music, etc.) attract people from all over Korcula as well as tourists.
We stayed for an entire week which passed too quickly and will definitely be back!
Thank you we are glad you enjoyed your stay!! Alex
The island produces mainly white wine. Cara is at the centre of the production of Pošip. This is an indigenous white wine grape that is primarily grown in Cara and Smokvica.
14th-century votive church of Our Lady of the Čara Field reliefs depicting scenes from the life of the Madonna. These are Nottingham alabaster reliefs that washed up on the shores during crusader times
The island is famous for its dancing: The best known of these dances is Moreška which has been performed for more than four hundred years and which probably originates from Spain). We think there is a connection between the Moreška and Morris Dancing…both of which involve weapons and likely to describe the struggle against the Moores.