Second on the list of Croatian Islands we planned on visiting over our tour of Southern Croatia was the island of Brac. From Murter we drove down the coast to Split where we took our car onto a Jadrolinija Ferry (here is a link for planning all your ferry hops) for the 50 minute cruise to the third largest island on the Croatian Coast in the center of Dalmatia. Brac has the highest peak, Vidova Gora at 778m in the Adriatic and has some specular, albeit a bit nerve racking views as you climb its twisty, turny roads along the coastline.
We took one such drive from our home base in the town of Sutivan to Bol on the other side of the island for a visit to the iconic beach Zlatni Rat. This stretch of beach is often referred to as the Golden Horn or Golden Cape because of its unique shape and is consistently rated as one of the best beaches in all of Europe. You see its photos in a lot of tourism literature for Croatia, its famed ever-changing peninsula shaped by the moving currents of the Hvar channel and surrounded by aqua, crystal clear, blue waters. The beach area is fully serviced by bars, restaurants and cafes, plenty of washrooms, changing and shower facilities for a small fee, as well as parking. There are lots of hotels nearby and Apartmans for rent in the town of Bol which is within walking distance to the beach. One side of the beach is well known and attracts naturists from all over Europe (no clothes mandatory), with its own campgrounds and facilities. And no, we didn’t expose our calzone stuffed bodies to the horror of the Croatian naturists. It was way to cold, a rainy and windy day but had the sun been shining look out Bo Derek, here comes Bo Diddly!
The island has plenty to explore and could keep you busy for days with cultural sights, olive oil and wine tours, hiking, water sports, beach hoping and visiting it’s many towns and harbors. The weather was terrible over our stay so we stuck close to our home town of Sutivan and just enjoyed some lazy days there. A new luxury hotel called the Hotel Lemon Garden had just opened in the harbor and we were lucky enough to get a private tour from the architect’s wife. It is beautiful with an amazing garden and pool but well beyond our price range, however they have a great restaurant, bar and lounge area on the harbor front open to the general public. Try their signature cocktail, a Lemongarden Spritzer made of lemons and herbs from their own garden. It’s heaven in a glass, maybe the best cocktail I’ve ever had and would have been even nicer on a hot, sunny day. We sat out on the harbor in the evening sipping our spritzers with the entire place to ourselves, heat lamps keeping us warm while we watched the lights flicker on the bay, the hotels mascot cat snooping on the sailboats, the church bells in the square would ring and a few locals walking by on a leisurely stroll, it was a moment.
On the edge of town (Sutivan), minutes from our apartment is a great cycling and walking trail called the Maestral Path. On a sunny day, I went out to walk the trail winding through the pine forest and along the coastline with some stunning views amongst its many coves and the city of Split gleaming from across the Adriatic. I found a nice, natural stone lounger carved out by the oceans waves and stopped for a little sunbathing along the way. Some joggers went by and an occasional few bike riders but it was very quiet on the island despite being their long weekend on May 1st , a national labor holiday.
Brac feels like it is in its infancy and starting to develop like Hvar, one of the more popular islands. It still has a feel of authenticity that hasn’t yet been striped away by development and an ensuing throng of tourists, it’s a bit sleeper and laid back yet will all the modern amenities. You can visit sites or find things to do but we enjoyed doing very little, the inspirational sea view from our patio made it a nice place to just read a book, ponder life or take a nap and we did all the above. If you are interested here is a video of the apartment we stayed in.
Here is a short video on our visit to Brac and a quick look at Split.
If you get here on your own we didn’t get a chance to do these things but you might (as advised by a local):
- Visit Skrip Village (Musejuja)-it’s the oldest village on the island with a museum. It is the source of its finest olive oils on the island which you can try while exploring this little village.
- Dol Village Etno-Eko- a very picturesque village and ethno center. The restaurant ‘Tony’ here comes highly recommended where you can have a wonderful meal and taste the local cake ‘Hrapacusa’. Here you can also explore the ‘Castle Gospodnetic’ and even have a meal there.
- Bol- as mentioned has the most famous beach Zlatni Rat which we did visit. Especially if the weather is conducive you have to visit this most highly rated beach in Europe.
- Pucisca-the unique school of marble carving and the marble caves.
- Postira- nice place to visit known as the biggest fishing area on the island.
- In Blaca- visit the old monastery and Dragon’s Cave, book your visit in the tourist office.
Some restaurants to mention (and ask to try their local cheese from the shepards which is extraordinary and the local wine ‘Senjkovic’)
- In Donji Humac visit the restaurant (Konoba) Kopactina where you can try the lamb prepared a number of ways.
- Ranjak (on the road towards Nererisca or the restaurant Ziza
- Lukin in Supertar
- Kopactna -toward Nererisca, sign D.Humac
- Toni- towards Pstira