Brač Island, Croatia
Brač Island is the third largest Croatian Island in the Adriatic and the largest in Dalmatia. Although located quite close to the popular mainland city Split, Brač Island does not experience the same influx of celebrities, politicians or moguls that other islands in the region do. The result is a much more relaxed and authentic insight into Croatian life. While there are a number of very small villages, there are just two main towns on the island – the quiet geranium and pine tree lined streets of the old town of Bol, and Supetar, the slightly more bustling official centre of the island.
Brač Island has a number of small, shallow pebble beaches around its coastline. The most famous is Zlatni Rat, a stunning white sand beach that skirts along each side of a lush, pine tree covered peninsular in the crystal blue waters of the Hvar Channel.
While largely uninhabited, the island’s centre is a fertile, green oasis. The island’s hills are covered in natural olive and orange tree groves, pine forest covered karsts, and piles of limestone rocks (created by ancient locals who were clearing land for farming).
These stones are the island’s most famous export – a stunning mix of marble and limestone that has been used around the globe in famous buildings such as the Liverpool’s Catholic Cathedral, Berlin’s Reichstag and the iconic White House in Washington.
The majority of cruises to the region stop at Bol, a resort town on the island’s south.
Many cruise passengers are transferred from their ship to the port via ferry. As the port is quite small, there is no dedicated cruise terminal available.
Facilities near the port in Bol include:
- Tourist information centre
- Restaurants and pizzerias
- Bank and ATMs
- Internet cafés
- Medical centre and pharmacy
- Post office.
How To Get Around
Although Brač Island is small, it is not small enough to be easily traversed on foot. Many tourists from the mainland prefer to bring their cars to the island via the many car ferries. Cruise passengers can hire cars, bikes and scooters. Public transport is available on the island; however, the bus system has not been efficiently designed. As there is no route around the island, most journeys require a changeover in Supetar.
Travel times from Bol:
- It is a 28 minute journey to Zlatni Rat.
- It is an 8 minute journey to Zlatni Rat
- It is a 24 minute journey to Airport Brač
- It is a 45 minute journey to Supetar.
- It is a 45 minute journey to Supetar.
- Currency - The currency on Brač Island is the Croatian Kuna. Coins are available in 1 and 2 kn denominations and 5, 10, 20 and 50 lipa (where 100 lipa equals one kuna). Notes are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 kn.
- Time Zone - Brač Island uses Central European Time (CET), which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - Brač Island has a standard Mediterranean climate, typified by long, hot and dry summers and short, cool and wet winters. It is coldest in January with an average temperature of 8.7 degrees Celsius, and warmest in July with an average temperature of 24.7 degrees Celsius.
- Zlatni Rat - Just a short trip from Bol, Zlatni Rat is one of the most stunning beaches in all of Croatia. The perfect white sand extends far into the Hvar Channel’s crystal blue waters, offering plenty of opportunities for sunbathing and swimming. As the beach is relatively exposed, it has remained a popular destination for windsurfers.
- Dragon’s Cave - A short walk from the small town of Murvica, the Dragon’s Cave is a large cave in the karsts that has been carved with unusual reliefs of angels, dragons and other real and mythological creatures. A local Brač friar is believed to have completed the carvings in secret sometime during the 15th century. Tourists must be accompanied to Dragon’s Cave; guides can be secured at the local tourist office.
- Galerija Branislav Dešković - Located on the waterfront in the heart of Bol, this Renaissance-era townhouse has a collection of over 300 paintings and sculptures from prominent 20th century Croatian artists. Galerija Branislav Dešković has become popular but tourists are advised to check opening hours before arrival – the gallery is only open for a few hours in the morning before reopening in evening for a few more hours.
- Lucice Bay - A stunning cove on the southwest coast of the island, Lucice Bay has become a popular destination for cave divers. Just three metres below the surface is an entrance to two massive stalagmite, stalactite and coral-filled caves.