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Brač

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Brač, the Croatian Adriatic’s third largest island, offers spectacularly beautiful scenery. It has the highest mountain of any Croatian island, and despite its proximity to Split, retains a rustic, rural atmosphere. Even the largest town, Supetar, is not very big. You can reach Brač by Jadrolinija car/passenger ferry either from Makarska to Sumartin on the southeast tip of the island, or from Split to Supetar, which is on the northwest.
If you like to sunbathe or swim, check out Croatia’s most famous beach, Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape). It's a point jutting out into the sea near the town of Bol, on the south side of the Brač. However, this beach is liable to be crowded during the summer, especially with younger people. It's also a popular spot for windsurfing. If you'd prefer a less frenetic bathing experience you can go to the beach at Lovrenčina Bay, which is 4 km east of Postira, in the middle of Brač's north side. There are great views of the mainland mountains from there as well as the ruins of a medieval basilica just above the beach. If you prefer sightseeing instead of hitting the beach, you should head for Škrip, a small, picturesque village located on a plateau almost in the middle of Brač.
Škrip is unique in that structures spanning two millenia are located there. There are a Roman cistern, sculpture and mausoleum; medieval castles; and churches from the Middle Ages. Škrip’s Museum of Brač contains many ancient artifacts recovered from archeological digs, including a relief of Hercules.
Assuming your schedule allows a three day visit to Brač, you could extend your activities from what's listed above to the following. There is a beautiful late 15th century Dominican monastery (Dominikanski samostan) in Bol. Its museum has a collection of ancient Greek and Cretan artifacts as well as a Tintoretto painting of the Madonna and Child dating from 1563. An even more interesting monastery to visit, especially if you like to hike, is the Hermitage of Blaca (Pustinja Blaca), founded in 1588 by monks fleeing the Turks. Perched on the side of a steep sided canyon about half way between the sea and the summit of Brač's highest peak, Vidova Gora, Blaca indeed is a perfect place to hide. You can hike to the monastery either up a trail that begins near the coastal village of Murvica (west of Bol), or down from another trail that starts from a dirt track on the flank of Vidova Gora. To reach the trailhead you go 6 km on that track, which begins 1 km from the turnoff to Vidova Gora on the Supetar to Bol road. If you don't have an SUV you run the risk of ruining your vehicle's suspension. Both trails are well marked, which is unusual for Dalmatia. Allow several hours for the round trip hike and bring plenty of water. You will be rewarded with great views plus Blaca's ascetic architecture and splendid isolation.
Hikers also might want to climb to the 780 meter summit of Vidova Gora, the highest mountain of any Adriatic island, 2 hours on a well marked trail from Bol. You can also drive there on an asphalted road that starts from a signed turn off on the Supetar-Bol road just east of the town of Nerežišća. The views from the peak are terrific. If you like scuba diving and snorkeling, there are dive centers in Supetar and Bol that rent equipment and organize dive cruises. It’s easy to spend a day or more enjoying the warm, clear waters of the Croatian Adriatic.
If you are going to be on Brač for a week there's much more you can do. Land lubbers and aquatic types alike can spend several pleasant days exploring the attractive coastal villages of Brač. Just trying to pronounce their names should prove interesting. These include Sutivan, Bobovišća, Ložišća and Milna on the east side of the island; Splitska, Postira, Pučišća and Povlja on the north side; and Selca and Sumartin on the east. All of them have a medieval atmosphere in their old quarters, with narrow, cobblestone alleys winding up from the seafront; nearly all stone buildings with green shutters; medieval fortress towers built for defense against pirates and the Turks; and centuries old churches. The views offshore are wonderful, and there are plenty of outdoor cafes and restaurants from which to soak them up. Olive tree orchards and wild olive trees cover a significant portion of Brač, and there are many small-scale olive oil producers. You will see lots of signs advertising fresh, extra virgin olive oil (ekstra djevičansko maslinovo ulje) for sale. There are even agro-tourism offers for olive picking; check with a travel bureau about where that is possible.
Brač white marble has been exported all over the world. It’s claimed that Brač marble was even used in the construction of the American White House. And of course, it was used in the building of many local houses. You will see several quarries as you drive about the island, and they are accessible – a tort lawyer’s dream.
There are two caves worth exploring on Brač: Zmajeva (Dragon) and Kopačina. They’re located between Supetar and Donji Humac.
Even if you had more than a week to spend on Brač you wouldn’t suffer for lack of things to do. You could spend many more days just driving around or relaxing on the beach, soaking up the scenery.
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