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13 Best Things to Do on Brač Island, Croatia

13 Best Things to Do on Brač Island, Croatia

Located where Central and Southeast Europe meet on the shores of the Adriatic Sea is the beautiful country of Croatia. With its numerous peaceful islands, fairytale-like waterfalls, and some of the best beaches in Europe, Croatia has long been a very popular destination with visitors from near and far.

While many of these visitors rightly put the mainland coastal towns like Split on their Croatia itinerary, and perhaps an island off of the Dalmatian Coast like Hvar, far fewer choose to make the trip to the island of Brač.

The largest Croatian island in the area, Brač Island is just a 50-minute car ferry from the harbor of Split and can be a multi-day destination or a fantastic day trip from the mainland city.

Being the largest island in southern Croatia, there are many ancient sites, picturesque coastal towns, and incredible beaches to enjoy here – a lot to consider when working with limited time. So, if you’re ready to explore Brač, grab your ferry tickets through FerryHopper, and your Brač Island map.

TL;DR

  • Most significant landmark – Vidova Gora Mountain
  • Free activity – Lounging on Golden Horn Beach
  • Activity for kids – Boat Tours and Water Sports around the coast
  • Activity for adults – Stina Winery
  • Place to eat – Mali Raj at Zlatni Rat
  • Nightlife – Beach Bar Nautilus
  • Best all-around accommodation – Bluesun Holiday Village Bonaca

Things to Do On Brač Island, Croatia

1. Explore the Town of Supetar

View of Supetar, Croatia from the Sea
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

We’ll start where your passenger or car ferry is most likely to dock on Brač – Supetar, the main town on the island. While it is Brač’s largest town, it is still a tiny town, and everything here is within walking distance for any day-trippers from Split without a car.

The history of this old town dates back hundreds of years. This settlement was believed to have been nearly abandoned until the Middle Ages, when a breath of new life came through and revived the area because of its nautical location.

When you tour the town now, however, you will mostly find architecture and development that began in the 16th Century. During this time, Supetar grew due to neighboring towns using the area as a harbor for trade.

There are quite a few things to do in Supetar, Croatia. All visitors should wander the narrow streets for a glimpse back in time. Stop by the Church of St. Peter, which houses various paintings from the 16th to the 18th Centuries, decorating the Church with stories from the Bible. There are also sculptures of both St. Viktor and Mother Theresa on the Church grounds.

This is also where you’ll find many excellent Brač Island restaurants, hotels, and vacation rentals. For an authentic resort experience, you can stay in a beautiful apartment at the Waterman Svpetrvs All-Inclusive Resort.

It has a total gym and a large swimming pool and sits just a short walk from the old town. It’s also stepping away from Brač Island nightlife hotspot Beach Bar Nautilus.

See Related: Things to Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

2. Visit The Blaca Hermitage

Pustinja Blaca hermitage on he top of a hill
xbrchx / Shutterstock

One of the fascinating things to do on Brač Island is to visit the Blaca Hermitage, sometimes known as the Blaca Monastery, beneath the Karst caves on the remote south side of the island. The Blaca Hermitage dates back to 1551 when just two Christian monks founded it.

Over the centuries, it has continued to grow and develop with new monk generations, serving as a hidden retreat for those who wanted to enjoy peace and clarity and study their beliefs in seclusion. 2007, it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List due to its importance to local and Croatian history.

When you visit Blaca Hermitage, you will find that the surrounding area was successfully cultivated for these monks to live sufficiently. The garden has clearings of olive groves, vineyards, and even goats. The beautiful architecture of the hermitage has shifted with the centuries, taking on more modern features with some of the latest structures and newer villages that were developed.

You can access the hermitage from the road at Blaca Cove. Getting from the parking lot to the monastery requires over a mile of walking, so come prepared with water and proper shoes.

3. See The Dominican Monastery

Beautiful view of Dominician monastery and Martinica beach on Adriatic sea
artem evdokimov / Shutterstock

Address: Šetalište Anđelka Rabadana 4, 21420, Bol, Croatia

Many visitors to Brač Island head straight to the south coast and stay in the tiny village of Bol, where you can find the Dominican Monastery along the shore. The construction of this Christian monastery began on a small peninsula in 1301 and, for centuries, was home to hundreds of monks seeking a safe place for their lifestyle.

It underwent some renovations during the late 17th Century due to the massive earthquake that rocked the country in 1667. It still showcases hundreds of years of this island’s local culture, history, and riches.

St. Dominic’s statue will greet visitors at the top of the south church door before entering. The Monastery also has a small museum to tell the stories of the area and the impact its history has had on the rest of Croatia.

As you tour the property, consider the architectural details in the stairwells, gardens, and archways. You can find pieces of the monastery that are of the original design, others from the necessary updates of the 17th Century, and some from more recently in the 1970s. Artifacts and paintings from the island are displayed inside and in the museum.

The Dominican Monastery is easily reached on foot from the center of Bol via a lovely walk along the coastal road – but be careful, as sidewalks are scarce. Still, this is a more accessible place than Blaca Monastery, so those who don’t want to hike above can get their history fixed here!

See Related: Best Family Vacation Spots in the World

4. Visit Zlatni Rat Beach (Golden Horn Beach)

Aerial view of Zlatni rat beach in Bol, Island Brac, Croatia
mislaw / Shutterstock

The most popular place to visit in Brač is arguably the beautiful Zlatni Rat Beach, also known as Golden Horn Beach, because of its beautiful golden sand and unique shape. In the high season, thousands of Europeans usually take advantage of its incredible landscape along the Adriatic Sea.

This beautiful beach is known for its ability to shape-shift daily due to the changing tide conditions and wind patterns. Despite this and its popularity, it is usually large enough for everyone to enjoy their space and comfort.

Zlatni Rat Beach is a great place for relaxing, swimming, and watersports like windsurfing, thanks to consistent winds. Due to the incredible clarity of the sea, other water sports like sea kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and scuba diving are also prevalent. You can find facilities to rent equipment during the summer season along the beach.

There are several beach restaurants along the water where you can enjoy fresh seafood dishes and drinks during the day. One of the best-rated in the area, Mali Raj, is not waterfront but offers fantastic fresh fish and local dishes.

Many of Brač’s most famous hotels and rentals are in Bol and have easy access to Zlatni Rat Beach, such as the Bluesun Holiday Village Bonaca, a large resort with a pool. Most tourists who have visited Zlatni Rat have difficulty finding a better beach elsewhere in Croatia!

5. Visit the Olive Oil Museum

Olive Oil Museum exhibit
Management / TripAdvisor

Address: Put Ploča 5, 21410, Škrip, Croatia

As with many Mediterranean countries, olive oil is one of the essential parts of Croatia’s production and export history. Brač Island has been known for developing and distributing olive oil for centuries. Since 1864, guests to the area have been able to embrace this part of the culture by visiting the Olive Oil Museum.

This museum has been operated by the same family throughout the years, opened by Josip Krstulovic, and used by his great-grandson since 2013.

The Olive Oil Museum will take you back to when Brač Island was ruled by the Venetians, who ordered the island to be covered with olive trees. Today, there are more than 500,000 trees across its surface.

During your visit, you will enjoy a tasting room to sample the different oil recipes that can be crafted with the unique buhavica variety from Brač. It has examples of all the components needed to harvest and create olive oil, including the mill, press, and all tools from each stage.

The museum is located outside the village of Škrip and is an easy drive from Supetar. It’s also a stop on this Four-Wheel Drive Vehicle Tour of Brač, which will take you to Zlatni Rat Beach and other great island destinations.

See Related: Best Girls Trip Destinations Around the World

6. Hike or Drive Up to Vidova Gora Mountain

Steep Vidova Gora mountain rising above Brac island beaches
Miroslav Posavec / Shutterstock

While enjoying a beach day at Zlatni Rat Beach, you probably looked up to see the peak of Vidova Gora towering behind the sea. Before you conclude your vacation, visiting its lookout point is a must on the list of things to do in Brač.

Vidova Gora is not just the highest point on Brač Island but all of the Adriatic Islands. It provides a stunning panoramic view of Brač, the nearby islands, and the Croatian mainland sitting among the sea. The mountain is an excellent place for sporty travelers to explore, as there are many hiking trails.

If staying in Bol, you can walk to the Vidova Gora trailhead to trek to the top. This trail is about 6.5 miles (10.6 kilometers) round trip for most hikers, averaging three to five hours.

You will elevate approximately 715 meters or 2,340 feet throughout the hike, a substantial uphill climb. It isn’t the most complex, challenging Adriatic Island, but it is pretty moderate.

Alternatively, driving to the summit on country roads that start further towards the island center is possible. You could also choose to take an Off-Road Adventure Tour that makes Vidova Gora a stop. However, when you get there, be sure to have your camera ready for some of the best views in Croatia!

7. The Dragon’s Cave

Relief of dragon in the Dragon's cave
laksena / Shutterstock

Speaking of Bol and uphill hikes, anyone seeking exercise should also consider visiting the Dragon’s Cave of Murvica village. This hike begins at a spot just 10 minutes west of Bol by car (or an hour on foot) and has a mystical past that is retained today.

The hike is about 30 minutes up the mountain at nearly 1,000 feet. You’ll find a cave on the cliffside filled with ancient walls, sculptures, gates, and more. These curiosities are from hundreds of years ago when priests would use the cave as a temple away from society.

The cave was also known to be home to mythical creatures like fairies, werewolves, witches, and a giant one-eyed dragon named Orokomarin, all stemming from Slavic legends.

Some visitors to the Dragon Cave today report signs that these creatures are still residents, while others report nothing but a beautiful view and fascinating ruins.

Either way, it’s a great place to appreciate a piece of nature on Brač that most visitors won’t visit. If visiting in the summer months, start your hike early to avoid intense heat on the way up.

See Related: Friend Vacation Ideas

8. Visit the Settlement of Škrip

Village of Skrip stone architecture
xbrchx / Shutterstock

Archaeologists have frequented the small village of Škrip for many years, locating artifacts and pieces of history that date back to prehistoric times. If you want a well-rounded experience of Brač Island’s culture and rich history, Škrip is a wonderful place to find.

Škrip is the oldest settlement on the island, and discoveries date back to the Medieval Era in places like the Kopacina Cave and ancient gravestones. It’s an appropriate place for the Brač Museum, where you can see treasures like furniture, tools, and sculptures.

Besides its museum, the whole town of Škrip is a bit of a window to the past, with a Roman mausoleum and a Croatian castle still visible. Many buildings along its main road retain their rustic stone architecture. Even a quick hour of your day is worth exploring this beautiful town.

9. Pučišća Stonemasonry School

Pučišća Stonemasonry School architecture and Pučišća skyline
Management / TripAdvisor

Address: Obala Trifuna Bokanića 4, 21412, Pučišća, Croatia

While stonemasonry is an essential trade in Croatia, it has a special significance on Brač Island. The white stone found around the island has been sent worldwide for architectural use in prestigious places, like Diocletian’s Palace in Split, the parliament buildings in Vienna and Budapest, and even the White House in Washington.

For hundreds of years, stonemasons from Brač have been extracting and processing this stone, and most of them learn their job at the Pučišća Stonemasonry School in the seaside town of Pučišća.

One of the leading institutions of its kind in Europe and worldwide, skilled stonemasons work alongside students here to perpetuate the tradition of utilizing Brač stone.

Visitors to Brač Island can visit the school and see students actively working on projects, preparing them to be transported, and possibly adding to the construction if it’s happening nearby.

The student body includes students from all over the world, not just locals from Brač who want to carry on the tradition. You’ll be amazed at the sculptures that can be made with this stone, which may be an animal, a column, or a decorative piece of virtually any nature for a building.

Tickets to enter are inexpensive, and you’ll learn a lot about the process from students and instructors. The village of Pučišća is lovely to explore, with its picturesque harbor, so don’t hesitate to make this part of the island more of a destination.

See Related: Romantic Destinations in the World

10. Go Wine Tasting at Stina Winery

The outside of Stina Winery with its wine cellar
Lea Rae / Shutterstock.com

Address: Riva 16, 21420, Bol, Croatia

Back in the village of Bol, it’s a great idea to taste some local wine at the Stina Winery. Located on the coastal road fronting Bol Harbor, the winery sits in a historic building with an incredible sea view – an appropriate setting for sampling Croatian wine.

Winemaking has a long history on this island, dating back to the Greeks’ time in the 5th Century BC. The Stina Winery’s earliest roots are from 1903 but were revived in 2009 after the phylloxera disease destroyed much of the vineyards in Europe. Today, it’s believed that there is no other winery closer to the sea than this one – perfect for rolling barrels onto ships for export in the old days.

The grapes for this wine are grown in traditional vineyards around the village of Murvica, just a short distance from the Stina Winery. As you tour the facility, you will go through the wine cellar, processing facility, and tasting room, where you can embrace the different flavors.

The reds produced here come from Croatia’s unique red grape variety, with hints of sour cherry and herbs; the whites are crisp and robust. This winery is an excellent choice for an evening drink, as it has a long bar with seats and a direct sea view.

11. Take a Day Trip to Hvar Island

Bay of Hvar, Croatia
rustamank / Adobe Stock

One of the other Dalmatian Islands nearby is Hvar Island, just south of Brač and a short ferry ride away. Another large island, Hvar, is long and narrow, full of scenic coves and forests.

Most ferries dock in Stari Grad, one of the most popular towns on the island and one of the oldest on the continent. It’s excellent for waterfront dining, wandering the old streets, and seeing landmarks like the Trg Škor central square and poet Petar Hektoravić’s beautiful villa. One of the island’s most luxurious resorts, the Maslina Resort, is just outside the historic center.

On the southwest side, Hvar town is the other major population center, with an equally beautiful old town surrounded by 13th-century walls. Ancient fortresses and churches are some sights to see here, and there’s a panoramic view of the top of the town after a short hike to an old fortress.

There is incredible natural beauty all over the island, and having a car here to explore it all at your own pace is a great idea.

The interior is carpeted with olive trees, like Brač, and lavender fields that make you think you’re in the hills of Provence. Beaches are all around the coast, mainly in small coves like the famous Dubovica in the south.

See Related: All-Inclusive Resorts That Don’t Require a Passport

12. Take an Island Boat Tour

Aerial View of the Coast of Brač Island
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Brač is an island – so what better way to see it than a boat tour? Cruising the Adriatic Sea for a few hours is one of the best perspectives on the various coastal towns, sea caves, and underwater wonders off the coast.

A boat trip is one of the best things to do in Milna, Brač Island’s southwesternmost village tucked in a narrow bay. This Hidden Bays Boat Trip from Milna will have you on the water for a full day with stops at Zlatni Rat Beach and Bol, the small village of Pučišća, and snorkeling stops everywhere between. You won’t believe how much Brač you wouldn’t see without taking to the sea.

Many boat tours go even further than the island of Brač. This island-hopping tour departs from Milna or Supetar and takes you to Biševo, Vis, and Hvar islands, further off the coast. Highlights include the amazing Blue Cave on Biševo, Stiniva Cove on Vis, and a stunning beach on Palmižana off the coast of Hvar.

I’ve always enjoyed renting my boat to travel around Europe. You usually don’t need a license for a small boat, and there’s nothing better than seeing what you want at the pace you want, stopping as you please for swimming or photos.

13. Mountain Biking

Biker at the highest mountain of Croatia islands on the island Brac
Martina Strihova / Shutterstock

Brač Island is much quieter than the busy streets of Split on the mainland, making it an excellent place for leisurely mountain biking along the paved roads and dirt trails connecting its towns. Most visitors aren’t traveling with their bikes, so you’ll probably need to rent one or join a cycling tour.

Brač Adventures is a company in Supetar that provides both of these options. Rentals are available for full days, and discounts are available for longer durations.

They can even transport the bikes to and from anywhere you may be staying on the island for a reasonable fee, making it a convenient way to enjoy any area by bike. The most adventurous bikers may want to take on the Vidova Gora peak or cycle across the island.

Alternatively, Brač Adventures offers an excellent cycling tour with gear included on what some describe as the easiest cycling route on the island. Starting in Supetar, you’ll take mainly coastal roads to the east and stop in the villages of Splitska and Postira for an interesting and exciting break.

The tour ends at the beautiful beach of Lovrečina, where clear water and a sandy beach await – you might even want to come back here for a stand-up paddle tour or sea kayaking adventure.

See Related: Best Bike Rides Around the World

How to Get Around Brač Island

Sumartin town view at Brac island
sanzios / Shutterstock

We’d recommend renting a car if you don’t mind a bit of tingling, as it’s the best way to reach all corners of Brač without waiting on taxis, buses, or hiking in the potentially fierce heat. The ferries from Brač Island to Split and the other islands accommodate vehicles, too, so you can continue your adventures elsewhere in Croatia with your car.

If that’s not an option for you, there are some bus services from Supetar around the island. Routes are more frequent in the summer, and fares are just a few Euros for the most part. You can even pre-book routes online if you know when and where you want to go.

FAQ

Is Brač, Croatia, worth visiting?

Yes, Brač Island is worth visiting! This large island is home to some of the best towns in the Adriatic Islands and hosts relatively few people compared to the others, even in the peak season. There are many places to visit on Brač Island, whether looking for natural beauty, rich history, or great food.

What is Brač, Croatia, known for?

Brač is home to many exciting things, including stone sculpted and exported worldwide, hundreds of thousands of olive trees used to make oil, and the beautiful Zlatni Rat Beach. It’s known as a summertime getaway for Croatians and Europeans who know about this secret spot in the Adriatic Sea.

What are the top attractions to visit on Brač Island?

Undoubtedly, the famous Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) Beach is the most visited place on the island. However, other Brač hidden gems include the Stina Winery, the small town of Pučišća and its stonemasonry school, and the Brač Museum and other historical attractions in Škrip.

What are the most popular things to do on Brač Island with kids?

Families will be glad to know that there’s something in Brač for visitors of all ages. Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) Beach is calm and made of small pebbles, creating a generally safe beach for lounging and playing. A hike up to Vidova Gora is also great for sporty families.

Is Supetar nice, and is there a beach in Supetar?

Supetar is a main attraction on the island, where the ferries from Split and the other islands arrive. Plus, there’s a ton of centuries-old history among its narrow streets and lots of dining and accommodations. There are a few beaches near the old town of Supetar, but the best beaches in Brač are a bit further out and can’t be reached on foot.

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