What to visit on Brac
IN COOPERATION WITH OUR PARTNERS WE MADE A SPECIAL PROGRAM WITH ACTIVITIES AND EXCURSIONS ON THE ISLAND OF BRAC; THE BROCHURE WITH ALL THE INFORMATION CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE
Zlatni Rat (Golden Tongue), considered by many the most beautiful beach on the Adriatic, is close to Bol, at the foot of Vidova Gora. The beach is a natural phenomenon and according to the movement of the wind and waves, its tip moves to the left or right.
Zlatni Rat is one of the best Adriatic wind-surfing locations. A free-style competition, which has become part of local tradition, is held here every year and now forms part of the official World Cup calendar.
Vidova Gora is the highest point of the Adriatic archipelago (780 m). It derived its name from the ruins of the chapel of St. Vid (Vitus), a hundred metres from the peak, which is an indication that the population long ago worshipped the Slavic god, Svetovid. From Vidova Gora there is a wonderful view of Zlatni Rat (Golden Tongue) Beach and many coves, and across the sea to Hvar Island, Pelješac Peninsula, Korčula, Vis and Biševo, right out to the little island of Jabuka. On a particularly clear day, you can glimpse Monte Gargano on the Apennine Peninsula. There is a typical Dalmatian tavern at the top of Vidova Gora, serving spit-roasted lamb, Dalmatian ham (prosciutto), Brač wine and other specialities. Vidova Gora has footpaths and bike trails and is a well-known destination in the health and hunting tourist industries.
It will take you about two hours to hike up the hill from Our Lady of Carmel in Bol, but there is also a road (18 km) from Supetar via Nerežišća and Knežeravan to the peak of Vidova Gora. This road winds through varied scenery, including limestone rock formations and endemic black pine woods, and we recommend you visit the little shepherds’ village in Gažul.
Gažul is a little shepherds’ village in an original setting, with shepherds’ dwellings. In winter it is abandoned, but in summer, with advance booking, you can try traditional Brač fare and vitalac, a lamb dish which is an island speciality.
Blaca Hermitage is between Bol and Milna on Brac, on the south side of Brac Island, and is one of the most fascinating excursion destinations on the island. The Hermitage was once a famous Glagolitic monastery and observatory, built at the foot of tall, steep cliffs. In 1551, two Glagolitic friars from Poljice made themselves a dwelling in a cave known as Ljubitovica, and from this humble beginning, a monastery was founded. The building contains many items of historical value, including books, a small printing press and the observatory with its telescopes. The monastery library has 11,000 volumes, many of them printed before 1800. The archives reveal that generations of monks carefully recorded all the details of their economic and daily agricultural business, the dates of blossoms, fruit and harvests in the Blaca fields, and the rhythms of the weather. The contents of Blaca Hermitage have been preserved and are today organised in a museum exhibition. The last hermit monk, Don Nika Miličević the Younger, left a particularly valuable astronomical bequest. The monastery had its own school and church, dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, built in 1588. The Slap cliffs conceal a freshwater spring and pool. There is a deep pit here and it was formerly the site of the monastery apiary.
Access to Blaca Hermitage is via the wide path from Blaca Bay or the footpath from the interior of the island, via Nerežišća, Žurmo Pools (early Christian sarcophagi, used for watering horses and mules) and Dragovode (where there are some shepherds’ houses built next to a spring).
Zmajeva Spilja (Dragon’s Cave)
Zmajeva Spilja (also known as Drakonjina Spilja) is about 200 m from the village of Murvica. It was a dwelling and temple used by the Poljica Glagolitic friars who fled to the steep slopes of the island in the mid-fifteenth century and revived the life of their order on the island of Brač. There are reliefs in the cave of particular historical importance, depicting the way of life in those days. To this day, Zmajeva Spilja is the site of Slavic myths about fairies, werewolves and witches and Mediterranean stories about Orkomarin, a one-eyed cave-dwelling giant.
Not far from Pucisca on Brac is Lovrečina, a deep cove with a wonderful sandy beach. Lovrečina is also a valuable archeological site and a great place for a full day excursion. There are the remains of an early Christian church with a baptistery, shaped like a cross, on the north side of the church.
Škrip is the oldest settlement on Brac Island. Its name derives from the Latin scrupus (sharp, bare rock) and beneath the village are the famous stone quarries of Plate, Stražišće and Rasohe, from which stone was quarried, under the protection of Heracles and military supervision, for construction in Salonis, for Diocletian’s Palace and for the spa in Panonian Syrmium. There were masons’ workshops attached to the quarries, from where characteristic sarcophagi were shipped to Ravenna and Aquila. Black marble encrusted with shells was also quarried here and used for ecclesiastical furnishings in many of the early Christian basilicas of Dalmatia.
Huge blocks and carved objects were lowered down ramps to the harbour in Splitska, where you can still see some enormous dressed blocks on the sea bed, which must have fallen while being loaded onto galleys.
Around the picturesque stronghold complex of the Radojković family, in which the Brač Island Museum is housed (a splendid archaeological collection and exhibition of Brač tools), the “megalithic” walls, which sheltered the Illyrian village, have been preserved. Mycaenic pottery has been found here, indicating possible Greek colonisation, and its many churches and basilicas make Škrip a unique place, allowing us a unique glimpse of different periods in history and the millennial continuity of Brac Island.
Natural phenomenon – the Dolomite Cake
Two kilometres west of Nerežišća is a dolomite ring which has been nicknamed the “Cake” after the round bread rolls which the Dalmatians call baškot or koloč. The irregular pillars of rock rise twelve metres and form two interconnecting arches, like an old bridge abandoned by the changing course of a river. There are traditional legends of fairies, elves and other imaginary beings dancing on the top of the arches while decorating it with flowers, and there are stories of its magical powers and influence on those who walk under its arches.