For travelers looking to experience pristine blue waters and quiet beaches in Europe, Brac Island in Croatia is an outstanding choice. Less touristy than Split and Hvar, Brac (pronounced "Bratch") offers a more low-key, relaxed vibe and thus, a more authentic experience of the local culture. Famous for its beautiful beaches, olive trees that date back to Roman times, and its white building stone that can be found in the lobby of the United Nations building in New York, and even parts of the White House, Brac Island is worth more than just a day trip.
Here are the best beaches and sights to see while exploring the sparkling Brac Island.
Zlatni Rat Beach: One Of The Mediterranean's Most Beautiful Beaches
Long considered one of Europe's most coveted beaches to visit, Zlatni Rat Beach is a spit of land often referred to as the Golden Cape or Golden Horn, which extends out into the Hvar Channel of the Adriatic Sea. The beaches on either side of the spit are filled with white pebbles, and it offers spectacular views of the glittering blue water, while inland is thick with pine groves and an ancient Roman villa. The area is known for an afternoon westerly wind, which has made this beach one of the top destinations in the world for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Swimmers should take note that the crystal clear waters should not distract from the fact that heading out too far from the southern tip to the open sea can make it a perilous journey to get back to the beach.
Hike Vidova Gora, The Highest Peak
The highest point on the Adriatic Islands, the Vidova Gora peak is well worth the moderately difficult hike it takes to get to the peak (although, if you want to skip the hike altogether if you are pressed for time, you can always simply drive to the top). At 6.6 miles round trip, hiking the trail typically averages between 3 and 5 hours. With an elevation gain of 2,340 feet, this hike offers panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea. There are plenty of locations at the top to have a picnic and enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding islands.
Unwind With A Glass Of Wine In Bol, Brac Island
Located near both Zlatni Rat beach and the Vidova Gora trailhead, the port town of Bol on Brac Island is a delightful place to enjoy a local restaurant or spend an afternoon at a winery. Renowned for the local grapes, be sure to visit the Stina Winery for a tour of their state-of-the-art wine-making facilities, cool off in their wine cellar, and have a glass (or two) in their polished wine tasting room. Opened in 2009, Stina Winery is located in a historic building at the Riva, Bol's boardwalk. You can enjoy wine and a bite to eat as you enjoy the sunset on the boardwalk.
Explore The Mystery Of The Dragon's Cave
Just west of Bol, this unusual cave features pictures carved into the rock that are mysterious in origin. With carvings that show animals, angels, and a dragon, it is believed the etchings it was likely sculpted in the 15th century by a local friar, as the monks used to live in the caves on the hillside. Hikers can only reach the cave by taking a guided tour from the local tourist office.
Enjoy The Local Cuisine
The dining on Brac is similar to most Croatian dishes, with one exception: there is more variety in the seafood options available, and, of course, the seafood is always freshly caught in the coastal towns. In addition to fish, Brac cuisine includes recipes such as baked lamb and homemade bread. For a picturesque setting, head to Konoba Vinotoka, a restaurant on the coast that offers fine dining and a romantic setting under the setting sun. For unobstructed views of Hvar and the beautiful Adriatic Sea, be sure to dine at the Taverna Riva, with its mix of traditional and modern cuisine. Visitors will be seated right on the waterfront where they can enjoy the sailboats go by under a starry sky.
Brac Island Is Simply One Of A Kind
For adventurous explorers willing to go off the beaten path, a visit to Brac Island, Croatia, is well worth the trip. With one of Europe's top beaches, the highest peak in all of the Adriatic Sea, and fine local cuisine with a relaxed vibe that allows travelers to fully immerse themselves in the local culture, this is a destination that should be at the top of anyone's bucket list.