Brač, pronounced Brach, is a picturesque Croatian island located off the Dalmatian Coast, best known for its beaches, forests, and peaceful ambiance. It’s a somewhat off-the-beaten-track location and less popular than neighboring islands like Hvar and Vis, so you might be wondering, is Brač worth visiting?
The island is a great place to unwind, discover undisturbed coves, and enjoy amazing local food and wine. Brač is actually host to the highest peak of all Croatia’s islands, providing unbeaten views of the Adriatic and nearby islands. Its rugged landscape and sunny climate make it ideal for getting outdoors. Brač is also home to one of the country’s most famous and unique beaches, which in itself, is definitely worth visiting.
Our guide brings you seven of many reasons to visit Brač to show you once and for all why this island deserves a place on your travel bucket list. From the adventures to the nature, the stunning coastline, and the local delicacies, it’s all here. Let’s get into it.
Brač, like many other Croatian destinations, harbors a rich heritage that has bestowed the island with the culture it has today. There are several historic sites and ancient villages worth exploring. history buffs will revel in the ancient architecture and original landmarks that still stand tall on the island.
In their takeover of Brač, the Romans named it Brattia and left their mark on the island by building roads and leaving buildings. In Skrip, there are also Roman tombs, grave steles, and statues. The Avars destroyed Salona at the beginning of the seventh century, causing many refugees to arrive and settle in Brač. Slavs followed them, and Brač later fell under the rule of early Croatian kings. There is a wealth across the islands of early Christian churches, such as the Dominican Monastery, the St Roko Church, built-in 1577, and Supetar cemetery.
If you like mystical places, Zmajeva Špilja is worth a visit, located at the top of the Murvica settlement. Glagolitic priests used this site as a temple and habitat in the 15th century, their peculiar scriptures with unclear meanings still decorate the walks. In fleeing the Turks, the Glagolitic priests from Poljice founded the hermetic monastery Blaca in 1551.
The monastery now houses a museum, documenting the unique lives of this community and their very progressive existence hidden away from civilization. You can step back in time when visiting Brač’s sites and there’s something to satisfy every taste.
All of Brač’s scenery is worth enjoying, from the rugged mountains and rural inland to the beautiful beaches and turquoise seas. One of the most famous sites that shouldn’t go amiss is the Vidova Gora, the highest peak of all the Adriatic islands. If you’re willing to brave the hike, the view from the top is one of the best in Croatia.
Zlatni Rat, also known as the Golden Horn, is an unmissable beach in Bol, often rated as the best beach in Europe. If you’ve ever heard of Brač, it’s likely that images of this unique cone-shaped peninsula are the first to come to mind. Reaching into the Adriatic on its own peninsula, the paradise beach is characteristic of Brač island and a huge pull factor to its quiet shores.
Located away from the crowds of Zlatni Rat, a few kilometers further west, is the village of Murvica, a seafront settlement with just two dozen inhabitants. The beach here is another highlight of Brač’s coasts, encircled by rocks and pine trees.
Or check out Beach Banj if these two aren’t enough. The main beach in Supetar is a short 15-minute walk from the harbor and is lined with bars and restaurants. Shallow waters lap at the pebbly shore, making it an ideal choice for families. Trees provide shade and plenty of sun loungers line the sands available for hire. There is a beach for every visitor in Brač. The small size of the island makes it easy to explore them all.
Brač offers a long list of activities to keep you and your family busy during your holiday, from hiking the mountains to cycling across the rural landscape and soaking up the sun. However, the fun doesn’t have to stop when you hit the sea. Brač is famous for its water sporting opportunities and you can enjoy a variety of water-based activities. You’re in good hands with trusty instructors, smooth waves, with stunning panoramic views.
Bol is an internationally famous destination for surfers and one of the most beautiful places to surf on the Adriatic. Add a sail and try your hand at windsurfing, a popular sport in Croatia for its perfect wind and waves. Activate your inner adrenaline junkie in the company of welcoming expert teachers. You can also give Kiteboarding. Ideal weather conditions can be found at Zlatni Rat.
Sea Kayaking is a more laidback option where you paddle and explore hidden bays, beaches, and picturesque villages at your own pace. Or even give fishing a go. The Croatian coast has been known for centuries as a habitat of one of the most desired big game, blue-fin tuna.
The island is surrounded by crystal clear waters with warm temperatures, making it great for snorkeling and diving too. There are five diving clubs on Brač, with experienced instructors waiting to take you out on the water. The conditions for snorkeling are also top-notch, with great visibility and plenty of marine life.
The Food and Drink
The food in Brač is similar to that of mainland Croatia, but that isn’t to say there aren’t some regional variations and local delicacies to enjoy. The people of Brač maintain a nutritious, and simple diet. The coast off Brač is home to over 350 edible marine species, meaning seafood forms a huge part of the diet.
The most popular dishes include octopus and lobster salads, stuffed calamari, baked sea bass, lionfish, flounder, and mullet. Restaurants will usually tell what fish is available given the daily catch and offer a selection to choose from.
Other dishes you must try are Procip, the young sheep’s cheese served with caramel, Brač Vitalic, which is made from lamb or goat entrails, if you dare, as well as Butala, the stuffed leg of lamb that is a local delicacy across the Adriatic islands. Sweet treats, native to Brač, include Hrapoćusa, a delicious walnut cake, and Smutica, a cocktail of red wine and fresh milk.
Many cafes in Brač open at 6 am, perfect for getting your morning caffeine fix, but if you don’t specify, black espresso is the default brew on the island. Coffee is usually served with a glass of water, and people also drink a lot of tea in Brač, often with herbal or floral infusions. The locally-made lemonade is also a popular choice, and sugar is optional.
Since Roman times, olives have also been grown in Brač. The island produces a variety called buhavica and the olive oil made here has a distinct nutty flavor. In 1655, the local nobility decided that Brač must be covered with olive trees, and there are still over half a million here today. Visiting the Muzej Uja to see just how the olives are and have been, farmed for centuries.
In Brač, there are tons of different villages worth exploring, each with its own unique style and traditions. Take the settlement of Pucisca for example, most famous for its stonework. Its white stone houses are a sight to behold and the exquisite architecture here has captured the interest of many worldwide leaders who, in turn, chose to build their palaces from it. There is Brač stone in the Diocletian Palace in Split, the Sibenik Cathedral, the Parliament Houses in Vienna and Budapest, and even the White House in Washington.
The oldest and very first settlement on Brač is Škrip, situated some ten kilometers inland. With its 3000 years of history, this town remains an archaeological site that tells the story of the island and its settlers through the ages.
Wandering through Škrip, you can ogle several monuments, such as the remains of the old defense walls, which are the reason that many refer to Škrip as the Croatian Mycenae. Other highlight includes the castle of Cerinić, the 3rd-century mausoleum, the Tower of Radojkvić, the ancient Chapel of the Holy Spirit, and the parish church of St. Helena with its baroque facade, and the nunnery of St. Anthony.
On the eastern side of Brač, you’ll also find Selca, the town with the most monuments per capita in the world. Despite having over 700 people, its residents are passionate about erecting monuments to honor famous figures. The town now has 14 monuments and 21 memorial tablets, including inscriptions ranging from poetry to dates in history. Even though all the monuments honor men, five memorial tablets are dedicated to famous women.
Finally, a town that depicts how busier communities like Bol and Supetar would have looked before the hotels and tourist amenities went up is Sutivan. Situated directly opposite Split, the traditional Dalmatian settlement once produced a quarter of the island’s wine before disease ravaged the vineyards and the community. Today, Sutivan provides a relaxing day for those wanting to escape the crowds of Split on a short ferry ride across the Adriatic.
As the tallest island in Croatia, Brač not only offers beautiful coastal panoramas but fabulous inland scenery scattered with hills and sweeping fields. There is something for everyone on this island, whether you’re after a luxury break or a back-to-basics getaway in nature. Brač is an island you can visit in a large group to create your own atmosphere, and it is perfect for keeping the whole family entertained.
Granted, Brač doesn’t boast much of a party scene compared to other spots in Croatia, but you can still always find something going on in the high season. Varadero, near Bol Harbour, is a quality cocktail bar, hosting DJs during the summer months. It has an open-air dance floor, nestled below lofty pines and between tiki-style huts with regular drink promotions.
Hvar, Croatia’s number one party island with its upscale beach bars and nightclubs is also just 20-minutes away from Brač by boat. You’ll also find lusted day clubs dotted around the nearby Pakleni Islands.
Wine tasting tours are rife in Brač and are hosted in charming cellars with an authentic atmosphere. Learn about ancient wine production on the island, native Croatian grapes, barrel specifics, and bottling. You can choose from red, white, and rosé and wine tasting is a perfect outing for friends or romantic dates.
Beaches, beautiful seas, and watersports are a given, but if you want to relax in luxury, there are plenty of fancy hotels to stay in along the coast of Brač. Keep your glass full while you bathe in the sun. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are several campsites dotted around Brač that families will love. Sleep under the stars and experience different definitions of fabulous.
Mountain biking, horse riding, rock climbing, you name it, Brač is well-equipped for adventure junkies. Great tour guides and experienced trainers run popular sports all over the island. For rock climbing, the Lozisca area is the best location to test your skill before heading to more difficult routes.
Croatia is home to some of the sunniest destinations in all of Europe, and because of its location, Brač’s climate is perfect for guaranteed sun, most of the year. With very similar weather to Split, although a little drier, Brač is quintessentially Mediterannean and you can enjoy warm sea temperatures from June until October.
You won’t find the same lush vegetation as you can on Hvar and Korcula, but this is due to the little rainfall that you won’t be complaining about once you are there. The island experiences 134 clear days and 2,600 hours of sunshine a year. The heat may be absent in the winter months, but the sun still shines and highlights the island’s beauty any time of the year.
The best time to visit Brač is July to August if you’re after the hottest weather when highs hover in the mid-80s. However, if you like the sunshine but can’t deal with the crazy heat, and the summer holiday crowds, the shoulder season of April to May, and September to October are a great alternative.
Temperatures stay in the mid-70s and low-season discounts are still at play. The coldest months are January and February, and the wettest month is November.
Is Braç Worth Visiting: Our Verdict
It might be quieter than neighboring islands and the bustling cities dotted along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, but we think Braç is definitely worth visiting. It won’t take long to be convinced once you’ve experienced the hilly scenery, paradisical beaches, and crumbling settlements.
Braç has something for everyone, but it’s best enjoyed by fun-loving families and adventurous groups of friends. The island deserves at least one week to really make the most of it, but two to three days is enough to get a taste of what it has to offer. From the waves of Zlatni Rat to the olives fields of Muzej Uja and ancient Škrip, Braç Island is just waiting to be explored.