Travel guide to the Brac Island

A couple of weeks ago we have spent a weekend on the Brac Island. We were really looking forward to spend a weekend on Brac, because our visit included four experiences we cherish the most: beaches, food, wine and meeting people. And Brač did so well on all four!

Boats and seafront on the Brac Island
A complete travel guide to Brac Island Croatia

We've stayed at the Bluesun hotel Elaphusa in Bol. This is a 4star hotel located at the seafront, 15-minute walk from the center of Bol, and only 5-minute walk from the awesome beach of Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn Beach). Our full review of the Bluesun hotel Elaphusa you can read here.

Brac Island: Location

The Brac Island is located in the central Dalmatia. With the surface of almost 400 km2, Brac is the third largest Croatian island, and the largest island in Dalmatia. Its highest peak, Vidova Gora, is at 778 m, and it makes Brac the highest of all Adriatic islands. This fact seems to make locals proud. We've visited Vidova Gora many times, and this time was no different. You can easily reach it by car if you aren't into hiking. The views from the top stretch far and wide over the Zlatni Rat Beach, the island of Hvar, and further south over Peljesac peninsula.

Why you should visit the Brac Island

1 | Tradition
First of all, islands make a huge part of Croatian geographical and national identity. If you are coming to Croatia, you should definitely visit at least one Croatian island. And why not Brac?! Tourism on Brac started in 1923 in Bol. Bol has, with Dubrovnik, and Opatija, one of the longest tourism history in Croatia. And along with few other destinations, like Rovinj, Split, Plitvice, Hvar, Korcula and Dubrovnik, Bol remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia (Don't tell me you've thought it was the off the beaten path destination).

2 | Beaches
Zlatni Rat, famed beach in Bol, is perhaps the best known and the most beautiful beach in Croatia. But as locals like to say, it isn't the only beach here. The entire south side of the island of Brac is dotted with gorgeous pebble beaches. Pebbles here are small, soft to walk on, and perfectly rounded. And the best part is that, apart of Zlatni Rat, other beaches aren't crowded at all, especially as you get out of Bol.

3 | Food
Islands seem to live at their own pace, and we always feel like stepping back in time when visiting any of Croatian islands. The veggies and fruits here taste better, their taste brings back childhood memories (yes, we kept saying to ourselves, this is what the food should taste!), olive oil is abundant here (Brac is particularly famous for its olive oil, lamb, sheep cheese, and mandarins), fresh fish is to die for.

4 | Wine
Grapes have been growing here since the ancient times. Viticulture has always been important part of the island's economy. And it's still very important today. The south slopes of the island have a terrain and orientation very similar to that of Dingac on the Peljesac peninsula. And since Plavac mali, Croatian indigenious sort, has been planted on Brac for centuries, today these grapes are replanted in bigger quantities, along with other sorts like Posip, Vugava, Chardonnay, and Merlot.

Read our full article on reasons to visit Brac.

Brac Island at a glance

Best time to visit the Brac Island is from June through September.  During this time, the ferry service is frequent, all activities and facilities are open and running, the weather is nice, and the sea is warm. August is the busiest month, and you can expect ferry queues, high accommodation prices, and generally very crowded popular beaches. So if you can avoid August, it's perhaps a good thing to do.

Accommodation on the Brac Island: The best accommodation choice on the island of Brac you'll find in Bol: from large hotel complexes, small family run B&Bs, to apartment rentals, and campsites, Bol has you covered. The other villages lack large hotels (not necessarily a bad thing), and accommodation offer is mostly based on private apartments and rooms. The prices vary according to the season, location, and type of accommodation.

Travel Guide To The Brac Island: Accommodation choice
Travel Guide To The Brac Island: Sea facing room at the Bluesun Hotel Elaphusa in Bol

Being the most popular tourist spot on the island, accommodation in Bol is also the most expensive. August and July are the most expensive months to stay on the island. And the closer to the sea your property of choice happen to be, the more you can expect to pay. When it comes to a type of accommodation, campsites are the cheapest option to stay on the island, followed by private rooms, apartment rentals, and finally hotels.

For a double room with breakfast in a 3-star hotel in Bol expect to pay 150 euro in high season (July, August), while in the shoulder season (mid-September), the same accommodation you'll pay as little as 70 euro. An one-bedroom apartment for four persons in Bol will set you back 90 euros in high season, and 50 euros in shoulder season.

Transport on the Brac island: Car ferries connecting the island with the mainland depart daily from Split and Makarska. The one-way ticket from Split to Supetar, for two adults and a car, costs 230 Kn. There is also a year round catamaran line connecting island with Split, and with the island of Hvar.

There is a small airport on the Brac island, mostly used by charter planes. There is a regular charter from Vienna to Brac during summer months. Autotrans is the main bus operator on the island. All villages on the island have a direct bus to Supetar, but the buses between other villages on the island are not always direct. Buses have different schedule for summer and winter. Detailed timetable you can find at Autotrans Website. One-way ticket from Supetar to Bol costs 40 Kn.

Food on the Brac Island: Restaurants on the island of Brac tend to be slightly more expensive than restaurants on the mainland. However, this mostly apply to meat dishes, and less to seafood. Seafood on the island is very good, and fresh from the Adriatic.

Lamb is the most popular meat on the Brac island, and it's served almost everywhere. Light lunch you'll pay around 8 euro, seafood, like a portion of scampi, expect to pay 140 Kn, Adriatic squid will set you back 120 Kn per person, while fresh fish goes by kilo, and for local white fish (like monk fish, sea bass, and alike) you'll pay at least 340 Kn per kilo. A portion of lamb meat in a restaurant will set you back 90 Kn, or 220 Kn per kilo.

Beaches on the Brac Island: The number one reason for so many people to visit the Brac Island are its beaches. The south slopes of the island are steeper, but hide some of the best beaches in all Croatia. The north shores gradually descend to the sea. The beaches here are pebble, rocky, and even sandy.

Travel Guide To The Brac Island: Beaches
Travel Guide To The Brac Island: Beaches

The most famous beach, not only on the Brac island, but in all Croatia, is Zlatni Rat beach located in Bol. Other popular beaches on the island inlcude: sandy beach Lovrecine, then Paklina on the east end of Bol, Murvica, and Vela Farska west of Bol, Ticja luka and Ratac in Povlja, Lucice and Osibova Bay near Milna.

Brac Island: Places

The Brac Island basically has two distinct areas: coast and inland. But locals like to make a difference between the south and north shores of the island as well. We find both shores to be equally nice (shhh! don't tell locals), but they do differ. South side of the island is more touristy, has more hotels and other facilities, and it sure has prettier, gentler beaches. North side, just twenty years ago, didn't think, live or depend on tourism, as other industries were present here (stone masonry, quarries, sardines factory, candy factory, etc…). You won't find big hotels here, but rather family-run B&Bs, apartment rentals, and generally more local feel.

1 | Bol is the largest tourist center on the island. Located at the south side of the island, Bol has wonderful beaches (Zlatni Rat is the most famous, and apparently the most photographed beach in Croatia), good restaurants, lots of accommodation choices (particularly hotels), beautiful winery, and just so many things to do.

2 | Sumartin is a small fishing village on the east side of the island. Sumartin is, after Supetar, the main entry point for Brac, as it's connected with a mainland via the ferry from Makarska. Besides that, Sumartin is pretty quiet place, with a nice Franciscan Monastery that houses some interesting baroque paintings, and scripts written in Bosancica alphabet from the 17th and 18th .

3 | Povlja is a small village located 10 km east of Sumartin. Located in a bay of the same name, Povlja is a quiet place where stone houses line the seafront, parish church is rising above the village, while the views over mainland, and steep slopes of the Biokovo Mountain never get old. The surrounding bays hide nice beaches, some rocky, some pebble. This is a perfect place to unwind, enjoy swimming, and other water sports.

Travel Guide To The Brac Island: Pucisca
Travel Guide To The Brac Island: A town of Pucisca is a center of stone masonry on the island

4 | Pucisca is a gorgeous village on the north side of Brac. Pucisca is the center of the stone masonry on the island of Brač. The school for stonemasons is still active, with 100 students enrolled yearly. This is a relatively big settlement for Brac. It feels very local, and it can make a good base if you want to avoid crowds.

5 | Postira is another village located on the north side of the island. Postira is better known as a fishing than touristy village. One of the best Croatian pilchard producer is located in Postira. Their Adriatic Queen sardines, mackerels, and tuna  are of an excellent quality. Taste them if visiting this village. There are couple of hotels in Postira as well as many apartment rentals. The nearby beaches Prvija, Zastivanje, Mala Lozna, and the sandy beach Lovrečina are popular among locals and tourists.

6 | Splitska is located only 8 km east of Supetar. Splitska is a small village, consisting mainly of family houses. The typical Croatian coastal village, Splitska is located in a small bay, with palm trees and stone houses lining the seafront. In ancient times, Splitska used to be a loading port for stone of Brač used to build a Diocletian Palace in Split. Today, you can visit remains of ancient quarry Rasohe where the stone figure of Hercules still stands.

7 | Supetar is the main entry point for Brac, and the island's administrative center. Located on the north side of the island, Supetar is just a 50 minute ferry ride from Split. It has a seafront lined with cafes that even reminds a bit of Split Riva (not architecturally, but in a lifestyle kind of way). Supetar is the largest settlement on the island of Brač with 3.300 inhabitants. It's a birthplace of Croatian sculptor Ivan Rendic. His works are displayed in the Gallery Ivan Rendic in Supetar.

8 | Milna is a small town located on the west side of the island. The town is located in a safe bay, and not too far from Split Gate, a popular sailing route between the islands of Brac and Solta. For this reason, Milna is very popular port for sailing boats and yachts. It has the largest marina on the island. The surrounding villages of Lozisca, Bobovisc, and Bobovisce by the sea are interesting to explore.

Travel Guide To The Brac Island: Skrip
Travel Guide To The Brac Island: Skrip is the oldest settlement on the island of Brac

9 | Skrip is the oldest settlement on the island, and a must-visit village on the Brac Island. It has an interesting Native Museum (and Andreja is the best curator I've experienced!), remains of old castles, and ancient city walls, and also the Museum of Olive Oil. Take a day to explore Škrip. It's tiny, but it's really interesting.

10 | Nerezisca is a small inland village, and while there isn't much to do in Nerezisca, you'll find there that famous church with 200 years old pine growing right through its chapel (you've seen it on photos, and if you haven't seen it yet,  here is one).

Travel Guide To The Brac Island: Nerezisca
Travel Guide To The Brac Island: 200 year old tree growing through the chapel in Nerezicsa

Brac Island: Practical info

  • Ferries to Brac Island leave from Split (to Supetar), and from Makarska (to Sumartin). The main ferry operator is a national company – Jadrolinija.
  • Ferry from Makarska is less frequent (winter or summer) and smaller (it can only take up to 25 cars)
  • Ferry has two schedules: winter (from October to May); and summer (June to September)
  • In high season (July, August) you need to arrive to the port at least 2 hours in advance to make sure you board your desired ferry (1.30 might not be enough; it did, however, worked for us but we were literally the last car to enter).
  • Ferry from Split takes 50 min to reach Supetar, while a ferry from Makarska takes 60 min to reach Sumartin
  • There is a catamaran service from Bol to Split, and to Hvar (in case you don't travel by car)
  • Buses on the island are infrequent and slow
  • Roads are good and safe; however a road going down to Bol is windy, steep, and full of serpentine (but the view is gorgeous!).
  • Bol is the most popular place for tourists with most facilities, and the nicest beaches. If sleepy villages aren't your cup of tea, head straight to Bol (and vice verse).

Do you plan to visit the Brač Island? Have you already visited it? Did you find the information here useful? Let us know in the comments below. 

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32 thoughts on “Travel guide to the Brac Island”

  1. Hi there is a group of 12 of us and we are coming to Croatia. We arrive in Split on September 14th and are there for 3 nights and then 7 nights on Brac and Makarska for 4 nights. Only one couple will have a car as they are driving from Italy. Can we walk down to the ferry in Split to get to Brac Island? And we really want to go to the Blue Caves, could you recommend a company to book with? We having been looking at the boats that are covered and a bit more comfortable. We know it is an all day excursion and stops in different islands, which we really want to see.

    If there is any other hints you can give us, it would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    Reply
  2. Hello we arriving at Supetar on 11.0.2019. We need to end up at the Bol where we are booked in at a hotel, I would like to see some of the attractions on the way. Who can I contact arrange this ?

    Reply
  3. Hello! How are you? I love your page, so much inspiration.
    I wonder if I can ask a few questions please? We are busting Croatia from 6 Aug-18 Aug. We land in Zadar and will stay for 3 days, we will
    Go to plitvic and Sukarun beach while we are there. Then we plan to drive to split and take a car ferry to Brac where we will stay 3.5 days. While we are there we will do a day trip to Korcula. Do you think brac is a good place to base ourselves and do daytrips? After this will will take a car ferry to markaska and drive to Dubrovnik. I would like to stay near the old town but it seems difficult to find parking. While we are in Dubrovnik we will drive to Mostar and maybe day trip to Mljet. Do you have suggestions for accommodation in Dubrovnik in other areas? I would like to be in walking distance to Old town but seems difficult with car. Garage prices I think are very expensive.
    Would love advice on other places to see while we are there? We are 2 adults and 2 children.
    Thank you :)

    Reply
  4. We will be catching a car ferry from split to Brac in Aug then to markaska before we drive to Dubrovnik. We will stay in brac for 3 days? Is this a good amount of time? Can we do a day trip to Korcula from Brac. Should we book tickets for the ferry in advance? If so how soon should we book them?
    Thank you

    Reply
  5. We will be in Split 3 August and want to visit an island or somewhere on the coast not too far from Split….preferably not Trogir as we have been there before.
    We are both healthy. reasonably fit 70year olds so we don’t need nightclubs, just somewhere with a nice beach, good food and a few things to see and do. We are happy to hire a car if its needed.
    Any idea would be appreciated

    Reply
    • Hvar, Brac and Vis are all great islands to visit. Other interesting places include Makarska Riviera and Biokovo Mountain, but since you are visiting in August when beaches will be overcrowded and too hot for hiking, I would stick to the islands.

  6. Hi Frank,
    great website. We (2 adults, one son 14) have been to Hvar, Rab and Plitvice and wondered your opinion about Brac vs Korcula? Also, any thoughts on Omis and the rafting (we thought to spend most of our time on one of the islands above and 2 days at Omis)?

    Thanks for your advice,

    Bjoern

    Reply
  7. I have flights to Dubronik and return from Split in Sept 2019 , I want to see Hvar and Brac so should I hire a car for the whole journey or just get ferries and hire car in specific islands ?

    Reply
  8. We are doing a trip to Hvar & Brac in September 2 days in each place., then going to Split. Is it possible to hire a car in each place for 2 days

    Reply
  9. Hi !

    Really enjoying looking through this site. Lots of helpful info! Me and my boyfriend are coming to Croatia for a 7/8 days in August. We’re flying in and out of split and have booked a place to stay in mljet for two nights mid week. Was thinking of doing a couple of nights in Brac on the way to mljet. Is it worth it for a couple of days or would you think it’s a better idea to spend the whole week in one place after Split?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  10. Hello! We will be on Brac for four days and wanted to go to several parts of the island (Milna, Bol, etc). Are taxis readily available in all parts of the island? Will they take you to different towns? Is this an expensive mode of transportation? Thanks in advance! I’ve searched the internet for hours and can’t find much about easy it is to get around.

    Reply
  11. Hi, I was wondering if you don’t have a car during July how many hours should we arrive to the ferry before it departs? Also, should we buy tickets in advance, and if so how far in advance. We are planning on taking the ferry from split to brac and from brac to dubrovnik. Your article was a great read and really helpful in planning. Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Hello! I ‘m Maria from Zagreb, and from Argentina but living here for many years. I follow you in IG, I love your page!
    I will travel by car to the Adriatic in august, please help me to decide between Hvar ( jelsa) or Brac ( Milna). I d never be in Brac, only one time in Hvar and out of season.
    Almost all that I saw to rent is impossible for me, too expensive … but with patience always something’s appear. I like good places, good foood ..No beach full of people. Nature, snorkeling, and the youngest jumping from the rocks. Reads book, knit. (my IG is Lasmariaszagreb if you want to see !) Chat in the evening around the family table and a possibility to reach a cool restaurant or bar to taste the croatian flavor …
    I have been in many places during all my live here in Croatia some off these is imposible tu return because now are too exclusive: Brijuni, Cavtat, Orebić, korcula, Pag etc.
    Congratulations for your web page ! And please..Jelsa or Milna??? Thank you!!!

    Reply
    • Thanks Maria! Both, Brac and Hvara are beautiful, and choosing one or the other comes more to personal preferences, or that little “something” that is hard to explain. For some reason, Hvar is more appealing to us than Brac, but nevertheless, both islands are well worth visiting.

  13. Hi there

    We are considering going to Bol from Hvar. We are 12 friends that will be visiting Croatia end of Australia beginning September. We are first going to Dubrovnik then to Hvar. We were considering Split but have not heard great reviews about it. Our next consideration was Vis but i cannot find out enough information about the ferry service from Hvar to there as well as from vis back to Dubrovnik. Then we considered Zadar- but the bus ride from Zadar back to Dubrovnik (where we ate flying out from) is a bit too far. At this point we are deciding between Omis and Bol. What are your thoughts and recommendations. I would really appreciate any input.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • There is a catamaran service between Bol and Hvar which is suitable for day trips. There is no service from Hvar to Vis. In order to get to Vis one must take the car ferry or catamaran from Split and from Vis the only option is to return to Split. There are several ferry services from Split to Dubrovnik usually via Korcula. Bol is great and there are several other lovely towns on the island of Brac. Split is busy and has a reputation for pick-pockets but the old town is fascinating and well worth a visit. Trogir is a stunning town on the mainland and accessible by ferry from Split

  14. we are planning a trip to Croatia in july and have 5 days to spend on an island and we love to snorkel. We also love good food and wine. We are wondering which island you would recommend Vis or Brac? Or perhaps another one?

    Reply
    • Vis is our no. 1 island of choice in Croatia, although Brac is really nice too. Vis is less crowded than in Brac, and there are many secluded bays where you can snorkel.

  15. Thanks- this is a really useful website. we are going in July this year. I am wondering if you recommend hiring a car before we come to Brac or can we rely on buses, taxis and boats? It doesn’t look like there are a huge amount of buses running each day? And ferries also on and off the island would make it not so easy for day trips off?

    Thanks

    Reply
  16. Very useful insights for our upcoming holiday this summer. Sounds like a car would be useful but also good to travel off the island on passenger ferries.

    Thanks

    Reply
  17. Hello,

    I need to get from Hvar to Brac in June, do I sort when there or book before. We won’t have a car.

    I will then need to get from Brac to Split, again without a car. What is the best way?

    Thanks,

    Amy

    Reply
  18. Thanks so much – your article is great. We’re going in Sept and knew nothing about Brac. Looking forward to it even more now!

    Reply
  19. Aside from the beach, the other thing Brac is famous for is its windsurfing! Most days on the ocean looked like this: dozens of brightly coloured windsurfers gliding across the water !

    Reply

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