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The 15 Best Things to Do on Brac Island, Croatia

Brac Island, Croatia, is the perfect Goldilocks vacation place. 

It’s not too big or too small. It’s not too touristy. There is adventure and nature. Small towns and good restaurants. Goldilocks would love it here because it’s “just right” – and so did we. 

So, when planning a trip to Croatia, save time for this island. 

There are more than enough things to do on Brac Island to keep you content for a week! 

We spent five days in Brac (after leaving Hvar and before visiting Split) – and we could have happily enjoyed more time on the island.

But no matter how many days of your Croatia itinerary are spent on Brac, you’ll be happy you went. 

Boats at Supetar, Brac
The island of Brac turned out to be one of our favorite places to visit in Croatia

Where is Brac Island, Croatia?

Brac is an island off Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast in the Adriatic Sea. It’s smack in between the famous mainland town of Split and the glam island of Hvar

Yet while it’s Croatia’s third largest island, it barely sees the level of tourism of either. Which is a good reason to visit, in and of itself.

But with so many Brac attractions, there are at least 15 more reasons (which we get into below). 

Is Brac worth visiting?

You bet your sweet bippy it is! 

Most people are lured to Brac Island by Zlatni Rat, one of the most famous beaches in Croatia. 

Couple sunning on a pebble beach in Brac, Croatia
You’re never far from a beach on Brac

But Brac is so much more. 

It’s a very authentic island, with medieval beach towns like Bol to wander through and adventures galore. 

And goats – 5,000 of them. And olive trees and vineyards. 

And beautiful white stone for sculptures and buildings! (The stone used to build Diocletian’s Palace in Split way back in Roman times was mostly excavated on Brac.) 

Fun fact: The amount of stone cleared from the island’s fields is more than seven times the amount used to build the Great Wall of China!

Anyway, there are many great Brac activities that make the island worth visiting.

Day trip from Split to Brac

Brac is just a quick hop from Split via a 60-minute ferry ride, so one day in Brac is feasible. 

A great way to visit Brac on a day trip from Split is on a guided tour.

Things to Do on Brac, Croatia
The lovely village of Bol is one of the main towns on the island of Brac

Check out this two-island boat tour that will have you swimming in secluded coves on both Brac and Solta and exploring a picturesque fishing village.

Lunch and an open bar with local Croatian wine and beer is included.

Or jump on a ferry transfer from Split to Bol and spend the day adventuring on your own.  

Best things to do on Brac Island

Okay, let’s unwrap the best of Brac now!

1) Visit the Olive Oil Museum

Spend a few hours up in the hills in Skrip, the oldest settlement on the island. 

Not only is it picturesque with its 16th-century castle, but there’s also a family-owned Olive Oil Museum, located in an olive mill dating back to 1864. 

Sign to the Olive Oil Museum on Brac Island
This way to the Olive Oil Museum!

The museum showcases the old press for making olive paste, as well as other tools used in the ancient process.

Back in the day, they used the family donkeys to carry all the olives to the mill to be processed. But now, the process is a little more modern.

Even still, every fall, the family’s 2,000 olive trees are hand harvested. 

We learned about the entire process, from tree to oil. 

And since it’s still a working olive oil factory, we tasted a few different oils and their black olive liqueur. Oddly enough, the olive liqueur tastes a little like coffee liqueur. 

2) Ogle the views from Vidova Gora

Go for the cooler air and stay for the views. 

At 2,559 feet above sea level, the top of Vidova Gora is the highest point on the island.

Because it’s more grassy and less stony, herders bring their sheep here to graze. 

And those views of Hvar Island in the distance and Zlatni Rat below? Mesmerizing. 

From Vidova Gora, you get great views of the Golden Horn
From Vidova Gora, you get great views of the Golden Horn

You can drive to the top of Vidova Gora. Or if you love to hike, you can go on a 6-hour guided hike from Dol to Vidova Gora.

Alternatively, you can bicycle down from the top of Vidova Gora to the seaside on a guided bicycle tour. On the way, you’ll stop in Skrip and visit the Olive Oil Museum (#1) and the ancient stone village of Splitska.

3) Spend the day at Zlatni Rat Beach

Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape or Golden Horn) is the beach on Brac. And possibly one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia – which says a lot.

It’s easy to understand why.

This V-shaped pebble beach juts out into the most transparent turquoise water, which leads to the deepest sapphire blue ocean. So many blues!

A great way to spend the day on Brac Island is to soak up the rays at Zlatni Rat

Rent a sunbed and chill. Or try stand-up paddle boarding. Do that in the morning, though. As the day wears on, it gets windier. 

Also, one side is windier than the other, so do a test drive first to find your perfect spot for the day.

Spending time at Zlatni Rat is one of the top things to do in Brac.

4) Walk the promenade from Bol to Zlatni Rat Beach

There are a few lovely ways to get to Zlatni Rat Beach from the town of Bol. 

The red tourist train that takes you from Bol to Zlatni Rat
If you don’t feel like walking, there’s a tourist train that takes you from Bol to Zlatni Rat

First, there’s a tourist train. It looks like a toy train and is quite fun to ride.

And there’s a water taxi that costs just a few dollars. It feels so movie-star-ish to pull up to a beach in a boat. 

Or you can stroll along the wide seaside promenade under the shade of hundreds of pine trees. It only takes about 20 to 30 minutes. 

The pine-shaded pedestrian promenade between Bol town and Zlatni Rat
The pedestrian promenade between Bol town and Zlatni Rat

The ocean views along the promenade are splendid, and the many life-size stone sculptures along the way (made from Brac stone) are interesting to look at.

Stone sculpture on the promenade between Bol and Zlatni Rat, Brac
Hmmm… We wonder what this sculpture represents?

5) See amazing stone sculptures at Jaksic Gallery 

If you want to buy unique souvenirs, head to Donji Humac, one of the oldest settlements on Brac, known for its traditional stone masonry. 

We popped into the Jaksic Gallery. It’s run by a family of artists who use the stone in different ways in their work.

Sign pointing the way to Jaksic Gallery in the stone village of Donji Humac, Brac
There’s a lot of lovely art and sculpture at Jaksic Gallery in the stone village of Donji Humac

The mother is a fashion designer turned jewelry maker. Her son is a sculptor. And her daughter uses the stone as a canvas for her paintings. 

You’ll discover everything from wearable works of art to small stone flowers that would make the perfect gift, even if it is for yourself. 

You’ll need to rent a car, or better yet, take a tour (see #6) to get here.

6) Do a jeep tour of the island

Getting our photo taken at the village of Lozisca on our jeep tour

One of our favorite things to do in Brac was this all-day island jeep tour with Explore Brac. 

We hopped in a 4-wheel drive Land Rover and drove through the untouched countryside. Imagine rugged rolling hills blanketed with shrubby pine forests and olive groves.

The first stop was the Olive Oil Museum in Skrip (see #1).

Then we went to Nerexiscs, a tiny town known for its minuscule church with a black pine growing through its stone roof. Which is somewhat of a miracle in itself.

Pine tree growing through the roof of the church at Nerexiscs, Brac
Look at the pine tree growing through the roof of this small stone church!

Next stop was Vidova Gora (see #2)

But the real highlight of the day was our time spent swimming and lunching in a secluded, centuries-old house in Smrka Bay.

Boat in the turquoise waters of Smrka Bay, Brac
Our pre-lunch swimming spot at Smrka

We floated in the pristine water while waiting for our lunch, which was soon served at a shaded rustic table overlooking the azure sea. 

We started by tasting different liqueurs – walnut, almond, carob and cherry. 

An appetizer plate of fresh-baked flatbread with cheese from the local sheep was then served, along with a charcuterie plate. That was followed by lamb and fish grilled on the barbecue, accompanied by fresh organic salads and wine.

Fresh grilled fish and Croatian wine
What could be better than fresh fish, grilled organic veggies, Croatian wine and a seaside view!

After our three idyllic and lazy hours of swimming and lunching, off we went to the Jaksic Gallery (see #5) before returning to our hotel. 

If there weren’t so many places to visit in Brac, we would have been happy spending the entire day swimming and dining in that sublime setting. 

However, if you want to see a lot of this Croatian island in one day, this jeep tour is the best way to do it. Indeed, we think it’s something you must do in Brac!

7) Hike to the Blaca Hermitage

Visitors hike up the stony path to the Blaca Hermitage on Brac Island
Hiking the stony path to the Blaca Hermitage was one of our favorite things to do in Brac

During the 16th century, when the Turks invaded the Dalmatian Coast, two Glagolitic monks from Poljica fled to the island of Brac. They found shelter in a cave up in the hills. 

After establishing a monastic community, they were finally given permission in 1570 by the bishop to build a monastery (hermitage) and church on the surrounding land.

And so it began. 

Piano at the Blaca Hermitage that was transported from Europe
The monks had fine walnut furniture and even a piano transported to their hidden stone monastery

Although housing only three monks, 30 workers also lived here at one time. 

Besides building the awe-inspiring monastery, they planted immense olive groves and vineyards on the sheer cliff face, eventually producing 13,200 gallons of wine per year. 

They also cultivated more than 6,600 pounds of honey annually. 

From all their liquid gold, the monks became very wealthy.

They traded their bounty for anything they desired, including 8,000 books in five languages.

Also, fine walnut furniture, an 880-pound piano and a star-gazing telescope were acquired from Europe in trade for a year’s worth of produce from their farm.

Books and a telescope inside the library at the Blaca Hermitage
The library inside the Blaca Hermitage

For 400 years, the monastery was used as a farm, a school and an astronomical observatory.

The last monk lived there up until the 1960s.

Currently, one lone caretaker gives tours to anyone who makes the trek to the hermitage. 

You can only reach the Blaca Monastery on foot.

We took a boat-and-hermitage-hiking tour with Frane to get here – and loved every moment.

The Frane boat that takes you on the boat-and-hike trip to Blaca Monastery
The Frane boat that takes you on the boat-and-hike trip to Blaca Monastery

The wooden boat took us from Bol to a small cove (Uvala Krusica) on the southwest coast of Brac.

There we first entered an old Yugoslavian submarine tunnel.

Two women look at the old submarine tunnel at Uvala Krusica on Brac Island, Croatia
It’s very cool to see the 1950s Yugoslavian submarine tunnel at Uvala Krusica!

Then we tied up to a tree, and hiked to the monastery on the same path the monks did for centuries. It’s a 45-minute hike up the stony path and worth every second. 

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Blaca Hermitage is one of the most jaw-dropping historical sites, and its history and ability to thrive and persevere are remarkable.

8) Taste wines at Stina winery

It’s been a busy trip. And you’re thirsty. We think you should taste some local wine! 

There’s nowhere better than Stina Winery. And wine tasting is another one of the best things to do in Brac.

Wine barrels inside Stina Winery
Wine barrels inside Stina Winery

Tour the grounds and cellars while tasting their most popular wines. Their waterfront location makes it that much more appealing. 

Stina has about 78 hectares of vineyards throughout the island, producing about 359,000 bottles a year. 

They make delightful Posip (white wine) and Plavac Mali (red) grape varietals. But their signature wine is Plavac Mali Masterpiece, a red Zinfandel derivative. 

And since you’re so thirsty, who could blame you if you grabbed a seaside table outside with an Adriatic view, settled in with a bottle and watched the sky turn from blue to pink to midnight under the glow of the moon.

Wine and good times outside Stina Winery in Bol
Wine and good times outside Stina Winery in Bol (Credit: Stina Winery)

9) Watch the windsurfers

The walk from Bol to Zlatni Rat is peppered with beaches along the way.

Rent a lounge chair, or pop into a cute café and watch the windsurfers who flock to these beaches when the wind picks up in the afternoon.

The way they zip along the water at high speed is one of the most fun things to see in Brac!

Windsurfing at Zlatni Rat, Croatia
Windsurfing is very popular at Zlatni Rat

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to join in the water activities, take a lesson from one of the pros. 

Or rent a SUP board in the morning when it’s calm. Much easier.

10) Eat Croatian food

Grilled squid, typical Croatian food
Grilled squid and asparagus, anyone?

For its size, you wouldn’t expect there to be so many good restaurants on Brac.

And you know we love good food! It’s half the reason we travel.

A typical Croatian appetizer platter
A typical Croatian appetizer platter

These are our four favorite Brac restaurants:

Mali Raj

Mali Raj, which means little paradise, is all about the setting. And it is indeed a little paradise (near Zlatni Rat). The lush garden is reason enough to go here.

The menu, albeit expensive, features traditional Dalmatian cuisine.

Mali Raj is one of the best restaurants in Bol.
Mali Raj is one of the best restaurants in Bol

Ribarska Kucica

The most romantic spot on the island, Ribarska Kucica, is steps away from the Adriatic. You can almost feel the sea spray as you nibble on perfect local seafood dishes.

We couldn’t stay away and went back twice.

Ranc

This local restaurant just outside the center of Bol is a great spot for tasting the spit-roasted lamb the island is known for. You need to call ahead and pre-order it (+385-21-635-635). It’s that good.

Taverna Riva

Head to Taverna Riva for a lovely night on the Bol waterfront. Get a seat on the terrace and treat yourself to some lobster. 

11) Swim near a Dominican Monastery 

The Dominican Monastery on Brac, near Bol
The Dominican Monastery on Brac, near Bol

Just a 10-minute walk from Bol, you’ll find a Dominican Monastery flanked by two pebble beaches. 

Each beach has a small restaurant, and there’s lots of shade, so you can really disconnect and stay a while. 

The monastery was founded in 1475, but the neighboring chapel was built around the 9th century on top of 6th-century ruins. 

So yeah, there’s some history here as well. 

Monastery beach on Brac Island, Croatia
This Monastery beach wasn’t too far from our hotel; we’d sometimes go for one last quick dip here at the end of the day before dinner

12) Rent a car for the day

If you’re more of an adventurer and prefer to drive yourself to all the places on this list, it’s very doable. 

There are a lot of beautiful beaches in Brac and renting a car means you can go beach hopping, or village hopping. Or both.

Enticing beach cove on Brac Island
Brac has many enticing beach coves and places to swim

Check out the lovely town of Pucisca and Lovrecina Beach cove on the north of the island. But make sure that the road down to the beach is drivable. It’s quite steep and narrow.

13) Visit the village of Milna

By now, you shouldn’t be wondering what to do in Brac anymore.  But another little excursion you could make is to Milna.

There isn’t a lot here, but it’s a sweet little fishing village with a picturesque harbor. 

It’s less touristy than Bol and, therefore, super authentic. Perhaps pop over for a swim and a seaside fish lunch.

Beach swing in Milna village, Brac
A seaside swing for two at Milna

14) Admire the art at the Branislav Deskovic Gallery

Right in the center of the Bol seafront is a Renaissance-Baroque palace-turned-gallery. The gallery showcases 20th-century Croatian artists and sculptors born in or inspired by Bol.

It was named after a famous Brac-born sculptor Branislav Deskovic.

Look for the huge dog statue by the entrance. You can’t miss it. 

15) Sip Aperol spritzes by the Bol Marina

The sun is setting. Head to the marina to people-and-yacht watch as you sip refreshing Aperol Spritzes. 

Several bars and cafés here have the perfect view of the Adriatic. 

Practical information for visiting Brac, Croatia

How to get to Brac

Getting to Brac from some other Croatian islands is a bit awkward. (We wanted to go to Bol from Hvar Town on Hvar. But the scheduled ferry was canceled for the season.)

So the best way to get to Brac – if you want to go directly to Bol – is to take the ferry from Split on the mainland. 

Jadrolinija is the main ferry company in Croatia and runs between Bol and Split.

Other companies that offer passenger-only ferries from Split to Bol include:

Be sure to make reservations in high season.

Getting around Brac Island

You don’t need a car on Brac if you stay in Bol. It’s very walkable. 

And you can take tours to explore the rest of the island, like we did.

Where to stay in Bol, Brac Island

There are so many things to do in Bol (and nearby), there’s no reason to stay anywhere else. 

The other main town, Supetar, is pretty commercial (read = less attractive) and not as walkable. 

Plus, Bol is a magical medieval village and isn’t that the vibe you’re looking for in Croatia?

We stayed at the 5-star Villa Giardino Bol, a lovely 3-story stone villa-turned-boutique hotel. It’s the best small hotel in Bol.

Green shutters on the exterior of the white stone building of Villa Giardino Bol, the best hotel in Brac
Wondering where to stay in Brac? We loved Villa Giardino Bol

The pics on their website pale in comparison to the real thing. Trust us. We wouldn’t steer you wrong. 

Our superior room was lovely, with plush towels monogrammed with a gold “G” and argan oil bath toiletries. 

Guest room at Villa Giardino Bol
Our room at Villa Giardino Bol

The bath/shower combo was a bit awkward, with the faucet in the middle of the tub, but that must be a European thing. 

Start your day with a hot or cold breakfast (which includes a selection of fresh-baked Croatian cakes and desserts) on their flower-pot-filled terrace.

Lemon cake with white lemon icing for breakfast at Villa Giardino Bol, Brac
The fresh-baked cakes and sweet treats offered at breakfast were hard to resist!

And end your day at the Stina Winery (see #8) just a five-minute walk away. 

That’s it for our Brac travel guide!

See! We told you! There are a lot of fascinating things to do on Brac. 

The captivating museums, the quaint fishing villages, the authentic vibes of the island, and, oh, those beaches! We know you’ll fall in love with it as we did. 

Just writing this makes us dream of going back. Even if it would be our fourth time in Croatia…

Our top travel tips and resources

Hotels: Booking.com is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)

Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours, plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out Viator (a TripAdvisor company) and GetYourGuide.

Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more. We also have and recommend Medjet for global air medical transportation and travel security.

Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)

Need more help planning your trip? Check out our travel tips and resources guide for airline booking tips, ways to save money, how to find great hotels and other crazy useful trip planning info.

Pssst! If you make a booking or purchase through our site, we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you). Thanks!


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Best Things to Do on Brac, Croatia

Photo credits: All photos © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase (except 1, 3, 5, 9, 12, 31, 35, 36, 39, 40)


About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

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