Monday Column - Croatia Destinations 3: Brac Part One - The Island
Today’s posting is an introduction to the island as a whole. We’ll be following up on specific features, towns and villages, in more detail, in future postings.
Brac is Croatia’s third largest island, just a 40 minute ferry ride from Split, and, with some of the highest sunshine hours in the region, it’s a very popular tourist destination. Despite its proximity to the mainland, many settlements still retain their island character, but the recent press hype has led to many foreigners investing in property which may lead to a change in ambience. Apart from the major tourist destination of Bol with it’s famous beach, most of the interest is on the north coastline, and at the east and west extremities. Milna, to the west, has two marinas. Pucisca, on the north coast, is a traditional quarrying settlement, with street lights made out of the local white stone, famous for its use in the construction of the White House in America. Pucisca is one of our favourite places - it has a good town harbour and the thriving quarrying industry generates enough wealth to leave the villagers indifferent to tourism. It therefore has a life all year round and, in the summer, is not overwhelmed by the burgeoning tourism industry. Also on the north coast, Supetar is a busy ferry and tourist port, Sutivan is a similar size but a little quieter, Splitska is typical of a classic small Dalmatian island village and Postira is a run down package holiday centre. Povlja is a small settlement built around a long bay and has an English harbour master, and Sumartin, on the east coast, is a quiet fishing village. There are also some treasures as you head inland: Skrip, founded by the Illyrians, is the oldest settlement on the island and home to the museum of Brac. And of course there are plenty of relatively deserted beaches and bays.
Area: 395 square kilometres
Length: 40 kilometres
Average Width: 13 kilometres
Highest Peak: Vidova Gora at 778 metres
Settlements: 22, plus 5 abandoned villages
Annual Sunshine hours: 2700
Supetar is the main ferry port, with up to 14 ferries a day, depending on the season, linking it to Split. Alternatively you can get the ferry from Sumartin, at the other end of the island, to Makarska on the mainland (3 to 5 services per day). From Bol you can get a ferry to Jelsa, on Hvar, or direct to Split (up to 4 services a day). Brac allegedly has an international airport but we’ve not known it to be much used in recent years and suspect it is mainly for private jets. The nearest airport is therefore Split. Local buses service the main settlements and ferry ports, and the various tourist offices should be able to find you a reasonable local taxi service if you need one.
Tourist Information Brac: http://www.otok-brac.info/
We’ll be looking, in more detail, at the various destinations on Brac in future weeks but hopefully today’s posting has given you a good idea of what the island has to offer. As for searching for a property on Brac, there’s no shortage of estate agents willing to help you but, if you want your money to go a little further, try one of the less discovered islands or mainland villages.