Julie Croatia 20 Comments

Island hopping is one of the most popular things to do in Croatia. So, how do you decide which islands you should visit? Go to Hvar for luxury and nightlife, Mljet for nature and tranquility, and Vis for its beauty and food scene. We chose Brac for its hiking and its amazing beach, Zlatni Rat.

Brac (pronounced brach) is somewhat of an off-the-beaten-path destination in Croatia. The islands of Hvar, Korcula, and Mljet are more popular choices for most people. When we learned that Brac is home to the highest peak on the Adriatic islands, Vidova Gora, we couldn’t resist visiting Brac to go hiking.

Even so, we did question our decision. With limited time in Croatia, would Brac be worth it? Would our time be better spent at a more popular destination such as Hvar or Mljet? I’m happy to say that Brac not only lived up to our expectations, but the 24 hours we spent on this island was one of our highlights of Croatia.

Our Experience on Brac

We visited Croatia in early April, one week before Easter. Croatia was really just really coming back to life after a sleepy winter. Some restaurants and hotels just re-opened their doors for the season and most ferries still were not running. But crowds were low and the weather was perfect, with sunny skies and daytime temps just touching 70°F (21°C).

From Split, we took the car ferry over to Supetar. Coincidentally, we met up with Julio, our host at the Suncana Villa located in Bol. We talked to Julio during the 50 minute ferry ride, learning about his life in Europe and his love of Brac.



From Supetar, it was a winding 40 minute ride across the island to Bol. For one night we stayed in Bol, since this town has convenient access to the Vidova Gora hiking trail as well as Zlatni Rat beach.We were Julio’s first customers of the year. In fact, he was still getting the Wi-Fi and space heaters set up in our apartment on the day of our arrival. Yes, daytime temperatures were near 70°F, but the nights still get very chilly, down to 45°F in April. We needed those heaters!

For dinner, Julio recommended a local restaurant, Konoba Dalmatino. This is a place that is a favorite of locals. It sounded perfect.

From our apartment, it was just a 5 minute walk down to the center of Bol. This town is a beauty!

Bol Brac

Konoba Dalmatino


Dinner at Konoba Dalmatino was fantastic! Like many places in the smaller towns of Croatia, this restaurant just opened the day before our arrival. We dined on octopus and veal and seafood risotto, drank Croatian wine, and ate crème brulee for dessert. We loved talking with the restaurant owner, who was born and raised in this lovely town of Bol.

Konoba Dalmatino Bol

After dinner, we spent several hours in our hotel room, just vegging out. We were warm and cozy, with space heaters running, relaxing in front of the TV, watching the Discovery Channel. Plopped in front of the TV is not a normal thing for us…but we were enjoying one of the rare moments when we could just sit back and do nothing.

Until the power went out. For a few seconds, we all sat there in stunned silence. The space heaters/TV combo overloaded the circuit breakers. Without power, we had no Wi-Fi, and without Wi-Fi, we had no way to email or contact Julio. Tim and I searched for the circuit breakers and found some in the foyer of the apartment building, tucked away behind lock and key.

So, at 10:30 at night, Tim and I ran back down to the waterfront. Bol was a ghost town. Almost everything was closed and we had the entire waterfront to ourselves. Fortunately, Konoba Dalmatino was still open. The staff called Julio, who immediately arrived at our apartment to fix our power situation. And, ha ha, the circuit panel was located inside of our apartment, a 2 second fix, only we never found it since it was pitch black when the power went out. Still, it was fun running through the streets of Bol!

The following morning the four of us hiked up Vidova Gora. The highlight of the hike is the amazing view over Bol, Zlatni Rat, and Hvar island. Read more about the hike in our guide to Vidova Gora.

Our view of Bol

The view from our apartment


Vidova Gora

Hiking up Vidova Gora


Zlatni Rat Brac


After our hike, we visited Zlatni Rat, one of the most spectacular beaches in the Mediterranean. This thin sliver of beach is one of the symbols of Croatia.

Zlatni Rat Croatia

We wanted to photograph Zlatni Rat with our drone but Croatia has some of the most prohibitive drone laws in the world, so our drone stayed at home on this trip. What a shame, an aerial photo of Zlatni Rat sure would have been nice!!

In April, very few people are here. It looks much different in the summer months, when the beach is carpeted with colorful umbrellas and sunbathers.

Zlatni Rat

Zlatni Rat in April

Tim, Tyler, and Kara on the tip of Zlatni Rat.


Adriatic Sea

Zlatni Rat Panorama

Tim’s panorama from the tip of Zlatni Rat.

In the early afternoon, we drove to Sumartin to catch the 3:30 ferry back to Makarska on the mainland. Again, it was a beautiful drive.

Driving in Brac


Sumartin, a fishing village, is yet another beautiful town on Brac. I can see why Julio fell in love with this island and why he decided to make this his home.


Sumartin Croatia

Sumartin Ferry

We fell in love with Brac, also. With its quiet coastal towns, hiking trails, fresh seafood, and the stunning Zlatni Rat beach, Brac was the perfect pick for our family. I am hoping we get to return to Brac someday in the future, but we’d also like to explore some new islands as well.

About Brac

Four Reasons to Visit Brac

Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach.

Vidova Gora, the highest point on the Adriatic Islands. You can hike or drive to the viewpoint.

Brac stone. Brac is famous for its stone, which has been used in the construction of the White House, Diocletian’s Palace in Split, and the Parliament building in Budapest.

Go “off-the-beaten-path.” Brac has a “local feel” to it. If you want to leave the crowds behind, plan on spending at least one day on Brac, visiting the coastal towns of Milna, Bol, Supetar, and Pucisca.

Getting to Brac on the Car Ferry

Car ferries link Split (on the mainland) to Supetar (on Brac) and Sumartin (on Brac) to Makarska (on the mainland).

Here is how you can use the ferries on a road trip through Croatia. Visit the town of Split. From Split, take the ferry to Supetar. Tour the island of Brac. Then take the car ferry from Sumartin back to Makarska on the mainland. Have lunch or dinner in Makarska before driving south towards Dubrovnik.



The car ferry is run by Jadrolinija. The ferry from Split to Supetar is very large with room for many cars. The ferry from Sumartin to Makarska is much, much smaller. Even in April, the Sumartin car ferry reached its full capacity.

You should arrive at the port at least an hour and thirty minutes before scheduled departure. Park your car in the ferry line and while waiting, you can explore the town. You do not have to wait in line with your car. The ferry will start boarding as early as 30 minutes before departure.

We purchased our tickets in advance on the Jadrolinija website. Purchasing a ticket for a specific time slot does not guarantee that you will get that time. Even with a ticket, it is first-come first-serve to board the ferry. If you arrive late, you may not get a spot, and you will have to wait until the next ferry (which could be tomorrow!).

For a full listing of ferries to and from Brac, click here.

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Suncana Villa apartments. Our two-bedroom apartment was spotlessly clean, quiet, and the Wi-Fi worked perfectly. From our balcony we could look out over the Adriatic Sea. In just five minutes we could walk down to the center of town for dinner. Our host, Julio, went out of his way to make sure we had the perfect stay. When we contacted him about the power outage, Julio responded immediately. With a flip of a switch he turned our power back on, something we probably could have figured out on our own had we looked through the apartment a little more thoroughly. We loved this place and would stay here again on a return trip to Croatia.

Suncana Villa Bol

More Information about Croatia

VIDOVA GORA: Vidova Gora, which is located on the island of Brac, is the highest point on the Adriatic Islands. Learn how to hike to the top of Vidova Gora for a spectacular view over the Adriatic Sea and Zlatni Rat.

PLACES TO GO IN CROATIA: Along the Dalmatian Coast, the towns of Split, Trogir, and Dubrovnik are wonderful coastal towns to add to your Croatia itinerary. We also have information about how to explore the amazing Plitvice Lakes and visit the Istrian Peninsula.

BALKAN PENINSULA ITINERARY: Learn how to combine Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia & Herzegovina into one epic road trip in our 11 Day Balkan Peninsula Itinerary.

EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Get more travel ideas in our article 10 Days in Europe itinerary, which has 10 itineraries for your next trip to Europe. If you have less time, we also have an article that lists 25 different ways to spend one week in Europe.


Planning a trip to Croatia? Read all of our articles in our Croatia Travel Guide.


Brac Island Croatia Zlatni Rat

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Comments 20

  1. Avatar for Atthaphon

    Thank you for this very useful information.
    As I have booked a non-refundable hotels in Split. Do you think I could make just a day trip for the hike?
    I can take the earliest ferry from Split to Supetar, then bus to Bol and start hiking immediately.
    Then I will take the last ferry from Bol to Spilt, which is EUR25! Do you think it will be a rush?
    Many thanks in advance.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, you can do this hike as a day trip from Split, just as long as you are sure this public transportation will work out. We had a car so I’m not sure how to use the buses on Brac, at least not enough to give any advice. The key to making this work is finishing the hike in time to take the bus back to the ferry port. Make sure you have some contingency time, just in case something slows you down, whether it is the buses or on the hiking trail. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Yana

    Thank you for great and informative articles.
    We are planning a trip to Balkans in late September and I was wondering if you can provide information on how to book Suncana Villa in Bol.
    Thank you in advance

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  3. Avatar for Michal

    Many thanks for this article. Thanks to it, I have included a ferry to Brac on my schedule, and it was a perfect day. Even though I was able to spend only few hours on the island, and 1-2 hrs in Bol, it was still worth it.

    Driving the last 10 kms to Bol is absolutely fantastic experience, also for the driver 😉

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  4. Avatar for Maddy

    Hi Julie,

    I have been reading all your travel blogs and they offer great insights to all the destinations. I will be following your guides for Croatia visit. I had a question regarding the drone laws in Croatia. I saw many websites which state that we can fly our drone in croatia, but you have mentioned that they have very strict rules, can you tell me if i should carry my drone with me or not?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      When we visited Croatia the first time, it was 2017. At that time, the drone laws were very restrictive. For example, you had to have your routes mapped out and approved ahead of time. Without having been to Croatia yet, we had no idea what those routes would be. And even now, I wouldn’t know enough to predetermine how we would fly the drone. It seems like those rules are in effect to discourage visitors from bringing drones. There is a chance that these rules could have changed since 2017. I do not know what the current laws are but with some more research online you should be able to learn more. Good luck! Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Jian

    Hi Julie: I really enjoy reading your blogs. You always put in lots of practical information. I plan to take my family of 4 to Croatia in June/July. Your blog has helped me a lot to plan the trip. I have a few questions and hope you don’t mind answering them.

    1) I am debating the 2 ways to spend 4 nights from our trip. a) 2 nights on one of the island and 2 nights at Dubrovnik or b) 1 night on one of the island and 3 nights at Dubrovnik (similar to your trip). Do you have any suggestions?

    2) Island activities: I am debating either to do the hiking like you did or do one of the boat excursions (like Blue & Green Cave tour). Have your thought of boat excursions and is it too hot to do the hiking in June/July?

    3) I was planning to go to Hvar. After reading your blog, I now cannot decide between Hvar and Brac. Any suggestion here?

    BTW, we will rent a car. Thank you in advance!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Jian. In June/July, I’d go for the boat tour over the hike. The hike is nice, but you can drive to the viewpoint. And it will be very hot, even if you start early in the morning. The boat tour sounds wonderful (we have not done it but it sounds like a great summertime activity). One night on Brac was enough for us. We all loved Dubrovnik, and Tyler still says it’s one of his favorite places in the world, so I’m glad we had the extra time here. Plus, you have the option to do the day trip to Korcula. It will be crowded when you visit, so if you have several mornings in Dubrovnik, you have more days to get an early start and avoid some of the crowds while sightseeing. We have not been to Hvar, so I can’t personally comment on if it is better than Brac. From what I know, Hvar is more about nightlife and parties, Brac is quieter and less touristy. When deciding between the two, it just comes down to what you want when you travel. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Jian
  6. Avatar for Susan Riha-Schleichkorn
    Susan Riha-Schleichkorn

    We loved the Dalmatian Coast so much that we’re planning on returning this Sept. We’ve drove from Dubrovnik up along the coast (ferry to Hvar) to Rovinj then over to Plitvice Lakes. This year we’re focusing on Austria but thought we’d fly into Zagreb to spend 4 nights on Krk and then take our time heading up through Slovenia and onto Austria. I’m now wondering if we’ll be disappointed with Krk, it doesn’t come up in the “top list” of islands to visit. Just wondering if we should change routes. We’re a family of 6 (kids are in their late 20’s)

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Susan. Just because a place doesn’t shop up on a top-list doesn’t mean it’s not wonderful. In fact, it could be great because it won’t be too crowded. I have not been to Krk, so I can’t comment on how good it is. When we went to Brac in 2017, it also wasn’t on any top-lists at the time, and we loved it, probably for that very reason. I do think Brac has gotten more popular in the past year or two. It sounds like a great trip…going through Slovenia and Austria. I wouldn’t say change your plans, but if you are still concerned, you could do 3 days on Krk and add that extra day to Slovenia or Austria. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for Aaron

    We are traveling to Croatia in Sept. We plan to start our trip in Rovinj and need to end up in Dubrovnik. We have 8 nights. I know that isn’t a lot of time, but it’s what we have so we are trying to make the most of it. Our interests are beautiful nature, scenic towns, and good food. We can rent a car. We’d love to see some of the islands (or at least one) and they can be done as day trip if necessary from Dubrovnik or elsewhere. Any recommendations on how long to stay in both Rovinj and Dubrovnik, places to see from those locations, and any other good lodging points in between (to see and use as a base for exploring from)? Thanks so much!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Aaron. I recommend that you start with our Croatia page, which has posts on Rovinj, the Istrian peninsula, Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes and more. From Dubrovnik, you can visit Kotor, Korcula, and Mostar. One day is enough for Rovinj but you could spend days here, day tripping to other places on the Istrian peninsula. If you like nature, a visit to Plitvice Lakes would be very nice to add to your itinerary. You could add it in between the Istria and Dubrovnik. Krka National Park is also a great place to add because you can go swimming here. Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Megan M Jameson
    Megan M Jameson

    We are heading to Croatia in late June/early July with family and will have about 3-4 days on our own (us plus our 3 children – 11, 9 and 6). Can we keep ourselves (and more importantly our children) entertained on Brac for that long? We are debating between Brac and Havar but would like to just pick one place to stay instead of moving twice. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I think that 3 days might be OK but 4 days on Brac with kids is a long time. It’s a great island but there is not a whole lot to do, other than the Vidova Gora hike, the beaches, and the small towns. Maybe if you find a hotel with a pool that will give the kids something to do. Two days would be very nice, and 3 is OK, just know that you will have a lot of free time. Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Nikola
  10. Avatar for Aussie Dan
    Aussie Dan

    Brac is very popular in Summer. It has possibly one of the most beautiful villages in Europe in my opinion called Pucisca , known for its famous white stone said to have been used to build the White House. Another gorgeous town is Milna. Along with Bol and Supretar town these places really come Alive from June to September

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

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