Brač is Croatia’s third-largest island, the biggest in Dalmatia, and among the closest to the mainland. It's also a great choice for active pursuits: stellar windsurfing, any type of watersport under the sun, cycling, and hiking. Base yourself in the main towns of Bol and Supetar, or venture inland to the ancient stone hamlets at Brač's center—there's plenty to do and see throughout. Learn more about what, when, and how to go below.

Discovering Brač 

Brač is the gem of Dalmatia, buzzing with beach bums and adventurers alike. Its showpiece is the dazzling white-pebble Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) Beach in on the island’s southern coast, with the island's other claim to fame being the resplendent white stone used to build Diocletian’s Palace in Split (and, reputedly, the White House in Washington, DC).

In addition to the coastal towns of Supetar and Bol, Brač showcases a string of sleepy fishing villages that make for a more secluded base. The island’s interior is also worth exploring for its historic stone hamlets and a solitary ancient hermitage to boot. 

Planning Your Brač Itinerary 

Brac's iconic Zlatni Rat beach

Depending on what you’re after, Brač can be a quick island escape or a week-long leisurely beach holiday with some active pursuits thrown in. Thanks to its easy access, you can make it a quick overnight sojourn—or even a day trip, like the one featured in this 7-day itinerary. Travelers ferry to the island from Split for a hiking trip through olive groves, the laid-back village of Sutivan, and along the coast to Supetar, ferrying back again in the evening.

For a three-day jaunt to Brač, take the ferry to Supetar and bus over to Bol on the other side of the island—you can base yourself in this charming town and partake in watersports galore. You can do the same if you only have one night, though Supetar is a more convenient base if you’re heading back to Split the next day. If you have a week, spend half in Supetar (or another off-the-radar beach town, like Sutivan or Pučišća) and the other half in Bol, sprinkling in a couple of day trips to destinations in the island’s interior.

When to Go

To experience Brač at its peak in terms of action and weather, go in July and August. That said, this two-month period is also the busiest and priciest so brace yourself for ferry lines, high season accommodation costs, overpriced restaurant menus, and towel-to-towel crowded beaches. That goes especially for the first two weeks of August.

To catch some of the shoulder season deals, June and September are a stellar choice, as the weather is equally lovely with warm seas, but the crowds thin out and prices drop by a fraction. Note that May and October can also be a great time to visit if you want a quiet sunny escape. For more, see Best Time to Visit Croatia

Getting There

The island’s easy accessibility—and proximity to the mainland—is among its main appeals. Brač has its own tiny airport with flights to and from Zagreb, operated by Croatia Airlines twice a week during the season (from spring through fall), though most people fly into Split airport and then take the short ferry ride.

The most popular sea route to take is from Split to the main town of Supetar (in the north of the island). This car ferry operated by Jadrolinija also admits foot passengers; the ride is just 50 minutes and the schedule is frequent, especially during the peak summer season.

If you don’t have your own four wheels (you may as well not bring a car; it’s notably expensive), catamaran boat options run aplenty. There’s a daily from Split to Bol (one hour) by Jadrolinija, which travels on to Hvar; Kapetan Luka runs a fast boat to Milna and Bol as well.

A great option if you have a car and want to head south to Dubrovnik from Brač is to take the car ferry that runs from the beach town of Sumartin on the east coast of the island to Makarska on the mainland (about an hour-long ride). Catamaran rides between Dubrovnik and Bol are also available for foot passengers during the high season; both Jadrolinija and Kapetan Luka offer these (the journey is between 3 and 4 hours).

To move on to other islands, Hvar is a good option—Jadrolinija offers a daily catamaran service (approximately 40 minutes) between Bol and Hvar Town during the peak season. On the island itself, it’s great to rent a car if you plan to take in several destinations.

Highlights & Things to Do

Windsurfing off Zlatni Rat Beach

Main Beach Towns: Supetar & Bol

Two main beach towns on Brač steal the show: Supetar and Bol. Supetar on its northern coast is the main transport hub, where car ferries from Split disembark. It’s also the island’s largest town and the most developed in terms of tourist facilities, with activities aplenty. Note that Supetar also has a slightly more touristy feel to it, though this doesn't necessarily make it less enjoyable.
 
On the island’s southern coast, beautiful Bol is a slightly more boutique-y beach destination, mostly known for its spectacular Zlatni Rat beach, a strip of super-soft pebbles that juts out into the Adriatic. This iconic beach graces the cover of many a tourism brochure and poster and stands out as Croatia’s prime spot for windsurfing and other water sports. The marble-paved seafront promenade that takes you there is lined with tall pine trees and lush gardens.

Quiet Beach Towns & Interior Villages

Supetar and Bol have the most extensive accommodation options and heaps of action. If you’re looking for a more secluded beach retreat, Brač has other destinations worth considering, including the historic fishing village of Sutivan, delightful Pučišća on the northern coast overlooking the Makarska Riviera, the pretty little port of Milna, and quiet Sumartin.
 
In the island’s interior, the village of Dol beckons for its ancient huddle of stone houses perched atop a rock, and Konoba Toni, a family-run tavern that dishes out handcrafted dishes in a rustic dining room. For a whiff of history, head to the island’s oldest settlement, the village of Škrip southeast of Supetar, to see the remains of its former fort built by the Illyrians to defend against Greek invasion.

Watersports, Hiking, and Cycling

Brač is a great option for active travelers. You’ll find prime diving (best spots are off the southwestern coast, between Milna and Bol), and watersports galore on the aforementioned Zlatni Rat. You can also hike or mountain bike up to Vidova Gora (near Bol)—the island’s highest peak and the tallest on all of Croatia’s islands—and the mesmerizing Blaca Hermitage in the interior of the island’s south (the guided tour is a must).

This 6-day cycling itinerary includes a day of mountain biking on Brač. You'll pedal up Vidova Gora, enjoying the 360-degree views of the Adriatic islands at the peak before coasting down to the desert landscape of Blaca for a tour of its namesake monastery and a picnic lunch. From there, you'll continue to the south side of the island and overnight in Milna.

Culture & Events

Cultural delights include Branislav Dešković gallery in Bol, housed in a Renaissance townhouse on the harbor, with a display of 20th-century Croatian artists, including sculptures by renowned sculptor Ivan Meštrović.

A great time to be on Brač if you want to hobnob with an international art crowd is mid-August, when Films Like No Other, a 4-day festival of video art and art films gathers the creative set from around the world for its curated screenings in the summer cinema—which has stunning views out to sea.

Lodging & Dining

Evening in Bol

Where to Stay

Self-catered apartments, funky hostels, swank boutique hotels, family resorts, plush seafront villas, campgrounds, and secluded stone cottages: Brač has it all lodging-wise. In Supetar, Hotel Amor and Hotel Bračka Perla are the most characterful of otherwise nondescript hotels. The Funky Donkey hostel is the best low-cost option, with a distinct party vibe (so no quiet rest here).

In Bol, Villa Giardino tucked away behind a garden and steps from the seafront is an elegant choice. Hotel Kaštil in a historic townhouse is tops for sea vistas and dining at its terrace restaurant. Away from Supetar and Bol, two hotels worth checking out for their luxurious take on Adriatic beach living are Hotel Lemongarden in Sutivan, a heritage hideaway in a cluster of ancient buildings on the seafront, and Dešković Palace, a 15-room retreat in a 15th- century palace in Pučišća.

For more unique lodging options, check out this list of fun alternatives to typical hotels.

Where to Eat

Though pricey, Bol is a better choice (than Supetar) if you’re looking for excellent food. Head to Mali Raj, a “small paradise” tucked away in a shady olive grove just up from Zlatni Rat beach; this family-run spot away from the crowds has a delicious tuna steak with pesto and they do a mean fish skewer.

Among Bol’s newest restaurants, Konoba Pusa is an inventive little tavern run by two brothers on the eastern end of the seafront, in a small little bay with lovely views. Go for the handcrafted pastas and osso buco with celery puree. Ribarska Kućica, though it can be slow service-wise, has the most stunning waterfront terrace.
 
If you have your own wheels, don’t miss a meal of flavorful Cres lamb and potatoes or super-fresh seafood at Terasa Ciccio, reachable along a bumpy dirt road leading off from Murvica (or accessible by boat from Bol). With spectacular sea vistas, it’s a local favorite and a real find.

Local Tips for Visiting Brač

Beautiful Brač

Avoid arriving and leaving on weekends, locally known as smjena (shift), especially during the first two weeks of August; that’s when week-long apartment rentals typically change hands, hence the crowds.
 
For those with their own wheels heading south, taking the Sumartin-Makarska ferry by Jadrolinija is a great option. It takes only a limited number of cars so get there early to grab your place in line.
 
Food on Brač is generally overpriced, both in restaurants and grocery stores. If you’re self-catering on Bol, look out for the small vegetable market behind the church, which has well-priced local products.
 
A great locals’ hangout in Bol in Marinero, a classic bar on a verdant square with frequent live music. Look out for the sign on the seafront and follow it up the stairs.