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Brac Yacht Charter

Carpeted with silver-green olive trees and Aleppo pines, the mountainous island of Brac rises out of the Adriatic like a rugged jewel. Colourful fishing boats tie up at pretty harbours, shaded by exotic palms and Renaissance buildings carved from the dazzling white limestone of Brac, most famously used in the construction of America’s White House.

Milna on the island of Brac in Croatia

Many Croatia charter yachts will visit Brac merely to drop anchor off the beach at Bol, the spectacular shape-shifting beach known for its magical powers, or the ancient stonemasonry village of Pucisca, a seaside hamlet so pretty it almost belongs in a fairy tale. Yet there is so very much more to see on the island of Brac, whether you’re diving sea caves and abandoned submarine pens, or summiting a mountain to drink in the views all the way to Italy.

Lozisco in Brac, Croatia

This summer, Brac deserves your full attention on a Croatia yacht charter. Bespoke Yacht Charter have created this in-depth charter guide to Brac as part of our ongoing Croatia Yachting Series.

Slaves, olive trees, and resistance : A potted history of Brac

Brac’s human history goes back a long, long way, stretching well beyond classical antiquity into the Mesolithic Age. The oldest Bronze Age axe ever found in the Adriatic, was found in a cave on Brac, where tens of thousands of animal bones and primitive tools still lie in the vast cave halls.

We’re more familiar with what, or who comes next— the arrival of the piratical Illyrians, who would name the island ‘Brentos’, for the deer that roamed through the forested hills. The ancient Greeks then staked their claim, and the Romans in their wake, who used their slaves to quarry the white limestone of Brac and transport it to Split for Diocletian’s grand palace, made celluloid-famous as Daenery’s Throne Room in Game of Thrones.

The Slavs would arrive in the early Middle Ages and begin the reign of the early Croat kings. The Byzantines would have their turn, the Republic of Dubrovnik too, as well as the pirates of Omis.

Old buildings on the seafront in Brac, Croatia

Yet (as in most parts of Dalmatia), it was the merchant power of Venice that really left their mark over their centuries of rule, leaving behind gothic and renaissance architecture, as well as olive trees in their millions, after a 17th century decree stated that a man could not marry if he did not plant 100 olive trees, and heavy penalties applied for any who cut one down.

The Napoleonic Wars threw the region into turmoil, and the now-familiar tale of empire played out between the French, the Hapsburgs, England, Russians, and Austro Hungarians. And through it all, the villagers of Brac continued on as they always had: farming sheep, fishing and making wine and olive oil as waves of history crashed upon their beautiful island.

Beach on the island of Brac, Croatia

In 1918, Croatia would become part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and during the Second World War the proud people of Brac mounted a fierce resistance against the Italian fascist troops who occupied the island as they burnt houses, killed villagers, and sent any resisters off to concentration camps. It was a dark time in the history of Brac, and many would leave the island after the war years, emigrating to the Americas and Australia, creating generations of migrants who would always feel torn between their new world, and their old island home.

For many years, the word Brac actually meant ‘island’ to the people of Split, so depending on how far the locals travelled from Split, they would name all the islands of Dalmatia as ‘Brac 1’, ‘Brac 2’, ‘Brac 3’.

Today, there is just one Brac, and it is magnificent!

What to do on a Yacht Charter on Brac

Visit the Magical, Shape-Shifting Bol Beach

We shall begin, as you almost certainly shall, at the beach of Zlatni Rat, most commonly known as Bol Beach.

A few hundred meters from the charming seaside resort of Bol, a perfect spit of white extends out from the pine forest into the turquoise sea, creating one of the most visually spectacular beaches in the world— one which has adored almost every Croatian tourism poster for the last decade.

Bol beach on Brac, Croatia

The smooth white pebbles that make up the beach have rolled down over the millennia from the giant mountain that looms up behind the coast, and local myth says that these pebbles have magical powers. Either way, you’d best keep your wits about you— this devilishly beautiful beach changes shape, its spit of sand moving depending on the direction of the sea currents. So if you fall asleep on the dazzling white beach at Bol, you may just wake up underwater!

Zlatni Rat beach on Brac island

There are many ways to keep yourself awake at Bol Beach though- whether that’s getting out on the yacht’s jetskis, or enjoying some of the superb windsurfing and kiteboarding conditions this beach is famous for.

Of course, Bol isn’t Brac’s only stunning beach. Lovrecine, Paklina, Murvica, Vela Farska, Ticja Luka, Ratac, Lucice and Osibova Bay are all superb. You could spend many happy days on your Croatia charter just visiting them all!

Float into an Abandoned Submarine Pen

If you didn’t get a chance to do this on Vis, don’t miss out here on Brac, where there are two WWII submarine pens carved into the limestone coast on the south-eastern side of the island, not far from the village of Milna. Take the tender, kayak, paddleboard or swim into the submarine pens, which are 80m long and about 10m deep.

Submarine pen on the Croatian island of Brac

Dive the Underwater Caves at Lucice Island

Brac offers some good diving, and some of the finest is found at Lucice Island just off the coast, where the entry to a huge two-chamber underwater cave is found just three metres under the surface and the caves drop to a depth of 42m. The cave walls are festooned in a stunning array of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as vivid sponges and corals.

Visit the extraordinary 3000 year old village of Skrip

While Skrip’s current form was built in medieval times from the island’s beautiful white stone, the 3000 year old village has been a defensive town for millennia, as displayed by the remnants of its prehistoric town walls. Other places of interest in Skrip include a Roman temple, sarcophagi, the castle of Cerinic, an ancient Christian chapel and cemetery, and a nunnery.

Village of Skrip on Brac, Croatia

Not forgetting, of course, the excellent Island of Brac Museum as well as the Museum of Olive Oil, which celebrates the rather wonderful history of olive oil cultivation on Brac. (More on that shortly.)

While you’re exploring the interior, you can take a short 10 minute detour to the village of Nerezisca, where a 200 year old pine tree has grown out of the roof of a medieval church chapel. Given that it’s grown from the roof tiles, its development has been stunted to 1 metre high, creating an incredible natural bonsai on the church roof! One for the photo album, definitely.

Hike, Cycle, or Drive up Vidova Gora Peak

Vidova Gora is the mountain that you look up at from the deck of your yacht at Bol Beach. At 778m, the peak is the highest across the Dalmatian islands, and it commands an almighty view across Dalmatia and all the way to Italy on a clear day. A strongly recommended outing.

Vidova Gora summit on Brac island

Visit the Blaca Monastery

In the 15th century, the Ottoman invasion of Dalmatia led Christian monks from the mainland to find refuge in the mountain caves of Brac.

Blaca Monastery is the result of that escape, a genuinely astonishing edifice built around the original cave and beneath the high cliffs. The monastery rose to scientific importance in later years as the home of one of the biggest telescopes in Europe of the time. The monastery tour is very worthwhile.

Tour Olive and Wine Country

In 1655, the Venetians issued a decree that the island of Brac was to be planted in millions of olive trees. The right to marriage for locals was made conditional on the planting of 100 trees, and those who cut them down were heavily fined. The result is a rolling country of grey-green olive groves, which produce 30% of all of Dalmatia’s olive oil, considered some of the finest in the world.

Yacht charter guests may be interested in purchasing a bottle of the extremely rare, very delicious, and rather pricey Buhavica olive oil, which is grown only around Novo Selo.

Vineyard in Croatia with Adriatic background

What land was not used for olives (or the grazing of countless sheep), was dedicated to vineyards, and in the Croatian tradition, there is some very enjoyable wine to be found on Brac, including the local wines Plavac Mali, Vuguva, and Prosip. We might suggest a wine and olive tasting tour to enjoy the best of Brac’s wine and oil produce, with a necessary stop at Stina’ Winery’s outpost on the seafront at Bol.

Visit Pucisca

All the seaside villages of Brac are incontestably lovely, whether the capital of Supetar, the village of Milna, or pretty Splitska. Yet they all pale into relative insignificance when compared with the almost chocolate-box prettiness of Pucisca, a Renaissance town of shining white stone by the sea.

Pucisca is the ancient home of the stonemasons of Brac, who became so respected that peasants were not allowed to enter their workshops. The stone would be brought down from the hill quarries to be carefully carved into blocks and ornaments, and shipped off across the world. Brac’s stone is not just found in Washington’s White House, but in the grand parliament buildings of Vienna and Budapest too.

Pucisca on Brac in Croatia

Often voted one of the most beautiful small towns in Europe, you must not miss Pucisca while on a yacht charter in Croatia, and a tour of the still-working stonemason school is thoroughly recommended.

Sample the rustic, delicious cuisine of Brac

Whether it’s stuffed Butalac lamb that tastes of the herbs that grow wild in the hills, Procip sheep-milk cheese baked in caramelised sugar, or the famous Hrapocusa ‘aphrodisiac cake’ with it is delicious blend of walnuts, orange zest and rum, Brac has its own special culinary traditions to try while you’re on charter here.

Lamb and seafood are the most popular proteins, while the local orchards produce a cuisine heavy with figs, mandarins, cherries and almonds. The most popular cooking method is ‘under the peka’, meaning ‘under the bell’, whereby meat or fish is baked in a large bell-shaped pot that rests in the coals.

There are many good restaurants on Brac, many of which are konobas located in the island’ interior. Konoba translates much as ‘bistro’ ’trattoria’ or ‘taverna’ would, meaning you’ll get traditional, delicious food in an authentic, family-run setting.

There are three major contenders in the ‘battle of the konobas’ on Brac.

Konoba Kopacina in the ancient village of Donji Humac provides a stunning feast of a lamb done many ways, served on a terrace with a magical sunset view.

Restaurant on Brac, Croatia

In the nearby village of Gornji Humac, Konoba Tomic welcomes guests into an 800 year old home, where everything on the table (including the wine) is home grown and the walls are hung with goat skins. The octopus cooked ‘under the bell’ is particularly good here.

Konoba Dol in the village of Dol is also outstanding, and you can take a tour of the 16th century estate before sitting down for a delicious array of seafood or meat, wines, pates, and cheeses.

If you’d prefer to stay on the coast, Restaurant Palute is a quality fish restaurant on the waterfront at Supetar, and Ribarska Kucica in Bol offers good seafood in a stunning terrace setting by the sea.

But for the true dining heart of Brac, take our advice and head to one of the konobas in the interior!

A Yacht Charter on Brac

On the beautiful Croatian island of Brac, locals greet you with ‘malo pomalo’, which translates best as ‘take it easy’. On Brac, I’m not sure you’ll have much choice. If you’re looking for an authentic Croatian experience of genuine beauty and tranquillity, as well as one of the finest beaches and prettiest villages in all of Europe, the island of Brac is a must-visit on your Croatia yacht charter.

The team at Bespoke Yacht Charter have cruised extensively in Croatia, and are on hand to create a perfectly tailored Croatia yacht charter itinerary:

This article was written by Jo Morgan – Jo is a freelance writer for yachts and travel, offering targeted feature articles, content marketing, blogs and press releases for the yachting and travel industries.









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