Known for its sailing, excellent wine, beautiful stone, brilliant water, intricate bell towers, olive orchards & oil production, many deserted bays and unspoiled villages, Brac is also the gateway to the Dalmatian archipelago. Brac is unspoiled, even with its frequent ferries, catamarans and private boats. Due to its proximity to the other islands & the mainland, MILNA HARBOR is the launch point for sailing and island hopping. You can easily charter a sailing yacht or motorboat for a day, a week or a short getaway for a few days.
Famous for its stone and world class stone mason school, local masons transform the beautiful white Brac stone, carrying on the traditional craft in the architecture, fine buildings, lovely churches, bell towers, gravestones and intricate sculptures of the island villages. Pucisca, Praznica, Donji Humac & Nerezisca are the centers for STONE MASONRY, SCULPTORS & quarries. The STONE MASON SCHOOL is in Pucisca Harbor.
Brac is also emerging as the sport destination of the islands for kayaking, water sports, hiking biking and sailing. Hiking and biking trails criss-cross the entire island. Local maps provide well documented and safe trails through the wandering hills where you will see only olive orchards, vineyards, local wineries, shepard’s huts, the occasional sheep, goats and local cows. Along the coast a myriad trails lead to secluded swimming coves and the occasional restaurant accessible only by boat or foot. Sutivan village is the center of SPORTS & ACTIVITIES. Bol is the center for WATER SPORTS.
The biggest producer of olive oil in Dalmatia with over 1/2 a million olive trees, you can see the many varieties of olives everywhere on the island. Brac has trees over 1,000 years old, although most are 150 to 300 years old. Local villagers are proud of their olive oil traditions and ancient presses and are happy to share the experience and olive oil tasting. Almost every family on the island can be found olive picking in October and November when the roads are slick with oil. Try OLIVE OIL TASTING/PAIRINGS in Skrip, Sutivan, & Sumartin.
BLACA MONASTERY is perhaps the most interesting historical site on the Central islands. Built in the 16th century, far enough from the sea to be protected from pirates, it is tucked into the Brac hillsides, hidden from view. The monastery has been carefully restored and is well worth the 45 minute hike.
Founded by 3 priests fleeing to the islands from the Turkish invasion on the mainland, Blaca was a thriving, self sufficient monastery until 1963. The monks produced as much as 60,000 litres of wine per year, had 3,000 olive trees, produced their own olive oil and had 1,000 head of sheep. You can still see the olive and wine presses. Rain water was captured through a system of roof gutters and deep gouges in the rocky hillside. Large cisterns stored water, wine and olive oil. A duct system was built into the walls for air conditioning and for heating there was a large stone fireplace, where meals were cooked, animals were kept warm and hot air heated the monastery.
The monastery was also a center of learning, culture and art and was famous for its library, printing press and books, illustrated and hand written by the priests. The monks were also trained in astronomy, languages, and science. You can see the original telescopes and detailed records of discoveries made through the ages. The school existed for local children until 1963. The price for learning? Wood, which the children brought daily to keep the fires going.
There are 5 other monasteries in the hills between Blaca and Bol, like Blaca all were established in the 16th century by priest fleeing from Poljica on the mainland – a hike well worth the effort.
Skrip is the OLDEST TOWN on Brac, with some walls dating back as far as 1200 BC. The name Skrip originates from the Latin name scrupus, which denotes huge stones, which were to be found in Roman quarries. Here you can actually see the history of Brac; Illyrian, Roman and Croatian. The town also boasts a lovely museum with a curator. With its Ilyrian buildings, Roman cemetery, stone walls and traditional houses, the village alone is well worth a visit.