"Coming home to Brac" Top 5 Page for this destination Otok Brac by TheWanderingCamel

Otok Brac Travel Guide: 67 reviews and 244 photos

Moonrise over Bol, looking toward Hvar

MrL's grandfather died long before he was born so they were never able to talk about the faraway island where the older man was born, grew up and left as a young man to seek his fortune on the goldfields of Western Australia. He never returned to his birthplace and it was to be 70 years after he died before his grandson was to make the journey, to sit in the garden where his grandfather had played as a boy, to visit the church where he was baptised, to swim in the clear waters of the beach near the family home, to meet the remaining few cousins who still live on the island. It really was a homecoming that saw time and distance melt away.

That was in 2006. We returned in 2007 and again in 2008, 2009 and 2011. With a return already booked for September 2012 this page about Brac, a beautiful island just of the Dalmatian coast near Split, will be an ongoing thing, with new discoveries and experiences to add from each visit. I guess by now I've earned the right to say "I visit here often".

Brac today ... and tomorrow

Third largest of all Croatia's islands, lying parallel to (and at no point more than 13 km from) the mainland, much of Brac is rocky, even quite mountainous - Vidova Gora, the mountain overlooking Bol, is the highest point of all the Adriatic islands - a harsh, stony landscape covered in low bushy scrub. The sheltered bays and inlets of the north-western side of the island are dotted with picture-book villages and towns, whilst the cliffs of the southern coast are generally steeper and less protected and therefore far less inhabited although one town there, Bol, the island's oldest settlement, is undoubtedly the island's main tourist destination.

Bol, Grandfather's birthplace, is where we stay. From there we range all over the island in our hire car. We explore mountain villages and pretty little harbours, visit ancient churches, a monastery here, a museum there, and walk along even more ancient walkways over the stony hills.
Long hours are spent over home-produced wine and home-cooked meals with elderly cousins and newer friends, not much common language but lots of laughs and goodwill.

Harbourside restaurants, country konobas, at least one daily icecream (so many flavours, so little time) - early morning swims, moonlit evenings out on the terrace - the days drift by and all too soon it's time to pack up and make our way to the ferry, on to the plane and home. We'll be back ...

Brac 2009

It was June when we made our most recent visit to Brac. Staying in Bol as always, returning once more to a tiny old stone house in the heart of the village, a stone's roll down the hill from the harbourside. One room up and one room down, with a vine-hung terrace that was bigger than either and a view of the village and of Hvar across the channel, it is just perfect.

Quietly busy, the first of the summer visitors had begun arriving. Not too hot but warm enough for breakfast out on the terrace of our little house. Day-time temperatures were ideal for long walks and short swims, walking around to the town's famed beach , the white pebbled curve of Zlatni Rat and taking the shuttle launch back to town when we were done, for a shower and a foray to some yet-to-be-explored village or bay. Balmy evenings found us in dining al fresco one of the local konobas or back on the terrace, even cooking (on a two ring holiday cottage stove) and serving dinner one evening to friends and family who had entertained us so often and so generously in years past.

  • Last visit to Otok Brac: Jun 2011
  • Intro Updated Mar 9, 2012
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Reviews (28)

Comments (18)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Nice page! Would like to visit Croatia again and this island!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    If we had time on our trip to Croatia-this would have been the island to see-but time goes fast.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    Great that your quest was successful and that serendipity put you within a hundred metres of MrL's grandfather's birthplace. No wonder you keep returning to this beautiful island where you have family connections from two generations ago.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2009 at 12:51 PM

    Great page! Your special links with this island give a very personal touch to your page ! I have been only once on Brac and as it was on a sailing tip, we could not visit the island

  • MikeBird's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    Thanks for these really helpful tips. We have to go in August - the busy time - will we be able to escape the crowds on Brac if we have a car? Mike

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2008 at 3:15 PM

    Enjoyed reading over your new tips and those written shortly after my first visit--Bracs fine old buildings and historic ruins must be a delight to see!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2008 at 5:20 AM

    lovely page!a good Aussie friend of mine experienced similar-flew over to me here in UK and then on down to Slovenia to seek out roots-no language at all!we drove from Paris to pick her up (&on down to Croatia)&what a fantastic time she'd had!

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Does that about complete your quest?

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2008 at 9:04 AM

    Fantastic page with helpful tips and brilliant photos. At the beginning of September we will be about one week in the region around Split, so we even might visit Otok Brac. I have saved a few of your tips. Thank you.

  • lotharlerch's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2008 at 4:39 AM

    Nice to visit your roots at such an attractive place. I plan to go for a week to Brac in early September.

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