Summer is finally here! Our holiday plans are set, but I have quite a few travel posts to catch up on first. Allow me to kick off summer with a series on one of my favorite summer destinations ever: Croatia!
I wrote about Split, our first stop on the Dalmatian coast, before falling off the blogging wagon. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since our trip. Let me pick up where I left off, with the second of our four stops: Bol, on the lovely island of Brac.
We wanted to venture off the Dalmatian mainland and see the islands. So we chose Brac, an island about 50 minutes by catamaran from Split. Bol is the biggest and oldest town on the island, and also the closest to Brac’s famous beach, Zlatni Rat.
So what’s to see, do and eat in Bol? Here are loads of pics and a few travel tips.
If you only do one thing in Bol…
It has to be the beach! Zlatni Rat (“the golden cape”) is a shining 500m stretch whose tip changes shape with the tides and wind. Its stunning crystal clear turquoise waters, warm and welcoming, reminded me strongly of beaches back home.
We spent every morning at Zlatni Rat, and it was absolutely perfect. Absolute bliss.
I’m a snob about white sand, but I was surprised by how much I liked Croatia’s pebble beaches. Smooth, beautifully cream-colored, fun to collect and toss into the water, and much less hassle to clean up!
There are several small coves nearby (including a nudist beach) if you want to change things up.
For families, a small playground (pay-to-play) and two snack bars in the shaded, woody area behind the beach provide relief from the midday heat.
Also worth seeing…
The sweeping view of the islands from Vidova Gora, the highest point in the Adriatic Sea, is breathtaking. We saw many hikers making their way through this park, but we’re not
self-punishing active types so we drove right up to the top.
Best places to eat
The typical Croatian eatery is called a konoba, or guesthouse. Our favorite on Brac was Konoba Mlin, an old mill house turned restaurant overlooking the port with beautiful sunset views.
Croatian food and wine deserves a post all on its own, but Konoba Mlin was our first taste of the traditional Croatian peka, meat stewed and roasted “under the bell.” It made my carnivorous husband very happy—and Tala ate it all up. Marlon liked it so much he learned how to make it at home!
We also enjoyed a drive up into the hills of Brac. In the tiny village of Gornji Humac, the rustic and cozy Konoba Tomic welcomed us with more peka (and more wine).
Finally, Restoran Ranc near our apartments turned out to be a charming garden konoba with great seafood.
Nice, but not essential
Looking back, I would have foregone our loooooong drive across the island to see the town of Supetar. It’s a tiny sleepy fishing town and… that’s about it.
However, of my favorite memories from this trip is the colossal ticklefest Tala and I had on a beach in Supetar, before heading off to find ourselves a konoba for dinner. So what’s to regret?
Practical matters: How to get to Bol
We took the Jadrolinija fast catamaran from Split to Bol. The trip was 50 minutes long and very comfortable. For departure times from Dubrovnik, Hvar, or other islands, check the Jadrolijnija website.
Accommodation and getting around
We prefer to self-cater on long trips. So we booked Apartments Diana, a two-bedroom loft with wifi, air conditioning and a pool. The apartments were great: clean, modern, near a grocery, and with private parking.
Adria Tours Bol, which manages the apartments, offers a free pickup/dropoff at the port and free parking at Zlatni Rat beach. They also booked a car for us at 300 Kuna (39 EUR/45 USD) per day, .
Plan your trip in a pinch
The Marco Polo guide to Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast is brilliant. I never travel without a plan, but I was so under the pump before leaving that I just couldn’t research an itinerary for us. Man, I thought I was a failure.
I don’t think I’ve ever traveled with a guidebook until now. But this pocket-size volume did all the work for me. We relied on it for all our restaurant tips and daytime excursions beyond the beach. Highly recommended! Thanks to the folks at Marco Polo for sending me this guide. You saved me, really.
Next up: Game of Thrones geeks, get ready for a trip to King’s Landing. Dubrovnik, Croatia coming right up!