It’s one of the fifty inhabited Croatian islands. Located in the Adriatic Sea and less than an hour by ferry from Split, Brac offers beaches with crystal-clear water, leafy mountains, beautiful villages and its own simply exquisite cuisine.
Croatia has more than a thousand islands, but only 50 are inhabited. If you are visiting the country and have time to see any of them, do not skip Brac. Hvar and Korcula are also very beautiful and famous, but Brac has a lot to offer, including one of the most famous beaches in the world, the Golden Horn.
Ph: Paola Peñafiel
This island is the largest of them all with 400 km2 and a population of 3,500; which multiply in the summer months. The locale is quiet; yet you’ll still find all the services and amenities you need, life moves at a different pace which forces you to rest, explore and enjoy its landscapes and beaches.
Brac has been populated for thousands of years. It was part of the Roman Empire; in addition to the Republic of Venice which gave it the name of Brazza, and of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century there was a continuous emigration of inhabitants to other countries. For that reason, the vast majority of Croatians who relocated to Chile come from this island. Brac is also famous for its white stone, which has been used to build palaces such as Diocletian’s in Split and the White House in Washington, D.C.
Less than an hour by ferry, from Split, you can reach Supetar, currently the main urban, cultural and tourist center of the island. It is a beautiful city of cobbled streets and built almost entirely with the typical white stone of the island. About 9 kilometers east of Supetar, there is Postira, a picturesque and small town whose tranquility and extremely clear waters take you by surprise.
Driving up the mountains surrounded by nature, you will reach Nerezisca, the ancient capital of the island. Its history and legacy of the Venetian presence is seen in the construction of its architecture. The numerous small churches also grab your attention, with the most famous of them being the chapel of Saints Peter and Paul, where a small tree grows between its roof tiles. From Nerezisca you can visit the old Jesuit Monastery of Blaca, a wonderful construction with great history, located on the slope of a stone mountain.
In the south you’ll find Bol, the most famous town on the island. Known for one of the most beautiful and fascinating beaches in the world: Zlatni Rat or The Golden Horn. A beach of 500 meters made up of fine white stones in an elongated triangular form, although its shape can vary according to the tides. Similarly, along the coast of Bol, there are many beaches with crystal clear water to enjoy the sun or water sports. Moving towards the port and the city center, you’ll find an interesting architectural heritage of well-preserved mansions. One of them is a 17th-century fortress, which was used for defensive purposes against pirates and was also the aristocratic Vusio family home. Currently, it houses the Hotel Kastil and the exclusive Vusio restaurant, where Chef Nenad Keri adds his personal touch to a menu comprised of traditional dishes.
Ph: Paola Peñafiel
The Brac’s cuisine is founded on fish and seafood, meats, spices, and olive oil and cheeses produced on the island. In Supetar I tried a lamb dish prepared in a very special way. Peka, as it’s known, consists of lamb with potatoes, carrots, eggplants, onions, spices and olive oil, slowly cooked in an open fireplace, with hot coals and embers placed on the metal lid covering the dish. The taste and tenderness of meat and vegetables is simply exquisite. An excellent option to pair with it is Marques de Casa Concha Syrah, which goes very well with the lamb.
From the Vusio restaurant in Bol, it’s worth highlighting some of the chef’s creations, all made with local products, such as pasta with seafood, grilled Adriatic lobster and Adriatic shrimp with rocket salad. These dishes are ideal to enjoy with Trio Chardonnay or Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc, since this wine pairs very well with seafood and fish.
Another specialty of this restaurant is the dry aged sirloin steak cooked 4 minutes on each side. A good wine option pairing is Marques de Casa Concha Etiqueta Negra, a blend where the variety Cabernet Sauvignon predominates, with a soft texture and firm tannins.