The beauties and legends of island Brac
Updated: Apr 14
Brac is the highest Croatian island, you know, the one with the peak Vidova Gora raising high above the Golden Horn beach. Should the road or the sea every carry you that way, make sure you explore all of it - it is very much worth your time!
One of the world's most famous and most stunning beaches is the Golden Horn (or Zlatni rât in Croatian) beach. Unlike any other in the entire Mediterranean, this beach doesn't follow the coastline, but it stretches out, deep into the Adriatic sea. It is a fine pebble beach, made from the millions of years worth of limestone rocks crumbling down from Vidova Gora peak above it. The sea currents then carry the pebbles out into the sea, creating this one-of-a-kind natural phenomena. In fact, the currents play such a big role in the shape of this beach that, depending on which current is stronger, the beach moves from left to right. So it never looks exactly the same.
We've already written about the dragons living in Makarska Riviera, but have you heard about the Dragon's cave Near Murvica on Brac? Combining Christianity with ancient Slavic legends, the monks who used the cave have engraved depictions of dragons into the rock of the cave. The monks lived there in 15th century, but since this is a unique combination of (at the time modern) Christianity and paganism, there's a good chance that the cave was inhabited long before that time. The town of Murvica, for example, existed even in the Roman Era. The town is around 4 kilometers from the Golden Horn beach, and it would be a shame for you to miss it!
Maybe you also didn't know this, but there are many jokes that are said about the people of Brac. You know, they are the ones who dug a whole channel between the island and the coast because one of them once dropped a penny on the ground. The ones who can't figure out if the light bulb in the fridge is using any power when the fridge doors are shut. The ones who would rather swim after a speedboat than after a ferry because that would save them 40 kuna instead of only 16.
All of these are jokes are based most likely in the fact that life on the island was and still is a lot harder than on land. In fact, if you go, you'll find that people of Brac are some of the most hospitable and generous hosts you'll ever meet. And they take no offence to the jokes - they are no snowflakes. And, as the rest of us Dalmatians, they also proudly say the words of St Jerome:"Parce mihi, Domine, quia Dalmata sum", or "Forgive me, Lord, for I am Dalmatian."
However, one of the best stories that clearly depicts typical Dalmatian spite and stubbornness is the story about a house within a house.
The story is a true one, and all of it happened on the island of Brac.
In the town of Bol, near the Golden Horn beach, lived a farmer Marko. Marko was an honest working man, who built himself a humble stone house to live in, on an empty plot of land in the town.
The land on which Marko built his house had belonged to six brothers from Vukovic family, three of which were priests, and other three sea merchants. The brothers sailed across the Mediterranean, married three beautiful Spanish women, and decided to build a house on their family’s plot in Bol. When they got there, they realized that Marko already build his house there. So they tried to buy it off from him, offering him a great sum of money, but Marko wouldn’t sell. Then the brothers tried to influence Marko’s decision through the local chief, but Marko still wouldn’t budge. He even got in an argument with the chief, and threatened his life, so in the end, Marko had to run from Brac and find an asylum in Dubrovnik.
The brothers had enough of it and decided to demolish Marko’s house. And for some reason, they decided to build walls of their new mansion around Marko’s place. When it was time to build the roof and the floors on the three stories high mansion, they decided to go to Venice to get the materials. They filled up the sailboat and started making their way home. But they were caught in a storm, the sailboat sunk, and not one survived.
Marko heard of this, went back home from Dubrovnik, and lived in his house happily ever after.
We're sure you'll want to visit this monument to Dalmatian character, so here's how!
Getting to Brac is fairly easy from Makarska Riviera, as the island lays directly across the sea from Makarska. The ferry to Sumartin is your easiest bet. Whether you're on foot, or by car, you can easily just jump on the ferry from Makarska and within an hour, you're on Brac. The timetable can change often, due to crowds or weather, especially in the summer months. For daily updates of the timetable, check out the Jadrolinija website. From Sumartin, you can either rent a car, bike, scooter or even a boat, and within half an hour, you'll be in the town of Bol, where the Golden Horn beach and House Within a House are located.
Another way of transport is the Krilo High speed ship service. The ship comes into Makarska from the direction of Dubrovnik every day around 19:00 hours, and from there continues towards Bol. The speedboat covers the harbours of Split, Bol, Makarska, Korcula, Sobra on island Mljet, and Dubrovnik, and it goes around in circles daily. That means that if you want to explore the islands as well as Makarska Riviera, you could spend a few days in Makarska, then pick up your bags and go island hopping. A few days here, and a few days there will make your stay in Croatia unforgettable!