The third-largest of Croatia’s islands, BRAČ is the nearest of the major islands to Split, and is the easiest to get to, with regular ferries running (hourly in high season) to the port of Supetar, an attractive former fishing village with shallow pebbly beaches. On the opposite side of the island is similarly picturesque Bol, boasting the spectacular beach of Zlatni rat and a mild-breeze climate that’s perfect for windsurfing. The smaller coastal settlements of Postira, Pučišća, Povlja and Milna are less visited, more relaxed, and ideal for a spot of Mediterranean-island chilling. Away from the coast, the island’s starkly beautiful interior has undoubted allure, its scrub-covered karst uplands dotted with fertile depressions containing vines, olives and orange trees, or by the great man-made piles of limestone built up over centuries by smallholders clearing a place in which to grow crops.
Brač was, until the development of the tourist trade, dependent on the export of its stone – a milky-white mix of marble and limestone – which was used in structures such as Berlin’s Reichstag, the high altar of Liverpool’s Catholic cathedral, the White House in Washington and, of course, Diocletian’s Palace in Split.