Most sailors are not familiar with the northern shores of Brač, but they include several island gems that could make you come back year after year. Small island villages located in the best ports give the 20-mile boat trip a special charm
We were thrilled by the news that works on a breakwater in Sutivan, the Island of Brač, are underway because this will give the nearby ports, primarily Stomorska and Milna, some much-needed healthy competition in the selection of the first or last overnight stay for your yacht charter when your base is Split. This was also a sign for us to finally turn into reality our feature story, long in the works, on sailing Brač’s north-eastern coast, from the town of Povlja in the east to Sutivan in the west.
Island of Brač offers everything a modern yachtsman could ask for
This coast, located in immediate proximity of Split, offers everything a modern yachtsman could ask for. At the same time, it is one of the least explored parts of Dalmatia in terms of sailing, and we feel that it is just waiting to be discovered. The small island town built in stone evokes the magical past of the island ‘as it once was’, uninhabited coves provide ample opportunity to indulge in the joys of the seaside, while the interior part of the island has plenty to offer to those who want something extra during their sailing trip.
The bay of Luke on the west side of Povlja is the most sheltered harbor of the north shores or Brač, with mooring buoys and two excellent restaurants
However, the north-eastern coast of Brač has a formidable enemy called the bora, a wind that will unleash its ferocious gusts from the well-known Vruja and hit the island will all its might, so we advise you to only visit the destinations we are about to describe when the weather is stable.
Our Brač crusing route starts in Povlja
As the cradle of stonemasonry in the area, instead of the phrase ‘cherry on top’, the one applicable to Brač would be ‘stone as the Alpha and Omega’, as evidenced by the various quarries scattered throughout the island. The best place to experience this is in Pučišća, as the world-renowned stonemason school is located here.
We will start our tour in the neighbouring Povlja, where you can find merely a dozen berths for boats. The place is famous for the Charter of Povlja, the oldest document written in Croatian/Bosnian Cyrillic and its replica can be seen in the parish church.
Discover Pučišća and world-renowned stonemason school
The western part of this branched out lagoon is called Luka and it is a favourite destination of yachtsmen. Its northern branches offer protection even from the strongest gusts of the bora wind and it is also home to two culinary Meccas that also have berths, as well as buoys in the lagoon.
East from Povlja is Pučišća, the crown jewel of this part of the island. Nested deep into the deeply indented lagoon, it has its beauty to thank primarily to the stone and people who ‘gave soul’ to it. The place looks like an outdoor museum consisting of towers and mansions in a harmonious sequence, hypnotising you with their whiteness. The eastern branch, Stipanska, is suitable for anchorage lovers, while the western, Pučiški Dolac, is the heart of the place, where the majority of berths are located.
Symbols of Pučišća not to be missed are definitely the stonemason school, the lavish Puteus Palace (formerly Dešković Palace) that is one of Protected Goods of Croatia, six preserved forts, the most beautiful of which is the Cicarelli fort, and the quarry aptly named ‘Veselje’ (Croatian for ‘joy’), located at the entrance of the port.
Island of Brač is a foodie heaven
Gourmands cannot miss the Brač ‘peasant foods’, including premium lamb and goat meat or the famous vitalac (offal skewers) and the best place to try it is in the interior of the island, visiting the taverns of the Gornji Humac shepherds’ village. Once you head to the next place on the island – Postira, you will find beautiful bays where you can anchor, such as the deeply indented Konopjikova Bay, lined with pines, white sand and picturesque vineyards. If you seek refuge, you can find it at the Težišće Bay or Česminova, where quarry remains can still be seen.
Lovrečina Bay is the only sandy beach on the island of Brač
The most famous is the Lovrečina Bay, known for one of the most important archaeological sites on the island, but also as the only sandy beach on Brač, which is why yachtsmen and excursion boats often visits. If you’re familiar with the game, this is the perfect place to hone your picigin skills.
Postira is the most traditional fishing village, known for its fish cannery, but the most memorable symbol of the town is the ‘Little Night Regatta’. This one-of-a-kind regatta that takes place in mid-August is ‘powered’ by gažul, a light wind that blows at night, while the experience is made complete by Mozart’s Little Night Music playing in the background.
Don’t miss Dol and Splitska
Twenty new berths were made available to yachtsmen in Postira and additional ones are also planned to be added. Postira was formed as the port of nearby Dol, place that will win you over with its authentic look and its culinary and wine offer. We recommend visiting Dol as one of the most beautiful villages on the island that still has a spirit of days gone by.
The next pearl on this harmonious Brač string is the Splitska that is another port not to be missed if you’re a yachtsman. You can find a secure berth in the port of this scenic village adorned by stone houses and lush pine forests and when northern winds blow, the neighbouring lagoon of Zastup will provide an excellent alternative.
Discover fairytale-like Škrip
This is also a location of a citadel that is credited for Splitska fending off pirate attacks from the sea. Splitska is merely 2 kilometres away from the fairy-tale Škrip, tucked away in the interior of the island. This is the oldest and most authentic place on the island of Brač, home to a wonderful museum – the Island of Brač Museum.
Another unmissable location is the Rasohe Quarry from the Roman Period, stone from which was used for the construction of the famous UNESCO site in Split – the Emperor Diocletian’s Palace.
The biggest town on the island of Brač is Supetar
The biggest town on the island is Supetar. Being the island’s main port, it is marked by hustle and bustle of the city. It wasn’t until recently that it was recognised as a destination, mainly because new commercial berths were added, making the grand total of 30. You can enjoy the peace and quiet of the neighbouring Mirci, and even though a tiny port is also located in the nearby Podmirci, getting there on foot will be a hassle-free option.
The route taking you west along the coast ends in Sutivan, a quaint little place that looks as if it is pouring down from the tiny port that is mostly occupied by local boats and you currently have more chances at winning the lottery than finding a berth at the renovated breakwater. Once it gets the protection from western winds it needs, and new berths are added, this place is sure to be a hit.
Out of the Ordinary Sutivan
Sutivan is a place filled with tower-shaped houses and distinct little mansions, there’s the Palm Avenue, the hundred-year-old town park, the catacombs and a plethora of curiosities.
Today, one of the landmarks is the wonderful Lemongarden Luxury Hotel. The spirit of Stivan, as it’s called by the locals, is even more striking than the gorgeous sites and it is best described by the name, creativity and energy of the ‘Vanka regule’ Festival (Brač dialect for ‘Out of the Ordinary’).
It seems to us that as the years go by, island of Brač, which was mostly considered by yachtsmen to be a land destination, will soon become a part of travel route of visitors seeking genuine ambiance and serenity.
Text Josipa Vlahović Cikatić & Darko Šupuk
Photos Mario Jelavić & Boris Kačan