On 1st May we hit the road with our Bulli for a four week exploration trip down to Croatia. Our first stop that day is Zagreb. Michael's boss Ivo lives here and together with his wife they give us a great tour through Zagreb and even take us out for dinner. We really enjoy their company. Unfortunately it is raining the whole day with no change expected the next couple of days. That's why we have no pictures and decide to leave the next morning. Brac is our next stop as the weather forecast says this is the best place to be. The weather is not what we expected and hoped for in May but as long as it is dry and the sun comes our from time to time all is good. We take the ferry from Split to Supetar. On the island we find a camp site in Bol which is on the southern side of the island. A beautiful little town with hardly any tourists at this time of the year.
The camp site for the week in Bol we have for our own most of the time.
Bol is a beautiful little city with nice houses and lot's of flowers.
The entry to Bol's harbor.
The beautiful little harbor in the late afternoon sun.
The small church of St. Anthony.
A few nice houses in Bol.
The main church in Bol closely located to the harbor.
The oldest church in Bol dates back to 9 - 10th century.
There are a few beautiful beaches around Bol.
Beginning of May the water is still cold but ok for a short swim.
Michael enjoying the warm sun after the cold water.
11 - 11
Our main activities on Brac are eating, cycling, hiking and swimming besides just sitting in the sun and relaxing a little bit. Right on the first evening we find a fantastic place to eat, Taverna Riva, probably amongst the most expensive place but serving fantastic food. That's a good start.
At the local tourist information located next to the harbor we get pretty good maps for both hiking and cycling. The cycling map shows a number of different tours across the island. The weather is still changing a lot but overall we have enough sunny spots to do something. Equipped with the map, our camera and a snack we decide to go hiking the next morning. Our target is Vidova Gora. With 780 m it is the highest mountain on the Adriatic islands. It takes us 2 hours to walk up the mountain and we can start directly from our camp site. The weather holds and we have a fantastic view across Bol and the whole island. From up here we can also see Zlatni Rat, also known as the Golden Cape. While being on it or close by is not so spectacular from up here it really looks nice. The way down is a bit faster and after 1.5 hours of walking we are back. A cold beer is awaiting us.
In the morning we start our hiking trip up the Vidova Gora.
The vegetation is green and the weather at least dry.
The sun comes our from time to time and it gets hot immediately.
The Vidova Gora is the highest mountain of the Adriatic islands.
From up here we have a fantastic view even to Hvar, the island next to Brac.
Down at the bottom of the mountain is Bol.
Two kilometers outside Bol is the Golden Cape.
We have reached the summit.
Michael has already prepared a snack for us.
Zlatni Rat, also known as the Golden Cape.
Karin enjoying the view from up here.
The view is really fantastic, especially as the sun comes out again.
On our way down we pass by church of St. Joseph.
In the stone walls lot's of flowers are growing.
They look really beautiful.
1 - 15
The next day we decide to combine hiking with a bit of cycling. We get our mountain bikes ready, pack our rucksack and cycle for about 12 km along the coast via Murvica to Farka. The first few kilometer are tar road but shortly afterwards it turns into gravel road. In Farka the road ends and we change our cycling into hiking shoes. From here we hike along beautiful bays with crystal clear water. We are very much tempted to just stop and jump into the water. However, our goal today is to reach the hermitage of Blaca. An old monastery of Franciscan founded in 16th century. The hike is much longer than what was stated in our guide book. Usually the museum is open until 5 pm but outside the main season they close at 3 pm. We arrive at 2:30 pm and get a "private" tour through the museum and the buildings as we are the last visitors for today. The last monk lived here until the early 1960s. After he died it was turned into a museum. What amazes us is that many of the equipment and furnitures actually came from Vienna. Delivered to the little bay at the bottom of the hill by boat the workers had to carry them up the steep track to the monastery. This was pretty hard work and the only times when they got wine instead of water to keep up the spirit. As the it takes much more time than estimated originally we go straight to one of the restaurants along the harbor to get something to eat before we go back to our camp site and take a well deserved shower.
Today we cycle along the coast to Farka.
This is the last little village on this side of the coast.
Located along a beautiful little bay.
Here we leave our mountain bikes and start hiking.
Karin is fascinated by the old houses.
This is the last house and where the trail starts. It's an apartment for rent.
We hike along beautiful bays with crystal clear water.
From this bay a steep we follow the steep path up to the monastery.
After a 45 minute hike the monastery comes into sight.
We have to wait for almost 30 minutes until somebody comes to pick us up.
As we are the last visitors for the day we get a "private" tour.
The monastery was founded in the 16th century.
This is the entry to a little chapel which is still in use today sometimes.
This is the hermitage of Blaca.
We are down again at the bay. From here we walk back to Farka.
15 - 15
After a day where we spend most of the time relaxing at one of the beautiful bays, doing a bit of swimming and sightseeing in Bol it's time again to be a bit more active. It's again a beautiful day and so we go cycling across the island. The 51 km long tour, covering 1000 m difference in altitude, brings us from Bol via Gomji Humac, Praznika across to the west, passing by Obrsje down again to the coast and via Murnica back to Bol. Two thirds we drive on tar roads and one third is gravel. It's great tour on our wedding anniversary. Given this special day we go back one more time to the Taverna Riva for a nice dinner before we move on to the other side of the island the next morning.
While Bol is really beautiful and we enjoyed our time here we also want to see a bit more from Brac. First we make side trip to Sumartin, another little harbor town. From here it is possible to take a ferry back to the main land. We make a short stop to have a few bites to eat.
According to our guide book one place not to miss is Skrip. It is supposed to the the oldest village on the Brac island and a living museum. A lot of houses are crumble away but there is still an old castle from the 16th century. Next to it is a well cared cemetery with many (plastic) flowers. What is curious for us is the fact that there are many graves that have names on them already but the people are still alive and they all seem to have the same surname. Never seen that before. On the little village square where we parked a couple of elderly ladies approach us. One of them wants to sell us home made wine, snaps and olive oil. We buy a couple of bottles of wine and a bottle of Prosek and continue our way across the island.
As we cycle up the hill we get a nice view again across Bol.
We pass by a few little churches.
Time for a break.
The landscape is very beautiful with many colorful flowers.
Nice view across the island before we drive down again to the coast.
A view across the Golden Cape Horn as we are almost back in Bol.
Skol is a living museum with many old houses.
An old castle from the 16th century is still here as well.
Not to miss of course is a church.
One of the towers of the old castle.
The cemetery with a little chapel.
The cemetery is well tended with large rosemary plants all over the place.
An elderly lady selling us homemade wine and Prosek.
The others are having a break in the shadow and watching what is going on.
14 - 14
According to what we found on the Internet there is supposed to be another little camp site in Sutivan, a few kilometers west of Supetar. After searching for quite some time we finally find it. As we arrive a big party is going on in the restaurant. Seems that they celebrate the communion of a little girl . The location itself is quite ok but the bathrooms are completely dirty and most likely have not been cleaned since last year. Seems we are the first campers this year. Although we don't really like it here we don't have much choice and decide to stay. We even get a plate full of different cakes from the little girl. A really nice gesture.
The harbor of Sutivan is also quite beautiful.
A few locals in the morning.
We cycle again along the coast.
Quite a few flowers.
The path is not always easy to find. Good that we have a map.
A stop at a beautiful restaurant in Milna.
Time for a beer.
A village built into the hillside.
Fresh fish Karin bought in the morning from a local fisherman.
Best dinner location, directly at the beach.
The sun starts to set.
A beautiful week on Brac comes to an end.
This was our first time but we will be back for sure.
4 - 13
The next day turns out to be much better. Karin cycles into town before breakfast to get some fresh bread. At the harbor some local fisher man sell their fresh caught fish and she can't resist. So plans for dinner are fixed. To earn it we decide to do another cycle trip across this part of Brac. We get an even better cycling map but turns out the signs are not always present. Still, after some parts where we have to push the bikes because it is impossible to drive we seem to get in the end where we want to get to. It's a great tour and we discover a few very beautiful spots. In the evening we prepare the fish and have dinner directly at the beach. A beautiful sunset, good fish and a nice bottle of wine. What else do you need. A week full of different activities and impression comes to an end. The weather forecast predicts rain and so we decide that we will leave Brac the next morning. Although this was our first time on Brac it was for sure not the last time. We will be back!