Awarded one of Croatia’s most popular holiday destinations, the resort town of Bol – on the island of Brač – is a great spot to base yourself for days of relaxation and exploration.
For us, it was merely one of the stepping stones to get to Split, but spending just two nights in Bol didn’t mean we saw and did nothing.
Arriving from Jelsa at 6.30am on a Sunday morning – the only choice we had – meant the town was barely waking up when we stepped off the boat.
It was way too early to check into our pre-booked apartment, so we took advantage of the two places that were open at dawn. A bakery and a waterfront café. Why not just buy some pastries for breakfast and eat them at the café, watching the sunrise?
There’s not much to the centre of Bol – a strip of waterfront eateries, a handful of shops, small farmers’ market, wine cellars and art galleries like the Branislav Dešković; housed in a 17th century Renaissance-Baroque palace.
The bulk of the town is made up of numerous holiday rentals, all spread along the rocky mountain foothills.
The town’s most known natural landmark – and most visited – is Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape), a beach often rated as one of the most beautiful in the world. The walk to the beach is an easy exercise from Bol – along the coast past beautiful coves, small beaches and souvenir stands.
The water surrounding the beach is impossibly clear, very cool and beyond refreshing; especially after the 4km walk from Bol. Bars are dotted along the east side of the beach with many rental sun-chairs and umbrellas to settle in for the day.
Image credit – Ivo Biočina
Outdoor activities in Bol – aside from hitting up the beach – include hiking, watersports like wind and kite surfing, waterskiing, para-sailing and scuba diving. You can also rent a boat for the day and speed or chug along the coast at your leisure.
We lashed out and rented a small boat for the day (500kn), and headed east along the coast. Not only is renting a boat fun, but you can anchor at small deserted coves and beaches – inaccessible by road – and take a dip in the clear water. We even tried our (un)lucky hands at fishing.
No fish for us, but we did pack lunch and a few beers to enjoy at one of the beaches. I couldn’t help nibbling on some of the flowering rock samphire growing wild amongst the rocks.
Known as motar in the Dalmatian dialect (the island of Brač has more than 10!), this wild herb is often pickled and served as an appetiser with anchovies, capers and cheese. Eating it raw is perfectly fine, too.
I had great intentions of seeking out hrapoćuša (Brač’s ‘sweet aphrodisiac’), a local traditional cake that happens to be the oldest and dearest on the island of Brač. Sadly we didn’t cross paths with it, but had we shlepped to the village of Dol, we may well have.
Rather than deal with infrequent local buses, all our eating was within the village of Bol. Breakfast in the apartment, pizza at Konoba Navis and dinner at Skalinada.
Pizzas saturate the menu at this tavern, but there’s plenty of grilled meats and seafood, as well. The ćevapčići (90) is as standard as it comes, but those fries they came with were incredible.
The Jadrolinija ferry departs at 6am (Sunday) and takes just 20 minutes. Cost is 35kn per person. Tickets can be purchased from a tiny window opposite the tourist map by the waterfront. Check my map for location.