The stone kingdom of the island of Brač

The stone kingdom of the island of Brač

The northeast shores of the island of Brač look as though they were made out of slices of heavenly corners that harmoniously complement each other and yet they are currently one of the least visited areas of Dalmatia. It is a paradise for those who prefer uninhabited coves and a few secluded lagoons, as well as secure mooring spots amid compact urban centres.

 

Although the bora manifests itself here in all its glory, these island shores provide shelter in all weather conditions – as long as you find yourself on the leeside. Also, with Brač as the cradle of stone carving in the region, it is less a case of “saving the best for last” and more of “everything beginning and ending with stones“, as evidenced by an array of quarries scattered along this part of the coast.

 

As you approach Pučišća from the west, you will come across a dozen of mostly uninhabited coves varying in size. The first one is Lovrečina, which is also one of the most important archaeological sites on the island, as well as the only sandy beach on Brač, and as such is frequently visited by boaters and passengers on excursion boats. Also boasting its beauty is the deeply indented Konopjikova Cove adorned with pine trees, white pebbles and picturesque vineyards. You can seek shelter in the coves of Težišće and Česminova as well, where you can still see remnants of a quarry.

Pučišća is the crown jewel of this part of Brač. Winding around the end of a deeply indented cove, this village owes its beauty to the stones and the people that “gave them soul”.

Game of stones

The entire settlement resembles an open-air museum comprising a neat string of “mesmerising” lily-white towers and palaces. The eastern branch, Stipanska, is well-suited for anchoring, while the very heart of the village is situated in Pučiški Dolac, the western branch of the cove where most of the boating berths are located. Excursion boats are usually moored below the world-renowned School of Stone carving, with moorings on the other side of this westernmost branch.

 

Must-visit symbols of Pučišća include the School of Stone carving, the luxury Puteus Palace (ex-Dešković Palace) hotel and a protected cultural monument, six preserved castles, with Ciccarelli as the standout, and the aptly named “Veselje” (“Joy”) quarry at the entrance to the harbour.

TZ Postira

Gourmands must try the “farmers’ specialities” from Brač, especially the exquisite lamb and capretto, which are prepared as a renowned dish called “vitalac”. This requires venturing into the hinterland and visiting the taverns in the sheepherding village of Gornji Humac.

Adjacent to Pučišća is Povlja, the island’s largest and most indented bay. Nestled on the east side of the bay is the tiny village of Povlja, which offers only a dozen or so berths for boaters.

This settlement is famous for the Charter of Povlja, the oldest document written in the Croatian Cyrillic script, whose replica is displayed at the parish church. The western part of this wide-branching bay is named Luka and is very popular among boaters. In addition to providing shelter from the harshest gusts of the bora, the north part of the bay is the home to two gastro meccas that also provide berths.

 

Winding along the eastern cape and incising the island is the practically uninhabited Rasotica Cove. It boasts the beautifully-coloured sea and an eye-catching terrain relief, but it is the miniature lagoon at the far end of the cove, which only provides mooring for a few boats, that stands out as its most stunning feature. Besides Rasotica, other smaller notable mooring spots include the previously “sailed” Konopjikova Cove and Vošćica.

Sumartin is a colourful village and the only settlement on the island where the Shtokavian dialect is still spoken because it was founded by the inhabitants of the mainland after fleeing from Ottoman onslaughts.

This connection is still present today in the form of a ferry connection to nearby Makarska, among other examples. In addition to ferries, fishing boats are also a familiar sight in Sumartin, with approximately 30 berths and a boat-refuelling station provided for boaters. You should take a stroll to the well-tended cemetery and St. Rocco’s Cape or “tread” 2.5 km towards the interior of the island to the village Selci.