Supetar and Bol are the locations most frequented by visitors to Brač. Supetar is by far the closer landing point from Split, but once you’ve walked around the pretty horseshoe-shaped harbor, the pebble beach and concrete bathing areas are a little disappointing. In contrast, the former fishing village of Bol is a gem, backed by the rugged heights of Vidova Gora, the highest point on all the Croatian islands, with the stunning Zlati Rat (Golden Cape) beach just a 20-minute walk west of the village. Bol is also Croatia’s top windsurfing destination thanks to the very specific winds that blow down the narrow sea channel separating Brač from the island of Hvar.
With 3,500 inhabitants, Supetar is the largest town on Brač, and many families from Split have weekend houses here. The ferries landing at Supetar deposit passengers on a dock that sits directly next to the picturesque fishing harbor, around which the old town was built. West from here, the coast curves away from the town, with a succession of concrete bathing areas and pebble beaches running toward an area of modern hotel complexes aimed at the package tourism market.
Bol is home to Croatia’s most publicized beach. Almost every promotion of the country’s unspoiled landscapes uses an aerial shot of Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape). From the air, Zlatni Rat does look like a long, inviting tendril of white sand, lazily stretching into the sparkling azure sea. Add a gorgeous sunbather lounging here and there and the shape-shifting strip of land appears to be the perfect place for an idyllic sojourn. The beach is a mini-peninsula made up of fine pebbles, jutting into the sea. It sits a 20-minute walk west of Bol, along a lovely tree-lined promenade, which is laced by several smaller beaches along the way. Three big, modern hotels, set amid pine trees, overlook the promenade. Through July and August, Zlatni Rat is lined with sunbeds and umbrellas for hire, and packed with people from every walk of life, which rather detracts from its romantic image.
To be sure, Zlatni Rat is more upscale and tourist-savvy than the beach at Supetar, its sister to the north, and there is a certain satisfaction in setting foot on this super-hyped playground. But to see it at its best, you should try to visit in either June or September, when the sea is warm enough to swim but the crowds are not too dense.
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