It is 39 Kilometres from the north coast town of Supetar to the south coast town of Bol, a very scenic trip through some small villages, with occasional orchards and vineyards scattered among the rocky, but surprisingly green, countryside. Don't expect to see much in the way of farm animals, you will be disappointed, there weren't many. Before meandering its way down to the village the road comes out high above Bol with spectacular views out over the ocean and down to the coast.
Dating back to Roman times Bol is the oldest coastal village on Brac. It is charming with narrow stone streets and wide, shady piazzas. A wander through the town takes you to the 11th century church of Saints Ivan and Tudor and to the 12th century Bishops Residence. You can also see the remains of Roman Baths and Graves, the 15th century Summer palace and the 15th century chapel of Our Lady of Grace where you can view Tintoretto's Madonna and Child with Saints, behind the altar. It is a busy town, crammed with tourists in summer, the shore humming with cafes, bars and numerous small cruise boats coming and going.
We sat on the waters edge, soaking up the atmosphere, before moving to a cafe for cool drinks and then taking a leisurely wander through town.
|Above and below: Bol|
Zlatni Rat is located 2 kilometres from the village along a promenade lined with pine trees, sculptures and gardens. With two children in tow, and because it was a very hot day, we chose to get there aboard one of the the small boats, enjoying an attractive and relaxing trip along the coast.
Zlatni Rat is an unusual beach. Shaped like an arrow head it changes shape from time to time depending on the winds and the currents. It is pebbly, as are all the beaches on Brac. Popular with yachties and wind and kite surfers the water is crystal clear and although cooler than the beaches on the north coast still very pleasant for swimming. Mountains sweep down to the coast here and the beach is backed by groves of pines fragranced with the scent of rosemary and thyme and, ahem, hot chips. Unfortunately there are a number of fast food outlets scattered among the pines rather spoiling the ambiance but, I guess, a necessary evil when you have large crowds spending a day at the beach. I paddled in the sea and went for a wander through the pines while my family enjoyed a swim and a snack before we took the return boat to Bol.
|Above and below: Zlatni Rat|
So, what did I think of Zlatni Rat? Well I did not particularly enjoy sitting cheek by jowl with hundreds of other people and to be honest I was a bit underwhelmed, but, hey, I come from New Zealand where we have hundreds of kilometres of golden sand beaches, often almost deserted, so I am pretty hard to impress when it comes to beaches. Maybe I'm not the best person to ask. And who am I to knock the many thousands of people who flock to Zlatni Rat? I'm glad I went there but had enjoyed the small beach we swam at in Supetar more.
Right: Stina wine cellar, Bol
Back at Bol we visited the wine cellar of Stina Wines and enjoyed a glass of Croatian wine beside the harbour's edge. Very pleasant, as was the bus trip home taking a different route and passing through some lovely villages along the way. To sum up, Bol is well worth a visit. It is a lovely, historic village and while you are there you should also visit Zlatni Rat, because, why not? and you may just love it.