Visiting Supetar, Mirca and Sutivan on the Island of Brac
Posted on May 31, 2009 at 1:51pm Madrid / 7:51am Cincinnati by Jay Larbes
A couple of weeks ago, Kelly and I made our first excursion outside of Split – we took a weekend vacation (two days, one night) to the Croatian island of Brac. Croatia has hundreds of islands along its western coastline. Many of these islands are very small and uninhabited, but there are also some large islands with multiple towns on each. Several of these islands are a ferryboat-ride away from Split, including Hvar, Brac, Vis and Solte. We decided to visit Brac, mainly because it is the closest.
To get to the island, we took a Jadrolinija ferryboat to the town of Supetar. The ferry only takes 50 minutes to travel from Split to Supetar, and costs only 27 kune each way (around $5) for foot passengers – which of course we are, since we are still automobile-, bike- and scooter-less. The ride was fun – we sat on the top outside deck so that we could watch the ferry depart from Split and arrive in Supetar.
Supetar is one of the two port towns where ferries arrive on Brac. The other is Bol, which lays claim to the most famous beach in Croatia – Zlatni Rat – but more about Bol later*. Supetar has many hotels, resorts and private accommodations for tourists, and Kelly had arranged for us to stay at a very nice hotel called Midea. It was no more than a ten minute walk from the port and only a three-minute walk to the sea.
*Kelly’s parents came to visit us last week, and we returned to Brac to see more of the island. During that trip, we rented a car and drove to Bol and went to the Zlatni Rat beach. Will tell all about this in a separate post.
When we arrived at Midea, we were met by the manager Milan, who provided us with complimentary glasses of wine and a wealth of information about the sights to see on Brac. The wine was homegrown on the island – Kelly had a nice slightly sweet glass, mine was a bit too strong. I commented that it tasted like Jack Daniels to me – that probably shows my lack of expertise with alcohol. There was an even stronger wine, but we didn’t try it – Milan told us that it is really too strong to drink, saying, “it is best for cleaning windows.” That statement actually enticed me, just to see for myself how bad it was, but I didn’t. Maybe next time!
Anyway, Milan was a great help to us providing us with routes, maps, names of good restaurants and other local information. We stopped in our hotel room just long enough to drop off our bags (just a bookbag each) and then headed off, using his recommendation to walk along the beach!
For our hike, we walked down to the beach in Supetar and headed away from town. Nearly all of the beaches in Croatia are rocky, not sandy, and these were no exceptions, so our hike was slow going. It was interesting, because the terrain kept changing – sometimes we’d be walking on a beach of smaller pebbles, but many times we were choosing our steps along bigger slabs of rock that composed the edge of the island. It was very interesting that as we followed the path of the beach, which jutted in and out into the sea, how much the temperature and wind would change as the land curved from one direction to another. We had a constant breeze, but sometimes the beach would be completely protected from the wind. We found one of these spots to each our packed lunch of sandwiches and a clementine!
We hiked away from town for about two hours or so, and then headed back. Probably our favorite part of the walk was that we probably walked for two hours without seeing anyone. It was very relaxing and peaceful!
On our way back, we stopped at a cemetery, which had a beautiful mausoleum and intriguing tombstones throughout. It was interesting that the cemetery had a prime location right on the sea and that many of the tombstones were covered with vases of fresh flowers.
Once we got back, we rested for a bit back in our hotel room, and then walked back near the port to find a restaurant to eat. The winds had really picked up by then, and we were treated to a fun show of watching the waves crash into the port, causing big splashes in the air. We ate dinner, sharing an omelet and a pizza – and then headed back home to crash for the night, because we were exhausted.
On Sunday, we headed back out for another hike. We headed off in the same direction as Saturday, but followed a walking path that was a little bit inland. We could still see the sea most of the time, but our route took us alongside main roads, in the woods and on a dirt road. This hike took us to two tiny towns – Mirca and Sutevan, which are five and seven kilometers (about three and five miles) from Supetar.
While walking along the trail – and Saturday along the beach, we saw piles of rocks everywhere. There were four-to-five foot rock walls along a good part of the beach on Saturday, and on Sunday, we saw rock walls used to create fences to separate property lines. And off the roads, in the wilderness, everywhere were giant piles of rocks. We were so confused. After getting back home, we did some research – the rockpiles have grown throughout the centuries as farmers cultivate the land. The land itself is very rocky, so they are always digging up rocks. Remind you of Cincinnati?
I was amused that our walking path took us by a few farms. At one point, we had a mule blocking our way. He was tied up, and looked friendly enough, so we slowly walked by him without event. We did get a few good photos of him, though! We also saw some sheep, as well as a bunch of chickens and goats!
Both Mirca and Sutevan were quintessential Dalmatian towns, with small quaint buildings and endless red roofs. We just walked through the main street of each town and enjoyed their views of the sea. We did eat dinner at a great restaurant in Mirca named Gumonca. It was situated right on the beach, and had outdoor seating on a vine-covered terrace. We ordered a spaghetti bolognese and “chicken”. One of the fun things about living here is ordering food at restaurants. Almost every restaurant we have been to has had a menu in multiple languages, including English, but it isn’t always the most descriptive. So, when I ordered chicken, I anticipated a breaded chicken breast, as we had eaten at a few other restaurants. But much to my delight, when our meals were served, I received a full rotisserie-style cooked chicken! It was excellent! And, after trying some of the spaghetti Bolognese, Kelly and I decided it tasted very similar to something from home — Skyline Chili (of course minus the cheddar cheese, which appears to be non-existent here in Croatia)!! So, our Sunday dinner was a great surprise.
As we were eating dinner, we realized that we were getting close to being late for our ferry back to Split. So, once we finished eating, and I walked up to the waiter to pay our check, we jogged most of the three kilometers back to Supetar. We didn’t think we were going to make it, but we did, with ten minutes to spare. (If we missed it, we would have just had to wait until 90 minutes for the next ferry). The ferry ride took us back to Split, and we walked home – another two kilometers!
By the time we made it back to our apartment, we were quite drained. But, we really enjoyed our time in Brac, and were looking forward to returning to explore more of the island.