Pond Jumpers: Spain

header image for Visiting Supetar, Mirca and Sutivan on the Island of Brac

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

head shot of jay

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.

Jadrolinija Ticket Booth in the Split RivaJadrolinija Ferry Leaving Split Port

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.

Jay on the Jadrolinija Ferry from Split to Supetar on the island of BracKelly on the Jadrolinija Ferry from Split to Supetar on the island of Brac

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!

Saturday Hike

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.

Jay walking on the rocky beach near Supetar on BracWall built of rocks along a Supetar beach in BracMausoleum in a Supetar cemetary on Brac

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.

Sunday Hike

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?

Rocky beach near Supetar on BracTown of Sutivan on Brac

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!

A Mule blocking our path near Mirca on BracGoats on a farm near Mirca on Brac

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.

6 Reader Comments to “Visiting Supetar, Mirca and Sutivan on the Island of Brac”

  1. Betty Bone on June 1, 2009 at 7:18pm Split / 1:18pm Cincinnati

    Jay, glad to see you on here! Sounds like you had a blast. I love the mule blocking! I thought that only happened in the movies.

  2. Jay Larbes on June 1, 2009 at 10:56pm Split / 4:56pm Cincinnati

    Hi Betty – thanks for leaving a comment. We love to hear from everyone! It was a fun mini weekend getaway. And the mule was funny. We cautiously passed him, but since he seemed harmless, we creeped forward for some photos. It was funny, as we walked away he tried to ‘neigh’ (but it just sounded odd), almost as if he was saying bye. Was funny.

  3. Aunt Fran on June 4, 2009 at 5:02pm Split / 11:02am Cincinnati

    Hi Kids,

    I’m enjoying your blogs and reading about your adventures in Croatia. But, you need to tell me how much a kilometer is in miles. You know I’m from the old school. I hope you’re having a wonderful time with your “adventure”. I talked with Don last week and he told your Uncle Bob and me about the immigration situation. I hope everything goes well for you.

    Love Aunt Fran

  4. Jane Cody on June 15, 2009 at 12:35pm Split / 6:35am Cincinnati

    Hi Kelly and Jay

    Thanks a lot for sending me the link. Great to see you enjoying Croatia and getting so much out of it. Reading it makes me feel “back home” whilst I sort a few things out in England. Really sorry to be missing May and June in Croatia which, along with September, are the best months. Have you tried Bistro Black Cat yet? Sure Chris and Marina will be pleased to see you. Looking forward to reading more!

  5. Josip on June 16, 2009 at 3:37am Split / 9:37pm Cincinnati

    Cheers Jay. First of all, very nice blog you 2 have here. I’ve found out about it via tweeter and I must say I’m really pleasantly surprised. I’m just some random guy from Zagreb, but I’ll be following your “adventures”, that’s for sure. here’s that famous beach you heard about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMU66apD8Bo&feature=related

    Enjoy!

  6. Marion on August 25, 2009 at 2:25pm Split / 8:25am Cincinnati

    Hey, we were in Croatia for 1 week sialing charter in June this year. We had the same experience on Brac, so many piles of rocks everywhere. We had all these theories between us , burial mouns, garbage tips, saving up for wall building, prisoner of war labour . That they result from land clearing for farming , can you believe that? The piles were so huge and so close together. Must have been hard work for any farmer living there. Anyway nice to hear that someone else was as confused as we were.