Croatia has changed beyond recognition within the last 10 years. Its Mediterranean coast, old medieval towns made of stone, beautiful beaches and superb food attract more and more visitors to this once neglected and forgotten land. In fairness, the tourist attractions in Croatia (as well as in the whole Balkan region) are not in any way less interesting than those famous spots in Italy or France. Besides the hyper popular Dubrovnik (which was featured in great productions, such as The Game of Thrones), the northern portion of Croatian coast has also a lot to offer - the beautiful Roman city of Split (read my article about it here) and dozens of spectacular little islands. When you're in Split, one of them is particularly worth seeing - I'm talking here about Brac island which boasts reputedly the most beautiful beach in Croatia (I even spotted signs saying that in the world! For me this is the most beautiful beach in the world.) But is it really true?
How to get to Brac island and Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) Beach
After spending a few days in the beautiful city of Split, why not enjoy the beach and nature? Although you can find a few beaches right in Split, they are small, tight, super overcrowded and not much spectacular. Visit one of the nearby islands!
I chose the island of Brac - tempted by the supposedly most beautiful beach in Croatia - Zlatni Rat which means literally "Golden Horn". Reaching Brac island couldn't be easier - you can take a ferry from Split to the town of Supetar (operates frequently). The journey takes around 1 hour and costs around 30 HRK (4 EUR/4.50 USD). Timetables available here.
Supetar is nice in itself - a little fisherman village, however, the Zlatni Rat Beach is located on the very opposite side of the island of Brac. To get there, you can take a bus to the village of Bol (besides Zlatni Rat) for around 40 HRK (5.50 EUR/6.50 USD). Bus departures are not synchronized with the ferry arrivals from Split, but anyway, the bus operates quite often. The journey takes around 1 hour. You can find bus Supetar-Bol timetable here. You can also take a taxi but it will cost you around 50 EUR!
Alternatively, you can catch a ferry directly to Bol from Split. There is, however, only one daily. The journey takes around 2 hours. Timetables here.
Is the Zlatni Rat beach the most beautiful in Croatia?
You are probably already familiar with the view of the Zlatni Rat beach - it's featured in many tourist leaflets and holiday offers. And, it most often, looks like this. The view of the beach is almost always shown from above, taken by a drone or from a helicopter. And, when you see it from such perspective, of course it looks like one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! The narrow strip (which does remind of a horn) of white pebbles surrounded by turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea and greenery of pines - it is marvelous!
But don't lie to yourself - you will not be able to see it like this unless you fly over the island. The nearby area is flat and there are no any hills that would provide the exact view from the magazines. Moreover, the beach is not sandy and in the summer could get horribly crowded.
Now, leaving all the (little) disappointment behind, I must admit, that for us, the beach was actually one of the most beautiful in Croatia. But it's not only the beach that made this place very nice and unique - also, the little towns which are beautiful and pine woods that offer shade and release incredibly pleasant scent.
The views are also beautiful, nevertheless. And, when we visited the Zlatni Rat beach, it was May, meaning it was completely empty! A bit too early to swim though, but perfect to relax. If you wish to avoid crowds, come here in June or September/October. I wouldn't advise to visit Brac in the summer. Well, I wouldn't advise to visit the whole Croatia in the summer, but to each his own.
What to see around
As I've already mentioned, the city of Split is spectacular, the entire historical center is made by stone, it reminds Dubrovnik a bit but it's not so well known.
Many come to Croatia just for the beach and it has so much to offer! Plitvice Lakes are an exceptional natural phenomenon - a must-see! Although, not that close to Split, you just can't leave Croatia without visiting the crystal clear lakes, waterfalls and cascades!
Alternatively, you can visit Krka - which is a mini version of Plitvice and is much closer. Have a look at the Related Posts below to find more info and articles about Croatia and the Balkans.
If you are to travel in the summer and want to skip the crowds and at the same time relax on paradise beaches and feel that it's your own, go down to southern Albania (Vlora - Sarande). It's probably the last region in Europe with so many long and short beaches, coves and a miles of spectacular coast without resorts, hotels and any other man made buildings. Natural paradise! Take a look at my articles about Albanian Riviera. I'll keep posting more.
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