With its picturesque old town, some of the best beaches in Croatia, and so many great cultural spots, Bol on Brač is a place you should visit in Croatia. Located on one of the most beautiful Croatian islands, Brač, it’s easily reachable from Zagreb or Split. Here is a short Culture Tourist guide to Bol with some of the best things to do in Bol.
10 Things to do in Bol
Although I always loved spending my summers in Istria, this year, I explored more of Dalmatia, and a place I liked the most was Bol on Brač Island. I actually liked it so much that I visited it twice this summer. It’s a beautiful small town, home to some of the best beaches in Croatia, a picturesque old town, many great restaurants and numerous cultural spots. Keep on reading for some of my favourite things to do in Bol.
1 – Zlatni rat Beach
If you put ‘Bol on Brač’ in Google search, the first results you get will be images of a beautiful Zlatni rat (Golden Horn) Beach. It’s considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. And, trust me, it deserves that title by every right.
I’ve been to many Croatian beaches, and this one is absolutely one of my favourites. It has something for everyone’s taste: a lot of shade, but also areas on the sun, it’s big enough that it’s never too full, you can swim in the calmer areas closer to the shore, or if you like waves you can go all the way to its top where you can enjoy them. Swimming at the Zlatni rat Beach is definitely one of my favourite things to do in Bol!
2 – Swimming & Surfing in Bol
Bol is located on the southern side of the Brač Island, facing another famous Croatian island – Hvar. Being further away from the coast makes the sea in Bol crystal clear. It often changes colour from blue to turquoise and green. I loved swimming surrounded by fish who seemed to don’t mind me there, at all.
Bol is also famous for water sports, and you can rent a SUP board in many places at the beach. The best is to rent it in the morning because the sea is calm then, so you can enjoy it fully. If you’d like to learn how to windsurf, Bol is also a great place to go. Several windsurfing schools organise courses during which you can try it. Or, if you’re already an experienced windsurfer, you can rent the equipment at them. The wind between the Brač and Hvar islands is perfect, so you’ll see many windsurfers enjoying it in the afternoons in the canal between those two islands.
3 – The Bol Mediteran open-air cinema
Another one of my favourite places to visit in Bol is the Mediteran open-air cinema. Located in the Bol town centre, this small cinema offers a great view of the Adriatic Sea while watching a movie. All the films usually start at 9 pm. You can see their schedule on the posters around the town centre or on the Bol Mediteran cinema website. It’s never too busy, so you can buy the tickets there. There is also an option to purchase them online on their website.
4 – Visit Blaca Hermitage
Located further eastern from Bol, Blaca Hermitage is a unique place on Brač Island. It was founded in the 15th century by the two monks fleeing the Turkish invasion. Over time, the colony of monks developed there, and small houses, a church and other edifices were built. You can visit it on your own or join some of the tours organised there.
TIP: You’ll find flyers for the Blaca Hermitage tours at your hotel lobby or small stalls in the town centre.
5 – Explore Bol’s old town
Bol has a long history spanning back to the 12th century. Over time, wealthy Dalmatian families built their stone houses in the town centre. While walking around Bol, you can see buildings with architectural details in Gothic, Renaissance or Baroque styles. The Our Lady of Carmel Church is one of Bol’s most significant buildings. It was built in the 18th century in the Baroque style.
Bol is a small, easily walkable town, so the best way to explore it is by wandering around it, getting lost in its narrow streets, visiting some of the small shops and making occasional ice cream stops.
6 – Try the seafood at Bol
When hungry from all the sightseeing, take a break at some of the Bol restaurants. You’ll find many of them in the old town and the promenade next to the sea. With its location on an island, Bol restaurants have access to fantastic fresh fish and seafood. So, be sure to try some of it while there. Some of the best local food to try is any kind of grilled Adriatic Sea fish (like Sea Bream or Sea Bass), black risotto (crni rižoto in Croatian), shrimp or mussel broth (buzara in Croatian).
TIP: If you’re looking for a brunch or a light lunch place in Bol, my big recommendation is Snack Box. It’s on the promenade next to the beach and offers lovely toasts, grilled veggies and freshly squizzed juices.
7 – Visit small galleries in Bol
Art is celebrated in Bol, and the town is home to many galleries, statues and public art. Stroll around the town centre and explore some of them. The art gallery ‘Branislav Dešković’ is located in the 17th-century palace, where you can see artworks by some well-known Croatian modern artists. You’ll also stumble upon many art galleries around Bol. Feel free to enter them and enjoy the art!
8 – Explore the Bol’s stone statues
Brač Island is famous for its stone masonry school located in Pučišća. The Brač Island stone was used to build numerous buildings and statues. Some of the closest are the Diocletian’s Palace in Split and cathedrals in Trogir and Šibenik. To celebrate the stone masonry tradition, various artists have made statues of Brač Island stone and placed them around Bol. The majority are placed along the promenade next to the sea. Strolling along it while enjoying the view of statues and the sea is one of the best things to do in Bol.
9 – Visit the Dominican Monastery in Bol
Located on the town’s eastern side, The Dominican Monastery is not to be missed in Bol. Founded in the 15th century, it’s home to the Renaissance church and the monastery buildings. On its church’s main altar, you can see a painting made by the famous Venetian painter Jacopo Tintoretto. The Dominican Monastery Museum is especially interesting to visit. Recently renovated, it has exhibitions on three floors. The museum’s various artefacts cover maritime archaeology, Roman cultural history, art history collection and many more.
10 – Go on a day trip to Hvar & Pakleni Islands from Bol
Bol is also a great place from where you can visit another beautiful Croatian islands. Hvar is a short boat ride away and an island with the most sunny days in Croatia. The town of Hvar (yes, both an island and a town share the same name) is a great place to visit. It has a long history, beautiful architecture, and many cultural and art spots.
Next to it is another lovely archipelago, the Pakleni Islands. It’s a wonderful out-of-this-world location and one of my favourite spots for swimming on the Croatian coast.
TIP: Many boat services organise day trips from Bol to Hvar and Pakleni Islands. Walk around the sea promenade in the town centre and ask for more info at the stalls selling those trips.
How to get to Bol on Brač
Although located on an island, Bol is easily reachable by car and public transport. Both times I visited Bol, I got there by public transport from Zagreb.
How to get to Bol from Zagreb
To visit Bol from Zagreb, you should get to Split first. You can get there by plane (it’s less than a one-hour long flight), bus, train or car. Zagreb and Split are connected by highway, so it’s very easy to travel between them. I went by bus and needed less than five hours to get there. Although you can travel by train, too, I won’t recommend it because they are slow and unreliable.
How to get to Bol from Split
Once in Split, you should take a boat or a ferry to Brač. If you come by car, you should take a ferry to Supetar on Brač and drive from there to Bol. Without a car, you can take a direct catamaran to Bol. The journey lasts for 1:10 h. Split bus station and port from where the ferry and catamaran are departing are next to each other, so it’s easy to travel on public transport. You can also go on a ferry to Supetar and take a bus to Bol then. Buy your boat tickets online on the Jadrolinija website or at the port. However, I would advise you to purchase them in advance during the high season (July and August).
What to buy as a souvenir on Bol
Going with something locally produced will be the best if you’d like to buy some nice souvenirs at Bol. Being famous for its stone, be sure to check out some of its small stone-made statues. Edible souvenirs are always a great choice, so I recommend visiting the Bol market. You can buy some honey, dry figs, sweetened almonds, arancini (candied orange peel) or lemoncini (candied lemon peel).
Home to one of the best European beaches, a beautiful town centre, and so many things to do, Bol is one of the best places to visit in Croatia. This guide with the best things to do in Bol will help you plan your visit to that fantastic place.
Have you been to Bol? Would you add anything to this travel guide to Bol? Let me know in the comments!
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