Vidova Gora on the island of Brač
Vidova Gora on the island of Brač
The highest island mountain on the Adriatic
Vidova Gora on the island of Brač is the highest mountain and one of the most beautiful viewpoints of the Adriatic. It has a shape of an elongated karst ridge stretching along the southern coast of Brač. The sides of this ridge are entirely different. The southern face descends steeply, with cliffs sloping into the sea towards the town of Bol. The northern face is a karst highland mild slope of some ten kilometres of width. This highland is for the most part covered with scarce shrubland and Mediterranean macchia and the area of Kneževravni under Vidova Gora is populated with black pinewood. This vast highland covers more than half of the island, it is entirely deserted and uninhabited, and all larger settlements, except for Nerežišće, are located on the coast. Globally, Brač is known for its white marble excavated and processed on several locations on the island.
The ascent to Vidova Gora is a wonderful supplement to any tourist visit to the island of Brač. The main access to Vidova Gora is a paved road beginning at the Kneževravan highland, close to Nerežišće. The mountain trail from Bol is much more attractive but also more challenging. Trails are marked and finding your way around is not difficult. Mountain markers begin in Bol at the church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Then they intersect the access road to Bol and lead further through an almost deserted village Podborje and across karst terrain to the top. The climb can be exhausting in summer months because the wild terrain of 780 meters of height must be mastered.
The highest peak of Brač features a 12-meter-high monumental cross made of Brač stone, a telecommunication structure and tavern „Vladimir Nazor“. The surrounding area is an old well-known place displaying the remains of a double defence wall that suggest there once was an old Illyrian fortress on this very site. The summit is also known as Vidovica, Sveti Vid and Sutvid as per the old Croatian chapel whose remains can be found some hundred meters from the peak.
The view from the top reveals the southern coast of the island with its green belt surrounding Bol. The sight of beach Zlatni Rat is particularly alluring; a narrow sand cape penetrating sharply some 600 meters into the big blue. Bol under Vidova Gora is a former fishing village, today a renowned tourist destination on the southern coast of Brač, with several hotels and beautiful beaches.
On the steep rocks of Vidova Gora, close to Mrvica next to Bol, there is an interesting cave, Zmajeva Špilja. An unmarked shepherd trail leads to this site. Zmajeva Špilja is only twenty meters long but abounds in the traces of hermits that once dwelled here. On the left side of the cave, there is a figure of dragon carved in a rock, and next to it, but also on other points in the cave, there are other carved reliefs.
Even more attractive is another trace of hermit life, the so-called desert Blaca, hidden in a 4-kilometre-deep gorge of Brač. This is a monastery founded in 1551, when the Glagolitic priests from Poljica fled from Turks and set up here a new location for their research. In the monastery, which is abandoned today, there are some 12000 old books, many maps, files, notes and ethnographic exhibits, a press, a telescope, a piano, and other items. Its picturesque location under a rock in a steep hidden gorge of an uninhabited karst part of Brač, 3.5 km from the sea, is particularly interesting. Accessing it by vehicles is not possible, only on foot, the easiest way being from Kneževravan. North from Blaca, mountain markers lead all the way to Nerežišće and to the top of Vidova Gora, which takes altogether 3 hours of walk.