As soon as our ferry docked at Bol we knew it was going to be something special. All I could say to Derek as we walked through the town was “wow”. Crystal clear water, a surreal mountain backdrop and extremely friendly locals. I’d fallen in love with the place and we hadn’t even reached our accommodation!

As we arrived at our hostel the owner Stepin was outside waiting to greet us. He was an absolute gem. After mentioning that we were his last customers for the season he kindly treated us to an upgrade from dorm beds to a private room. Those who have backpacked before understand how big of a deal this is. We had our own bathroom and a balcony that overlooked the water. It didn’t feel like we were backpacking, we were holidaying. What a luxury!

The next day we woke up super early to trek to the peak of Vidova Gora. Our hiking experiences in the past have been challenging but rewarding and this one was no different. We were told it would take about three and a half hours to complete which was perfect as we planned to spend the rest of the day at the beach. The walking tracks in Europe are great and well looked after however the one thing they lack is adequate signage. Yep, you guessed it, we got lost. It was a minor detour however after walking on a sharp incline for half an hour only to arrive at a dead-end was pretty deflating. Although we were only halfway up the mountain we still got to see an incredible sunrise. Just like our last hike, the gruelling incline was worth it. The view was absolutely stunning.

After returning and a lovely breakfast on our balcony we went to check out Zlatni Rat which has been crowned the best beach in Croatia. Even though it was the first Croatian beach we’d been to, I couldn’t agree more. It’ll be pretty hard to beat. Given that it was my first pebble beach I didn’t know what to expect but now I think I prefer pebbles to sand. The water was refreshingly cool and so clear that I didn’t need my norkel goggles or glasses to see through the water!

In total there were seven guests staying at our hostel and funnily enough, we were all Aussies. It also turned out that I had mutual friends with one of the girls, Julz. Such a small world! On our last night we all went out to dinner to a local restaurant located about 10km outside of town. It was recommended by Stepin and the food was prepared in a traditional wood-fire oven. It was all so delicious, including the wine!

We haven’t met too many Aussies on this trip so having a group of us gave us a sense of familiarity and warmth. It was great to be able to chat without having to use broken English or charades, although charades could’ve been a fun dinner game!

We’d finally picked a transport option that wasn’t ridiculously early the next day so we were looking forward to a sleep in. If only our bodies allowed us to. We woke up at 7am. After a lazy morning spent on our balcony and a short, picturesque bus ride we arrived in Supetar, a sleepy little seaside town with beautiful stone houses and restaurants on the other side of Brač island.

Throughout our travels we’ve come across lots of wild fruit trees. We’ve seen mango trees, jack fruit trees and banana trees in Asia and since being in Europe we’ve seen apple, blueberry and mandarin trees. As we were walking to our hostel I spotted for the first time pomegranate trees! I was so tempted to jump the fence and grab one. They looked so delicious. In Australia they’re so expensive but they were growing by the dozen on this tree in someone’s fruit and veggie garden. I was so jealous.

As we only had one afternoon in Supetar before our ferry the next day it was only fair that we spent it by the water. The beach was perfect for swimming and had mesmerising views of the mountains.

Brač island has taken my breath away. I can’t wait to see what the rest of Croatia has to offer!

– Neetz

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