Travel Diaries

Brač, Croatia

You’ve seen it on “Game of Thrones,” heard about it from soccer aficionados and lusted over it on your favorite jet-setter’s Instagram—now it’s finally time to experience Croatia firsthand. With its breadth of exquisite architecture and the sparkling azure waters of the Adriatic Sea, the small European country is at once culturally rich and stunningly picturesque. It can be difficult to decide which of its 718 islands to visit, so we’ve narrowed it down for you by spotlighting Brač, a serene retreat located on the Dalmatian Coast. Home to a glamourous hotel and the famous “Golden Horn” beach, Brač is the stuff of your wanderlust dreams. Below, our top picks to help you plan your trip—and what to pack.

Hotel Lemongarden

What’s in a name? In the case of Hotel Lemongarden, everything. Located in the sleepy fishing village of Sutivan on the northwest coast of Brač, this dreamy oceanside escape is surrounded by a lush garden overflowing with lemons, vegetables and flowers in a panoply of vivid hues. The property, a restored Renaissance mansion and two adjacent buildings with equally storied pasts, features 23 suites and 12 rooms overlooking the garden or sea and a secluded private beach. But the pièce de résistance is the expansive pool, lined with palm trees and tall bougainvilleas bursting with color.

Nono Ban

Just a 30-minute drive from Hotel Lemongarden, Nono Ban serves fresh vegetables from its own garden along with local Mediterranean favorites on a rustic stone terrace. For traditional Croatian fare, try Konoba Kopačina, a family-owned restaurant known for its Brač specialties (including lamb every which way) and charming setting overlooking the idyllic village of Donji Humac. And don’t miss Hotel Lemongarden’s own namesake restaurant, where you can enjoy a complimentary full breakfast (including homemade croissants) and freshly caught seafood for dinner. Fittingly, they also make their own limoncello.

Zlatni Rat Beach

Once you’ve had your fill of Hotel Lemongarden’s private beach and seaside bar, venture out to Brač’s breathtaking Zlatni Rat beach, also known as “Golden Horn” due to the curious way its tip juts out into the sea. Less than an hour’s drive from the hotel, the pristine spot is ideal for swimming, sunbathing and surfing. After you’ve soaked up enough sun, visit the nearby Vidova Gora, the highest peak on the Adriatic Islands. A 3.5-mile hiking trail (trust us, it’s worth it) leads up to the striking summit, offering scenic views of Zlatni Rat, Hvar island and the Croatian mainland.