Sitting at the very heart of the Central Dalmatian islands, at the intersection of sea routes, Brač is 40 km long and 12 km wide. Its surface area is 395 km², which makes it the largest island in Dalmatia, and its highest peak, Vidova Gora (778 m) is the highest on any Croatian island. It is flanked by Brač Channel to the north and Hvar Channel to the south, and is separated from neighbouring Šolta by Split Strait to the west. It shoreline is 175 km long, with an indentation index of 2.48. This places it among the averagely indented Central Dalmatian islands. There are twenty-three fairly large towns and villages of different sizes on the island, and a few hamlets, on the coast and in the interior, organised into eight municipalitieswith 14.500 permanent inhabitants.
Looking over Brač Channel towards the island, it seems so close to the mainland as to be almost at arm’s length. The stone waterfronts of its harbours are scenes of life open to travellers and tourists visiting the island, and the first-time explorer may feel that everything is at his fingertips. But Brač is special, multi-layered, and fascinating, unlike any other Dalmatian island. It is full of strange little corners, secrets, variations, the hard work of its people, the pain and suffering of abandoned, derelict homes, and the joys of building new ones…
Brač is the stone from which it is formed. Brač is the piles of stones which cover it from end to end, like a giant network. Brač is Illyrian mounds and barrows. Brač is the relics of Roman rule found in almost every bay, Early Christian basilicas, labourers’ stone cottages, sheepfolds in the fields, towers and mansions, mystical hermitages on the south shore and Blaca gorge, shepherds’ dwellings and hamlets, tiny churches scattered in the fields so that God would be near to the working people, centuries-old olives on the slopes, vineyards on the south slopes, flocks of sheep grazing from the shoreline to the high plateau on Vidova Gora, pines which warm half of Dalmatia in winter, coastal villages with Renaissance and Baroque treasures, modern tourist resorts, and inland villages which stoutly defend their farming traditions. Brač is churches and monasteries with tall, white bell-towers, and tiny chapels decorated by the works of long-gone artists.
All this is Brač. But above all, Brač is its people. They work hard and care for their island, building, enriching, and enlivening it. They are its heart and soul. Even if they leave for foreign parts, there is an invisible thread linking them forever to the island, and they often return, if only to visit. Since the days when the population left the blighted vineyards by sailing-ship or steamer for a new life on the other side of the world, every departure is the first step towards a return. Brač is the love of its people.