Pustinja Blaca – hidden jewel in Dalmatia

February 7, 2022

Pustinja Blaca is located in a remote location in the interior of the island of Brač. And only a narrow hiking path leads there.

It’s not far from Bol. Hidden away, it can be reached only by foot or on a horse. And ever-changing nature and canyons of a narrow hiking trail heading to Pustinja Blaca, will make you think of western movies and the Grand Canyon.

After a while, when you already start asking yourselves ‘where the heck is it?’, you’ll see it. A true jewel of ravishing beauty, rich with history, artifacts, and art that’ll unveil yet another stunning moment in a Dalmatian heritage.

The best way to get to Pustinja Blaca (The Blaca Hermitage)

Pustinja Blaca Brač
Pustinja Blaca

Pustinja Blaca is around 25km (15 mi) away from Bol. Bol is a small town on the southern side of the island of Brač. And a preferred place of many windsurfers all across the globe. There are daily ferries, catamarans, and boats going to the island of Brač from Split, as well as from Hvar island (village of Jelsa), and some other places on the mainland. For more, check out Jadrolinija schedule.

As I was staying in Jelsa at the moment, it was a perfect time for me to see Pustinja Blaca. There’s a catamaran leaving from Jelsa for Split and stopping in Bol, every morning at 6 am. And I can grab the one coming back from Split at 4 pm. It’ll be in Bol at 5 pm, half an hour more, and I’m back in Jelsa. Just perfect! And it was only seven euros. Chump change for a truly magnificent experience.

But Pustinja Blaca is located a bit off a beaten path. So, how do I get all the way there? A bit of googling took me to Active Bol. And Vlado, the owner of the company, is into all kinds of sports. Windsurfing, biking, hiking, cliff climbing, you name it, he does it all.

As soon as he heard what I’m up to, he offered to take me there with his e-bikes. Which ended up being the best way to get to Pustinja Blaca. Not to mention his knowledge of Brač island which raised it all to another level.

The canyon of Pustinja Blaca 

Hollows in the cliffs

When we got there, I was just astonished. Literally by everything. The surrounding, nature, caves, paths, bays, monastery, history behind it, and everything else that’s still kept in Pustinja Blaca.

It’s an astonishing museum of Dalmatian heritage, paused in nature and time.

We took a biking route following the southern shore of the island. A couple of steep hills, off-road routes, abandoned monasteries high on the round rocks of Brač island, vineyards, and olives growing out of stones. Truly an impressive landscape wherever you look.

And after some cycling, we took a walk along the shore off the sea, through pine tree forest, that offers just the right amount of shade, even during the warmest summer days. But while hiking in Dalmatia, always carry enough water with you (meaning: 3l should cover it). 

An astonishing amount of cattle, wine, olives, honey, herbs, and other products were produced by habitants of Pustinja Blaca in its golden time. Annually they would produce over 3000kg (6613 lb) of honey. They had a couple of thousands of sheep, endless vineyards, olive fields, and the list just keeps ongoing. Not to mention that they even had three sailing boats to get their merchandise to Venice.

Then a canyon opened up in front of us. Nature changed, the path narrowed and the sea disappeared behind us as we entered the canyon. Caves all around were turned into sheepfolds centuries ago. While terraces, on which grapes were grown, can be seen leaning on the steep hills of the canyon.

Hiking path to Putinja Blaca

And all of it was achieved from sheer rock, from an empty cave on an unknown island, far away from the world.

Pustinja Blaca – in the time of nothing, they made everything

The beginning of Pustinja Blaca goes to the 16th century. At the time it was a community of poljički glagolljaši (in short: an order a religious order). At first, they lived in a cave high on the cliffs of Brač island. That’s where they found refuge from the Ottomans.

Slowly, through centuries, stone by stone houses rose, chapels were built, wealth was earned and a stunning Pustinja Blaca stayed behind till today.

Pustinja Blaca is rising from and leaning on the white cliffs of Brač island. Being made of the same stone, it makes it invisible even from up close, let alone from a distance. It’s a true chameleon that hides within astronomical findings from the 19th and 20th centuries; as well as art and handicrafts from centuries before, brought from all over the world.

Habitants of Pustinja Blaca were commoners, but also astronomers, teachers, musicians, winegrowers, beekeepers, herbalists, cattle breeders, and so on. And above it all, they were great merchants. 

Pustinja Blaca

All of this isn’t even scratching the surface of the rich history that can be found within the walls of Pustinja Blaca.

It’s a maze of corridors and houses, chambers and rooms, history and science, crafts and economy. And it’s located on a cliff, in a canyon, on a small island in the middle of the Adriatic sea. Just amazing. Even today, the guy working there uses a horse to get to his workplace. There’s just no other way.

I visited Macchu Picchu and it’s incredible. But today, there’re buses taking visitors all the way to the gates. To get to Pustinja Blaca, you still need to hike whichever way you come from.

From the valley below stairs lead to Pustinja Blaca. Few pine and almond trees just before the destination, are like the last guardians that keep it tucked away till the very end. Above the entrance, an iron bell awaits for its visitors to ring.

And that’s where and when the real story begins.

When it’s done, the hiking trail will always give you some more

After visiting Pustinja Blaca there are numerous routes you can take. Some of them will even lead you to Vidova Gora. That’s the highest pique of the island of Brač and all islands in the Adriatic sea.

On your path, you’ll discover beehives of Pustinja Blaca (over 200 of them), abandoned villages, cisterns for rainwater, and in the wintertime, even snow. 

Pustinja Blaca Brač
Pustinja Blaca

New canyons will give you new surroundings. You’ll see dalmatian black pine tree forests and in the distance, over the island of Hvar, the Adriatic sea stretching all the way to Italy.

Whichever path you take it’ll lead you to another mysterious and stunning place whose history is only yet to discover. 

Or you can simply take the same route back and go for a swim in many of the hidden bays below.

Itinerary suggestions

1) From Split: If you’re staying in Split or in the proximity of Split, you can grab whichever ferry and follow the instructions from the article. By visiting Pustinja Blaca you’ll soak in the beauties of Brač island and discover another aspect of Dalmatia that you can’t find in cities.

2) From the island of Hvar: Or you can come to Jelsa and stay in an 18th century stone house, with carvings above the stone entrance that are a testimonial of a long and continuous history in Dalmatia. During your stay, you can spend time discovering hiking trails on the island of Hvar and a history that goes even 4000 BC.

But have in mind to leave at least a day, if not more, for Brač and Pustinja Blaca. It’s a magnificent sight, a cherry on the top of a beautiful getaway vacation.

hollows were turned into sheepfolds







正如Blaca隐居地的名字,它在深山老林里,那我怎么到那边去呢?嘿嘿,出发之前,我谷歌了一下,找到叫Active Bol的旅行社。这旅行社的老板,Vlado,他是个户外运动达人,会风帆冲浪,骑行,徒步,攀岩等等。只有你想不到,没有他玩不来。


Brač hiking trail
an abandoned village








Pustinja Blaca—在一无所有的时代,他们创造出了所有



Pustinja Blaca是在白色的峭壁上建成的且背靠另一座白色的山体。因为山体材质和建筑材质一致的原因,所以这个地方很难被发现,更别说从远处看了。Pustinja Blaca真像一只变色龙,用自己的保护色守护着自己的文化,以及19世纪-20世纪从世界各地运来的艺术品。


以上这些人文都只是Pustinja Blaca丰富历史中的沧海一粟。


我曾去过秘鲁印加遗址,马丘比丘,那里也是古老文化的宝地。但是如今,因为旅游开发,游客可以坐着大巴就到门口。但是要到Pustinja Blaca, 只有徒步才能到达。

绕着山下的小村,我们一步步拾级而上。几棵在Pustinja Blaca前的松树和杏仁树就像是最后的守卫者保护这片不被世俗所打扰的文明。在入口处,有一个大铁钟等着游客们幻想沉睡的达尔马提亚历史。



在参观完Pustinja Blaca,有许多下山的路线。有些路可以通道Vidova Gora,这是Brač上最高的地,也是在所有亚得里亚海岛上最高的地。





1) 从斯普利特出发。如果你住在斯普利特或者周边,你可以上Jadrolinija官网找到轮渡时间表。在Pustinja Blaca上你能一览Brač的美景,并且能看到不同于城市的达尔马提亚。


但是请至少预留一天的时间来游玩Brač和Pustinja Blaca。这里绝对有雄伟的景观,会让这次逃离城市的旅行更加精彩。

Translated to Chinese by 王怡禾, Yihe Wang

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