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

世外桃源–Blaca隐居地

Blaca隐居地位于Brač岛偏远的内陆,离Brač岛上的Bol不远,是个非常隐蔽的地方,只能通过步行或者骑马才能到达。步行道两边的大自然和大峡谷会让你有身临美国西部片现场或者大峡谷的感觉。

走了一会,我就问自己,这到底是个什么地方?怎么这么隐蔽且难走。但是当我停下脚步,定睛一看,不禁“哇”出声,不仅惊讶于风景的壮丽,还有人们是如何在一无所有的情况下开辟及生活在这片土地上的。接下来就跟着我,去一探这个藏在腹地里的宝地吧,一起去了解达尔马提亚地区的历史。

Blaca隐居地的路线

Blaca隐居地距离Bol小镇25公里。Bol是位于Brač岛南部的一个小镇,并深得全世界风帆冲浪者的喜爱。每天都有轮渡从斯普利特,赫瓦尔岛(包括该岛上的Jelsa小镇),以及其他的沿海城市出发。具体时间表,建议查询轮渡公司Jadrolinija.

最近我住在Jesla小镇上,又闲来无事。看到去斯普利特的轮渡路线经停Bol,我就想去看看久闻其名的Blaca隐居地。每天早上6点有轮渡从Jelsa出发,下午四点有轮渡从斯普利特回我的快乐小镇,五点半左右到家,路线搞定,完美!船票只要7欧元,你值得拥有,走起。

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。

他一听说我要来逛逛,就热情地要当我的向导并且租借电动自行车给我。最后证明这个是去Blaca隐居地最好的方式。并且Vlado对那里的一草一木都能如数家珍,我对这个地方的印象真的是太好了。

Brač hiking trail
an abandoned village

Blaca隐居地的峡谷

我们一到那边,我就被那里的一切所惊艳。这儿的位置,环境,树木,洞穴,海湾,修道院以及历史都让我感叹不已。这简直就像一座达尔马提亚的博物馆,好像时间被按下按下暂停键,这儿的一切也完全没有被现代文明所影响的痕迹。

我们沿着南部的骑行路线上山,路比较陡,一路上有废弃的修道院,葡萄园还有从石头缝里蹦出的橄榄树。这正是我想看到的原始自然和乡村风景。

骑行了一会儿,我们便去海边散步,坐在松树林下休息。我想这里应该是夏日乘凉的好地方,阳光正正好,不多也不少。友情提示,在达尔马提亚骑行,建议带足够多的水(起码3升)。

走着走着,一个峡谷映入我们的眼帘,周边的树木都变了,路变得越来越窄,海岸线也消失在我们的身后。山洞变成了羊圈,在陡峭的山坡上可以看到种植葡萄的梯田。

在黄金时代,当地居民养牛,酿酒,种橄榄树,养蜂蜜,摘草药。每年都会产超过3000kg的蜂蜜。他们养了很多羊,有无边无际的葡萄园,橄榄树园等等。更别提他们之前居然有三艘船,这些船是运送货物去威尼斯的。

难以想象在这个与世隔绝的地方居然盛产美酒美食,并且这里满是石头,没有肥沃的土壤。

Pustinja Blaca—在一无所有的时代,他们创造出了所有

这个地方起源于16世纪,由于宗教原因而存在。起初他们就住在岛上的一个悬崖处。也就是在那边他们发现了来自奥匈帝国的难民。

慢慢地,房子和教堂慢慢建成,随着一代代人的建造,一个惊艳的地方就诞生了并保留至今。

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。

这边以前的居民有普通人,也有天文学家,教师,音乐家,葡萄种植者,养蜂人,草药师,养牛者等等。各行各业的他们居然都是了不起的商人。

以上这些人文都只是Pustinja Blaca丰富历史中的沧海一粟。

这里就像是一个迷宫,藏着历史,科学,工艺和经济的历史。再想想它所处的地理位置,坐落在一个亚得里亚海上的小岛,在小岛的峡谷中,在峡谷的悬崖上。哪怕21世纪的今天,人们还是只能骑着马才到达那里。

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。

从这里故事才刚刚开始。

下山的路上,还有好玩的

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。

在下山的路上,你会发现蜂窝,一些废弃的村庄,蓄水池,在冬天的时候这儿也会有积雪。

不同的峡谷有不同的环境。路上还能看到黑松树林,从远处望去还能看到赫瓦尔岛,还能看到领国意大利呢。

每条路线都充满了惊喜和神秘的地方。你也可以走来时的路下山,还能在安静的海湾里游泳放松。

出行建议

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。

2)从赫瓦尔岛出发。你可以来Jelsa,住在有精美石刻的18世纪的石屋里,这些石屋是达尔马提亚悠长历史的见证。在赫瓦尔岛上也有徒步路线。这里的历史可以追溯至公元前4000年

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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