Stage 1: Supetar – Vidova gora (island Brač)
Distance: 20,7km / Ascent: 1100m+ / Descent: 330m- / Start: Supetar / Finish: summit of Vidova gora
The stage 1 is telling the story of Island Brač. That’s the story of stone, olives, cattle, vineyards and fish – all things that on island mean life. The stage starts from Supetar, beautiful little town with stone houses, situated on the north shore of Brač. Stone is one of trademarks of Brač. It is exported all over the world – some parts of White House are built of it. On Brač you will find beautiful churches and small houses in the field, all made of its famous stone. As soon as you leave Supetar the course will take you among many olive groves from which top quality olive oil is produced. You will have opportunity to taste it afterwards.
First village on the course is Škrip. It is not just “regular” village. It is unique since it was continuously inhabited for about 3500 years. There you can find cyclopean walls from ancient Illyric civilization, Roman fort and sarcophagi, medieval fort and churches. There are also some interesting legends related to this ancient place. One of them says that wife and daughter of Roman emperor Diocletian (who lived in his palace where is Split nowadays, after he abdicated), Priska and Valeria have been buried in a mausoleum after they have been executed for converting to Christianity. Other legend connects saint Helen, mother of Emperor Constantin, with Škrip as her birthplace. After a short downhill from Škrip you will reach another interesting place, Dol, placed in a deep valley with typical stone houses. Almost each house has a wine cellar in the basement, because almost every family has its own vineyard. As you enter Dol the captivating caves dominating the entire canyon will immediately draw your attention. It is believed that the caves date back to the ancient times. They give this charming village a very special touch of history and serve as a backdrop for many legends told by the Doljani. The caves are made of grained rocks of Hrapoćuša, were once used as lodgings and today are shelters for cattle, containers for firewood, habitat for pigeons, owls and vivier (Vivier is mythical creature hiding in the caves. According to Doljani this creature can only be found in Dol and if you are lucky, you will hear them hooting). Also, Hrapoćuša is a very tasty cake made in Dol and it got its name because it looks very similar to already mentioned grained rock, Hrapoćuša.
After you leave Dol, you start the ascent to Vidova Gora. First part, immediately after the village, is an ancient trail where locals once a year, on Good Friday (two days before Easter), join and walk in procession, praying and singing. It is tradition going back many centuries. As you continue towards Vidova Gora you will probably encounter some sheep along the way. Cattle breeding was one of the most important parts of economy of the island and nowadays you can still find a lot of people keeping cattle. As you continue towards summit, the course will enter into a beautiful pine tree forest until the very end, summit of Vidova Gora, where the race finishes. With its 780 m altitude it is the highest summit of Adriatic islands and the view from there is hard to describe in words. From there you can see one of symbols of Croatian coast – Zlatni rat, sandy beach spreading as a tongue 500 meters into the sea. The very tip of Zlatni Rat keeps changing its shape constantly due to the influence of wind, waves and sea currents. You will also enjoy the view on all Dalmatian islands. After enjoying the views, you will enjoy local food at agritourism in Gažul, only few minutes from the summit.