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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Brela

Brela Holidays

Situated in the Makarska Riviera, Brela is a small and idyllic Croatian resort which offers a cosy combination of beach culture, pine forests and light tourist entertainment. Still regarded as one of Croatia's hidden gems, a visit to Brela is a true escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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Scenery to take you breath away

With a backdrop of mountains and tree-covered hills rolling down to the beach, Brela is a small resort with big impact. What makes the landscape unique here is the tree-topped rocks on the edge of the beaches and in the shallows. There's a tiny island just off the main beach that is underlit at sunset, creating a beautiful outlook from the shore and beach bars.

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Pebble dashed beaches

Over six kilometres of stony beach make up Brela's shores, and with only a limited tourist population, there's more than enough room to lay down your towel and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. Plenty of little coves and hidden spots offer complete seclusion for those who want to really escape.

There are opportunities in Brela for kayaking, diving and boat hire, so you can explore the coast of Croatia by sea. Pull your new sea vessel up to Dugi Rat, the beach that won most beautiful beach in Europe in 2004, and take a dip in the clean, clear waters, which are suitable for families with young kids.

Forest treks for the adventurous

Behind the Brela beaches, thick layers of pine forest span back into the mainland with plenty of trails to explore. This network of paths takes walkers on picturesque adventures through the beautiful landscape of Croatia, across natural parks and around the Biokovo Mountains.

These trips can also be taken by bicycle, and from Brela it's easy to hire your own two-wheeled steed to high-tail it around the Croatian landscape in the balmy Mediterranean heat. Just make sure you bring a camera, because there are some truly incredible views from atop the Biokovos.

Hidden coves and abundant wildlife

To explore another side of the coast, the Vruja coves form part of an amazing network of underground streams and springs, stretching up to 100-metres deep.

Not far from here, the Mervidina cave beckons to be explored. Once home to the Mediterranean Monk Seal, these endangered mammals rarely appear on the coast nowadays, but have been known to pop up now and then to the surprise of some very lucky tourists. Cheap holidays to Croatia don't mean spending extra on arrival to have fun - there's plenty to see and do here, free of charge.

A rich cultural heritage

Brela is home to some amazing museums and art galleries, including the Biokovo exhibition at the Natural Park Presentation Centre. Here you'll find zoology, botany, geology and fossils, all on display with reference to their history in Brela and neighbouring resorts in Croatia. No matter what time of year you visit, this is the ideal spot for any avid nature lover.

Meanwhile the history of Brela stands proud in the town, especially in the case of the fortified tower in Soline. The tower guards a series of Filipovic houses, once serving as protection from Turkish invasion in the 16th century. For more recent history, be sure to visit the chapel of St. Stjepan in Donje Selo – a colourful church which was erected in 1897.

Drink and dine like the Brela locals

Dalmatian cuisine is a word you'll hear a lot around Brela, and to give you heads up, here are the basics. Pasticada is a beef dish served with potato gnocchi, while Brujet is a fish platter best served with a glass of domestic red wine. And for pudding it has to be Blitvenjak, the sweet chard cake that sounds odd but tastes amazing.

These dishes will be available at the local Brela restaurants and they all come heartily recommended. You'll find many Mediterranean classics on the menu too, drizzled in extra-virgin Croatian olive oil and washed down with local wines or artisan spirits.

After a filling meal of Dalmatian food it's time to hit the bars, and Brela offers more than its fair share of watering holes. Beach bars are particularly prevalent in the area, with Lero, Waikiki, Macic and Our House all leading the way with their rustic settings and incredible list of local tipples.

Daytrips to Croatia's islands

You're in a great spot for travelling to the many Croatian islands if you book your Croatian holiday in Brela. Start with Hvar, the island known for its lavender fields and Renaissance monuments. Nicknamed The Croatian Madeira, Hvar will in turn give you access to many of the other Pakleni Islands from its idyllic coast.