Milna is situated on the western part of the island, in a small well-protected bay. It was an area where the rain carried down an abundance of mud and very fine sand. It was called mil (i.e. a muddy, sandy cove) by the old people of Brač, but the noun (u)vala (cove) became superficial and the adjective Milna has remained the name.
The Milna harbour is the safest on the island, protected against all winds. At its end is the ACI marina, an anchorage and refuge for a great number of yachts and sports boats, not only in the summer season but also during the whole year. There is a shipyard next to the marina, with a long tradition and well-known name. In the 19th century they were experts for building a special kind of sailing ship called bracera, which had a characteristic appearance and exceptional maritime qualities. Braceras were so famous that they became a prototype for such ships all along the eastern Adriatic coast. Another Milna marina is Vlaška, situated in the northern part of the harbour.
Milna is a picturesque small town, which developed enormously at the turn of the 16th to the 17th century. Its full prosperity came in the second half of the 18th and early 19th centuries The municipality and school buildings, the harbour master’s office, the church with its bell-tower, the parish hall, the harbour with the lighthouse at the entrance to the bay, the tiny mandrać for fishing boats, and the windmills all date from then. What had previously been a very small town now got two-storey buildings and public lighting; cafés, inns and cobbled streets. Outside of the town, a catchment area for water and a community cistern were built. Maritime affairs were the lifeblood of the town. The men of Milna were ship-owners, sea captains, seamen, shipbuilders, and at the same time fishermen, rowing their leut fishing-boats to the most distant Adriatic fishing grounds (Kečkemet 1998). Taking into consideration the natural characteristics of the area, Milna was predestined to become and remain the maritime centre of Brač.
The parish Church of St Mary is one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Dalmatia. The eighteenth century altar painting by Sebastian Ricci is particularly outstanding, and the many votive gifts from sailors of the far off seas. A Milna emigrant to Chile, the industrialist Ivan Bonačić Sargo (1862-1921), left a huge property to his native Milna. The whole area of Milna is one of indented coves, creeks and coves, and Osibova inlet to the south is a favourite place to swim. Nearby there are two beautiful churches, that of St Joseph and of St John the Baptist. Right at the entrance to Milna harbour is the small church of St Nicholas.
The little island of Mrduja lies in front of the entrance to the bay right in the middle of the Split Strait. There are various stories and legends about who this little islet in the middle of the channel belongs to, Brač or Šolta, and both claim it is theirs.