Vis is a small island in Central Dalmatia, known for its stunning landscape, amazing caves, beautiful beaches like the Stiniva beach, cultural heritage and gourmet delights. It is a perfect place for those in search of relaxation, excellent food, and wine. The island’s two largest settlements are the town of Vis and Komiža, where you can discover the rich cultural heritage of the island as it has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. In the 4th century BC, the Greek tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse founded the colony Issa on the island. After which the island became an independent polis founding its own colonies, but it didn’t last long. Just as other parts of Dalmatia, over the centuries, the island was under the rule of many different empires that have left a legacy which is still evident.
What to visit
There are many amazing places to see and things to do on the island other than enjoying in the sun on some of the island’s most beautiful beaches like Stiniva (read more about the beach here) or Kamenica beach. Explore the cultural heritage of the island by visiting the rests of antique Issa (thermae, necropolis, theater, parts of the port), Hellenistic Necropolis, fortresses, impressive military tunnels built during the WWII or scuba dive near the wrecks of the tugboat Ursus or heavy bomber aircraft wreck. You can visit the archaeological museum in the town of Vis and an interesting finishing museum in Komiža.
The town of Vis, situated on the north-eastern side of the island, developed from the former settlements Kut and Luka. Together with Komiža, the town of Vis is the most developed part of the island with many bars, restaurants, and cute local shops. Also on the eastern side of the island, there are many beautiful villages worth visiting, such as Podselje, Plisko Polje, Milna, Podstražje, Zenka and Marine Zemlje.
On the western side of the island is situated already mentioned Komiža with its stunning beaches and narrow Mediterranean streets. Some of the most beautiful beaches near Komiza are Nova posta, Velo zalo, and Gusarica.
If you want to enjoy the glorious view of the town and nearby island from some higher point, don’t miss out on climbing the Hum, the highest point of the island at 587 meters above the sea level. For those interested in the history of the island, the underground caves and tunnels used by Josip Tito’s partisan fighters is definitely something worth seeing and experiencing and you can do it both by yourself or with a guided tour.
Another amazing place you should not miss is the Fort George or so-called “Fortica” built by British long time ago and nowadays it represents both a great historical monument and a hype place to go out during the warm summer nights.
Sport & Recreation
The island of Vis is a perfect place for an active holiday. Other than swimming and sunbathing, snorkeling and scuba diving are two fantastic ways to explore the underwater life, sites, and wrecks. Two of the most famous wreck near the island are the one of the Tugboat Ursus and the wreck of a heavy bomber Boeing B-17. What better way to explore the island than through an exhilarating cycling experience, as there are numerous marked paths walking you through the amazing landscapes. Vis is a fisherman island, so it is the perfect place for those who wish to learn how to fish, experience the open sea and enjoy the sun. It is a unique experience, guided by local fisherman who will provide you all the equipment
There are many other outdoor activities that you can practice like cycling (on numerous off-road paths on the island), beach volleyball, laser sailing, quad tours, basketball, boccie, table tennis and much, much more. You can also take a tour with a small submarine and admire the rich local marine life.
On the island of Vis, you can enjoy Dalmatian cuisine which is typically Mediterranean. Traditional Dalmatian dishes are made with herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano. There is a large use of extra virgin olive oil and garlic. When visiting the island, you must absolutely try the traditional Sardines Round Cake (Viška ili Komiška pogača) ancient recipe of stuffed bread, brought on the island by Dionysius of Syracuse in 397 BC. There are two types of this bread, one is Viška pogača which is prepared with sardines and onions and the other one is Komiška pogača prepared with sardines, onions and tomato sauce. Other than the famous round cake, we recommend you to try are: Dalmatian smoked ham, Olives and nearby islands famous goat cheese as an appetizer, Mussels buzzara, Black risotto, Dalmatian pasticada (stewed beef in wine with prunes and vegetables) and grilled fish with vegetables. Locals mostly eat in small, intimate traditionally Dalmatian restaurants called Konoba, that prepare fresh local food and usually have lower prices than upscale restaurants. The island of Vis has also its own distinct grape vugava, cultivated since ancient times.
Blue cave or Blue Grotto (Modra Špilja) is situated in the Balun bay on the small island of Bisevo, near the island of Vis. It is one of 26 caves on this small island and one of the most famous caves on the Mediterranean. This small but amazing cave was formed is formed in limestone, by the action of water. It is 24 meters long, 14 meters high and 12 meters deep, so you can clearly see the bottom and the fishes. The cave, with its natural entrance, was accessible only by diving, but back in 1884 Baron Eugen von Ransonet, who first described it, suggested to make an artificial entrance above the sea level. So it was made an entrance big enough for small boats to enter, that measures 1.5 meters high and 3 meters wide.