Island Vis

Life is simple, but people are complicated as cynics will say. But it is precisely the simplicity of living even through the most chaotic touristic periods that makes Vis significantly different from other tourist destinations. Simplicity is the essence of this island tailored to men which is used in its whole by most visitors. Consequently, not just its protruding edges, Vis and Komiža, but also the numerous bays in the island’s interior leave you breathless with their luxuriant fertility.

Of course, we are talking about natural beauties and traditional Adriatic architecture, but the special attraction of Vis also lies in its atmosphere. During the summer Vis is considerably different from the islands of Hvar, Brač or Korčula. The main reason for this is probably that Vis offers only a very small number of hotel beds so this island is mainly visited by people who like it for their own specific reasons and not by “regular tourists” who may have seen its name in a brochure and thought it might be a nice place to visit.” These are the words of Jonathan Bousfield, an Englishman specialized in writing about Croatia for a notable edition of the Rough Guide tourist book guides who chose Vis amongst his Top 5 choices of Croatian destinations.

We know that one of the reasons for Vis’ uniqueness lies in its 500 years of isolation as a military island where time had stopped. However, as so often happens in life, the thing that once seemed to be a disadvantage in the end turns out to be an important advantage. So, Vis’ exclusiveness does not lie in its excellent hotel capacities, but in the island itself; its untouched nature and the people that haven’t been possessed by tourist commercialisation but who are hospitable in an authentic, “native” way.

Komiža – an enchanting port with a long nautical tradition

Komiža – an enchanting port with a long nautical tradition

Geological Paradise

The Vis archipelago covers the area around the islands of Vis, Biševo, Palagruža, Sveti Andrija, Brusnik and Jabuka, and is part of the global UNESCO network of geoparks due to its geological importance. The archipelago is equally important for boaters, and the most popular destination is the area between Komiža on the island of Vis and the island of Biševo.

Komiža is a dazzling microcosm that attracts boaters and at the same time proudly retains its local feel. At the bottom of the deep bay, at the foot of the steep cliffs, lies this fairytale-like place with scattered stone houses and fishing boats. The oldest fishermen’s village in the entire Adriatic is a favourite among domestic and foreign boaters, who can find a safe place to store their boat on the inside of the breakwater.

There is a large number of buoys outside the breakwater, away from the beach, but since there is nothing but the open sea in front of Komiža, if they tie their boats there, boaters can expect their boats to rock slightly back and forth even during calm weather.

In the freshness of the morning, when the sun is only beginning to peek up over the surrounding hills, the best thing you can do is visit the local marketplace and fish market and take a walk down the cosy little streets of Komiža, known locally as kalete. It’s the best way to gauge the pulse of the town and the locals.

Given that Komiža is facing west, in the afternoon hours the sunrays shine directly on it, so this is the perfect time to freshen up and take a dip in the sea. Before nightfall, you should definitely go sightseeing and visit the main tourist attractions of Komiža, which paint a picture of the typical island lifestyle as it was in the distant past and which has been preserved until today – the impressive Church of St. Nicholas on the hill, the Church of Our Lady of the Pirates on the town’s beach, or the Fisherman’s Museum housed in an old Venetian tower.

Gajeta falkuša, a traditional vessel with oars that was used to reach the tiny island of Palagruža, located 40 nm away, is something Komiža is widely known for. It can be seen in the previously mentioned museum, or in its natural habitat – the Komiža port.

Gastronomically speaking, Komiža offers a range of options, the best ones being lobster dishes. Themed trips offered by local travel agencies vary from wine and gastronomy tours, to military tours, visits to land and sea caves, diving expeditions, bike tours, kayaking, paragliding, etc.

Stiniva Beach

Due to an inlet of the sea, surrounded by high cliffs that hide the beach, Stiniva on the island of Vis is hardly visible from the open sea. However, access from the sea is ideal for reaching Stiniva beach. There is also a demanding 20 minutes access by foot which literally follows the goat track. Stiniva beach is surrounded by steep cliffs so that half of the beach is always in the shade. Stiniva is a pebble beach for lovers of the beautiful clean sea and of the wild landscape.