The island of Vis Croatia is one of the most popular islands in the archipelago of Split-Dalmatia County. The island of Vis is also the farthest inhabited island in Croatia with a population of around 4000 people, but the number increases during the summer. The surface of the entire island of Vis is about 90 square kilometers, thus making it one of the smallest permanently inhabited islands in the Adriatic Sea. The highest peak on the island is the Hum hill, while the two largest settlements are Komiza and the eponymous town of Vis.
Vis Island is not only one of the most beautiful Croatian islands but also one of the oldest in terms of settlements and history. Vis as we know it today originated from the Greek colony of Issa founded in the 4th century BC. Many different nations and empires ruled the island of Vis in Croatia throughout its rich history, but the rule of the Republic of Venice was the time when the settlements Comisa and Lissa (Komiza and Vis) had developed.
Another rule which had left a great impact on the island of Vis visible even today was the rule of Yugoslavia after WWII, when the island became the country’s main naval base. For a very long time, Vis was a very important military island of great strategic importance, especially for the British and Allied army during WWII. Some of the most important remnants of that time are the British fort of St. George, submarine bases, improvised field airport and a map of tunnels below the surface.
What is the island of Vis known for?
The island of Vis was once very loved by the British soldiers but is now even more loved by British tourists as well as tourists from all around the world. Tourists travel to Vis Island in Croatia to enjoy a unique combination of wild nature, the perpetual feeling of peace and ease, amazing ingenious wine, extraordinary history and some of the most unique beaches on the Adriatic.
Before the flourishing of tourism on the island of Vis, people on Vis lived off the land, raising vegetables and cultivating vineyards. Another very important source of food was the pristine Adriatic Sea, making Vis a center of fishing and fish refining with fish being processed, packed and transported across the country. Today fishing is still a very important aspect of life for the residents of Vis, but tourism has completely taken over the island.
The most famous vine species on the island of Vis are the ingenious Vugava and popular red wine Plavac Mali. The sea around Vis is rich with blue fish such as sardines and mackerel, but thanks to its open waters there is also tuna fish and swordfish. During the summer Komiza hosts a popular Big Game fishing event, which is a perfect combination of the two most popular industrial branches of Vis: fishing & tourism. The original “falkusa” boat is a reminder of the famous fishermen’s history of Komiza.
Best places on Vis Island Croatia
Vis Island in Croatia is home to several small settlements across the island with two of the largest towns being Komiza and the town of Vis. Besides these two towns, there are other villages such as Milna, Podspilje, ZenaGlava, Rogacic, Rukavac… Surrounded by olive gardens and vineyards, the villages in the center of Vis Island all have that Mediterranean, Tuscany feel to them. Since the island is so small you can get around Vis with a bicycle or a motorcycle in a day. Both Vis and Komiza have made the most of their attraction to the tourists and their gastronomy has been enriched with new restaurants and lounge bars.
1# Vis Town
The town of Vis is the largest settlement on the island of Vis and is the seat of the Municipality of Vis Island. Vis Town is located in a large bay of Saint George on the northeast side of Vis Island. Villages near Vis form official parts of the town of Vis: Srebrna, Stiniva, Stoncica, Rukavac, and Milna, all equally known for their amazing beaches with Stiniva being the most popular beach by far. Some of the most important historic monuments are located in Vis: antique Issa ruins, medieval churches, Fort of St. George, war forts, etc. The town of Vis is also the ferry port of the island so you can enjoy the view of Vis town while waiting to disembark the ferry from Split. Vis is probably the most sophisticated settlement on the island of Vis, but still quaint and charming.
Another important settlement on the island of Vis is fishermen’s village of Komiza. Komiza is located on the eastern coast of Vis island in Croatia, in a deep bay, perfect for fishing and safeguarding fishermen’s boats. The most popular historical buildings in Komiza are the Monastery of St. Nicholas and the Venetian Tower where the Fishermen’s museum is now located. Komiza and Vis Town are separated by Hum Hill. Popular beaches near Komiza are Gusarica, Kamenica, VeloZalo… Komiza is famously located just opposite the island of Bisevo and its famous Blue Cave. In Komiza you can get completely immersed in the authentic Mediterranean atmosphere and live like a local Dalmatian. Things are definitely changing with the rise of tourism, but Komiza is still the perfect combination of a modern and authentic way of life in Dalmatia.
Best beaches on Vis Island
The island of Vis is a rather small island accessible by a boat from almost all sides, so choosing a beach on Vis is very easy. Some of the most famous Croatian beaches are all located on the island of Vis: Stiniva, Srebrna and Stoncica. Besides these beaches, you can enjoy swimming and sunbathe at the following beaches: Gusarica, Kamenica, VeloZalo, Rukavac, Grandovac, Vela Svitnja, Zaglav, Vela Smokva…We will present only a few.
One of the top three Croatian beaches voted the best European beach of 2016. Its most famous features are steep cliffs descending into the sea, forming a door to a pebble beach only 4 meters wide. Stiniva beach is accessible from the sea and by foot, but if you decide to visit it from the land you should definitely watch your step and wear something safe because it is a bit of a hike.
Another popular beach on the island of Vis in Croatia, is made of pebbles and silver stones where you can catch some sun rays. It is even prohibited to remove pebble stones from the beach. The beach has a lot of shade because it is surrounded by a pine forest.
A sandy beach in the vicinity of the town of Vis settled in Stoncica Bay and is especially perfect for children. There is a lighthouse at the end of the bay, and it is a popular yacht and sailboat anchorage. There is a restaurant in Stoncica Bay in case you get hungry.
Where to eat on the island?
The island of Vis is the perfect destination for all foodies and wine lovers, especially if you want to taste homemade Croatian food and fresh fish or lobster. In almost all villages on Vis Island, you can enjoy small “konobas”, restaurants typical for the Dalmatian region. Those searching for something modern will also find something for themselves, and you can even enjoy eating in places that look more like you’re eating at someone’s private house (because you probably are). The most popular restaurants are located in Komiza and Vis.
1# Pojoda, Vis
This restaurant is a bit on the pricey side but is firmly placed among the top restaurants in entire Croatia. Taste the perfect synergy of tradition and contemporary cuisine, great fish, and fresh scallops in a secluded garden in Vis.
2# Karijola, Vis
For one of the best pizzas in Croatia check out the pizzeria Karijola. Their unique twist on pizza dough, fresh toppings, and beautiful seating by the promenade will keep you glued to your seat. They also serve amazing craft beer that goes perfectly with their superb pizza.
3# Konoba Lola, Vis
Definitely one of the most charming restaurants in Vis is Lola Konoba & Bar. Restaurant and lounge bar Lola is very “Instagram worthy”, but has great food to back it up. A beautiful garden between stone houses is also a popular “destination wedding” location.
4# Konoba Magić, Vis
One of the most popular places on the island of Vis for homemade food is Konoba Magic. Taste traditional meat and potatoes under a bell (peka), traditional lamb and octopus under peka and have a glass of their wine by the vineyard.
5# Jastožera, Komiza
Premium lobster and shrimps can be eaten all around Vis but the go-to restaurant is Jastozera in Komiza (Cro. jastog – lobster). The unique setting above the sea is very charming and a perfect surrounding for delicious Dalmatian food.
6# Restaurant & Wine bar Hum, Komiza
Amazing wine bar with superb interior and the best wines are located in Komiza. Visit the wine cellar and choose your own wine, allow your taste buds to enjoy the mix of fine wine and fine dining.
Accommodation options on the Vis?
On Vis Island, you can stay in various hotels, Airbnb, and camps. The island was closed for visitors for a very long time so it can’t be compared to other islands on the coast, but it gave Vis a certain charm unattainable to other islands. Vis has developed slower and has kept its innocence. Hotels in Vis are not big resort types; they are mostly boutique-styled and private. Most accommodation is family-owned and budget-friendly.
1# Hotel San Giorgio, Vis
Amazing boutique hotel in the center of Vis, perfect for those seeking stylish accommodation in a hotel on the island of Vis in Croatia. Enjoy having breakfast in a secluded garden surrounded by stone walls in the historical center of Vis Town.
2# Villa Oceanus, Vis
Accommodation in villas on the island of Vis is very popular and this villa is a perfect combination of modern ambiance and exclusive interior in Vis Old Town. Superb interior design, architectural beauty and an artistic soul will make your stay in this villa in Vis unforgettable.
3# Villa Tempera, Milna
If you’re searching for a villa outside of Vis, this incredible villa in Milna directly on the beach is the one for you. Exquisite decoration, romantic rooms, patio by the sea and exclusive location will provide you with the most relaxing holidays ever.
4# Apartments Riva Suite, Komiza
Exclusive apartments for rent in the center of Komiza with a private garden and seating area, perfect for dinners al fresco or breakfast in the shade. Experience the everyday life in Komiza in the supreme surroundings of this luxurious apartment.
5# Apartments Zambarlin, Komiza
Modern apartment with pool in Komiza near the vineyards and with a view at the St.Nicholas church and Hum Hill. The apartments are located only a few minutes’ walk from the sea, in a quiet part of the town and near the most popular restaurants in Komiza.
6# Apartments Molo Travna, Vis
Unique apartments in a secluded bay, perfectly designed and luxuriously equipped, located directly above the sea. The views, the interior, the terrace, the garden…we can’t decide what looks better. If you’re searching for nothing but sounds of crickets and sea waves breaking on the shore, this is the accommodation for you.
Vis Island in Croatia has gained lately so much praise in international magazines and from travelers from all around the world, but the true beauty of Vis is the fact that it is such a cool island. It’s like it doesn’t even care it is so popular. Its humble beginnings, relaxed people and intact nature are just a part of its charm. We really hope that Vis will never change, but nevertheless, make sure you visit the island of Vis as soon as you can. Its scents, sounds and views will be forever imprinted in you.
If you like to visit the most attractive parts of Vis island you can join us on our Blue Cave tour from Split!