About Vis Island
Whether traveling by boat or car the journey through the Southern Dalmatian Coast is spectacular. Vis Island is a bit different as it was not open to tourism until quite recently, consequently it is a quieter and less developed location. Vis has mild winters and cool summers with the Mistral which makes the island one of the best climates in Croatia, which in turn favours the development of rich and lush Mediterranean vegetation, palm trees, carob, lemon and vine. Vis possesses an important place in Croatian culture and history. Here you can see historical remains of Roman and Greek inheritance as well as renaissance and baroque monuments. Outside of Vis town we recommend a visit to the thriving fishing town of Komiža. The Fishing Museum in the old citadel is an interesting reminder of long-forgotten fishing skills.
Owing to its extraordinary geographical position, Vis had been occupied by many invaders and in front of its coastlines many impetuous battles were led. The famous battle of Vis which took part in 1886, on 20 July, near the harbour is one of the most important. Its anniversary is celebrated in Vis every year. In the post-war socialism period it was a synonym for a military fortress that had military hospital and tunnel which served as anchor to many warships. For a long period of time it was isolated from the rest of the islands which blocked its general development. Still, on such basis Vis had built its present culture and proudly tells visitors about its bounteous history.
The town of Vis is connected by regular ferry and hydrofoil lines to the island of Hvar, Split and in the summer months with Ancona and Pescara on the Italian coast. Travelling by hydrofoil ship from Split to Vis takes 1h and 15 minutes, a ferry from Split to Vis 2h and 15 min.
Natural wonders: when we talk about natural beauties of Vis, we primarily think of the beaches and bays with bold cliffs diving into the sea and hiding many undiscovered caves. The caves are quite famous - Modre (blue), Zelene (green) and Krajicine (queen's cave) important also is Tito's cave. The Blue cave is a popular tourist attraction because of its geomorphological phenomenon (represents typical Karst form). Green and Queen's cave (from Bronze Age) also offer geomorphological phenomenon - the Green cave is an example of an Abrasion cave characterized by calcareus structures; it has two entrances and is very attractive to tourists, explorers and scientists alike. Holy Ghost, the highest peak of Vis, was the supreme headquarters of Tito's government.
The Town of Vis: - the town of Vis emerged around 397 BC when the mighty Greek ruler Dionysius the Great built an urban settlement with democratic rule and its own money under the name Issa, to which the remains of the Greek graveyard bear witness. Along with the Greeks, the Romans also had an important role in the development of the town and their building prowess is best witnessed by the Roman spas and amphitheatre. Vis reached its flourish in the period of the Venetian Republic; around St George's harbour emerged two urban centres, Kut and Luka, from which developed contemporary Vis.
Walking through town's narrow, stone streets leads you to many cottages, squares, fortresses and churches (St Ciprianus church, Our Lady of Spilice and Franciscan monastery on the Prirovo Peninsula). If you begin from its eastern part, Kut, towards the west you will see the palace of the poet Petar Hektorović, the house in which the Croatian writer Ranko Marinković was born, Gariboldi’s palace and the Austrian fort Batarija from the 19th century, in which the museum of the town of Vis is located today which carefully keeps watch over the remains of ancient Issa and a unique collection of amphora which bear witness to the developed level of trade and shipping industry in the earliest era of Issa’s economy.
Where to stay
The Hotel San Giorgio is a lovely boutique hotel located in the centre of the town of Vis. It is surrounded by a lush garden and has been renovated to a high standard.
"House on Vis smaller than expected. Our room only had a small window in the very back of the room by the wardrobe so no natural light. No garden. Scruffy village. We were unlucky with the weather there and only canoed on the last two days but the other people staying there were lovely. "
E Langley, Sept 2016