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Introducing Vis Island

Of all the Croatian islands, Vis is the most mysterious – even to locals. The furthest of the main central Dalmatian islands from the coast, Vis spent much of its recent history serving as a military base for the Yugoslav National Army, cut off from foreign visitors from the 1950s right up until 1989. The isolation preserved the island from development and drove much of the population to move elsewhere in search of work, leaving it underpopulated for many years.

As has happened with impoverished islands across the Mediterranean, Vis’ lack of development has become its drawcard as a tourist destination. International and local travellers alike now flock to Vis, seeking authenticity, nature, gourmet delights and peace and quiet. Vis produces some of Croatia’s best-known wines – vugava (white) in particular – and you’ll see miles of vineyards across the island. You’ll also taste some of the freshest seafood here, thanks to a still-thriving fishing tradition.

Vis is divided between two beautiful small towns at the foot of two large bays: Vis Town, in the northeast; and Komiža, in the southwest. There is friendly rivalry between the two – Vis Town is historically associated with the upper-class nobility while Komiža is proud of its working-class fishing heritage and pirate tales. The rugged coast around the island is dotted with gorgeous coves, caves and a couple of sand beaches. The island’s remnants of antiquity, displayed in the Archaeological Museum and elsewhere around Vis Town, offer a fascinating insight into the complex character of this tiny island, which has become a destination for in-the-know travellers.