Vis

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia.

With over seven hundred islands in Croatia it’s hard to choose which islands to visit. According to Wikipedia, there’s only forty seven that are inhabited so that helps a bit!

Our favourite island in Croatia has retained it’s charm and resisted development. It has some of the best beaches in the country, has fabulous fresh seafood and local wines and imparts a feeling of laziness even though there is a lot to do. .

Sounds idyllic doesn’t it….and it is!
For us, the best island in Croatia is Vis. 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Vis is the island that draws us back to Croatia.

It is the furthest island in the Adriatic from the Croatian coast hidden behind the islands of Hvar, Brac and Solta.
For many years it was the military and naval headquarters of Tito’s partisan army and was closed to the public until 1989. This meant that it escaped large commercial development and was able to retain its natural beauty.  The architecture on the island dates back to the early days of Venetians rule. Beautiful old stone buildings, made from stone from the nearby island of Brac, line narrow streets and alleyways in Vis and Komiza.

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

 

The main towns on Vis

Vis (Luka)

Vis town is situated in a protected bay…Viska Luka… on the northern end of the island. At one end of the bay is the port of Vis (Luka), where the ferries from Split arrive. Cafes and bars that spill into the squares and along the waterfront, come to life at night.

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

 

The walk to the other end of the bay and the small village of Kut takes twenty minutes. The road runs along the waters edge providing glorious views of the bay.

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

 

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

 

Kut

Kut has a lovely feel about it…some of the town’s old stone buildings are built to the water’s edge whilst others surround the square. There’s a few bars in the square and a couple of restaurants along the waterfront but on the whole it is quieter at this end of the bay! Vis’ best restaurant, Pojoda, can be found in Kut.

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

The village of Kut at sunset

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Yachts on the waterfront at Kut

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Kut

 

 

Komiza

Komiza on the western end of the island, is predominately a fishing village.
The village is a delight to wander around, fresh seafood graces the local restaurant’s menus and cafes and bars line the promenade. You can also take a boat from Komiza to visit the Blue Cave on Bisevo Island.

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Komiza

 

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

 

Vis has fabulous beaches

Vis has some of the best beaches in Croatia. The southern coast is dotted with beautiful bays and secluded coves. Most of the beaches are stone beaches but there are a few sand beaches on the island. Stoncica, Stiniva and Srebena are favourites. Granvalac which is in walking distance from Kut, is another. There will be more on these beaches next week. Read more about these fabulous beaches at 4 of the Best Beaches on Vis

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Stiniva Beach

 

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Stoncica Beach

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Stunning clear blue water

Vis has great food and wine

It was not an easy time for the people on Vis during the years the island was closed. Many left to seek fame and fortune.  Those who remained were were either fisherman or involved in agriculture. Today these industries are flourishing and as a result there are some interesting wines and great food available.

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Lobster on the grill in Komiza

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Fabulous pizza at Karijola on Vis

 

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Fresh sardines

 

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Fresh fish at Pajoda

My Favourite places to Eat on Vis has a comprehensive guide to where to eat.

 

Local Wine

Driving through the centre of the island you will pass many vineyards. The Vugava grapes used to make white wine, were thought to have been bought to the island by the Romans whilst the red wine grape, the plavac, is a Croatian favourite. Olive groves also flourish and the olive oil from here is excellent.

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Vineyards in central Vis

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Local wine for sale

 

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

White wine with a view

 

 

Many of the vineyards also offer delicious local cuisine. Cooking under the peka or bell is a Croatian speciality. You should definitely try this at least once whilst you are in Croatia. Lamb, beef or fish together with potatoes and other vegetables, are cooked for hours in a large pan over coals. Slow cooking at its best and the result is delicious.

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Cooking under the peka

 

How to get to Vis

Jadrolinija Ferries leave Split for Vis twice a day and take two and a half hours. The boats also take vehicles.
Krilo (Kapetan Luka) have a fast service from Split to Vis taking one and a half hours. They do not take cars. Last year they started operating a service on Tuesdays between Split, Hvar and Vis. This could be very handy if you are going between these islands and it would be worth arranging your itinerary around it but please check their latest schedule first.

 

Where to stay

There are only four hotels on the island. Of these the Hotel San Giorgio is the best.

Most people that go to Vis stay in one of the islands many apartments in either in Vis or in Komiza. These can easily be found the web. Personally I love to stay in the Kut end of Vis town.

Vis: The Best Island in Croatia

Villa Vis

 

Villa Vis Croatia

We stayed at the Villa Vis Croatia, a four room B&B in a fabulous position in Kut whose room rates range from 80E in low season to 125E in high season based on a three night stay. There is no lift. Access to the rooms is via a small spiral staircase. I recommend the green room which has it’s own entrance. Tatjana is a fabulous hostess and knows everything there is to know about Vis and can help you decide where to eat and what to do.

 

Coming up in the next few weeks: 
The Best Beaches on Vis
Where to Eat on Vis
What to do on Vis

 

Have you been to Vis?  Did you enjoy your stay there? I’d love to hear which island you consider the best island in Croatia

 

 

Other articles on Croatia that you may enjoy:
Seven Weeks in Croatia: The Highlights
Skradin: Gateway to Croatia’s Krka National Park
A.Ston.ishing Oysters in Croatia
The Croatian Island of Cres

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51 Responses to Vis: The Best Island in Croatia.

  1. Joy @MyTravelingJoys March 25, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

    WOW! I love the lobster photo. I want to be at the beach right now! We only spent 5 days between Split, Trogir and Brac Island last year. Certainly not enough time to see much, but enough to know we want to return to Croatia again! 🙂

    • Jenny Freedman April 7, 2015 at 12:16 am #

      Summer’s coming Joy…it won’t belong till you can be at the beach and enjoying fresh seafood! Croatia has so many fabulous places. The islands are just one of them. We went to Brac one year after another time on Vis.Maybe you’ll visit Vis one year!

      • Peter Gibbons February 1, 2017 at 1:25 am #

        Hi Jenny, hope the blog’s still open. We’re planning our summer holiday which starts at Pula & ends at Split with 5 nights planned on Vis. Is it worth taking our hire car with us to Vis or can we see the island by public transport/bike/walking? Thanks

        • Jenny Freedman February 4, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

          Hi Peter. Life will be easier on Vis if you have a car with you or hire one there. There is only a bus to Komiza. To see the beaches on the other side of the island you will either need a car or scooter or hire a boat for the day…which is great fun with or without a driver (you need to have a boat licence) ! It may be worth doing the sums to see how it works out cost wise of you take your car with you or not. Have fun!

  2. Manasi Kumar March 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

    I went here years ago on a day trip and for the life of me couldn’t remember the name but it all came flooding back as soon as I saw the pictures! Finally I can tell people about the loveliness of Vis. That lobster photo is amazing!

    • Jenny Freedman March 26, 2015 at 10:53 am #

      Isn’t that incredible Manasi! I had to think twice about telling everyone about Vis…it’s so beautiful! You’ll have to go back a stay longer than a day!

  3. travelFREAK March 25, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

    Wow! That clear blue water…This island looks so good and it has so many beautiful things to offer!

    • Jenny Freedman March 26, 2015 at 10:51 am #

      The water in this particular bay is amazing Jeremy. We’ve been a couple of times now and love it…I’d go back again tomorrow!

  4. Madison's Avenues March 26, 2015 at 4:18 am #

    Wow, I have only been to Dubrovnik and Hvar and while I realized they were very touristy before I went there, seeing this makes me really upset I didn’t seek out a but more of a hidden island. It is getting a little cold here, so maybe a perusing of Skyskanner is in order! Great post.

    • Jenny Freedman March 26, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      Yes, Vis is very different to Hvar though Starigrad, where we stayed on Hvar, was much quieter than the main town. Vis is a fabulous island…there is more to come in the following weeks about it. It’s not too late to book for this summer!

  5. SJ March 27, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    Ohhhh, this island has been on my wishlist for so long…. now it’s ust jumped up a few places!

    • Jenny Freedman March 28, 2015 at 11:06 am #

      I can’t believe you haven’t been there SJ! Thankfully for you it’s not too far away to go at the last minute. I’m sure you’ll love it.

  6. jo March 27, 2015 at 7:41 am #

    Wow Vis looks gorgeous. Those beaches and typically Croatian scenes have me itching to go back. We went to Brac, Hvar and Korcula. Lobster pic is so tempting too!!

    • Jenny Freedman March 28, 2015 at 11:07 am #

      You went to some gorgeous islands Jo! Croatia certainly has some great places to go back to…with lots of fresh seafood!

  7. Shelley March 27, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    I haven’t been to Vis, or Croatia at all, but your fantastic photos have convinced me I should go! Beaches, food, all look amazing.

    • Jenny Freedman March 28, 2015 at 11:05 am #

      Croatia is a fabulous country Shelley…a little bit of everything but the islands are definitely a major attraction!

  8. Red Nomad OZ March 27, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    Wow! What a wonderful island to explore – and I’d factor in a few extra days just for eating 😀 The water is amazing too – but I think I would miss sandy beaches after a while!!

    • Jenny Freedman March 28, 2015 at 11:03 am #

      It’s a fabulous island Red. We loved our time there! We are spoilt in Australia with our sandy beaches….we’re on Rottnest now and the water is the same colour but we won’t tell too many people about it!!

  9. budget jan March 28, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    Thank you for this wonderful post Jenny. I’m definitely eating Lobster on the grill. I had been wondering about how to get from Hvar to Vis without going back to Split. You have me enthused for Croatia now. Time to start booking. 🙂

    • Jenny Freedman March 28, 2015 at 10:56 am #

      I’m very jealous of you heading there soon Jan! The boat I mentioned may solve that problem otherwise you have to go back to Split which is a nuisance! Have a fabulous time and have a lobster on the grill for me!

  10. Corinne March 28, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    Jenny, We haven’t been to Vis, but I’ve got to go that Stivica beach. It looks amazing. Oh and your food photos have me salivating!

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

      Stiniva Beach is stunning Corinne. I have a blog post coming about a few of the beaches there which will make you want to go even more! The food is delicious!

  11. Ruth March 30, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    Hello Jenny,

    I discovered your blog thru Chasing the Donkey. Love your stories and your pictures (and love all the food pictures, amazing!).

    I have been going thru your old posts little by little. When checking one of the posts, I saw Eleni’s name on one of your Athens recap. I know her! As a matter of fact, I may see her soon. I am still in awe. Can’t believe how small the world is!

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

      Hi Ruth. Great to see you here. It is indeed a small world! I met Eleni through my facebook page and we arranged to meet when I was in Athens for TBEX. She was a wonderful hostess and introduced us to an Athens we would not have found. If you do see her, please give her my best wishes.

  12. Amber April 8, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

    Interesting about the food in Vis. When we spent time in Croatia, mostly near Zadar and Hvar, I found the food options repetitive and uncreative, with restaurants offering the same menus everywhere. We even tried to buy seafood or fish at a local market to cook at our apartment, which was a hassle and a half. But, these photos of amazing seafood makes me think we were missing something for sure!

    • Jenny Freedman April 11, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

      After 7 weeks in Croatia, I felt the same as you Amber….we always knew what the menu would be offering but thank heavens for the seafood! It was always so caught that day, simply cooked and delicious!

  13. Michele Peterson ( A Taste for Travel) April 13, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    Vis looks like a beautiful and tasty place to spend a few days or more.That lobster on the grill in Komiza looks like reason alone to visit! I’ll be in croatia in a few weeks and can’t wait!

    • Jenny Freedman April 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm #

      I have a food post coming up in a couple of weeks Michele, that may offer even more temptations! There’s so much to see in Croatia. we spent seven weeks there and had to go back the following year for another three weeks as we hadn’t seen it all. We also wanted to go back to Vis! Where in Croatia are you going?

  14. Yasha Langford April 13, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

    Lovely photos!
    I haven’t been to the islands of Croatia but have twice-visited the Istria Peninsular. I just love that in Croatia you can still find beautiful, unspoilt places where the rich history of the country is still on display.

    • Jenny Freedman April 13, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

      Thanks Yasha. We spent seven weeks in Croatia two years ago and found so many unspoilt places. Vis was our favourite so we went back again last year after we had been to Istria. I could easily go back again!

  15. Kay Dougherty April 13, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    I’ve been to some of Croatia’s islands and just loved them but I didn’t know about Vis and its many charms! I had the same menu experiences as Amber mentions so was not impressed by Croatian dining .But t loved their enthusiasm for the water, their interesting and painful history and the spectacular views everywhere!.Thanks for bringing Vis to my attention!

    • Jenny Freedman April 14, 2015 at 9:43 am #

      Yes Kay, the lack of depth in the menus is a bit tricky especially when you are spending a long time there. However the fresh seafood, the stunning beaches and the warmth of the people on Vis well and truly made up for it!

  16. Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru April 13, 2015 at 11:03 pm #

    We would love to visit Croatia and I can see that Vis would be a wonderful stop in the itinerary.

    • Jenny Freedman April 14, 2015 at 9:44 am #

      Croatia is a fabulous country Betsy…so much to see and do. There are many interesting places to visit but the islands would definitely be my favourite!

  17. Patti Morrow April 14, 2015 at 9:41 am #

    Last month I met a rep from a Croatia cruise line and his brochures and info really intrigued me. Your photos are beautiful — I really want to go to Stiniva Beach!

    • Jenny Freedman May 15, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

      Thanks Patti.Croatia is beautiful…perfect for a cruise! Stiniva beach is unlike any I have seen…so small but so beautiful. Sorry for the late reply…I just found your comment in the spam folder!

  18. Carole Terwilliger Meyers April 14, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    Vis only gets better this week.

    • Jenny Freedman April 14, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

      Thanks Carole. This is the start of a four series mini guide to the island!

  19. Heather @ Ferreting Out the Fun April 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    I’ve recently started planning my first trip to Croatia and am having a tough time narrowing down the destinations. And here you go adding another one to the list! Decisions, decisions… 😉

    • Jenny Freedman April 21, 2015 at 9:04 am #

      We found it hard to choose too heather so we spend seven weeks in the country and still didn’t make it to Istria! I wrote a post on where we spend our time so you may like to check it out to help you. It depends on the time of the year you are going too.Being so close, you could make a couple of trips at different times to see different areas!

  20. A Cook Not Mad (Nat) April 18, 2015 at 12:57 am #

    Will have to book mark this post for future reference. The peka cooking looks intriguing!

    • Jenny Freedman April 21, 2015 at 9:02 am #

      The peka is a Croatian speciality Nat that you will find it all over the country. It’s definitely a dish you should try!

  21. irenelevine (@irenelevine) April 18, 2015 at 7:17 am #

    You’ve provided such a wonderful guide to Vis that you have left me no excuse not to visit!

    • Jenny Freedman April 21, 2015 at 9:01 am #

      I’m sure you won’t be disappointed Irene!

  22. Cathy Sweeney April 18, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    I am so looking forward to visiting Croatia — nothing planned yet, but I’m working on it! I had no idea that there were 700 islands. Well, it looks like Vis is a good choice and I appreciate the rundown on what to see and do. And about the fab food and wine, of course!

    • Jenny Freedman April 21, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      Croatia’s a great place to visit Cathy…so much to see but for me the islands are where I like to go and Vis is our favourite. Hope you make it here one day!

  23. Dani Blanchette August 10, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

    10 years ago this fall, I visited Croatia and Vis and this article brings me back to everything I loved about it. I actually planned my entire trip around going to Vis.
    Why?

    Because I had closed my eyes and pointed to a map, and when I opened my eyes, my finger was residing squarely on Otok Vis.

    I haven’t been able to get Croatia or Vis out of my mind since. 🙂

    • Jenny Freedman August 17, 2015 at 11:49 am #

      Hi Dani. What a great story.The stars were certainly aligned that day! Vis does have that effect on you. We’ve been there twice now and I’m sure we’ll be back again.

  24. Daniela April 13, 2017 at 8:43 am #

    your blog post about Vis was very helpful. there is a small group of us touring south Croatia (before we attend a wedding in the north) and we are trying to decide which islands to visit. My husband and I have already been to Brac. Vis seemed like a great idea. You have convinced me to visit. thank you!

  25. Michaelle Edwards July 1, 2017 at 4:26 am #

    I am headed to Vis very soon after spending a week on Lostavos. Although I have not yet seen Vis, it will be hard to be Lostavos. I am in heaven.

    • Jenny Freedman July 10, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

      After two visits to Vis, we’d love to get back to Croatia so Lostavos could be the answer. I’ll check it out. I hope you enjoy Vis as much as we did. I’d love to hear how you found it in comparison. Have fun!

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