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