The Townhouse
Top Tips around the island - east from Vis Town

Vis rewards those prepared to put in that little bit of extra effort. Apart from the highlights mentioned here, there are a myriad of little coves all over the island that can only be accessed by boat, and plenty of beautiful views that lie at the end of dirt tracks and footpaths. Get exploring!

Stoncica Beach -
15 minutes from Vis Town by scooter, car or boat, in a shallow cove, lies Stoncica, Vis' best sandy beach. Ideal for families, the brilliant blue water is less than waist high up to 30m out; young children may find this more comfortable than the steep drop offs around the pebble beaches. There's a small restaurant serving local fish dishes and a drinks shack where you can buy coffee, soft drinks or beer.

Vineyards and olive groves - take the road further inland, and the scenery changes again. From rocky coves and sea vistas, the island's central valley is lined with olive groves and vineyards, the produce of which is available to buy all over the island. Of special mention is Roki's Konoba - the celebrated wine maker also has a delightful restaurant inland (well signposted); they will even pick you up from Vis Town or Komiza. Their vineyard is, bizarrely, grown over the remains of a WWII air-strip (the British had a small airbase here), the outline of which can still be seen. It's real "Captain Corelli" country.

Rukovac - Opinion remains divided over Rukovac and nearby Milna, which are both town consisting entirely of Slovenian and Italian holiday villas. There are some lovely beaches here (Srbrna and Zaglav) and some stunning views, but outside of the summer months both places are eerily deserted. The islets of Budhikovac and Ravnik are worth a look, though, as they too hide some secluded sandy beaches and the Zelena Spilja (Green Cave) which while not a patch on the more famous Modra Spilja (see below) is still worth a trip as the boats can sail right into it.

Stiniva Bay
- Take a left turn after Plisko Polje and you'll come to the dirt track that leads down to the stunning Stiniva Bay. Park up and prepare yourself for a half hour yomp down a very steep path - but it's worth it. Stiniva is secluded, beautiful, and often you'll have the place to yourself. Take lots of water though, because you'll have to do that hike back up again!

Titova Spilja and Zena Glava - back on the main road you can take a right turn after the village of Podspilje and go and visit Tito's cave. This is the place where the ex-Yugoslav leader spent four months directing operations from Vis during the Second World War. Nearby is the hamlet of Zena Glava which offers Tuscanesque views of the island and traditional cuisine.

Komiza - at the opposite end of the island to Vis Town is a gorgeous little fishing village set around a picturesque harbour. Connected by the island's main and scenic routes, the bus leaves just after the Jadrolinija ferry arrival - otherwise it's best to hire a scooter or car!

As Komiza is a lot smaller than Vis, no map is provided - simply walk along the riva from the south entrance to find everything you'll need
!

Modra Spilja
, 5km south-west of Komiza on the island of Bisevo, is the biggest attraction this sideof the island. This is the famous "blue cave"; at certain times, sunlight enters the cave from a submerged side entrance and reflects off the seabed, bathing the whole cave a glorious blue colour. It's big enough for small boats to enter, and swimming in this magnificent place is possible even in summer months. It's quite a sight, and not one you should miss if you're on Vis for any length of time. You can book excursions to Modra Spilja from Vis Town or Komiza.

Diving
- there is plenty on offer on this side of the island - try the Dodoro Centre in Vis Town or the Issa Diving Centre in Komiza - both organise trips to shipwrecks, night dives, and diving in Modra Spilja.
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Komiza Top Tips

Eating and Drinking
Konoba Jastozera is one for the special occasion, built on top of the former town lobster-pot house. It has tables set on platforms on top of the water, and serves excellent fresh fish, and the speciality - lobster of course! Pizzeria Hum is a good, cheap option on the south of the riva; the fish sandwiches are big and filling, and the pizzas are every bit as good as those you'd get in Italy. Octopus salad is on offer for the adventurous! There also plenty of cafes and bars to choose from along the riva, most of which are open till late in summer. They do seem to lack the identity of those in Vis Town, but whiling away the small hours with some local Karlovacko beer or plavac in a town as dreamily quiet as Komiza is very, very pleasant indeed...

Shopping

Podrum Komina is the small shop used by the locals - and there is also the ubiquitous Roki's, selling a variety of red (crno) and white (biela) wines.

Swimming and Sunbathing
As in Vis Town, there are lots of little beaches in and around the village that the locals use - the two biggest, however, are at the southern most and northern most ends of the bay. The former is a quaint little place just off the riva. The latter is much larger, is shaded by palm trees and is the main tourist beach - you'll need to walk 10-15 minutes through the village to get to it. There is also (allegedly!) a nudist beach just to the south of the village. We didn't try all that hard to find it - but it's there!

Komiza is small enough to be done in a day trip - start early to make it a leisurely stay, taking everything in, including Modra Spilja. You won't regret it. Heading back out of Komiza, you are afforded some delightful views from the monastery near Hum - be sure to stop at a good vantage point for some photos, and if you're lucky and it's a clear day, you'll even be able to see Bisevo rising through the mist off shore.

On your way back from Vis' second town, the best bet is to take the north road.

Okljucna
is hidden away at the very end of a long dirt road, on the top of a hill near Mali Hum (the second largest hill on Vis). Little more than a cluster of restored and un-restored farmhouses, the view from here is quite simply stunning, and the rocky coves of the north of the otok are just 20 minutes hike away. It's well worth the effort.

Okljucna is not, however, the highest viewpoint on the island. Mali Hum means "little Hum" - which would of course leave Hum! Hum is an hour's hike south, and from here you can see the island in its entirety. Remember to take lots of bottled water in summer - it gets very hot. The rocky coves of the northern coast are also accessible from here after a 15 minute hike - well worth it!

On your way back into Vis Town, we advise you to stop off at the renowned winery of
Antonio Lipanovic, which is set into a maze of WW2 caves just behind the Kerum supermarket. You'll see the entrance from the road (just below a huge sign saying "VINO"!); drive past the supermarket, take the first left and then head left again. Tony is happy to arrange tastings of all his vintages, complete with local prsut and sir, for around 90Kn per person. Highly recommended.

Our brief tour of the island is finished off with a trip up yet another dirt track to
Rogacic, which is a small village set in a gorgeous bay just north-west of Vis Town - head back through the town centre and follow the road on past the Hotel Issa, up the hill and take the first dirt road left. The water at Rogacic is deep and bright blue, and just to the west is a second bay that hides the very James Bond style submarine cave, where the aforementioned subs used to dock and hide during the war. It's out of service now, but makes for a great explore, as you can still sail right into it!

When you're done swimming and grabbing a quick bite to eat at the local Konoba, it's time to head back down the dirt road and return to Vis Town for a few well earned glasses of
vugava or plavac down on the riva.
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