About Vis IslandVis Town is divided into four sectors - Luka, near the ferry port, Velo Bonda, where our house is located, Kut, which is the area to the east opposite the ferry port and Lučica, which runs on after Kut around the bay. Walking from end to end takes approx. 30 minutes.
There are plentiful places where you can book tours, scooters, boat trips, military tunnel trips, wine-tasting, cars or dive courses. Ionios and Vis Special (on the riva next to the main car park) or Navigator and Paiz (opposite the ferry port) are just four of the best known.
Best for Cheap Eats:
Pizzeria Charlie (just off the riva, before the Hotel Tamaris) - excellent pizza, lasagna and pasta dishes. They also offer a takeaway service.
Dudo's (one row back from the sea in Luka) - Decent pizzas and pasta dishes.
Gostiona Vis (riva, in front of the tower) - only a handful of sea front tables but this place is hard to beat for value seafood. Service can be slow, but it's worth it - try the girice or squid.
Best for Gastronomes:
Nona Darinka (one row back from the riva, behind the post office) - serves fantastic gnocchi, pizza and pasta, and has a quirky walled roof terrace upstairs.
Pojoda (one row back from the seafront in Kut) - innovative fish and meat dishes in a lovely garden surrounded by orange and lemon trees. Good value for such good food, and excellent service.
Lola's (one row back from the riva, behind the post office) - owned by a Spanish/Croatian couple, the walled garden is gorgeous and the food matches the aesthetics.
Best for Romance:
Karijola (on a raised terrace halfway to Kut) - a beautiful sea view location, chilled music, great service and the best pizzas on the island, bar none.
Kaliopa (further on towards Kut, just past the police station) - a magnificent restaurant set in a stunning Mediterranean garden - but be prepared to splash out!
Vis is a quiet town, but in July and August it comes alive, with most of the town's bars open for the summer months only. It's the Mediterranean, so be prepared to start at 10pm and finish somewhere around 3am! Our favourite is Bejbi Bar (opposite the ferry port) - groove during the day and eclectic mix of music late later on.
Konsum and Studenac (both near the ferry port) are the main supermarkets in town, although smaller mini-marts are dotted around liberally and there is also a larger one a short drive away (Tommy, on the fast road to Komiža). Buy the best local wines at Lipanović (halfway down the riva on the right) or Roki's (on the left as you walk towards the Hotel Issa to the right of the port) - bottles from 30-120 Kuna depending on quality and "točeno" (draught) from 20 Kuna for a litre and a half. There are also plenty of clothes and sandal shops that open up in summer. They sell flipflops, sun-cream, sunglasses, t-shirts, etc. On the way down to Kut, past Nona Darinka, there is a surprisingly good leather handbag shop.
Vis' open air cinema is a real treat. All films have subtitles in Croatia, and during the summer there is one screening per evening. The cinema can be found on the walk down towards Kut on the left just past a restaurant called Kod Paveta. Films are generally American/English. Don't worry about the weather - when it rains, the audience and reels alike are transferred to the smaller indoor cinema just 2 minutes walk away!
The nearest beach in Vis to the house is the one in front of the Hotel Issa - Vis' one and only meagre attempt at mass tourism - behind the Prirova peninsula. It has several stone quays and a pleasant palm-lined cove - but Vis has a habit of rewarding those who put in a touch more effort. On the walk down to Kut there are plenty more little bays where the locals go for a dip, but the best beach in town lies a good 25 minute walk away, behind the Česka Villa on the Lu&3269ica peninsula.
Grandovac Beach is a beautiful, secluded crescent shaped beach with aquamarine waters and its own little drinks/sandwich shack. Best of all, even in the summer months, it's never usually that busy.
An-Ma (near the Hotel Issa) and Dodoro (on the way to Kut), organise dives for beginners and experienced divers. With brilliantly clear waters and shipwrecks galore (including an old Lancaster bomber), Vis is an ideal place to do your PADI course.
The town pharmacy is located underneath the town hospital, just off the main road.
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!
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Stončica Beach - 15 minutes from Vis Town by scooter, car or boat, in a shallow cove, lies Stončica, 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 makers/restaurateurs/cricket lovers (yes, really) also have a delightful restaurant inland in the hamlet of Plisko Polje (well signposted); they will even pick you up from Vis Town or Komiža. Their vineyard is grown over the remains of a WWII air-strip (the British had a small airbase here during WW2), the outline of which can still be seen. It's real "Captain Corelli" country.
Rukavac - Rukovac and nearby Milna are both town consisting almost 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 Budikovac and Ravnik are worth a look, though, as they too hide some secluded sandy beaches and the Želena 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 towards marina Zemlje 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. Take lots of water though, because you'll have to do that hike back up again!
Titova Spilja and Žena Glava - back on the main road you can take a right turn after the village of Podšpilje 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 Žena Glava which offers Tuscanesque views of the island and traditional cuisine.
Komiža - 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 Komiža 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 Komiža on the island of Biševo, is the biggest attraction this side of 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 Komiža from a variety of tourist agencies.
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 Komiža - both organise trips to shipwrecks, night dives, and diving in Modra Spilja.
Komiža Top TipsEating and Drinking:
Konoba Jastožera 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 are also plenty of cafes and bars to choose from along the riva, most of which are open till late in summer.
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 waterfront. 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 are also two nudist beaches on either end of the town over the headland, so don't be surprised by any naked people!
Komiža 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 Komiža, 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 Biševo rising through the mist off shore.
On your way back from Vis' second town, the best bet is to take the north road.
Oključna - 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) is this gorgeous little village. 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.
Oključna 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 Oključna 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 Lipanović, which is set into a maze of WW2 caves just behind the "Tommy" 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 pršut and sir, for around 90Kn per person. Highly recommended.
Heading back through Vis there are two more recommended stops: head back through the town centre and follow the road on past the Hotel Issa, up the hill and you then have two choices - if you head left, you willeventually reach the village of Rogačić, set in a gorgeous bay of deep and bright blue water. It's also home to 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!
Choose to take the dirt road straight up the hill, and you will swiftly reach Fort George. Originally built by the British during their 19th century occupation of the island, it has recently been converted into a living museum and music/wedding venue. Well worth seeking out!