By Iva Ralica
The island of Vis, arguably one of the most beautiful islands in the world, is located off Croatia’s southern Adriatic coast.
Unspoiled nature, breathtaking beaches, amazing underwater world, rich history and delicious local cuisine could easily convince anyone this really is paradise.
Here are just some things to check out whilst you are on the island.
1. SEE THE BEAUTIFUL STINIVA BEACH
This gorgeous beach is a small bay hidden from the view of passing boats, framed by the high cliffs which give it a mystic atmosphere and a paradise-like feeling! Thanks to its beauty, it is now revealed to the world as the top beach in Europe. Because of its unique visuals and underwater life, it is protected as a nature reserve. Getting from Split to Vis.
2. VISIT KOMIŽA & HUM MOUNTAIN
The picturesque town of Komiža is settled at the foot of the 600 meter high Mt. Hum which offers a great view over the Adriatic sea, all the way to Velebit, Pelješac, Lastovo, Jabuka, Kornati… Komiža is filled with narrow charming streets, astonishing stone houses and surrounded by numerous beaches around its harbour.
It was once a dominant fishermen village on the eastern coast of the Adriatic and its importance is felt even today. The Fishermen’s Museum in the 16th-century Venetian tower confirms the value as well as the top restaurants that include the offerings found in the surrounding sea areas, such as crabs and lobsters. The sequel to Hollywood hit Mamma Mia was filmed in here and around the island last year.
3. VISIT MODRA ŠPILJA (BLUE CAVE)
Famous Blue cave on the island of Biševo offers a unique experience by creating a magical effect – blue glow produced by the sunshine and the sea reflection. It was first available through an underwater entrance, but since the late 19th century it is reachable by boats. While on the sea, you might encounter the Mediterranean seal.
4. VISIT VELA SMOKOVA BEACH
This sandy beach is famous not only for its beauty but also as a destination for navigation experts and diving lovers. Around 100 meters from the beach, remains of a Second World War airplane wing can be seen. There are similar sights all around Vis which makes the underwater world more interesting.
5. DIVING AND PARAGLIDING
Vis has numerous fantastic diving locations, such as the northern part of its rich underwater world filled with caves, rocks, corals and sea creatures. Likewise, the southern part of the island offers not only beautiful nature but also interesting sights of sunken ships, submarines or planes, as well as the numerous broken amphorae which makes the underwater experience so much more unique.
6. TALEŽ & VELA GOMILA
Talež is a 200-year-old settlement surrounded by a fairytale nature. It offers a beautiful view over the surrounding islands, all the way to Italy. Reconstructed old houses are a great choice for the accommodation and are located in the intact nature. From it, there is a way that leads to Vela Gomila, the oldest lighthouse on the Adriatic with a view over the south island’s shore.
7. TAKE A BOAT RIDE TO JABUKA & BRUSNIK ISLANDS
Located 13 km from Komiža, Brusnik is a small mysterious volcanic island that hides a beautiful beach with dark pebbles. Jabuka is another island of volcanic structure on the Adriatic and has an interesting cone-like shape. It is small but full of interesting flora and fauna.
8. CHILL IN VIS TOWN
The beautiful city in the northern part of the island is filled with historical monuments. Visit town walls, the remains of the old town’s streets, thermae, antique theatre, the necropolis of Issa and Perast tower as one of the four fortresses in the port or George’s fortress – Fortica, from the years of the British rule.
Some of the most famous houses are located here: the one that belonged to a well-known Croatian poet, Hanibal Lucić, Gariboldi country house from the 16th century, as well as Jakša family summer house from the 17th century and the Rdošije’s Palace that once dominated the port. In The Archeological Museum in the former fortress, you can see valuable historical collections of these areas.
9. VISIT THE FORMER MILITARY BASES
Visit the secret Vela Glava, the barracks in the centre of the island, see the cannon fortresses on the Stupišće cape and go to the beautiful Parja Bay where the sea tunnel is located.
10. SWIM ON THE ISLAND OF BUDIKOVAC
A pebble beach, hidden bay, and a breathtaking lagoon form a dream picture! It is a perfect place for sailors and those looking for privacy. This part of the world can surely be called heaven on Earth!