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Vis Destination Guide - All You Need to Know

The Croatian island of Vis is the farthest inhabited island off the Croatian mainland, located just 60 NM from the Italian coast. The island sits just west of the island of Hvar and 25 NM away from the island of Korčula to the east. Greek settlers founded a colony in the 4th century B.C. and named it Issa, which is how the island got its name. Like many other ancient settlements on the Croatian coast, Greek rule on the island was succeeded by the Romans. Until the end of the 18th century, the island of Vis was under the rule of the Venice Republic. During their ruling, large settlements of Komiža and Vis developed along the coastline. The Venetian influence is noticeable in architecture found on the island, while the specific dialect spoken locally is Venetian in origin. Due to its strategic location, the whole island was used as a Yugoslavian military base which saw the island isolated from all foreign visitors until 1989.   

Why Vis Croatia holidays make the perfect escape

Today, the island of Vis is a trendy tourist destination, offering its visitors a serene vacation spot filled with beautiful beaches, charming restaurants and untouched nature. As the island is located near other famous Croatian islands like Hvar, Brač and Korčula, many choose Vis as a perfect stop on their sailing itineraries. The easiest way to reach the island is by taking a ferry boat from Split, which will take around 3 hours. The island’s past isolation only enhances the feeling of peace and tranquillity that will sweep over you as you arrive. Whether you visit the town of Vis or Komiža, you will be greeted with the same laid back atmosphere that seems to envelop the island. Beautiful beaches are aplenty on the island, each offering something new and exciting to discover. Fishing is a big part of life on the island, and Vis is the place to try the most delicious and quality seafood on the Adriatic.      

What to expect from the weather in Vis Croatia

Like the rest of the Croatian coast, the island of Vis enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Vis summers are warm and dry, with plenty of sunshine. Average temperatures during the summer sit around 30 °C, while winter temperatures are around 10°C. Due to its somewhat isolated position, winds tend to be stronger around the island. The most common winds during the winter are Jugo (southern wind) and Bura (northern wind), while during the summer the most common wind is the mistral (moderate western wind). As the island is located further towards the middle of the Adriatic channel, sea temperatures around the island are a bit lower than those on other Croatian islands but can still reach 25 °C. 

Our preferred Vis beaches

One of the main tourist attractions on the island of Vis is its many breathtaking beaches.

  • Stiniva - the most famous beach on the island, frequently touted as one of Europe’s most beautiful beaches. Sitting in a small bay framed by high cliffs, hidden from the outside world, this beach offers tranquillity and unmatched natural beauty.
  • Vela Smokva beach - famous not only for its beauty but also as a destination for sailing enthusiasts and diving lovers. The main attraction here, besides the natural beauty, is the downed WWII aeroplane, located some 100 meters from the beach.
  • Stončica beach - shares the name with the bay, the lighthouse and nearby settlement. This sandy beach offers a bar, restaurant, volleyball field and is a perfect family destination.
  • Zaglav beach - considered one of the most beautiful sand beaches in Croatia. A perfect place to enjoy a day in the sun as the beach offers little to no shade. It can be reached by a nice pathway, located a mere 15-minute walk from the town of Milna.
  • Srebrna (silver) beach - got its name thanks to the way its pebbles reflected on the moonlight. This pebble beach has broad stone plateaus ideal for sunbathing and is perfect for families with children. 

Vis Croatia nightlife worth delving into

Although nightlife is not the first thing that comes to mind when mentioning Vis, there are still plenty of spots on the island where you can unwind and enjoy a cocktail or two. As is the case in most coastal cities, the best bars and clubs are located on or close to the seafront.

In the town of Vis, there are several bars and cafes such as Lambik Bar, Bejbi Bar or the Alavia Bar where you can grab a nice relaxing cocktail.

If you find yourself in Komiža, head on over to the Corto Maltese Bar, Speed Bar or the Biće Bar, all located on the seafront in the town’s centre. 

Komiža also has an outdoor movie theatre, ideal for enjoying summer blockbusters or romantic movies under the moonlight.

It is worth noting that the whole island of Vis comes alive once a year for the fisherman’s festival. It is a shared tradition among Croatian coastal towns where local communities organise a big summer celebration with plenty of grilled fish and local wine. On the island of Vis, this festival is held on the first weekend in August. It attracts plenty of visitors, some even coming by ferry from Split.  

Vis Croatia restaurants you shouldn't miss

The island of Vis is renowned for its long fishing tradition. Cold and deep waters surrounding the island are rich with sea life and schools of enormous tuna fish are a frequent sight for local sailors. This makes dining at one of the many restaurants on the island of Vis an authentic and unforgettable experience.

Restaurant Pojoda is located in the town of Vis and is the perfect setting to soak up the Mediterranean culture. It is the best place to enjoy delicious and fresh seafood on the island.

For those looking for something simpler, Pizzeria Karijola offers classical thin-crusted pizzas with a wide selection of toppings. Perfect for a quick and informal meal, Karijola attracts plenty of guests, so making reservations in advance is advised. 

Konoba Roki’s is situated in the centre of the island, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. Here you can enjoy a vast variety of dishes which all go perfectly with their locally produced wine. Due to its remote location, the restaurant even provides a shuttle that will transport you back to town.

Restaurant Stončica sits on the waterfront, at the beautiful beach with the same name. After enjoying a day at the beach, this is the perfect place to kick back, share a delicious meal and relax as the sunsets.

In the town of Komiža, Konoba Bako offers spectacular views of the bay and quality seafood. We highly recommended ordering the lobster here as the restaurant is famous for it. The restaurant is relatively small, so you should make a reserve a table in advance.

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