I consider Vis to be one of Croatia’s best-kept secrets. I highly recommend a trip to this beautiful island if you are visiting Croatia. Due to its distance from the mainland, Vis does not attract as many tourists or visitors compared to the other popular islands such as Hvar or Brac. We loved how serene and peaceful Vis was. This is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway away from the crowds and bustle.
GETTING TO VIS
Located the furthest away from the mainland, a trip to Vis will require a ferry ride. From Split, the Jadrolinija Ferries leave for Vis twice a day and takes two and a half hours. It cost kn54 (high season) for a one-way ticket.
Because of the limited ferry trips and time schedule, Vis is not day trip friendly. You will need at least two days and one overnight stay. It is hard not to fall in love with this quaint little island! I actually wished we spent an extra day or two here. I would recommend staying 3 or 4 days to fully explore and enjoy this beautiful island!
WHERE TO STAY
There are two main areas in Vis, the Vis (Luka) side and the Komiza side. Luka is the northern part of the island closest to the Riva (where the boats dock). Komiza is predominantly a fishing village and is located on the western side of the island.
I would recommend staying on the Vis (Luka) side since this is where the ferry port is located. Komiza is not centrally located and will require a bus. I would not recommend staying in Komiza unless you don’t mind traveling a bit.
We stayed at Hotel Issa in Vis (Luka) right along the beach-front. It was quite affordable, (we paid approximately $65 for one night including free breakfast) and was not too far from the city center (about a 10-15 minutes walk). This hotel was very basic with no frills. To be honest, it did seem a little outdated, but it suited our needs and fit our budget so we had no real complaints. Just a few minutes away from our hotel was a small beach that was great for just relaxing and enjoying the views.
WHAT TO DO/RECOMMENDATIONS
Enjoy a panoramic view of the island at Fort George
Vis (also called Luka) is located on the northern part of the island closest to the Riva. We stayed in this area and it was very quiet yet only a few minutes walk to the city center. On our first night, we decided to go for a jog to explore the island. We jogged in the direction away from the city center and found ourselves on an amazing cliff with a beautiful sunset view of the entire island. Stop by Fort George for a scenic drink or casual dinner. Vis is known for having plenty of great beaches but this was a quick and convenient location for us.
Stroll through the charming town of Kut
Kut is a small town in the heart of Vis. This is where you will find an abundance of coffee shops, souvenir stands and restaurants. We loved exploring this area, as the local homes were absolutely stunning. We loved the adorning of wooden shutters that accompanied the stoned structures with the orange clay roofs. This in combination with the waterfront location made every walk so much fun. I did not realize until trying to write this blog that we did not take any photos of Kut. Apparently, we were too excited about eating and roaming the streets, that we forgot to take photos.
Where to eat: when we asked a few locals for restaurant recommendations were told that Dionis was a must try. We really enjoyed the grilled calamari dish here. Another popular restaurant for great fish entrees is Pojoda – make sure to ask for the special course of the day as it changes daily! Lastly, you all know my love for good ice cream, my FAVORITE place for a delicious gelato cone was Bakery Kolderaj right by the pier. At kn9 per cone, I may or may not have had this for dessert with every meal…..haha
Explore the fishing village of Komiza
*Disclaimer: we did not have the opportunity to visit Komiza due to our limited stay. This recommendation is purely from advice I have heard from locals in Vis and from research through other blogs.
As mentioned before, Komiza is a much more rustic town that is centric to a fishing village. Definitely a place to explore if you have time!
Enjoy paradise to yourself at Stiniva Bay
Vis has many amazing beaches to be discovered! The southern coast of the island is lined with beautiful secluded areas. On our last day in Vis, we took a half day trip to Stiniva Bay.
Getting to Stiniva Bay will require a short 15-20 minute taxi followed by a 20 minutes hike down to the cove itself. We booked a taxi through a tour agency (no charge for that, they were just super nice). The taxi ride cost approximately kn250 for a round-trip. We simply just told the driver what time we wanted to be picked up and he came back to get us just at that time.
TIPS FOR STINIVA BAY
Make sure to wear sneakers!
Most people will think to wear sandals or flip flops when going to the beach, but as this adventure requires a little bit of a hike, I HIGHLY suggest wearing sneakers (you can pack a pair of sandals in your bag). The hike is downhill and rocky so while not extremely difficult will require some extra needed caution.
Beat the crowds by arriving early
We arrived to the beach around 9:30am, and had the beach to ourselves for almost the entirety of our visit. We brought along snorkeling gear and were able to swim freely without having to worry about our belongings. During midday, there were many tour and excursion groups that stopped by for an hour or two. If you want to take good pictures, make sure to take them early before the crowds hit! Even though this was not peak season, there were still at least 4 or 5 excursion groups that stopped along the shore (we left around noon, so many more tour groups could have stopped by later in the day). If you do plan on arriving as early as we did, beware of the SPIDERS. Being the first to arrive, we encountered MANY SPIDER WEBS on the hike down.
Pack a picnic
There is only a single shack on the island, that is owned by a really nice guy. He offers snacks and beers but definitely pack your own lunch if you are planning to spend more than half a day here.
Do your research on excursions
We actually only stumbled upon Stiniva bay by chance. We had originally planned to spend the day doing an excursion to the Blue Caves (Grottos), however we were disappointed to find out that the caves are actually a national site, which means that we weren’t allowed to enter the waters (we heard that you can only swim in the waters between November to March). The booking agency told us that the itineraries included visiting the caves via boat and then would set off to visit the other sites. We really wanted to do this excursion but felt it wasn’t worth it to visit, if we could only view from the boat. We asked the booking agency and she gave us a few other suggestions to consider. We finally settled on Stiniva bay after seeing some beautiful pictures. Luckily for us, it turned out to be the biggest highlights of our trip!
Happy Travels 🙂