— Don’t Miss Vis – A Peaceful Croatian Island —

Far Away, Yet Easy to Get To

Vis is the farthest inhabited island off the Croatian mainland, but don’t let the distance scare you; it is easily reachable by ferry from the port town of Split. For less than $6 per person, we made the 2 hour and 20 minute journey on the Jadrolinija ferry to reach this beautiful island.

Split Croatia

Leaving the port town of Split on our way to Vis

Our first view of a Croatian island was everything we’d dreamt of!

Vis Island Croatia

The small village town of Kut on the island of Vis

The weather couldn’t have been any more perfect as we pulled into the harbor surrounded by yachts, palm trees, and quintessential stone buildings.

Vis Island Croatia

Sailboats and yacht in Vis Harbor

We didn’t have much of a plan for our visit, other than exploring the island and cooling off in the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic. When you look up ‘things to do’ in Vis, the majority of top contenders are various beaches around the island, with an occasional historic building thrown in for good measure.

Vis Island Croatia

Church on the peninsula in Vis Harbor

Where to Stay in Vis

What we love about Vis is that there are no high rise resorts, just smaller hotels and locally run bed and breakfasts. We rented an apartment for a few days through AirBnB. The location was perfect, just up an alleyway leading away from the harbor.

Vis Island Croatia

Stairs leading to the apartment we rented in Vis

The views from our room were nothing short of spectacular, especially in the evening. We overlooked the harbor as the sun set from behind and watched as the moon peaked up over the horizon.

Vis Croatia

Overlooking the harbor from the window of the apartment we rented in Vis

Our Favorite Beach

While there are many incredible beaches on the island, we regrettably didn’t have time to explore them all; there are just too many! However, we will introduce you to one of our favorites: Grandovac Beach. We took a taxi to get there initially and it’s important to note that not all taxis will go to this location, as it requires a drive on an unpaved, and very bumpy, road. The taxi cost about $15, which was a little steep in our opinion, but rented scooters are not permitted on this road and the walk seemed a bit far.

Vis Island Croatia

Grandovac Beach remains virtually uncrowded, even in the summer months

Once we arrived at the beach, we didn’t much care about the cost to get there. With water so blue, very minimal crowds, and a slice of beach we found all to ourselves, we were in heaven!

Vis Island Croatia

Crystal clear water of the Adriatic at Grandovac Beach

In preparation for beach time, while in Zagreb (the capital city of Croatia), Sam bought a snorkel and mask and I bought a raft for floating in the sea! Another essential item we recommend you bring along for your visit to the Croatian islands (besides sunscreen) is water shoes. The beaches are very rocky, and spiky sea urchins if stepped on barefoot, can ruin your holiday. (If possible purchase these items before arriving on the islands to save some money. I saw the exact raft I purchased for $10 in Zagreb marked as $20 on the island!)

Vis Island Croatia

Relaxed in this lovely little cove at Grandovac Beach

Sam snorkeled around the cove as I relaxed on my raft. It was pure bliss! A few more people arrived throughout our time at the beach, but it never got crowded… and this was during the summer months!

Vis Island Croatia

Along the walk from Grandovac Beach back to Vis Town

Something to note is that just around the cove from where we positioned ourselves is a nude beach, so don’t be surprised if you see a little extra skin if you venture that way. Grandovac Beach is not listed as a nude beach, though people tend to be a little more ‘free’ in parts of Europe when compared to the States where we’re from. So even though a beach may not be labeled as a ‘nude beach’, it seemed as if swimsuits were optional on many of Croatia’s beaches.

Vis Island Croatia

Walking along the shoreline on the way back to Vis Town

A Walk to Remember

Not wanting to spend another $15 for a taxi back to Vis town, we decided to walk. Honestly, the walk wasn’t so bad and the views were incredible. Normally, it would take about 25 minutes to walk from Grandovac Beach to the Vis Harbor, but it took us about an hour, because we stopped to take so many pictures.

Vis Island Croatia

A quiet path cut through the small village of Kut

You walk along the shore for a while before coming to the quaint village town of Kut. Small alleyways shadowed by centuries old buildings with colorful window shutters lead the way back to Vis Harbor.

Vis Island Croatia

The village of Kut on the island of Vis

So, if you’re able and feeling up to it, we’d say walk both to and from Grandovac Beach. It’s a beautiful journey and it allows you to see and experience another village town, as opposed to just driving by.

Vis Island Croatia

Enjoying the peaceful walk from Grandovac Beach to Vis Town

The ‘Other’ Side of the Island

With an area of almost 35 square miles (90 sq. km), there is much to see on the island of Vis. Buses run multiple times a day to the town of Komiza on the opposite end of the island (from Vis Town). You can also rent a car or scooter to get around the island, but note that several of the roads are steep and full of hairpin turns.

Vis Island Croatia

The town of Komiza on the other end of the island

Traveling to and from Komiza by bus was the most comfortable and affordable option for us at a little over $7 per person (roundtrip). After seeing the route to Komiza (via bus), we’re glad we opted to NOT rent a scooter! The roads were steep, narrow, and winding!

Vis Island Croatia

Boats in the harbor in the town of Komiza on the island of Vis

There are several options for exploring around the island of Vis: rent a kayak, go on a guided group boat tour, hire a captain for a few hours, or rent your own boat. Now, most boat companies require that you have a boater’s license to take a boat out unaccompanied, but we found one (semi-sketchy) company/individual who rented us his boat for a few hours at a nominal fee. It was a rickety little boat with a 5 horse-power engine, and a few pieces of duct tape masking some imperfections. We made sure to have life jackets on board and set out to explore a nearby island!

Vis Island Croatia

Our trusty little boat rental did the trick to get us to the island of Bisevo

One of Vis’ main attractions is the Blue Lagoon Grotto on the island of Bisevo just off the coast of the town of Komiza. We opted not to visit the Blue Lagoon, but instead motored around to a lovely beach cove around the other side of the island. With only a 5-horsepower engine, it took us about an hour to reach our destination.

Vis Island Croatia

What a handsome captain!

As we left the town of Komiza behind, there wasn’t much scenery ahead other than the rich blue water of the Adriatic as the island of Bisevo increased in size as we approached.

Vis Island Croatia

The island of Bisevo off the coast of Vis

We anchored and docked in the bay of Porat Beach and enjoyed a few hours swimming, floating, and enjoying the picnic lunch we had packed.

Vis Island Croatia

Porat Beach on the island of Bisevo, off the coast of Vis

Another one of Vis’ most visited attractions, besides the Blue Lagoon, is Stiniva Bay. This popular cove requires a scooter or taxi ride and a 20-minute harrowing climb down a steep and rocky hillside. We decided to play it safe and stick with the beautiful beaches we had already seen. There’s a lot to see and do on the island, if you can spare more than just a day or two. Otherwise, pick a few experiences you’d like to have and enjoy your time on the beautiful island of Vis! We also visited the islands on Hvar and Korcula on our do-it-yourself island-hopping itinerary. The islands are pretty close together and combined, make one heck of a holiday!


15 Comments:

  1. It seems that you loved your time on Vis. We loved it so much we never left! We now run an activity holiday from our old stone house. Next time you visit come and stay with us and we will take you kayaking. It is the best way to get to the secluded bays and fully appreciate the clear seas.

    • We very much enjoyed our time on Vis. We did go kayaking while on the island of Korcula – http://forgetsomeday.com/korcula-croatia/ and absolutely loved it. We will definitely look you up during our next visit to Vis. 🙂

      • Hi Toccara and Sam

        Beautiful island. We are due to visit in June and noted your comment on the skipper licence and boat rental. How did you find the boat rental company/individual? We don’t have a skipper licence and really keen to take out a small boat.
        Many thanks. S

        • As mentioned- “There are several options for exploring around the island of Vis: rent a kayak, go on a guided group boat tour, hire a captain for a few hours, or rent your own boat. Now, most boat companies require that you have a boater’s license to take a boat out unaccompanied, but we found one (semi-sketchy) company/individual who rented us his boat for a few hours at a nominal fee. It was a rickety little boat with a 5 horse-power engine, and a few pieces of duct tape masking some imperfections. We made sure to have life jackets on board and set out to explore a nearby island!” We found this individual, because he had up a sign in the harbor in Komiza. Had we not come upon the sign; we probably would’ve just rented kayaks somewhere, just to get out on the water for fairly cheap. If you do something similar, just make sure you feel safe on the boat and have necessary safety equipment on board! 🙂

  2. Many thanks for your reply. Very helpful.

  3. Hi,

    Which of the 3 three islands you found to be the best? We are 2 friends planning for a trip end of May and confused between Hvar and Vis. We prefer a serene place with opportunities for lanscape photography.

    Regards,
    Kavya

    • Oh man, that’s a tough question. They’re all unique and special in their own right. Hvar will definitely be your most crowded, where as Vis will be more quiet and serene. Korcula was an experience right in the middle. Each island has bus service if you don’t want to rent a car/scooter, so you can get around to different parts of the island to explore. The good thing is, all of the islands are connected via ferry and you can easily island-hop to experience a little bit of everything. In May, I doubt the summer crowds will have arrived, so I can’t imagine any of the islands being too busy yet. (Double check the ferry and bus schedules to make sure everything will be running regularly in May.) You honestly can’t go wrong with any island you choose. They are all gorgeous! Have a wonderful time! 🙂

      • Thank you so much. We chose Vis and planning to stay in Vis or Komiza. Any suggestions on the accommodation?

        • Hi Kavya,
          I’m going to copy the reply I just left for another reader above, as she too asked specifically about where we stayed. In Vis we stayed in Apartment Radišić (Jakša is the owner). Do me a favor, if you’ve never stayed in an AirBnB before, use this url to sign up- (http://airbnb.com/c/tbest13?s=8) You’ll save $35 on your first stay and I’ll get some travel credit too! Then once on the AirBnB website, if you add the following to the end of the url (/rooms/3260801), it should take you straight to Jakša’s apartment. If that doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll send you the direct url! As there really aren’t any major hotels on Vis, your best bet is AirBnB to rent a private apartment. We love doing this, as it’s a great way to live among the locals and get a taste of the local culture. So, try AirBnB and we’re confident that you’ll find something that meets your travel style and budget! Have a great time on Vis!

  4. Hello Toccara and Sam!

    I have just found your blog, and I am IN LOVE with it! My husband and I will be in Croatia the first 2 week of June, and I am really using your tips to put together our own Island Hopping Experience 🙂

    Would you mind sharing where did you stay? I know it was through Airbnb, but if you could share the exact apartment that would be awesome! Thanks!

    • Hi Elaine,
      So glad you’re enjoying our blog! Did you happen to see my guest post on the Croatian Travel Blog – Chasing the Donkey? (http://www.chasingthedonkey.com/how-to-create-your-dream-croatia-island-hopping-itinerary/) I give specifics on planning your own island-hopping itinerary utilizing the local ferries. In Vis we stayed in Apartment Radišić (Jakša is the owner). Do me a favor, if you’ve never stayed in an AirBnB before, use this url to sign up- (http://airbnb.com/c/tbest13?s=8) You’ll save $35 on your first stay and I’ll get some travel credit too! Then once on the AirBnB website, if you add the following to the end of the url (/rooms/3260801), it should take you straight to Jakša’s apartment. If that doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll send you the direct url! (Just trying to save you money and earn a little travel credit… if you’ve never tried AirBnB before. We use it all the time and love it!) Have a wonderful time in Croatia. We’re actually trying to figure out when we can go back for another visit! It’s so beautiful there!

  5. Great info on an island my wife’s brother recommended. I guess my question is if I had to go to one island in Croatia, would this be it …. only asking as it seems small (which is part of the beauty) …. and Was just curious if there were any other islands you might recommend …. picturesque, romantic, restaurants, culture …. ??
    Thanks …. this might very well be our destination, just doing my homework 🙂

    • Hi Steve!
      Glad we could help with your homework! 🙂 We visited the islands of Vis, Hvar, and Korcula. If you’re looking for quiet, remote, and small (somewhat limited restaurant options)- Vis is your island! If you’re looking for large, more popular, nightlife – Hvar is your island (http://forgetsomeday.com/hvar-croatia/)! If you’re looking for something in between, check out Korcula (http://forgetsomeday.com/korcula-croatia/)! All 3 are beautiful! Transportation between the islands couldn’t be easier on the public ferries, so you could check out more than one island if time allowed, and if you were interested in moving to another island halfway through your stay. No matter what island(s) you choose, you will fall in LOVE with Croatia. Get ready for beautiful scenery, delicious wine, and bluer water than you can even imagine! Have a great time!

  6. I really find your blog interesting! I have just came across and I really had fun. I haven’t been to Croatia but I just can’t help but get inspired and at the same time, be excited to go there because of the experience you shared!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *