Vis Travel Guide

Vis is an isolated island located in the Adriatic Sea, about halfway to Italy. Closed off from the rest of the world for many years, it has a rich history that provides a rare look into life in authentic Dalmatia. Vis is a beautiful island with picturesque towns situated in bays, surrounded by stunning blue…

Island History

The Greek settlement of Issa, which dates back to the 4th century BC, was located on the site of present-day Vis. This state renamed Vis at some point, was governed by various empires over the years, including those of Rome, Venice, Austria, France, Britain, Italy, Yugoslavia and Croatia. The architecture present on the island today reflects its complicated history; there are Roman baths and British forts alongside abandoned Yugoslavian submarine tunnels.

Vis is the most remote Dalmatian island and its location in the Adriatic Sea made it a perfect military base for most of the 20th century. The Allied military saw action here during WWII against Italy and Germany. In 1989, the island finally opened its harbours and beaches to tourists. However, in 1992, the Yugoslavian army left Vis and it is no longer considered a military base.
The quiet island has retained its untouched beauty, with hidden bays and Old Towns where locals still make a living from traditional fishing and wine-making.

Best way to get to Vis

Although it is situated far from the mainland, there are still passenger and car ferries running to Vis regularly. The quickest way to travel to the island from Split is by catamaran; the journey only takes 1.5 hours, and there is a daily service in high season. Alternatively, you can take a car ferry over, which takes around 2.5 hours and allows you to bring your vehicle onto the island.
Due to the distance between Dubrovnik and Vis, no ferry directly connects the two locations.

You can browse our selection of Cruises in Croatia to find the one which offers the Vis in the itinerary.

What to do while I am on Vis Island?

Visit the Blue Cave

The Blue Cave is a natural phenomenon that is just as magical as its name suggests. Its closest access point is Vis, which is easily accessible from Split, Hvar and other nearby islands. The science behind the blue-lit cave is the reflection of light on the water when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. However, science aside, the Blue Cave is a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

The cave, previously only accessible to divers, is now open to tourists who take a short boat trip to Bisevo Island. Upon arrival, visitors will be rewarded with a mesmerising display of blue light. Although swimming is not allowed inside the cave, the beautiful colours and lights are an experience that cannot be missed.

Try Local Seafood

Fishing is an industry that has been present on the island of Vis for many centuries, and the traditional methods are still used today. The town of Komiža, which is the second largest town on the island, was home to seven fish factories at the height of its fishing industry, despite its small size. Fresh seafood can be found all over the island, but Komiža is especially known for its lobster dishes. If you want to have a truly authentic experience, enjoy your dinner by the water with some locally made wine.

Hike Mountain Hum

As one of the most secluded islands in central Dalmatia, a hike to the highest summit on the island will provide you with magnificent views out over the unspoiled sea! On the western side of the isle, you’ll find the hiking trail that takes you to Mount Hum’s awe-inspiring peak, overlooking Komiža town. The highest altitude on Moutain Hum is an impressive 587 meters above sea level, and affords breathtaking views out over the town below and Bisevo island, where the world-renowned Blue Cave is located!

Experience Military past 

The island was occupied by the military during WWII and was also used as a hideaway by Yugoslavia’s leader Tito. A network of tunnels, bunkers, and an airstrip were constructed during this time. Although the airstrip is no longer in use, it remains a popular destination for its eerie charm.
Discover Tito’s cave and submarine base, which are carved into the side of a limestone hill (so that they are not detectable from the air), and explore the hidden world of tunnels underneath the island and Tito’s bunker.

Explore the island’s military history up close by taking the Vis Military Tour. You’ll ride in a jeep and wear a hard hat as you visit some of the island’s most astonishing secret locations.

Savour local wine

The islanders of Vis have been making wine for many years, with two famous varieties being Plavac Mali (a strong-flavoured red wine) and Vugava (a typical dry white wine variety). These types of wines grow well on the island due to the sandy soil, hilly landscape, and plentiful sunshine. There are a few larger-scale wineries that offer tours around the island, or you may come across smaller ones while exploring on your own!

What about accommodation in Vis?

There are two main tourist destinations on the island of Vis. The first, and most popular choice is Vis Town which offers a wide variety of accommodation options to choose from, including shared dorms and luxury hotels. The second choice is Komiža, a quieter option that still provides access to guesthouses.