Boating around Vis Island on the best boat tour

Boating Vis Island

One of my goals in Vis was to go boating around Vis Island. Seeing a destination from the water is a must in my book! It will give you a different perspective and always teach you something about the local culture and history. After doing some research, I decided to take a boating tour with Ames Trips and hop on for a fun boat excursion. And while they have numerous tours that include the Blue Cave and Bisevo island, for this tour, I decided to take a trip boating around Vis island.

Not sure what tour you would like to take? Ames has an office that you can visit, and they also have someone at the port just waiting to answer your questions and help you book your island tour.  

» Curious about the best beaches in Vis?

Did you know? 

When I first saw The Blue Cave back in 2018 I could not believe my eyes. A true marvel of nature, this cave is illuminated in beautiful shades of blue thanks to the Croatian sun bouncing off of the bottom of the sea floor. Click here to learn more about Ames Travel and their excursion to the Blue Cave of Bisevo island.  

boating vis island

All aboard!

Our day began at 10am. It was a beautiful day to go on an adventure! There were about 12 of us on the boat, which had an outdoor, and indoor seating area- everything covered by a rooftop to shield us from the hot Croatian sun.  

As the boat pulled away from Komiza, our guide for the day, Peter, began telling us all about the island of Vis. His English was as fluent as his Croatian and his sense of humor translated in both languages. The crew was a joy and made the day even more pleasant!

A Jewel of the Adriatic | Boating around Vis Island

Komiza is stunning. And on a sunny day the contrast of the sandy colored stone buildings next to the Adriatic Sea brought out the best in both!  Each glistening in their own special way. Our guide pointed out the church, talked about the historic fishing culture of Komiza while also pointing out Sophia Loren’s favorite beach spot on the island.

Vis may be a tiny island, but you will uncover fascination from coast to coast-including a hidden submarine tunnel and Stiniva Beach! Stiniva was voted the  best European Beach of 2016. And boy is it ever! 

Boating around Vis island: The Terrain

From the water it became even more apparent how untouched most of the coastline of Vis really is.  Rocks, trees, vineyards, and of course there were small towns and beaches along the way. 

The island is powerful yet peaceful in its terrain, but also in the way it operates. Surrounded by the radiant and oh so clean Adriatic Sea, the people of Vis are confident in their history, traditions, and the blessings they have received from nature. And they don’t feel the need to occupy every last inch of it!  Which I respect. 

♥ Curious about Vis and how many days you need? Read our Vis Island guide

Stiniva Beach

I visited Stiniva Beach back in the summer 2018, so as our boat approached the beach I started to get a little excited- and also a little nervous! If I wanted to step foot on Stiniva beach? I would need to swim there.  

Am I a swimmer? Sure. I can manage, but I am also the type that pinches their nose when they know they’re going under. So let’s call me a “swimmer.” Ha!  

You see, Stiniva beach is partially hidden by 2 rocky cliffs, perfectly framing the beach, and acting like the doorway to this heavenly cove. As you approach, you only get a peek of the beach- which lures you in all the more.  

Swimming to heavenly victory

The Adriatic Sea then leads you down a jewel toned path to unveil Europe’s Best Beach of 2016. Yet another way that nature made the island of Vis its favorite.The elegance of the Blue and green waters give the perfect contrast to the strength of the Greyish white rocky cliffs that tower over this magical beach.   

This union is flawless and just so majestic! And as I swam all the way to shore- so determined to overcome my own swimming insecurities- I smiled and laughed in delight! Awestruck at the beauty in front of me, I swam and tried not to swallow the glorious sea. The water was as clear as day, and the rocky wall above-a gasp worthy sight to see.  Swimming in the Adriatic Sea is incomparable.  And swimming to Stiniva beach felt like a dream.

 Julie’s Travel Tips:

While I was on my triumphant swim… I was not alone. I had my waterproof and shock proof phone case with me! It had a loop for my wrist and juuuust a little bit space to stash 20 euro. It was the star accessory for my little swim from the boat to beach. And as I rewarded myself with a glass of bubbles and a few photographs, I was so grateful that I came prepared-just like my Momma taught me.  

Boating around Vis island: Lunch with a view

The tour took us all around the island, and we stopped to swim at least a few times. It was so relaxing to be out on the water in the sunshine. Some chose to stay on the boat while some of us swam and others snorkeled. 

We then anchored for a deliciously simple lunch that was both flavorful and hearty. As our guide Peter explained, this was a family style meal for new friends, and by this point, conversation was definitely flowing! It really is amazing what happens when people from different places come together for an afternoon surrounded by nature’s beauty. It’s only a matter of time before you start to enjoy each other’s company. 

We shared white wine from Vis, and a creamy tuna salad with pasta red peppers and capers, bread, and an octopus salad- a Croatian specialty.  I let my feet dangle off the boat and sighed very deeply at my current place in the world. This was my last day on the island- I was going to miss it very much.

Julie’s Tips:

I recommend bringing a snack for yourself for the boat tour, or maybe make sure to have a big breakfast. If I could do it all over again I would’ve grabbed myself some iced tea and a snack to tide me over before our lunch. I am not big on breakfast, so I was pretty hungry when lunch came along.

Mother Nature’s Comedy routine

While the shores of Vis have many beaches, in between you will find rocky cliffs, caves, (including the green cave), and unique rock formations. Our guides showed us the most beautiful places around the island, including Sophia Loren’s tiny beach hideaway, the hidden submarine tunnel that I’ll get to in a moment, and The Pants.

Yes you read that correctly. There is a rock formation that looks like a pair of pants. It’s uncanny really. The erosion of nature has left its mark on this island in such a beautiful, and yet sometimes very funny way! Nature sure is awesome…and it seems that Mother Nature also has quite the sense of humor.

Boating around Vis island: The Hidden Submarine Tunnel

Picture this. You are following a submarine or a warship in the water during World War II and all of a sudden, Poof!  It just disappears. Peter, our guide, told us that the massive tunnel was made with so much concrete that it could build a Road from Split to Zagreb! That is 254 miles or 409 kilometers. That’s a lot of concrete. The tunnel was also strategically camouflaged to make it undetectable from the sky.

Vis island- a secret military base

The island of Vis was a secret military base for years. With underground tunnels, an underground hospital, and of course- the massive tunnel on the side of the island that was used to hide ships- sometimes for sneak attacks. Vis was also one of Tito’s favorite hideouts during his reign as Yugoslavia’s President, so it’s not surprising that the island has as many mysteries and secret spaces as it does.  

Vis was abandoned as a military base in 1989, and opened up to tourists in 1991. Croatia has such an interesting and complex history and I feel like I barely cracked the surface when it comes to the mysteries that surround Vis. Next time I go, I plan on digging a bit deeper into this fascinating part of the island’s history. Check out this website to learn more. 

Boating around Vis island: Mamma Mia Beach

Our final destination on the tour was Mamma Mia Beach! Mamma Mia 2 was filmed on the island- and I completely understand why. The jewel toned waters of the Adriatic Sea paired with the untouched beauty along the shores are picture perfect, even without the magic of Hollywood!

And as we pulled up to Mamma Mia Beach, familiar chords began to play, and within moments we all became “Dancing Queens” as we twirled along with the sun’s rays that were sparkling on the Adriatic Sea.  

Having the time of my life

They anchored the boat for one last swim, and as I sat on the shoreline letting the waves crash into me, I couldn’t help but feel so lucky to have experienced Vis from the water. And also, from the eyes of not only the locals, but all of the passengers on the tour that day. Many thanks to Ames Trips! Thank you for making my final day on Vis Island a special one. I loved boating around Vis island, and next time, I plan on booking a trip to go back to the Blue Cave!

Click here to read more about how to get to Vis, and here to read all about the delicious food and restaurants I dined at.

Ames Trips Boat Tour
Ames Trips Boat Tour


This article is written by our guest writer, Julie Anne! A passionate explorer and storyteller, she brings us along on her adventures, diving into the food, wine culture, fashion, and history of each city she visits. Whether globetrotting or exploring her hometown, Julie captures the essence of each location, sharing the story of every place and person she encounters. Get a taste of Julie’s captivating narratives in her articles. We’re certain you’ll enjoy her immersive storytelling as much as we do.

Don’t forget to read the other articles about Vis. Also take a closer look at our favorite restaurants in Vis and the recipe behind Red Buzara and mussels which was one of our favorite dishes. I’ve also written a guide for Vis Island with everything you need to know and how to get there, and here to dive deeper into Vislander Winery to explore all of their yummy wine, limoncello, and gin offerings.


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