Vis Island: A Heavenly Destination + everything you should know

City of Vis, Island Croatia

Vis is heaven on earth. That’s what I was told back in 2017 when I visited Croatia for the very first time. This past summer, I decided to put that recommendation to the test and made my way back to Croatia. And after spending 10 glorious days on the tiny island of Vis, I am so happy to report that Vis truly is a small slice of heaven. Vis has countless beaches, endless sunshine, delicious local wine, and the freshest seafood. The island also has a remarkable history, and stunning views of the jewel toned Adriatic Sea that will leave your jaw on the floor, and your eyes filled with stars long after you say goodbye. Keep reading to learn all about what to do, where to eat, and what makes Vis a heavenly island destination.

Vis Island – The best hotels, best apartments and airbnb’s, restaurants, beaches and what to do

  • The Story of Vis
  • How to get to Vis Island (bus, ferry, car, scooter + flights)
  • Komiza vs Vis
  • Where to stay on Vis Island
    • The perfect airbnb in Vis
    • Other airbnb recommendations in Vis
    • Beach Front Accommodations in Vis
  • My favorite restaurants in Vis Island
  • Renting a boat on Vis Island
  • The best Beaches on Vis Island
  • Vis: A Heavenly Island Destination with a Military past
  • The Wine
  • How many days do you need on Vis Island

The Story

So how did I find the island of Vis? Back in 2017 after island hopping through Croatia, I made landfall in Dubrovnik to spend a few days within the same great stone walls and Orangey red rooftops that Game of Thrones had introduced to the world as King’s Landing. While in Dubrovnik, I discovered D’vino Wine bar- just off of The Stradun, or the main Street of the Old Town.

I sat myself at the bar, ordered a flight of Croatian wine and so began my education in all things Croatia. I really met such marvelous people that day. From the fellow traveler from Las Vegas, to the staff, I walked away hours later with not only a vast knowledge of Croatian wine, but a destination to add to my future travel list.  

Croatian Inspiration

Somewhere between the Vugava and the Plavic, the Croatian staff told me that I needed to come back to Croatia, and I needed to visit Vis. Because Vis wasn’t just any island- Vis was heaven on Earth. 

Years later, another Croatian who was passing through Chicago would not only solidify how special Vis was, but she would also tell me exactly where I should stay. And so I starred Komiza on my Google Maps and the plan for my summer travels was born.

Vis: A Heavenly Island Destination: Getting there

From Chicago to London and finally to Split. I landed in the evening and took an Uber to my hotel near the Port of Split where I would take the ferry to Vis the next morning. There are only 2 ferries a day from Split to Vis. So make sure to check the ferry schedule ahead of time and plan your flights in and out of Croatia wisely.

The Ferry on Vis Island

I purchased my ferry ticket ahead of time using the Jadrolina website. A one way ticket will cost about 8 euro and will take a couple hours. The ferry will take you from the port of Split to the Port of Vis, which is on the Eastern part of the island of Vis. 

When I arrived in Split, I decided to stay close to the ferry so I could walk there in the morning. Before you head to the port, I recommend double checking where your ferry will depart. There are many ferries and it’s quite easy to make a mistake-especially while jet-lagged. I sure did! Thankfully I found the ferry to Vis in the knick of time.

I love a coach bus in Vis

From there I took a coach bus from the town of Vis, to the town of Komiza which is on the Western part of the island. The only public transportation on the island is a bus that goes back and forth between Vis and Komiza based on the ferry schedule. The bus was 3 Euro – you will pay the driver cash when you board.

And Speaking of Coach buses- when I was heading to France from Split, I found a bus that went from the Port of Split to the Split Airport. It was somewhere around 20 euro, convenient, and fast- many come and go so there wasn’t much waiting.

How to get around on Vis Island

You can rent a car or rent a scooter to get around the island. You can also hire a car, but keep in mind that private transportation is expensive!  

Once you get to Komiza, it’s a very walkable town, but if you’d like to go beyond the limits of Komiza, a car or scooter will be necessary. The main road of the island is up a mountain and quite narrow and winding. Vis is largely untouched, and even though it was not super easy to get around- I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mother Nature’s Favorite

The island of Vis will put Nature in the spotlight of everything that you do. The landscape of Vis is rocky, but it’s green too! And don’t forget about the beaches and the beautiful waters. There is so much to discover on the island, and in the surrounding sea as well. This makes Vis the kind of place that you can write your own adventure. From hiking to relaxing, to boating to canoeing to taking tours around the island- Vis leads with it’s natural beauty and has something for everyone.

Komiza vs Vis

In this article, I will refer to Vis, the island. I will also refer to Komiza, the town on the west coast of Vis. This is where I spent most of my time. It’s also important to know that there is the town of Vis as well. This is where the ferry comes in and out of. There is also plenty to do on that side of the island as well.

Aerial view of the historic village of Komiza, Vis, Croatia

Where to stay on Vis Island

I chose to stay in Komiza, and I found an Airbnb in the perfect location. It was about 75 steps from one of the beaches and a 5 minute walk from the port of Komiza and all of the restaurants and shops. There were also 2 other beaches within walking distance in either direction from where I stayed.

Komiza is very special to me. Part of me wants to keep it a secret! But the other part of me wants you to know the kindness and beautiful hospitality that I was shown from my hosts, and everyone on the island.

Every morning I sat on my porch and lingered over my coffee while I enjoyed the view and serene sounds of the waves right outside my door. It was my sanctuary. My eyes- and my mind would get lost in the beautiful blue and green colors of the Adriatic sea. 

It was a moment in my life where I needed to find a peaceful pocket in the world and just BE. I am still not sure if I found it, or if it found me. Vis has that thing, and it really sparkles without even trying.  

Click here to sea a video from my point of view. 

Everything you need at my airbnb in Vis

My apartment had everything I needed. A comfortable bed, a roaring air conditioner, great water pressure, and a place to prepare simple meals. The owners of the apartment lived next door, and while they did not speak English, their smiles were all I needed to feel welcomed and very much at ease. The lovely gift of Posip- a white Croatian wine, and the local liquor didn’t hurt either.

A Warm Welcome

Zrinka greeted me when I got off the bus and walked me along the port about 5 minutes to the apartment. We sat on the porch drinking lemonade as she shared stories of the island, and introduced me to the Pomallllo lifestyle of Vis. Click here to read more about the island, and to see the other apartments that Zrinka manages.

Dinner on the terrace

Every few nights, I would take my dinner up to the terrace to take in the sunset. Just me, Croatian wine, and a dinner composed of simplistic extravagance. I am a believer in having some dinners at home when I travel to save money, but also to fully explore the local flavors. Cured meats, cheese, bread, tomatoes, and fruits seasoned lightly with salt pepper and local olive oil had me licking my fingers and sighing in pure bliss as I sipped my wine and watched the sky say good night. 

More apartment accommodations for the perfect stay on Vis Island

Komiza has such lovely accommodations that are convenient to everywhere you want to be in Komiza. The best part, is many of these places have a stunning view of the sea. Keep reading to see the places that I have my eye on for next time.

A few minutes walk from Lucica Beach, you will find the Just for you Apartment. With a terrace that gives you an incredible view to 2 spacious bedrooms, and an open kitchen to dining area that is calling my name. This is a space that I would happily call home.

On the Vis side of Vis island, you will find Villa Zdenka. This property is modern with an elegant rustic twist. With 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, parking, and an outdoor dining space that makes my jaw hit the floor, this Villa is just begging for all of us to stay there next with our friends and family.

Minutes from Komiza Port, numerous beaches and the market, you will find Apartments Mali Raj Komiza. Newly renovated, this acccomodation brings cozy city chic to this beautiful island. The property has numerous apartments available and a beautifully spacious terrace, and a view of the Sea- of course!

Beach Front Accommodations in Vis

Right off of Gusarica beach is Hotel Bisevo. I did not go inside, but I did hear that the massages were incredible. I will absolutely be checking them out next time! 

One of the best parts about staying in Komiza for 10 days was the beach that was quite literally a hop, a few skips, and a jump away from my apartment. I found another apartment for you with a beach that is even closer! I promise that a sea view is ALWAYS worth it.

» Click the link to see where you could be enjoying your morning coffee every day: Zanicovo Beach Apartment

Vis airbnb
A magical dinner on my terrace

My favorite restaurants in Vis Island

The island may be small, but there are a variety of restaurants in Komiza that are delicious, and ready to show you what makes the island so special.

The Adriatic sea is so clean and unbelievably clear- which makes for seafood that is so fresh that you’ll question the seafood you eat everywhere else in the world. Komiza is also a fisherman’s town with boats coming in and out every day which makes for an unbelieveable sea to table expereince!

In Komiza, I enjoyed many dishes with octopus, squid, and mussels and even enjoyed a pizza one night as well. I dined at Restaurant Dal Mare, Robinson’s, Jastozera, Pizzeria Charlie, and Konoba Bako. And the gelato stands- of course. I loved each restaurant for different reasons! Each has their specialty and a unique vibe. 

♥ Tip- Don’t forget to save these places on your google maps ahead of time.

Click here to read more about my experiences at each restaurant, where to go for my favorite local dishes, and a special interview with my favorite restaurant on the island.

Specialized Liqueur

My beautiful apartment was not the only place that I experienced a special liquor. After dinner liqueurs are found in many cultures, but Vis was the first place that I experienced so many different varieties in one place. 

At Robinson’s, a lovely orange liqueur was the perfect ending to my meal. At Jastojera, they presented me with a beautiful fig liquor. And in true Croatian style,  the liqueur was made from the figs of the fig tree that adorns the entrance of the restaurant. Click here to read more about my favorite restaurants in Vis, and the most special table at Jastojera- as seen in Mamma Mia 2. 

And of course, at my favorite winery on the island, Vislander, my wine tasting ended with the most special limoncello I have every tasted. I just had to purchase a bottle and take it home with me!

Read more about the wine, gin, and limoncello of Vislander.

Renting a boat on Vis Island

One of my goals in Vis was to go on a boat tour.  Seeing a destination from the water is a must in my book! It will give you a different perspective and will always teach you something about the local culture and history.  

After doing some research, I decided to take a boat tour with Ames Travel. And while they have numerous tours that include the Blue Cave and Bisevo island, I decided to take a trip around the island of Vis to see the beaches and learn more about the history.

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. 

Want to hear more about the tour around Vis and my swimming adventure to Stiniva Beach?

The best Beaches in Vis Island

There are many beaches on the island of Vis-each with it’s own unique beauty. Getting to some of those beaches will be easy while others require a boat or an adventurous spirit. Every single one has the clearest, most beautiful water you have ever seen. The colors of the Adriatic Sea leave me with stars in my eyes every single time with their beautiful colors and their gasp worthy clarity.  

Visiting Stinivia Beach is an absolute MUST. It was named Europe’s best beach of 2016 and is still a marvel. I am so glad that I had a waterproof phone case, and had the courage to swim to the shore. There I found a beach bar, and a view that continues to leave me breathless.

Mamma Mia In Vis

If you have seen Mamma Mia 2, then you may know that it was filmed on the island of Vis. There are many picture perfect locations from the movie- including Mamma Mia Beach. So please watch before you go- and make sure to listen to “Dancing Queen” on the beach. We did! And it made the experience so much more fun.

There were 3 beaches within walking distance from my apartment in Komiza. Gusarica Beach was about a 15 minute walk to the north- Plaza Komenica about a 15 minute walk to the south, and Plaza Lucica- my beach- was no more than 100 paces from my doorstep.

One Final Golden Happy Hour

The 3 beaches that I was lucky enough to call my own each had a bar. And both locals and tourists alike enjoyed the sunny and sparkling beach life from the early hours of the day all the way til sundown. I will never forget my final happy hour at Lucica Beach.

I had just spend the day boating around the island with Ames trips where I met 3 ladies from Norway who were kind and very fun! After our day on the boat, we decided to continue to the beach. We laid out our towels side by side as the water was beginning to sparkle. 

The sun had started it’s move towards the sea, but we were 4 gals on holiday! I know that I was determined to make my final day in Komiza last forever. And so we chatted about life and the beauty of traveling as we raised a glass and soaked in every last moment of this very special golden hour. It was perfect. 

Curious about how to connect with others while on solo trips? I’ve made a list with 16 tips for solo travel

The Broken Toe Saga: Learn from My mistakes!

On my 3rd day on the island, I walked my way to Komenica beach- known for it’s natural spring water that comes from the volcanic rock remnants and was an important water source to Vis for many years. I layed my towel out on the galets, or smooth and flat egg sized beach rocks that cover the shores of many Croatian beaches and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon of sunshine and views of Bisevo in the distance.

Towards the end of my day, I stood with my bare feet in the water where the water gently crashes to greet the shore. It was so clear that I could see everything! Including a jellyfish about a foot away from me. I screamed, and bolted out of the water as fast as I could. The rocks made for an exit that was the opposite of graceful, and I tripped on the rocks and broke my fourth toe quite badly. Can you believe it’s still broken after a year??

In the future, I will absolutely be using water sandals (Podiatrist approved!), while on beach rocks. And I encourage you to do the same. What do you think would’ve been worse? Getting stung by a jellyfish? Or breaking a toe? That is exactly what I pondered as I sipped an Aperol Spritz at golden hour and almost let the cute bartender tape my toes together with duct tape. At least I had a good view!

Vis: A Heavenly Island Destination: The Blue Cave

Visiting the Blue Cave on Bisevo island is another one of my must sees-and it will leave you in awe of nature.  To go inside the Blue Cave and witness how the sun bounces off the sea floor to create an ethereal blue light illuminating the cave is a sight that I will never forget.  I am contstantly telling the elementary school teachers that I work with about Croatia and all of its natural beauty. I promise that the blue cave will fill you with wonder, and turn you into a 9 year old all over again.

Vis: A Heavenly Island Destination with a Military past

One of the reasons I wanted to tour all around the island of Vis, was to see the hidden submarine tunnel. The island of Vis has a very important military past. Because of this, the island wasn’t always open to the world. In fact, Vis didn’t open up to visitors until 1989.

During World War II, the island was used by the Allies as a secret base. The fighter jets needed a place to come back to that was close to Germany, yet not TOO close. And who would suspect a base to be on a tiny island? There was also a hidden submarine tunnel- where submarines would disappear into the side of a mountain- becoming completely undetectable. Tito- the President of Yugoslavia at the time of the war, also had secret tunnels and bunkers  across the entire island, to hide and conduct his business in secret.

While on the island- it was brought to my attention that perhaps the underground tunnels had already been there, and Tito just reinforced them! Could it be true? I’m not sure, but what I do know, is that there is something about Vis that feels other worldly- so you’ll have to go to Vis to experience it for yourself!

Vis: A Heavenly Island Destination: The Wine

The island of Vis is also blessed with a climate that is perfect to grow grapes and make wine. Learning about the wine of any destination that I visit is a must! Because the wine is the window to the soul of a culture. I always leave a vineyard feeling more connected to a destination, and my visit to Vislander Winery was no different.

Wine Tasting: Always educational and delicious

I spent a wonderful afternoon at Vislander winery with Marko the owner of Vislander. From the wine to Croatia’s history, to the way cultures around the world will forever inspire and flow in and out of one another- no topic was off limits! And each varietal, and bottle had a historical significance for the family behind all of it. The faces of Marko’s loved ones are forever sketched on the labels of Vislander wine. Each sketch is a swirling cascade of lines that, if you follow them to the center, you’ll not only uncover the inspiration behind the varietal, but the heart and soul of Vislander winery as well.

The Wine

The Vugava was and forever will be the white wine that makes me giddy with delight! Refreshing with such a balanced palate of fruit, dryness, and…. And the reds big and bold! These are wines that are delicious on their own but can also be enhanced with a meal- as I did a few days later as I watched the sun setting over the sea from my terrace.

Gin and Limoncello

Along with their wine, Vislander also makes gin, grappa, and limoncello. The zesty lemon flavor of their limoncello had me savoring every sip and asking questions as I love to do, about the process. My mother makes her own, and I was so curious to recreate this masterpiece. Want to read more about what makes the Vislander limoncello so unique?

The Story of Vislander

The story of Vislander, and the story of the wine on this island is a tale of rebirth, perseverence, and beneath it all love and gratitude. From a booming wine culture in the 18th century, to a vine disease that forced the Dalmatian coast’s vineyards to start back at square 1, Vislander is the perfect wine to help you open up another window to this beautiful world and appreciate everything that went into making this glass of wine a memorable wine moment- just for you.

Curious to visit Vislander? Give them a call before you go to set up a wine tasting, and read more about the wines, gin, limoncello, and the history behind this winemaker. Heading to Croatia? You can also find Vislander wine at stores throughout Croatia and on the Jadrolina ferries.

Vis Island

How many days do you need on Vis Island Croatia

Vis is the kind of place you really should go to spend time. At the very minimum I would stay 3-5 nights, and at a maximum? Personally I would stay there a month if I could. The Pomalo lifestyle of Vis and lowkey lifestyle has a calming effect. I arrived after a very stressful school year which apparently was all over my face! Because when I left, Zrinka didn’t even recognize me. Go to enjoy yourself and forget about life for awhile.

Bookends

You can also spend a couple days in Split, Dubrovnik, and Cvtat to bookend your trip, as these cities have airports near them. Personally I’d also stay in Split for a night or two, and then end in Dubrovnik. And again, don’t forget to research flights and ferry schedules before you book anything. There are not endless transportation options…which is what makes Vis so special.

Vis: A Heavenly island destination

Vis may take a couple flights and a ferry to get to, but it will reward you over and over again with it’s natural beauty and simple luxuries. I swear the stars above Komiza sparkle brighter than anywhere else in the world. The air is just different there- It’s hard to explain. The island of Vis is like a golden elixer that pushes a dazzling serentity through your veins.

From beautiful sunny weather to food that will make your tastebuds dance, to a landscape of mountains and beautiful blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. I have been to a few islands along the Dalmation Coast of Croatia, and Vis is by FAR my favorite.

Vis Island
The Vis Coastline

READ MORE OF JULIE AND HER ADVENTURES

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 my other articles about Vis. Click here to take a closer look at my favorite restaurants in Vis and the recipe behind Red Buzara and mussels which was one of my favorite dishes. Click here to read about my Boat trip around the island with Ames boat tours, and Click here to dive deeper into Vislander Winery to explore all of their yummy wine, limoncello, and gin offerings.

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