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Vis travel guide

Your essential Vis travel guide, with things to do, restaurants, bars, clubs, sightseeing and more...

© Vanda Vucicevic/Time Out

Vis island has a special place in the hearts of many Croatians, who consider this a truly unspoiled example of the best of the Dalmatian coast. Its designation as a military base under Tito froze development for more than 40 years, allowing farming and fishing to remain the dominant activities. 

Now tourism is taking over this remote spot, one of the farthest islands from the mainland. Vis has become a hot destination among those in the know who want a quiet getaway amid a gorgeous patch of clear sea, which provides great fish, swimming and diving. While the party scene here may not be as raucous as on Hvar, Vis island’s gastronomy can compare with any Dalmatian destination.

RECOMMENDED: More great travel destinations in Croatia.

Find epic things to do in Split and the islands with UberBOAT
Things to do

Find epic things to do in Split and the islands with UberBOAT

Each summer, swarms of tourists descend upon Split, the main departure point to the islands of Brač, Hvar and Vis. No longer just a gateway to the illustrious islands, Split’s popularity has mushroomed into a tourist industry entirely of its own being. And it’s not hard to see why.  Split’s dazzling array of antiquities set a wonderful contrast to its vibrant street-life and contemporary restaurant and bar scene. The beating heart of the city, Diocletian’s Palace, is a maze of ancient cobbled streets lined with thoroughly modern restaurants, bars and businesses. It's what makes Split so seductive: you’d be hard-pressed to find a more handsome example of urban living in Dalmatia. With the arrival of UberBOAT – an on-demand speedboat service that’s just as easy as hailing a cab home after a night out, you can take in all the city has to offer at your own pace – before jaunting off to the sparkling pearl necklace of Adriatic islands Šolta, Brač, Vis and Hvar. Once you request a boat for between eight and 12 passengers, the app guides you to a nearby pick-up point where your captain will be waiting. There are two services to choose from: you can glide off to the nearby islands, or book your boat for a half or full day's worth of adventuring. The fare for the transfer from Split to Hvar on an 8-passenger speedboat is HRK 2,600, while a larger speedboat that fits up to 12 passengers is priced at HRK 3,300. With the half-day or a full-day option, you can design your own it

Vis island overview
Things to do

Vis island overview

Vis town was created through the union of the seaside communities of Luka, the working harbour area, and Kut, the neighbourhood with more food, fun and night-time action. Both sides are relatively quiet during daytime beach hours, and a lot of the restaurants only open around 6pm. The marina brings in a sizeable yachting crowd who support a growing number of gourmet restaurants. Students also come here for the fantastic nearby beaches and bars. Komiža feels slightly more bohemian. This is the place to enjoy an easy-going Mediterranean pace and excellent pebbly beaches. Many of Komiža’s servers are year-round residents, who tend to be more friendly and casual than summer workers after their tip. Despite the relaxed atmosphere, the village has some fancy, formal restaurants, as well as the island’s only disco to speak of, the beachside Aquarius, run by a husband-and-wife team who fell in love with Komiža. Refreshingly, there is no nightlife industry per se. Obscure historic remains relate to the island’s strategic importance since 500 BC. In Vis town, you can find Greek vessels, Roman baths and Baroque Austrian architecture. After passing to the Italians, in 1944 Vis was used as a base by Tito and his Partisans. It remained a military facility, off-limits to foreigners, until 1989. You can visit Tito’s cave headquarters, halfway up Mount Hum – just ask at any local travel agency. The major historical sights in Vis town are the Archaeological Museum in the Austrian fortress,

The best Vis beaches
Things to do

The best Vis beaches

Vis beaches are varied: small and secluded coves, extensively crowded bays: pebbles or sand; you'll find everything here. Read on for our local expert's pick of the best beaches on Vis.

Vis hotel guide
Hotels

Vis hotel guide

Vis hotel choices are a bit limited, due to the island’s long isolation. However, the stylish boutique Hotel San Giorgio is one delightful option. The other two hotels here, the Issa and the Tamaris, run by the same company, are reasonably priced.

Restaurants in Vis

Vis restaurant guide
Restaurants

Vis restaurant guide

Vis restaurants benefit from a bounty of natural ingredients and a love of good cuisine, which help create a keener culture of quality restaurants, bistros and konobas than should be expected from such a small island. The landmark restaurant in Vis town’s is Kut Pojoda. In Komiža, a gastro enclave by Pol Kalafotovo beach contains the Konobas Bako and Jastožera.

Pojoda
Restaurants

Pojoda

Expect a fabulous setting, outstanding cuisine and fair prices at the best restaurant in Vis. The food is prepared to perfection: Dalmation standards plus standout dishes such as prawn and barley risotto and lentil and squid brodet. Tempting appetisers include octopus salad and seafood cocktail. The service is genuinely friendly and very efficient.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Restoran Stončica
Restaurants

Restoran Stončica

This is Croatia as it should be: a sandy bay, somebody’s house overlooking it, the only one of ten there. A few tables are placed randomly outside, perhaps five paces from the sea. At them are sat regulars necking drinks and awaiting a plate of the usual: grilled sardines which have been skewered, ungutted, then sizzled on an open grill. Other dishes are available, all from the canon of Dalmatian favourites. Incongruously, a gaggle of jolly yachters may interrupt this timeless Adriatic tableau with demands for ‘pints of beer’ in plummy accents before sitting back to enjoy the experience as much as anyone.

Konoba Bako
Restaurants

Konoba Bako

On a terrace just above the sea, the friendly beachside Bako provides some of the fancier meals in Komiža while exuding a relaxed atmosphere. There is gorgeous beachside seating, with tables intermingled with pine trees and tall lamps. Inside, sit amid ancient Greek and Roman artefacts recovered from the deep by the restaurant’s founder, Tonko Borčić Bako, who dove here for decades. A simple menu includes fresh langouste lobsters, grilled, broiled or served in brodet Dalmatian stew.

Konoba Jastožera
Restaurants

Konoba Jastožera

At this old lobster pot-house hoisted above the sea, dining tables are placed on a floor of planks, under which yachters can pole their tenders into the restaurant and rope off next to the cage from where dinners are plucked. Waiters happily discuss the ingredients, merits and history of every item on the menu – in particular the several tantalising versions of lobster: langouste lobster with spaghetti au gratin; cream soup with lobster, and grilled lobster with four sauces. As well as lobster, there are crabs, clams and fabulous octopus salad appetisers. Also, there are grills, steaks and an extensive selection of domestic wines. Celebs love it – note the pictures of John Malkovich and other notable Croatophiles to have visited. Not cheap, but worth the price. Book well ahead.

Konoba Roki’s
Restaurants

Konoba Roki’s

Offering an inland dining experience on a working vineyard, in an open courtyard next to Vis cricket ground (formerly the World War II airstrip), Roki’s is high on any must-visit list. Book by calling or dropping into their wine shop near the Bejbi bar – they will arrange transport here (free for four or more, otherwise 60kn return per car) – if you just turn up, you may well be turned away. Dishes, from peka preparations to fresh fish, are served amid olive groves and vineyards, accompanied by Roki’s own Plavac or Vugava wines.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars

Bars and nightlife in Vis

Vis bar and club guide
Bars and pubs

Vis bar and club guide

Vis is a happening destination when it comes to bars, with several solid places to enjoy a beverage. Bejbi, just across from the ferry, is where to sink a few with locals and internationals. In Komiža, Corto Maltese is a good choice for cocktails among the younger set, while hipster cafe-bar-cum-restaurant Fabrika is good for coffee and cocktails. Aquarius is the only place to truly party on Vis island, a club where traditional island life and big-city rave intersect.

Caffè Bar Bejbi
Bars and pubs

Caffè Bar Bejbi

A comfortable dive in the working section of the harbour by the docks, Bejbi (‘bay-bee’) bustles day and night with people who like to drink and gab. The thatched terrace has its own bar and harbour view, and a new, retro-modern mural. Find pool tables, moody jazz and bossa nova in the large indoor bar. Usually one of the last places to close, this is where all the other parties continue. A worthy stop on any serious bar crawl, it can offer quality cocktails and occasional live acts playing funky rock.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars

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