AN ESCAPE TO VIS ISLAND
Follow our favorite duo Rachel Gill & Cameron Hammond as they venture to scenic Vis Island Croatia exclusively here on #faithfulltravels
Croatia is full of beautiful islands lining its coast from top to bottom. Cameron and I were determined to visit one of the least known and most mysterious of Croatia’s Adriatic island gems. Vis island has only been open to tourism since 2006, so it still retains a beautiful sense of authenticity.
I’ll detail our adventure below, and how you can also visit this amazing place before it becomes as touristic as Hvar and Brac, which is only a matter of time.
Firstly, rent a car in Split before you leave the airport. Car rental on the island is crazy expensive, and you can easily and cheaply bring the rented car on the ferry.
The ferry to Vis is a blissful 2.5 hours either on the sundeck or in the comfortable inside cabin. The real point is that there is a bar and you can start your trip off right with a cold Croatian beer. Remember, your car is below so not too many! Arriving in Vis is a sight to behold. The ferry slows to a craw as it enters the deep harbour, beautiful buildings on all sides fringing the glistening blue sea and backed by green hills. Everyone is upstairs, taking photo after photo of the beautiful scene.
We rented an airbnb and it was perfect in terms of feeling like a local. The little Dalmatian stone house was all ours and the floors creaked in the most charming way. There are so many little apartments like this springing up in Vis, and I recommend choosing one either in Vis town or Komiza, the other main town as they serve as great bases from which to explore.
Vis is really all about the nature, so the first thing to do is to get out there and explore. The island has some really special and unique beaches. Cameron and I went out early the next day in search of one we thought looked incredible from pictures, called Stiniva.
Getting there requires about 25 minutes of intensive hiking down the hillside, or else access by boat. Be prepared for a hot hike back up, so bring plenty of water with you. The beach is incredibly special, barely open to the sea, through a tiny passage in the cliffs, so the water is glassy and emerald green.
The cliffs on either side make for a very impressive landscape. Sadly already this beach was swamped by tourists… Vis is getting out there as somewhere worth seeing and the effects are showing already. I would still recommend you visit this beach, as it’s so unique, just prepare not to be alone!
Probably my favorite beach was Srebrna known for its brilliant white pebbles, which are actually quite large and look kind of like dinner plates! The turquoise water is perfectly clear and the stones are quite mesmerizing in their contrast with the water. Get up to the shoreline and take a picture of the stones through the crystal clear water! Then, walk to the right around the corner and find a beautiful beach which will likely have only a couple of other people on it.
The little restaurant at Srebrna beach is really good and highly recommended. The menu is not big so don’t expect fine dining, but for what it is it’s great and the atmosphere under the trees can’t be beaten. Cameron and I ordered a couple beers and indulged in a lunch of Croatian BBQ chicken and a simple but tasty salad. Perfect for a little picnic lunch at the beach!
While on the south side of the island, other beautiful bays worth a visit are both Mala Travna and Vela Travna. Both beaches boast beautiful snow-white pebbles and crystal clear water, and have various architectural interests which make them both pleasing to the eye and beautiful in a photo! Be sure to add a pebble to the rock stack just like I did!
After a well-spent day at the beach it’s back in Vis town for dinner. There is a fabulous pizzeria called Pizzeria Karijola that makes the best super thin crust pizza. It’s a town favorite and I would recommend a reservation or else going early. They have fantastic local red wine as well, and the plavac Mali is one I would recommend highly. It’s a strong grape so prepare to stagger home to your apartment if you have more than a glass or two!
We didn’t eat in Komiza but there were many places that looked good. The town is incredibly charming with loads of little beaches lining the seafront making for some incredible photographic opportunities.
The little lanes are picturesque and be sure to sneak down to the water front whenever possible to snap photos of the locals sunbathing and hanging out. If you don’t have a chance to eat dinner here, at the very least a sunset cocktail on the beautiful waterfront is a must!
In summary, Vis is definitely an island to add to the list of places to see as soon as possible. I didn’t find it quite as quiet as I expected and it’s inevitable the island will only get more and more busy as people discover it’s appeal.
Vis is an island for the nature lover and for those who enjoy a relaxing pace of life punctuated by authenticity and charm.
SHOP VIS STORY
Words by Rachel Gill & Photos by Cameron Hammond