Vis

VIS

Of all the inhabited Croatian islands, Vis is the furthest from the coast and the most enigmatic. It spent much of its recent history serving as a Yugoslav military base, cut off from foreign visitors from the 1950s right up until 1989. This isolation preserved the island from development and drove much of the population to move elsewhere in search of work, leaving it underpopulated for many years.
As has happened with impoverished islands across the Mediterranean, Vis’ lack of development has become its drawcard as a tourist destination. International and local travellers alike now flock to Vis, seeking authenticity, nature, gourmet delights and peace and quiet.

10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT VIS

1. Vis has an area of 90.26 square kilometres (34.85 square miles). Its highest point is Hum, which is 587 metres (1,926 feet) above sea level.

2. In 2017 „Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again“ was filmed on location on Vis.

3. The city of Vis is te oldest town in Croatia.

4. STRONG MILITARY HERITAGE – During the period of ex-Yugloslavia, it was a closed island for domestic and foreigner tourism. Tito made it a strategic base for his navy, and even went as far as to build a submarine base deep into a hill close to Vis Town, so that it could not be visible from the air. The base, an impressive 110m long, is open for visitors today, and with the right guide makes for a perfect entrance to Vis if arriving by speedboat.

5. From 1943, Tito and his Partisans were holed up here, planning attacks and devising strategies. The site, though poorly maintained and signposted, can be visited, either as part of a tour group or individually. You’ll find it as you approach Mount Hum from Podšpilje (‘Under the Cave’)

6. BRITISH HERITAGE – British influence is everywhere on the island, from some of its names (such as Fort St. George which has now been turned into a night spot and dining venue: live bands, mainly domestic acts and DJs spin party music most nights through the summer), to Allied cemeteries and even dedicated park benches to those who gave their lives when Vis became the launching point for the invasion of Yugoslavia during World War II. But the British heritage goes back further.

7. Biševo is home to a strange natural phenomenon involving its rock formation and the passage of the sun. At the southern edge of the islet, the Green Cave (Zelena špilja) is bathed in emerald-coloured light that floods through an opening in the top and spreads around the water. Sea kayak tours generally start here.

8. Behind Komiža, the Red Rocks (‘Crvene stijene’) contain more than a dozen trails up to suit all levels of fitness and experience, for beginners and free climbers alike. Several agencies in Komiža offer guided excursions led by expert professionals who show you the ropes, literally – you can even try your hand at abseiling.

9. Vis is known for two wines: the full-flavoured red Plavac Mali and the dry white Vugava, cultivated in the island’s sandy soil for thousands of years. There are olso unique tasting rooms: right at the mouth of a network of military tunnels blasted out by Tito after 1945. famous winemaker produces both unoaked and barrel-fermented varieties and is happy to advise customers visiting by appointment.

10. Viška pogača is the ideal purchase. A square of focaccia-like bread filled with sardines, tomatoes, onions and perhaps a little garlic, it’s just enough to allow you to skip lunch and last out until dinnertime. The pogača is also a nod towards the traditional local economy – for generations, fishermen sailed out as far as remote Palagruža in search of huge shoals of sardines.

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