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 island, one of the farthest from the mainland in Croatia. 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. The natives, whose dialect is a Croatian-Venetian hybrid that is incomprehensible to many Croats, take real pride in their unique culture – and cuisine. Local fishermen and farmers provide ingredients for the food, including native specialities like viška pogača, a sardine-stuffed bread, while vintners provide indigenous wines, such as the red Plavac and white Vugava.
Traditionally, the farmers and vintners are from around Vis town, the main port in the north-east closest to the mainland. Fishing, though less intense than it once was, is still centred around the more secluded village of Komiža, on the seaward side of the 17-kilometre-long island. Between these two main settlements are smaller villages, some famous restaurants and wonderful beaches.