"Planet Vis" Top 5 Page for this destination Vis by KristaB

Vis Travel Guide: 71 reviews and 192 photos

Hidden coves with pebble beaches, locally produced food full of flavor, blood-red wine dripping down your neck, sea breeze and pleasant vibrant atmosphere.

Look up at their windows, white lacey curtains dancing gently, allowing the scent from hot pots touch your aroused nostrils. They whisper and shout, they run and lay idle, they have Internet access and pagan gods to worship simultaneously.

Simple fishermen folding their nets in front of their stone made cottages, their wrinkles showing the map of undersea crevasses where they hunt for their lives.

Vis is one of the oldest settlements in Croatia, arcaeological finds reach back to Neolitic, as early as 8.000 B.C. Finds from later eras suggest that it was one of very important trade, fishing and wine producing centers of ancient Europe.
The town Vis - Issa, was established by Dyonisius Syracusan around 397. BC, and it was the center of Greek culture in this part of the Adriatic. Archaeological remains of streets, buildings, bath, graveyard, amphitheater and port are proof of its size and importance.

Because of its strategic importance, many rulers fought over it, among them king Argon and queen Teuta. Later, Issa turns towards Rome and decides to become its ally.

A virtual jump over centuries brings us to times of Commodore William Hoste, British naval captain who proudly reported in a letter to his mom the robbing and sinking of 218 ships in his first 18 months here. This inevitably contributed to the appeal of this island among British aristocracy. They used to call it Little Malta, Key of the Adriatic, England on the Adriatic, Gibraltar of the Adriatic.

Best champagne, finest tobacco, all known drugs from opium to mescaline, sweetest cakes made by Vienna bakers, finest English tweed. It was sort of a Duty-Free Party zone for them, today we would name this sort of economy Piracy. Well, it was a legal naval activity until 1860!

Then Austrians came and took it over from Brits.
But in 1866 a great naval battle between Italy and Austria caused huge devastation, and the economy that was stagnating since British left was almost ruined.
Austrians won, Italy lost it's chance to rule over Adriatic, many lives were lost.

About WW2 - see Must See Tip Tito's Cave

After the WW2, it was closed for foreigners because of it's strategic importance, so the tourism couldn't develop as much as it did in other parts of Dalmatia. Local economy was poor, vineyards neglected, young people were leaving the island looking for better future elsewhere. This isolation had one positive effect - it preserved the island from mass tourism and concrete box hotels.
After the last tragic war was over in 1995, Vis was open for foreign tourists, and today even the foreigners, especially from the UK, are buying property on this charming island.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Clean, unspoiled, simple yet full of surprises
  • Last visit to Vis: Aug 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (15)

Comments (13)

  • Aug 5, 2007 at 12:09 PM

    "Vis" is "dream" in romanian. That place really deserves its name: Dream.

  • EllenH's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2006 at 3:54 PM

    Great page, I think you have convinced me I need to be here.

  • Jun 14, 2006 at 8:14 AM

    Lovely commentary on a very special place. I visit at leas twice a year.

  • mapakettle's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2005 at 12:27 PM

    Once again I feel like you are my private guide. I love your style of writing, witty, informative, intelligent. Bravo. Pa

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Oct 1, 2005 at 1:52 PM

    never tire of your pages, but oops i've read this one before

  • enroute's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2005 at 3:49 AM

    Divna stranica! Dalmatinsko primorje je stvarno posebno. Ja sam imao kucu u Milni. Veliki pozdrav iz Novog Sada!

  • Daja123's Profile Photo
    Apr 3, 2005 at 12:51 PM

    We are close to Vis that is the reason we have already heard about - but your interpretations of today and the past is the most attractive I can imagine.

  • Feb 16, 2005 at 12:59 PM

    Psssst. Enough said, please. We need our little secrets. The most beautiful place on the Adriatic. (And one day I will rest my bones at Prirovo. I will. That is the best place on earth for eternal rest.).

  • novsco61's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2005 at 10:25 AM

    Na Visu sem bila 2x - pred 25 leti v Visu in pred 15 leti v Komizi. Vidim,da 3/4 stvari se nisem odkrila.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2005 at 1:03 PM

    Great inscription commemorating the 1866 naval battle! Both your restaurants are worth the travel! And great pictures in your travelogue !


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