About

Vis is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, with an area of 90 km2 and a population of 3,617 (as of 2001). Of all the inhabited Croatian islands, it is the furthest from the coast. The highest peak of Vis is called Hum, 587 m high. The two towns and municipalities on the island, Vis (1,960 inhabitants in the municipality) and Komiža (1,677) are both located on the seacoast. There are smaller settlements on the island’s interior. The most amazing feature of the island are the “Blue Caves” which are really worth seeing. These are huge caverns with stalactites, beside the sea on the nearby islet of Bisevo. But their claim to fame is the way the sunlight enters the cave underwater, making the whole cave light up in a turquoise glow. There are boat trips from Vis town and some include spending time on a lovely sandy beach on Bisevo, which has several very appealing beach restaurants.
Vis island’s other claim to fame is that it is totally organic, growing mainly vines, olives and some lemons.

History

Vis was inhabited by the time of the Neolithic period. In the 4th century B.C., Dionysius the Elder founded the colony Issa on the island. Later, it became an independent city-state, and even minted its own money and founded its own colonies elsewhere.
Anyone interested in history, especially British naval history, will be in their element on this island. In Napoleonic times, Britain freed the island from the French. Just a few years after Trafalgar, the British navy fought the important Battle of Vis in the mouth of the bay. You can visit the British fort (now a bar/restaurant and a museum) on the far left side of Vis bay, beyond Vis Town. On the Kut side, at the far end of the bay, there is a walled British cemetery where some of the navy are laid to rest.
During the Second World War Britain hid Tito in the caves on Vis to keep him safe. There is a very nice scenic tour (by van) where you can visit the caves, which are at the highest point on the island and you will have a view not only to Hvar and the Croatian mainland but also across to Italy on a very clear day.

Economy

Main industries on the island are wine making, fishing and tourism. Around 20% of arable land on the island is covered with vineyards. Local wine species cultivated on the island are Plavac Mali and Vugava. The sea around Vis is rich with fish, especially sardine, mackerel and anchovy.