One of the farthest inhabited islands in Croatia - Vis - will treat its visitors to the rich remains of Issa, the largest ancient Greek colony. All will be delighted with the heavenly untouched nature, the turquoise glimmer of its hidden caverns and the volcanic islets of its archipelago. A summer spent on Vis will be filled with fishermen's feasts, the rich flavors of indigenous delicacies and, quite unexpectedly, international ballet.
Solitary Vis in the shadow of its ancient glories
As early as the fourth century BC, Vis island began the presence of Dalmatia in classical antiquity. The remains of the largest ancient Greek colony, Issa, is frequented by history lovers on both its localities: the hill of Gradina besides Vis town and the archeological park Martvilo. The town's other prominent site is the sixteenth century monastery on the Prirovo peninsula, which was built atop the remains of an ancient theater. Gospina batarija (Our Lady's battery) - a former 19th century fort - houses Vis' priceless archeological collection, whose highlight is the bronze head of the godess Artemis.
The island is bedecked with gorgeous Renaissance holiday homes of the then-aristocracy and the churches they commissioned. A chief sight among these is the thirteenth-century church of Saint Nicholas above the town of Komiža. More recent history is mirrored in the many military forts, reminiscent of the days when Vis was off limits to foreigners.
The turquoise caves and volcanic archipelago of Vis
A silver lining of the forty-five years of army-imposed isolation Vis had to endure until 1989, was the excellent preservation of the island's nature, so that it can nowadays truly be described as heavenly. Among the best-preserved islands in the Mediterranean, its visitors will revel in the exploration of the magical caves - Krajicine, Zelene on the small island of Ravnik and the most famous among them, the Blue cave on Biševo.
Biševo, Jabuka and Brusnik, all three found at the mouth of the cove of Komiža, are Croatia's only volcanic islands. These natural geological monuments are the wardens of the endemic plant life of the Adriatic. Vis is also famous for its Zaglav sandy beach and numerous coves, such as Rogačić, where one can truly forget the passing of time.
Vis - an island of ballet entangled in fishing nets
The island of Vis has kept up its fishing tradition in a unique institution, the Museum of fishing, which was opened in Komiža harbor as early as the sixteenth century. The celebration of this tradition is one of the most celebrated fishermen's feasts on the Adriatic. Those who visit Komiža that night will enjoy live music and be impressed with Vis specialties such as the Komiža flatbread with sardines.
Vis serves up its autochtonous flavor also in the glasses of its most famous wine, Vugava, which is grown around the town of Podšpilje, and also in the Isseta - a brandy made of local medicinal herbs.
The International school of ballet has made a tradition of spending the summers here. At the summer's end, dancers from all over the world delight all of Vis with a great ballet performance.