Island Vis

Your love is like wine
Like blood spilled its bright
Your love is like evening
Its glimmer blue in the night
Your love is like wine
I taste it and transcend
Your love is like wine
Same colour, same sour blend


Thus sings about love Jakša Fiamengo, the most famous living poet from Vis. Precisely his native island with its warm and at the same time mild nature and climate could bring a poet into being. The magic of Vis’s beauty has lasted since the ancient times and that is why Vis brings poets who sing to us. Precisely this island, as the poet states, intoxicates us by its beauty like the noble Vis wine.

Vis is the most remote of the bigger central Dalmatian islands on the open sea. It is famous for the most valuable Hellenistic archaeological site in Croatia. It is also known for its authentic Mediterranean atmosphere and crystal clear seawater by the coasts of Vis and Komiža, its two towns.

The island has an area over 90.3 km2 and it rises 587 metres above sea level (Hum is the highest peak). It is located in the mid-Dalmatian archipelago. Among 13 places on the island, the biggest are the town of Vis, Komiža, Oključna, Podhumlje, Stončica, and Podstražje.

Vis is one of the most attractive Croatian islands distinguished by its intact nature, clear blue sea, pebble and sand beaches, hidden picturesque bays, and breathtaking images of marine flora and fauna. The island is famous for its most preserved nature.

Vis is most likely the oldest urban settlement on the Croatian territory which has existed for 2,400 years (Stari Grad on the neighbouring island of Hvar is also competing for that title). The island was inhabited already during the prehistoric times. The history of Vis dates far back to the 4th century B.C. when it was founded as a colony by Dorians from Syracuse under the name of Issa. The remains of the Greek town built on terraces with fortified walls have been partly preserved as well. The Greek Issa had its own money, prescribed laws, and strict urban regulations concerning city development. Another sign of the well-planned Issa architecture today are the best preserved city walls from the Hellenistic period in Croatia, as well as Martvilo and Vlaška Njiva necropolises (cemeteries). Functioning as a polis (city-state), Issa had managed to preserve its independence until the 1st century B.C. when it became a part of the Roman Empire. Subsequently, Vis lost its significance and was only occasionally mentioned in medieval sources, sharing the fate of the rest of Dalmatia. Numerous shipwrecks and ship cargos bear witness to antique Issa’s rich trading activity, mostly various bronze cannons and amphorae, as well as other items for the transport and storage of various goods, foods and spices that now lie on the bottom of the Vis seabed. A large number of well preserved amphorae is shown in one of this region’s most valuable amphorae collection at the Vis Archaeological Museum.

Vis became the island’s centre as late as 15th century, after the army of the Kingdom of Naples destroyed the former centre, Velo Selo (today known as the village of Podselje), in 1483. Through archaeological research in the mid-twentieth century, baths from the 1st century B.C. and wall and mosaic remains have been discovered in the south part of the city. On the small Prirovo peninsula, there are remains of a Roman theatre built probably on the ruins of a Greek theatre. Above it, a Conventual monastery was built in the 16th century. Martvilo, an Issa necropolis, was located southwest from the city walls. In the remains of the graves, different objects have been found among which ceramics stands out in particular.

The present town took shape after two smaller villages had merged – Luka and Kut. Vis became the island’s centre as late as 15th century, after the army of the Kingdom of Naples destroyed the former centre, Velo Selo (today known as the village of Podselje), in 1483.

Later, its rulers often changed, i.e. it was governed by the Venetians, the French, even the English. After the fall of Napoleon and the Venetian Republic, Vis came under Habsburg rule. With further administrative reorganisation of the monarchy, Vis became a part of the imperial province of Dalmatia, which fell under the Austrian part after the Austro-Hungarian division of the monarchy. The Battle of Vis took place in 1866 near the island of Vis which greatly influenced the further development of events on the eastern Adriatic coast. The victory of the Austro-Hungarian Navy temporarily restrained Italian claims to Vis and Dalmatia. After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, Vis was occupied by Italy (1918 – 1921). Later, it became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. After the outbreak of World War II, the island of Vis was again occupied by Italy in 1941. After Italy capitulated in September 1943, the power on the island was taken by the Partisans. At that time, an allied military airport was located on it (today it can be found under the vineyards). Tito took refuge on Vis in June 1944 after a German attack. In socialist Yugoslavia, the whole island was turned into a large military fort. The Yugoslav army left the island on May 30th, 1992, six months after the international recognition of Croatia. The town’s restaurants, shops, market, health centre, pharmacy, post office, bank, cinema and concert area are in the open.

Famous people from Vis:
Ivan Farolfi (1945- ); high official of the Croatian Peasant Party and the mayor of Vis; participated in the Lorković-Vokić conspiracy
Ranko Marinković (1913.-2001.); Croatian writer, born in Vis
Vlaho Paljetak (1893.-1944.); Croatian writer of chansons and poet, worked as a teacher in Vis
Vesna Parun (1922.-2010.); Croatian poet, born on Zlarin, but spent her childhood and was educated in Vis
Mihovil Pušić (1880.-1972.); Croatian bishop (1926 – 70) and the director of the Zadar Archdiocese, born in Vis
Ivan Pavao Vlahović (1825.-1899.); Croatian doctor, natural scientist, university professor and rector of the University of Padua

Contact us

Darlić & Darlić travel agency

Riva Sv. Mikule 13
21485 Komiža
island Vis, Croatia

phone. +385 21 713 760
fax. +385 21 717 206
mob. +385 98 784 664

Our service

We provide other services as well:
  • info centre
  • LOCO transfer: Vis – Komiža – Vis
  • taxi service
  • bicycle hire
  • motor bike rental
  • rent-a-car
  • internet point
  • souvenirs which will always remind you of our island and us