Vis Island or Island Vis – or just known as Vis to the locals – is a distant inhabited island in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. It belongs to the Republic of Croatia, and like you guessed it, is a great destination for everyone who is looking to have an amazing luxury cruising experience. Here is everything you need to know about this beautiful island.
The Island of Vis was inhabited around the same time as many other Adriatic islands of the region: 4th century BCE. It was originally a colony of Syracuse, Sicily. The island was basically another way to get complete control of all the shipping that was done through the Adriatic Sea.
Here are some other cool facts that you might want to know:
First cricket place
One of the lesser known facts about Vis Island is that when it came under British rule in beginning of the 19th century, it was the first island in all of Croatia to ever play cricket on. It has also been an important trading and military post as well as shelter for Venetian merchandisers, Napoleon’s army as well as the British army during each of their respective time on the island. There are just so many things about Island Vis that only the locals can tell you.
Oldest regatta playing island
Regatta is a series of boat races that come from Venetian language ‘regata’ which means ‘contest’. The Island Vis is renowned as the oldest known island to have ever played regatta. The first regatta from the island was first recorded in 1593 – and is referred to as the ‘regatta of 74’.
If you ever do plan to visit the island, we highly recommend taking a private charter because the experience with one of these Adriatic cruises will be considerably better. Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself in one of the regatta contests too!
The island was closed until 30 years ago!
You may not know it, and neither did we until we asked the officials of the region, but the island of Vis was locked away from the public until 1991. It was a place of great strategic importance for regimes of the duration – the British, Venetians and the French. During the period of ex-Yugoslavia, it was an off-limit island for all foreigners.
Though the opening was not very comfortable, and there was suspicion for the first few years, tourism has boomed until then. Regardless, it is still not as tourist-friendly as the other islands you may find in the Adriatic Sea.
Here are some places that you should visit if you are in the region for any reason:
The most important and fun place to visit when you are in the region is the submarine cave – especially if you are using a private small cruise ship that you can take anywhere around the island.
The submarine cave was – as you guessed it – used to harbor private submarines of the regiment militaries that occupied the region during the times. It was originally constructed by Tito and is about 110m long. Since the location is not being used for military purposes anymore, it is a great location for tourists like you.
Fort Saint George
Though there are a great many fortresses in the town of Vis, only three were able to catch our attention. One of those three is the Fort Saint George or George’s Fortress. It was built by the English commander of Vis, George Duncan Robertson in 1812 to protect against the enemy attacks.
There are two courtyards inside the fortress that are surrounded by moats. It gives an excellent view-point and there is even a restaurant inside that you should definitely try out. More on that later!
The second fortress that caught our attention was the Wellington Fortress – which is named after the Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, the duke of Wellington. Assuming from the name of the fortress, it must have started its construction a few days after the Duke’s victory against the French in 1815. There are a lot of different relics to see in this location, and although most of the fortress seems destroyed, it still offers a great variety of good picture spots.
Our Lady’s Fortress
Though the fortress was built by the Austrians on the island around the time they were reigning the region, it was later extended through the center of the Port and became known as the “Our Lady’s Fortress”. The fortress played a vital role in the battle of Vis in 1866 - as a battery to protect against the Italian fleet. You can find the Archaelogical Museum of Vis Island in this location. If you are looking for some inspirational military location, you definitely should visit Levaman Battery – an alternate name to this fortress.
Here are some restaurants that you should consider visiting:
Here are some things that you would want to do:
We hope that this article was able to help you find everything you needed to know about visiting the Island Vis. The Island may seem small but it certainly is not something that you can visit in a few hours. You should definitely consider investing in a multi-day tour.
If you want something exotic as well as luxurious, consider investing in our special 7-day tour. You will definitely not be disappointed.
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