Island of Vis

VIS is an island in the Adriatic Sea, the furthest Croatian inhabited island. Area is 90.26 km², population 3,617; the highest peak of Vis is called Hum, 587 m high. The island of Vis is a one of biggest central-Dalmatian islands, after island Brač, island Hvar and island Korčula.

There are two towns on the island, Vis (1,960) and Komiža (1,677), both located on the seacoast. There are smaller settlements on the island's interior: Podselje, Marinje zemlje, Podspilje, and Podstrazje. Island Vis was inhabited by the time of the Neolithic period. In the 4th century B.C., the tyrant of Siracuse, Dionisius the Older, 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.

The vast Komiza Bay, with sandy bottom, is situated on the western coast of the island. The southern coast is characterized by several smaller inlets (Travna Vela, Travna Mala, Stiniva, Ruda, Teleska Vela, Ploce, etc.). The town and the port of Vis lie on the northern coast of the island with many cliffs, of which Gradac Cliff is most impressive (100 m). The islets of Ravnik, Budihovac, Parzanj and Greben are situated off the south-eastern shore.

Island Vis is exposed to the north-westerly and south-easterly winds. The average air temperature in July is 24 °C, and in January 8.8 °C; the annual rainfall reaches 557 mm (only around 40 mm in the summer). The island has no fresh water sources, apart from several springs near Komiža. Water is supplied in the summer by ships and kept in cisterns. Limestone crests used to be covered with macchia. Fertile valleys, covered with red soils and interspersed with sand dunes, are cultivated with vines. The main settlements on the island, Vis and Komiza, are connected by a road and ship lines. Apart from viniculture (modern wine production plants) and vegetables (early vegetables), fishing (fish cannery in Komiza) is also important. The island has a palm-tree nursery.

Tourism is increasingly gaining on importance. Good quality accommodation in hotels or apartments, unpolluted environment with the crystal clear sea and marine scenery as well as the local specialties - seafood from the cleanest part of the Adriatic, various sports and recreation opportunities, they all constitute the offer of Vis, an island which emerged from a long period of isolation (tourists from abroad have been allowed to visit the island since 1989).

In the first century B.C., the island was held by the Illyrian tribe of Liburni. In 925, it was incorporated into the Medieval Croatian state under the crown of King Tomislav. Vis was mentioned in the De Administrando Imperio of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos from around 950 as Ies, an island inhabited by the Neretvians. In the Middle Ages it often changed rulers, and then for a long time it was under Venice, which founded the main settlement, named Velo Selo. During Venetian domination, the island's name was Lissa. Later, the larger settlements developed also on the coast (Komiza and Luka of St. Juraj, the- present town of Vis). Administratively the island of Vis was for centuries bound to the island of Hvar. During World War II, Vis was at one point the main hideout of Josip Broz Tito, the leader of the Yugoslav resistance movement. After the war, the Yugoslav People's Army used the island as one of its main naval bases. After Croatia became independent, its navy did not reclaim most of the facilities, and the many abandoned buildings are being used for civilian purposes.

VIS, a town and port in the eastern part of the northern coast of the island of Vis. Chief occupations are farming, wine production, fishing and tourism. The town of Vis is situated on the regional road. Ferry port, with ferry connections to Split. Situated in a deep bay, whose eastern coast abounds with large pebble beaches (Gusarica, Nova Posta, Velo Zalo), Komiza offers excellent visitor opportunities: quality accommodation facilities - hotel, apartments, and a number of cultural and historic sites - monastery, fortresses. It is famous for its fishermen (fishermen from Komiza are also known in San Pedro, California), so that fish and other seafood are traditionally served daily. Famous are also Komiza wines and carobs.

KOMIŽA, a town and harbor at the foot of the Hum hill (587 m), on the western coast of the island of Vis. An average air temperature in January is 8.9 °C. Economy is based on farming, vine and vegetable growing, fishing and fish processing, seafaring and in recent times on tourism. On the eastern coast of the bay are large sand and pebble beaches (Gusarica, Nova Posta, Velo Zalo). Komiža has regular ferry connections with Split; the regional road connects Komiza with Vis.

Main industries on the island are agriculture (mainly viticulture), fishing, fish refinement and tourism. Around 20% of arable land on the island is covered with vineyards. Autochthonous vine species cultivated on the island are Plavac Mali, Kurteloška and Vugava. The sea around Vis is rich with fish, especially blue fish (sardine, mackerel and anchovy). Komiža fishermen of the 17th century developed their own type of fishing boat, the Falkuša which was used even in the second half of the 20th century because of its excellent features. On the island of Vis you can find accommodation in hotels, apartments, holiday houses, luxury villas, rooms and camp-sites.


Otok Vis (na hrvatskom)     Vis-links 1    Vis-links 2

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