Holidays of Discovery
The World Wide Fund for Nature , the conservation organization, has declared Vis, the most outlying inhabited island in the archipelago south of Split, and its neighbours Mijet and Lastovo, among the last patches of paradise in the Mediterranean.
This remote island was strategically significant in the Adriatic and was fought over in many naval battles. The Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Venetians, Austrians, French and British have all controlled Vis at different times. Major naval battles took place in 1811 when the British defeated the French and in 1866 when Austrian forces trounced Italy. During World War II the island was at different times under the control of Tito’s partisans and was the British Military Mission Headquarters. After the war Vis became a military base to which access was strictly controlled and it was only in summer 1998 that the island opened to foreign visitors.
This protection from tourist development left the island unspoilt and the local population able to carry on their traditional way of life - fishing and farming.
The island has rich vegetation including wild rosemary, almonds, heather and sage and much of the arable land is covered by olives, fig and lemons. There are many vineyards and Vis has for centuries been famous for its wine. Opol is an outstandingly good light red wine, Black Vis (Visko Crno) is a strong heavy red and Vugava a rather rich white wine. Visitors to the island will find the two small towns of Vis and Komiza delightful and full of history with beautiful wild mountain scenery and many (donkey) tracks providing good walking. Excellent restaurants offer locally caught fresh fish, lobsters and crabs served with the fine local wines. For originality, good local specialities and location try either Villa Kaliopa, a garden restaurant with the tables set amongst the palms and bamboo greenery, or restaurant AS, located in a quaint narrow street in the old town. Whilst on the island it is possible to hire mountain bikes and scooters. Worth visiting nearby is the small island of Bisevo famous for its Blue Grotto (Modra Spilja) which is as impressive as the one at Capri . The nearest airport is Split.
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