Just when I think I’m all out of loving Croatia more, I am giving another million reasons to fall deep in love with this country I call home. I had a friend from London recently visit who opted to switch his annual Ibiza trip with the boys for a week on Island of Hvar. It took me about 4 years to get him here but it was worth it. He couldn’t stop sending me pictures of his adventures stating how beautiful it is. He was stunned. “Yes, I know- Welcome to my backyard,” I said. Once he got back to London he said that Croatia has now replaced Ibiza, he wants to continue uncovering the beauty of this magnificent country.
It’s very easy for me to sell Croatia as a place to visit to someone who has never been. I already know after one day that they’ll fall in love and revisit again and again. Croatia becomes an obsession. For me, personally, having been here a few years now, I often feel like I’ve “seen it all” without literally seeing it all. Everything is at my feet in Croatia and that’s the beauty of living in this country however, I always feel like I have plenty of time to experience what Croatia has to offer. This makes me a little bit lazy. In Zagreb, I tend to enjoy my city life and don’t venture too far from my flat. In Zadar, I stay in the Zadar Region.
Island of Vis, also known as the Key of the Adriatic, has been on mine radar all year and we wanted to experience it before it was introduced to the rest of the world through the Mamma Mia 2 movie. Our journey starts at 9am from Trogir Marina. Trogir is just over an hour drive away from Zadar by car. It will take about an hour to get to Island Vis from Trogir by boat. The season hasn’t really started in Croatia, the waters are still fairly empty, June is the perfect time to sail Croatia if you’re looking to see Croatia without the crowds.
We pass Island of Vis and head towards Island Bisevo, one of the final islands before you begin to cross the sea towards Italy. Island Bisevo is known for its caves, there are around 12 you can enter and explore and two years ago with my best friend from Sydney I explored Blue Cave- probably the most famous one. Well, the one that’s being monetised.
The waters are hues of Croatia’s trademark turquoise and blue, the sun is shining and it’s not even mid day yet. Life is good but then again, life is always good in Croatia.
Like I mentioned earlier, it takes a lot for a city to really “WOW” me. Sure, all Croatian towns are beautiful and have their own charm but after a while you get used to seeing Croatia. It takes a lot for me to truly be blown away. Our next location for the day was town Komiza (Komiža) on Island Vis and I instantly cannot believe my eyes as we make our way into the marina. Absolutely breathtaking.
We take a break and have some pizza at a restaurant overlooking the marina, mountains and sea, captivated by the beauty of Vis. It’s true what they say, it’s hard to imagine a poor view in Croatia.
I don’t think there’s a better way to see the Island of Vis (unless you’re a cyclist) than with the roof down of a vintage red jeep! It was such a fun (and often dangerous) scenic drive through a mostly narrow road. There were moments where the road was only one way, eek! Talk about living on the edge!
Komiza is a quaint little town on the western side of island Vis. It has a population of just under 1600 people. Island Vis was known to be closed to foreigners during the time of ex-Yugoslavia, only opening in 1989. It officially started attracting tourists only 15 years ago. Prior to that, it was predominately used as a military base for the Yugoslav army.
While exiting (or entering) Komiza town and heading towards Town Vis, you can’t help but notice St. Nicholas Church that was built by the Benedictines in the XIII century sitting on a hill overlooking the town.
The plan was to just “swing” by town Vis as we had plenty of other secret bays and beaches to see around the island. Vis Town is about two times bigger than Komiza on the other end of the island and about a 20minute drive. Vis Town is rustic, authentic and peaceful. In fact, the whole island is peaceful and don’t be surprised if you encounter butterflies every few moments. There’s something different about the energy in Vis, despite it being the most mysterious island in Croatia.
Our next stop is Vela Smokova where the waters are crystal clear and turquoise. One thing that makes Vela Smokova a little different to your usual beach in Croatia is that it’s all sand and not rocks. Most Croatian beaches are pebbled and often painful to walk on.
Our next and final stop before heading home is Stoncica bay where we have dinner at Konoba Stončica. This quiet little bay is a little busier and known to tourists, with private accommodation if you wanted to have a little holiday. The bay is also popular for yachts.
I often say that Croatia is the whole world in one country. I say that from a perspective of, whatever you’re looking for as a traveller, you can find in Croatia, there is something for everybody no matter what the season or budget.
My name is Adriana Matak. I’m a London based blogger writing about travels, luxury dining, lifestyle, and journey through addiction recovery. Over the years, I have been published on Lonely Planet, The Huffington Post, Jetset Times, Tiny Buddha and Rebelle Society.