Vis is the small island about 10 miles south west of Hvar. It is also the name of one of the two towns on the island.
It is the island furthest from the Croatian mainland and was the site of the original Greek settlement. It rose to such prominence that is founded its own colonies, one of which was Stari Grad on Hvar Island. In the 19th century Vis Bay was the scene of two naval battles. In 1811 the British beat the French and in 1866 the Austrians beat the Italians. During World War Two it was the secret headquarters of Marshall Tito and the Partisans and after the war it became a naval base, off limits to visitors. It was opened up again in 1989 and is now the place to go for quiet, peaceful, unspoilt beauty; hence all the tourists and charter boats.
We decided to spend a night there just to have a look around. It is quite a pretty town and seems to revolve entirely around the tourist trade making the most from the hoardes of charter boats. We have never seen so many catamarans in one place as we did on the quay in Vis.
As we’d arrived we had noticed an empty bay just outside the main port with maybe twenty mooring buoys lined up along one shore. We took a stroll around town and found ourselves walking passed this bay. The buoys had acquired a fleet of perhaps 20 charter boats all tied back to the trees with excited crews in full party mode. On the opposite side of the bay was another armada anchored side by side and tied back to their trees. It would have been interesting to watch them all arrive but happily we’d not needed to!
The town of Vis is spread all around the southern end of the bay and shares its architectural DNA with the much bigger and more impressive Hvar. There are Greek and Roman ruins on the outskirts of town, but not in a condition to be open to the public, and the Church and Monastery of St Jerome, built on the site of the old Roman theatre sits on the promontory of Prirovo. It was built with stone from the Greek and Roman settlements.
We took a wander around the streets and finally settled on a small restaurant called Buffet Vis for a really nice dinner before heading back to the boat to decide in our next port of call.