Vis is the inhabited island farthest from Croatia's mainland, and it has only recently become a hot destination. Vis was closed to visitors until 1989 because of its status as a military base. Almost as soon as the island opened its shores to the world, the 1991 Homeland War threw a wet blanket over tourism in Croatia and Vis's debut as a vacation spot was delayed.
Today's Vis is a perfect poster child for the country's "Croatia: The Mediterranean as It Once Was" promotion. It is developing into the country's next exclusive tourist draw precisely because previous booms bypassed its shores, leaving it undeveloped.
The downside is that Vis is short on hotel accommodations and tourism infrastructure, but it is beginning to catch up. The island's two main towns, Vis Town and Komiza, are seeing increased tourist days thanks to an unspoiled interior, deserted beaches and clear-as-glass water, and fine, authentic restaurants. Travel routes between the island and the mainland have increased with the introduction of new fast-boat routes blessed by Croatia's government, though most of the added routes are active July and August only.
Vis's recorded history dates from the 4th century B.C., when Dionysius of Syracuse founded Issa (Vis), presumably as a strategic base for Greek enterprises in the Adriatic. Issa became a city-state and eventually was taken over by the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Venetians, in that order. Vis attained its greatest notoriety during World War II, when Marshal Tito used a cave on the island as his base for masterminding Partisan strategies. Called Tito's Cave, the chamber on the south side of Mount Hum is interesting even though you have to climb 245 overgrown stone steps to reach it.
There are many secluded bays on Vis (Rukavac, Stiniva, Milna, Srebrna), particularly on the island's southern side, where most of the time you'll have the rocks and sea to yourself.
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