Island Time; Vis

by Johnny

Once we got ourselves all sorted out with our travel plans back to Italy, we spent our final few days in Croatia enjoying all that the small island of Vis had to offer. Vis is Croatia’s most isolated island, located deep in the Adriatic further from the mainland than any other.  It’s also Croatia’s most unspoiled island, as it was previously a military base due to it’s strategic location and just recently opened its doors to tourism in 1989.  These facts are evident when you’re walking around town.  There’s a little less English spoken, it’s a little grittier, you may turn the corner and run into a goat, and the fishermen are a little saltier.

We based ourselves in the small fishing village of Komiza, located on the far west side of the island in the shadows of Mt. Hum.  The setting was truly stunning.  Komiza is said to be the place where fishing on the eastern side of the Adriatic was born, and it still remains a fishing village to its core.  Oddly enough, many fishermen from Komiza migrated to San Pedro, CA in the 1920s.  While there are only about 500 permanent residents of Komiza, over 5,000 San Pedro residents can trace their roots back to Komiza.  I even met an old salty fisherman whose brother lives in San Pedro.  Again, what a small world.

Komiza’s harbor
Fisherman talking about the day’s catch Komiza’s main square
Green shutters everywhere in Croatia
Beach in Komiza
Church in Komiza Hey there, goat

I am 100% addicted to scooters.  When my 2002 Ford Explorer Sport goes out of style (errr, explodes the first time I try and start it), I am getting a scooter of some sort.  It must run in the family…my Uncle Lenny is currently riding his Vespa from San Diego to Canada.  Awesome!  Anyways, on one of our days in Vis we rented a scooter (duh!) to explore the island.  From hidden coves to inland vineyards to the top of Mt. Hum, we got to see how beautiful the island truly is.  One highlight was our stop at Milna beach for lunch.  The restaurant on the beach looked like it had been deserted for over a decade, but out popped a friendly waiter to give us the menu…followed by him pointing out the two or three items from the menu they could actually make that day.  Anna’s cuttlefish black risotto was her favorite in Croatia, and I loved my cevapcici.  I don’t know what it’s made of, but I do know it’s delicious.  Side note: Apologies to France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, but we think Croatia has the best olive oil in the world. Hands down. It’s so thick and it actually tastes like olives.  We discussed this fact with our waiter, and I swear he started weeping a little when talking about his family’s homemade olive oil. I recommend you get your hands on some ASAP. Milna also had the first real sandy beach we saw in all of Croatia.  Bonus!

Born to be wild
Cuttlefish risotto in Milna Cevapcici…as fun to say as it is to eat
Cove of Stoncica…I spy a donkey
Nude beach logo could use some work
Milna beach Milna beach

From Milna we headed inland through the island’s vineyards and up to the top of Mt. Hum.  We weren’t sure if our scooter was going to make it, and Anna and I both started chanting, “I think I can!  I think I can!” but we finally got to the top.  From here we had incredible views of the town of Komiza on one side and other Croatian islands on the other.  We also hiked up to Tito’s cave.  Tito was Yugoslavia’s most infamous president, and during the war he would have secret meetings at this hidden cave.  It’s super creepy…like meeting a mob boss in the middle of the Vegas desert or something.  I’d be all like, “Uh, Tito…this is a little weird.  Maybe we can meet at Starbucks.”

View of Komiza from Mt. Hum
Anna contemplating the meaning of life
You’re my boy, Blue!
Tito’s cave built into Mt. Hum

Thanks for everything, Croatia! You’ll be missed, but we know we’ll see you again one day!

Our last meal in Croatia at Konoba Jastozera
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