Starting in Split, we took the ferry to the first island of our expedition – Vis. Vis is the furthest island from land on the Croatian coast and has a population of just over 3,500. We stayed in the town of Vis and enjoyed this as our first island. Vis (as an island) is not very touristy (especially outside of the busy summer months).
In the town of Vis we found plenty of fresh produce and fantastic bread at the local bakery. We also enjoyed the local cafes and the town of Vis offers several restaurants along the main promenade.
As our first island to visit, it was an absolute treat to see the stone homes and narrow winding cobblestone streets.
While on Vis, we rode almost all of the roads on the island. We started by sticking to the main roads and quickly realized that on a small island as such, we would have to get a bit creative about taking the roads less travelled (most of which were not paved). We were able to get our hands on a topographical map which we ended up purchasing for each of the islands – giving us a detailed look at the roads, which connected and which did not. The tourist maps show only the main routes. Vis was also our first experience with the serpentines and what we would know to be the extreme climbing and descents required for cycling on the islands.
Starting in Vis, there are several beautiful routes to the majestic town of Komiza. Komiza is well worth visiting. There are lots of little cafes along the water and the descent down into town is a real treat.
From Komiza, we continued on the main road to loop back around the island to the town of Vis and opted to climb up to the highest point of land on the island (Hum/Hom in Croatian). It was a very steep climb but worth every second for the views of Komiza.
Taking a recommendation from a local bike guide, we stuck to the gravel side roads one day, winding our way through the community of “Okljucna”. Blink and you’ll miss it. We did! The road was quiet, challenging (a great deal of climbing) but offered some great swimming along the way and very unique terrain (be prepared for loose gravel).
Vis also offers several fantastic swim spots around the island including Stiniva beach which is a steep hike from the parking lot but worth the effort for the amazing views and warm water. If you happen to like cliff jumping, Stiniva is the beach for you.