Croatia has been an attractive naturist destination for five decades. Today there are more than 30 official naturist resorts (campsites, tourist villages and beaches) and numerous unofficial bathing places. There are also so called free beaches which are known to be naturist for many years and those places are mostly clothing optional. It is important to point out that most of naturist beaches are placed in beautiful natural environment.
Naturism is well accepted all along Croatian Adriatic coast. Naturist beaches are marked with "FKK" for "Freikorperkultur" (German for Free Body Culture). Central Dalmatia islands and coast line is the right place where you can find not only official naturist resorts and beaches but those hidden and secluded small bays.
I checked up most of the island's secluded beaches but Nova posta was undoubtedly the winner!! And besides, it was also the closests, only about 20 minutes' walk. Staying in Komiza, you first pass by Kamenica beach. There you can choose between the longer upper path and be at the same time rewarded with a stunning view or go along the shorter but slippery rocky margin of the coast. But you realize it's worth any effort when you see the sight: little pebbly beach with separate trees and blueness of the sea! Just perfect for relaxation, taking your favourite book, listening to the waves and forget about everything! :)
This small island (6 km2) lies about 5 nautical miles southwest of Komiza. The island is hilly and built mostly of limestone. Its highest peak is Strazbenica (239m). In the middle of the island is a small field with vineyards and olive groves. The coast is characterized by a number of caves, the largest of them being Medvidina and Modra Spilja (the Blue Cave). The main occupations are fishing and viticulture but most of the tourists visit Bisevo to see the famous Blue Cave.
The Benedictine monastery of St. Sylvester was found in 1050. Due to pirate attacks, two centuries later, the monastery relocated to Komiza. The remains of the original church of St. Sylvester from the 11th century may be seen next to the monastery ruins.
Only few people permanently live in the little villages as Salbunara, Mezuporat and Porat by the bays and in the village Potok, which is located at small plateau at the peak of the island. There are few mostly uninhabited little islets in the vicinity: Jabuka, Svetac and Palagruza.
Bisevo is famous one-day excursion spot not only for visitors of Vis but also the near islands, as Hvar, Brac... First you visit the Blue Cave and then a sandy bay of Porat that is ideal for swimming. Besides, you can have lunch in one of a tavern type restaurants offering catch of the day since the coastal area is extremely rich of fish!
Rukavac is the third large settlement on Vis and one of the most attractive tourist destinations on the island. Situated on the southern coast, about 10 km from Vis town and 13 km from Komiza, it is easily reached by an asphalted road.
This quiet and charming place was originally a fishermen's village but today it has been transformed into a holiday resort with small summer houses surrounded by their own gardens. If you are looking for peace and relaxation, it's the right place for your holidays.
Rukavac is surrounded by beautiful coves, sandy and pebbly beaches and the crystal clear sea. Here you'll find Srebrena (the Silver Beach), one of the most beautiful beaches of the Adriatic! Off the Rukavac bay there are two small islands, on one of them is the famous Green Grotto.
Okljucna cove is an abandoned fishing cove that belongs to the pretty, same named but also nearly abandoned hamlet, on a slope above the cove. It is situated on the norther side of the island and quite difficult of access.
Going from Vis town toward Komiza you turn right after a couple of kilometres (and coming from Komiza you turn left a little before arriving to Vis town). Turning from the main road, asphalt soon changes for gravel which after a couple of kilometres becomes really bad. In case you've got a low car, you better forget about this adventure. There aren't any road signs so you have to trust your instinct, following the direction to the sea.
You are likely not to meet many tourists in Okljucna cove (if any at all!), the place is in fact totally abandoned. It sounds just ideally for those looking for solitude! But there was something on the beach that was troubling me a lot: trash, thrown away from the boats, that the sea washed them up. Since the cove remains abandoned, nobody comes to clean it. What a pity!
Bisevo Island has several caves but is famous for the Blue Cave (Modra Spilja) in a small cove Balun, which is a rare natural phenomenon. It's known by the local fishermen since ancient times and discovered for the world by Baron Eugen Rausoonet in 1884. It resembles the cave on island Capri in Italy, but is much more attractive and luxuriant!
The Blue Cave is 24 m long, 10-12 m wide, up to 15 m high and up to 16 m deep. It can be reached by small boat and it's accessible through some 1,5 m high and 2,5 m wide rock gate. Between 11am and noon, on a sunny day when the sea is calm, sun rays passing through an underwater opening illuminate the cave with a luminous blue light while objects beneath the surface shimmer in silver and pink. It's magic!!!
The easiest way to visit the Blue Cave is to take one of the excursion boats that runs daily from Komiza in the summer. I booked at Nika Adventure Tours and was highly satisfied!
A place of special beauty and a reminder about our impact on the environment.
Magical blue light, water like ink - if you dip your hand it will look like dipped into blue oil, beautiful and somehow eery effect, a glowing paint on your skin. But swimming is forbidden.
This used to be a home of one special creature - Adriana, the Monk Seal (Monachus monachus).
But this shy and sensitive mammal no longer exists in the Adriatic. In order to live and breed, it needs peace and safety of undisturbed coves.
First they were evicted from sandy beaches, now even a few sheltered coves became tourist attraction, so this gentle creature hasn’t been seen in the Adriatic for years.
I was thinking about Adriana and her pups while we were inside the cave, this one was a perfect palace for her, with flat areas above water and hidden underwater entrance. They have only one pup at the time, which has to be nurtured by it’s mother for the first 6 months.
More here :
Entrance fee 20 Kunas (3 EUR) if you come by your own boat, different agencies offer transfers and tour for the price from 60n - 70 Kunas (10 EUR)
Have you ever experienced a night time swimming? Well, I have, and can tell you, it's fantastic!! Since my first time I do it quite often, I just love it!
Especially when the air temperature is up to 40C by day and it drops only to 30C by night, as it happened in my case, you simply need to refresh yourself! And what is better than swimming in the sea? The feeling is magnificent, since the air and water temperatures are nearly the same and you have the sensation of the sea being warmer by night than by day. There's only a little advice: you better check the beach before your night time adventure, just to convince yourself that it's safe.
I found pebbly Kamenica beach in Komiza very suitable and it's easy of access. Only bear in mind that the daily bar on the beach changes into popular night spot with DJ. To avoid the strong lights, you move some 100 m and nothing will bother you anymore, you'll be just fine! :)
On your way to Tito's cave (ah well, it is a lovely hike up, those 100 stairs, great views and all, especially amazing long stretched spider webs - 3 meters and more! but the cave itself is beyond boring) ok, even If you don't wish to climb up there, you might find it interesting to notice this particular village.
A mysterious secret lingering over it.
The name of this village is ZENA GLAVA !!!
Oh, right, need a translation, eh?
Not Woman's Head or Female Head.
More like The Head Woman. She's in charge.
What happened up there??? How can this be???
I did a thorough investigation by interrogating a few locals, and two stories emerged.
One - that all men went to war and women took over so they actually started using their heads. (I'm just quoting my source here, a male in his fourties, ehm ...)
The other - that there's no water well up there, so they had to carry water from distant water-well, and they did that by carrying buckets on their heads, all the time, every time they went anywhere, they would return with water bucket on their head.
Totally stunning, right?
The church of St. Nicholas, known among locals as Muster (from “monastery”, which it used to be)
Benedictines came to Komiza in 12th century from Bisevo island,looking for more fertile land with water wells.
The inscription from12th century suggests that the building on top of which the Benedictines built their monastery dates back to 850 A.D. And it would not be a surprise to find remains of ancient Illyrian monuments, since some of the oldest graves are vertical – typical Illyrian burial custom.
Every November on St. Nicholas day one old boat is burned as a sacrifice of gratitude and a plead for safety of all souls at sea.
There used to be a tunnel under Muster filled with gold and jewels - either it was just a legend or someone got lucky in 1963 during works which resulted in filling up of that tunnel. We may never know!
A small, really not impressive cave, with carved lyrics celebrating Tito and his troops, you know the epic pompous style that most of us find touching and uplifting in our own country and funny in other countries or political regimes.
Tito was hiding in this cave for a short period of time, during German raids. The walk up towards this place takes exactly 100 stairs, it’s not too difficult and offers lovely views. Don't be afraid of spiders, they have extremely long nets beaming high across your head, but couldn't care less about us tourists, really. .
Italian troops occupied Vis in April of 1941. Soon after that, the Germans declared the war against the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Partisan forces were fighting against Nazi troops all over Yugoslavia, and in one phase of the war when the liberation of Dalmatian islands was a priority, Tito’s forces with the help of British commandos captured Vis and kept on defending it against German attacks.
By this time he was already recognized first by British, then by Americans and Russians as a capable military leader who’s Partisan units consisting of civilians from all walks of life, ethnic, religious and political background, were defying Fascists and liberating the country without major intervention from allied forces.
The majority of inhabitants were evacuated to El Shat refugee camp in Egypt, a destination of ill reputation, where many perished.
Partisans treated British with great respect, helped and collaborated in their specific ways. One typical story: British medical personnel needed an X-ray machine and more medical supplies, to treat wounded British soldiers, Partisans and civilians. They mentioned this to some Partisans, who replied in typical Croatian manner: “Nema problema”.
One day, an X-ray machine and medical supplies were delivered. Partisans went “shopping” - raided one German medical unit in Split and delivered the goods.
No it’s not a mistake, the name sounds the same in Croatian, and is related to the theft of her picture from this church in 18th century - the picture "returned" by being washed ashore on the beach few meters away from the church.
The church was built in 16th century, consists of three parts and is a very fine and beautiful example of Renaissance architecture, even though it wasn’t built as a whole but rather through succession of enlargements and additions being built from donations.
The weddings and baptisms are performed here, while burial ceremonies are held up in Munster (St. Nichola’s church).
So this is a joyous church.
And that same beach where the picture got washed ashore is now a popular local beach.
From Komiza - look towards the sea - turn to your right and just walk.
High above Komiza to the south is the peak of Mount Hum accessible from the old road to the south or from a hiking trail that is purported to start behind the Benedictine Monastery.
High atop the hill you will find amazing views down to Komiza, out to Vis Bay, Hvar and Lastovo islands and far off to Split and the mainland.
This former airfield near Plisko Polje was built by the British in 1944, constructed of steel plates (where did they get those from?) that were later removed and planted with Roki’s vineyards. The outline of the field is still marked by the pylons painted red and white.
Well if you are stuck in town without transport I'm sorry because the beaches are rather sad, but if you've got a scooter, bike, car or a ride head due south of Vis to Rukavac. Just before the end of the road turn right and park with all the other cars and walk down to this great little beach/bay.
As always, watch out for those spiky sea urchins getting in and out and bring a mat to lay on for the relatively flat rocks.
This is a socialist shrine of sorts for the island of Vis and possibly for the old Yugoslavia. Supposedly this is one of the locations that Marshal Tito directed the war in 1944. Apparently it was once quite a draw with the tourist before it was clear how severe Tito’s crimes were and the disintegration of Yugoslavia. We were told by locals and a visiting agitator from Split (his self-given title) that apparently Tito was only at this location for a matter of weeks.
This is definitely worth a stop on the way to the top of Mt. Hum. It seems that some restoration work has gone into the site recently. While there are not any real caves (that we could find) there are some nice terraces and text (in Croatian) around the site.