The Adriatic Sea is speckled with beautiful islands. With their white cliffs, hidden beaches, and stone towns surrounded by glistening blue water, you quickly fell in love. Everyone else did too. Hvar, Krk, and Korčula are now just as crowded as Dubrovnik. So now you have to travel—by ferry, of course—a bit farther to find a peaceful spot.
It’s obvious that the extra travel time is worth it before the ferry even docks in Vis. From St. George’s Bay, a deep and protected bay on the northeastern coast, you can see green hills, rows of vineyards, fruit trees, and old fortifications. Vis, the largest town on the island, has red-tiled roofs, stone palaces, five Roman Catholic churches, and cobbled streets. Traditional falkušas (fishing sailboats) bob next to shiny yachts in the harbor. While the air smells like a mixture of freshly caught anchovies and wild herbs.
Vis is the farthest inhabited island from the mainland of Croatia. It lies about 60 miles off the southern coast, with Split being the closest city. The Greeks first settled the island in the 4th century BC to control the shipping routes in the Adriatic Sea. The Venetians, the Italians, the Austrians, and the Yugoslavians all controlled Vis, for its strategic location, at one point after that. The small island has been part of Croatia since the country declared its independence in 1991. Tourists have only recently discovered the unspoiled little hideout.
When you finally disembark from the ferry, you find that Vis is just as charming as it looks from the water. Deeply tanned fishermen are throwing sardines and mackerel off their tied up boats. Those who have already finished their day’s work share bottles of wine at nearby cafes. Church bells announce that a new hour has begun. Buckets overflow with colorful flowers along the quiet streets. Lemon trees shade hidden gardens along the way. Plus a little alley leads to a family-run hotel just a block from the waterfront.
Hotel San Giorgio is in a picture-perfect stone building. Local seafood, wine, and olive oil are served in the candlelit restaurant. Its rooms are decorated with soothing blue and green tones; some even have jacuzzi tubs. But it’s the outdoor spaces with which you fall in love. Lemon trees and Roman ruins litter the garden. Loungers are waiting for you on the sun terrace. While you have a view of the red rooftops and the sparkling water from your spacious balcony. It immediately feels like home—and you haven’t even seen the rest of the island yet.