If you are an experienced boater, you probably already know that the island of Vis is one of the most attractive yachting destinations, that its waters host the Vis regatta, and that sailing through its archipelago can take you on an exciting adventure all the way to the islet of Jabuka. In addition to that, you’ll find a number of bays, coves and beaches that can be reached only by sea routes. The port of Vis itself will not disappoint you, either: it is accessible to all types of boats and sail boats.
1. Town of Vis and the port of Vis
The entire bay of Vis, also known as the Bay of St. George, is surrounded by hills that offer protection from the southern winds. This means your boat will be quite safe if you park it there. The Stonca cove, located on the north side of the small Prirovo peninsula) is well sheltered from the northern winds (bora in particular - though the southern wind jugo might rock your boat a bit at this location) and you will be able to anchor at a depth of ten meters.
In the port of Vis, though, you will be slightly exposed to the winds from the north and north east, and mostly those from the west and north-west.
The mooring sites are officially managed by Issa Adria Nautika. Their offices double as the reception desk for both mooring sites, and you will be able to pay your mooring bill here.
2. Mooring site Luka
Although the town of Vis does not have a marina intended for mooring sail boats only, the port of Vis is very well equipped if you want to moor or anchor.
You can moor on two locations in the port of Vis: the Luka mooring site and the Kut mooring site. You will find sixty mooring spots at the Luka site (kolpo morto is 35 meters from the shore) and twelve yacht lockers with six power connections, as well as toilet facilities. The sea depth here goes to over four meters.
3. Mooring site Kut
The Kut mooring site contains thirty mooring spots (kolpo morto is also 35 meters from the shore), with the sea depth reaching over three meters. In addition to six lockers with six power connections, there are also two water connections here.
4. Underwater world of the island of Vis
The waters of the island of Vis will prove to be rather exciting to passionate boaters who also happen to be diving aficionados. Warships and galleys sailed through the turbulent history of Vis, planes and bombers flew over it, and some of them now adorn the deep waters surrounding the island. If you are at least a reasonably good diver you might like to embark on an underwater adventure of Vis.
Just to give you a little taste of what you can expect from the sea and its depths here, we have selected a few locations that we hope will inspire you to explore the underwater world of Vis. You can visit these locations, along with many others, by joining one of the organized diving tours offered by various Vis diving centers. There are wrecks out there that you might be able to find and reach yourself, but be sure to inquire about their exact coordinates.
5. Diving centers on the island of Vis
You can arrange your diving tour with any of the diving centers on the island of Vis.
5.1. Issa Diving Center
Located in Komiža, this club’s offer includes wreck diving and diving courses.
5.2. B-24 diving center
The owner of this diving club is the free-diving world champion Veljano Zanki and the diving tours include archaeological diving, nature sites diving and night diving.
5.3. The Nautica Vis Diving Center
Along with diving to twenty four locations in the Vis underwater world, this center offers short courses for non-divers.
5.4. Brioni wreck
The wreck of this passenger-cargo steamer is almost seventy meters long and lies near the southern coast of Vis. The ship itself was built in 1909 and sank in February 1930 after hitting the coast of the islet of Ravnik, not far from Cape Jezero, during a violent storm. On her final voyage, Brioni was transporting tobacco and wine.
This wreck is one of the most famous and best preserved in the Adriatic Sea. The stern of the ship lies at the depth of forty meters (because the sea is very clear here it can be seen from the depth of fifteen), and the bow at the depth of sixty meters. Experienced divers will be able to dive this deep to take a look at the ship up close.
The wreck lies on its left side, on a sandy bottom that makes anchoring difficult. If for some reason you can’t make it as far as 40 meters in, you will still be able to see Brioni in all of her beauty.
5.5. Ursus wreck
This Italian tugboat sank in 1941 after being bombed by the British submarine Rorqual. After a direct hit to the ship’s boiler room a fire broke out and caused an explosion in the ammunition depot, which caused Ursus to sink very quickly.
The wreck is wonderfully preserved, which makes it easy to see the interior of the ship, including the ammunition depot (or what’s left of it). Ursus is located at the depth of forty-three to sixty-six meters, on the north east side of the island, not far from the Stončica bay. Because of rather strong currents around this spot you’ll have to be well prepared to take the dive.
5.6. Teti wreck
This wreck is located near the coast of Komiža, in the vicinity of the Mali Barjak islet. It is an ideal location for diving if you are a beginner since the sea here is mostly well behaved. This cargo steamer lies at the depth of eight to thirty-one meters, and its remains are a home to the rich flora and fauna of the Vis sea.
Teti sunk in May 1930 after hitting against the shore of Mali Barjak.
5.7. Graf Radetzky wreck
The Graf Radetzky frigate has been sleeping in the northern waters of the island of Vis since 1869. This Austro-Hungarian warship survived the Battle of Vis in 1866 only to sink several years later, after an explosion blew most of it up.
The wreck is located at the depth of eighty-five to ninety-five meters and can be categorized as a technical dive.
5.8. Palestro Wreck
This ship also partook in the Battle of Vis in 1866 - in fact, it was one of the best armed ships in it. Perhaps she might have influenced the final outcome of the battle had she not sunk, following a direct hit to the ammunition depot.
The wreck is located in the northern part of the island of Vis, at the depth of one hundred to one hundred and thirty-two meters.
6. Port-to-port sailing around Vis
Vis has a number of ports, harbours, bays and coves that will make your cruise fun and interesting. As a boater you’re at a slight advantage over drivers since some parts of the Vis coast can only be reached by boat. We have selected the most important ports and bays of the island of Vis and the Vis archipelago based on their accessibility for mooring and anchoring.
6.1. Rogačić Bay
The Rogačić port is deeply tucked into the northern coast of the island of Vis and thus excellently protected from all winds. In this mini bay you will find two coves. The first (and the larger of the two) is Parja, where the sea reaches the depth of ten meters. Rogačić Bay is a bit smaller, and a little more exposed to northern winds.
It will take you about half and hour of easy walking to get to the town of Vis. On your way you’ll pass near the Vela and Mala Svitnja bays, with forts towering over them.
6.2. Slatina - Gradac - Tiha Bay
Going further along the northern coast of the island, in the direction of Komiža, the next point on your cruise will be an interesting three-armed bay, or rather, three smaller coves - Slatina, Tiha and Gradac. Depending on the time of year and day you can expect to be rocked by the mistral, the bora and the tramontana winds. However, during the Adriatic cyclone weather, accompanied by the southern jugo wind, this bay will make a lovely and safe place for an overnight stay. If you’d like to anchor here we recommend doing so in the Tiha cove; it will provide the best shelter from all winds, and the sea reaches the depth of ten meters. A pebble beach runs along the entire bay so swimming and sunbathing will be rather pleasant here.
6.3. Town of Komiža and its bay
Komiža Bay is the largest bay on the island of Vis and is completely open to the south-western and western winds. You’ll also be exposed to both jugo and lebić, so caution while anchoring is advised. The port of Komiža is protected with a high breakwater reinforced with concrete blocks, and is the only place in the entire Komiža bay deemed completely safe for mooring.
Since Komiža is a fishing village with a lot of fishing boat traffic going on, the first thirty meters of space at the breakwater are reserved for fishing boats (and larger boats). The next hundred are designated for boaters. There are about thirty mooring spots at your disposal, with power and water connections.
The sea depth should also be taken into account, decreasing from six to two meters the closer you get to the shore.
As you can probably imagine, it can get pretty crowded here during the summer months, but given the beauty of Komiža and its landscape, overcoming this small challenge will definitely be worth it.
6.4. Porat port on Biševo Island
This little island, located in the vicinity of the coast of Komiža, makes for a pretty good anchoring site, especially in more favourable weather. While the port of Porat is open to south-western winds and the mistral wind, you won’t have any trouble with the rest of them, and you’ll be able to anchor comfortably for several days (be careful to do this at the minimum distance of 40 meters from the shore).
Although the island is a popular tourist destination, late afternoon and evening hours will be delightful here, peaceful and mild. While you’re here, don’t forget to visit the caves of the island of Biševo: the famous Blue Cave, and the slightly less known, but equally important Medvidina Cave.
6.5. Blue Cave
In this cave you’ll be able to see one of the most beautiful natural phenomena in Croatia, in which sunlight works with the sea to illuminate the cave with a magical blue light. If you are coming by a larger boat, it should be noted that the cave can only be entered by smaller boats or a dinghy.
6.6. Medvidina Cave
This cave used to be the home of the Mediterranean monk seal, which is how it got its name. At its bottom you’ll find a nice little beach that can only be reached by a small boat.
Cruising around Vis you will come across many smaller bays and coves, but the next larger port, and the best sheltered port in the southern part of the island of Vis, is the port of Rukavac, located in the bay of the same name. Its sides are shielded by the capes Gnjila and Polivalo, while the small island of Ravnik blocks stronger winds hitting its front.
There are two coves in this bay: Novi Rukavac and Stari Rukavac. The former is a fishing village with a twenty meter long pier where the local fishermen dock to unload their daily catch. The sea bed runs at the depth of three meters on each side of the pier; however, the sea goes shallow rather quickly as you move towards the mainland, decreasing to the depth of only one meter. In addition to that, the locals use the western side of the pier to moor their boats, so either way caution is advised when sailing in.
Stari Rukavac cove isn’t so busy, which means you’ll most likely find a very nice spot for yourself there.
The the sea in the center of the bay reaches the depth of eight meters. However, be careful when anchoring because the bottom is covered with slabs which may cause your anchor to slide.
6.8. Island of Ravnik
If you anchor in Rukavac or at least sail next to it, stop by Ravnik. This small island is the home of the Green Cave, a protected site of nature.
6.9. Green Cave
The Green Cave is another protected natural beauty of Vis. Here, the sunlight illuminates the sea and the cave with a greenish glow.
6.10. Stiniva Bay
If you’re so inclined, on your way to Rukavac you can stop in this beautiful bay, also protected as a significant landscape. In 2016, the British magazine Daily Mail declared its beach the most beautiful beach in Europe.
6.11. Island of Veli Budihovac
The little island of Veli Budihovac is one of the most beautiful locations in the Vis archipelago, particularly accessible to boaters. Its bay is well sheltered from almost all winds, partly by its cliffs and rocks, and is a perfect location for anchoring over a course of several days.
The only caution that is needed here is while navigating the shallow waters around Mali Budihovac. Also worth pointing out is that during the low tide, the sea reaches a depth of two meters.
The eastern side of the island is slightly more exposed to the mistral wind, but it is a beautiful and secluded place where no one will bother you. The entire coast of the island is covered with beautiful pebble beaches, another reason why you shouldn’t leave this lovely island off your list.
6.12. Stončica Bay
Stončica Bay is everyone’s favourite bay, whether they are coming on foot, by bike or by boat. It is cut into the coast and thus well protected from the northern winds. The best place to anchor is the bay’s southern side where the sea is between five and six meters deep. You’ll have to anchor just right because the seabed is sandy here, and your anchor might dance a bit, tossed about by the winds as they bounce off the shores.
Stončica beach has an excellent restaurant known for its Mediterranean menu, and the beach itself is suitable for a full-day stay. There is a lighthouse on the eastern cape of the bay, a very lovely spot with a great view of the entire bay and its seafront.
7. Offshore adventure - Vis Volcanic Triangle
If you are an adventurer at heart - and if you are a boater you probably are - the Vis archipelago has a seafaring adventure for you.
The islands of Brusnik, Svetac and Jabuka form a sea route popularly called the Vis Volcanic Triangle, so if you are a fan of offshore adventure, get ready, raise the anchor, let the sails out, and sail into the exploration of the Volcanic Triangle.
7.1. Brusnik island
The islet of Brusnik is a volcanic island, one hundred and fifty million years old. Like that of the islet Jabuka, its geological composition contains magnetite (which will make your compass dance a lot).
If you’re coming to the islet on its north-western side, do so carefully navigating the rocky seabed. The south-eastern side of the islet is more approachable, so anchoring will be a lot easier here.
The reward for your efforts will be paid in full: the combination of the perfectly blue sea, the black volcanic rocks and the sun that illuminates them all is a rare and amazing sight.
And just maybe, you’ll be able to spot the sole inhabitant of this islet, the endemic black lizard.
7.2. Svetac island
The island of Svetac, or the Island of St. Andrew, is the only of these three islands that was inhabited. The Romans and the Greeks often visited it on their travels, as did the Illyrians and their queen Teuta (parts of the fort tower she supposedly built here still stand). You can anchor in the bay of Slatina, and take a dinghy to the port of Povlov bok (this is done because it is impossible to dock here and boats have to be dragged onto the beach). You can spice up your leisurely walk around the island by visiting the Teuta Tower and the Church of St. Andrew.
7.3. Jabuka island
The tiny islet of Jabuka may well be the smallest of these three, but it will make the largest crown of your adventure. This remote island is actually a volcanic cliff about a hundred meters high, with rocks full of magnetite. The sea here is too deep to anchor; you won’t be able to moor your boat or dock, since there are no coves or beaches here. We’d like to think that this won’t matter - just sailing out this far, off all charted routes, to find the vast expanse of the sea adorned with a solitary rock, will fill you with both satisfaction and awe.
Although you’ll be admiring this volcanic queen from a distance, there is no doubt that you will admire her, and never forget her.