A Perfect and Painless Escape from Split: A Day on Vis with Delminium Travel

Daniela Rogulj

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If you’re looking to steer clear of the busy Split crowds this summer, pay attention and read carefully below…

The last month in Split has nearly felt like we were in the midst of the peak tourist season. With bustling crowds, tour groups, and plenty of bikini-clad young adults taking over the unusually warm streets of Split, any excuse for a day away seemed like a good one. 

Lucky for me and anyone else hoping to soak up the island sun, Dalmatia’s largest tour operator, Delminium Travel, resumed their tempting trip to Vis island on Thursday, May 31, 2018, and I was among the fortunate to be a part of their 2018 season launch. 

If you aren’t familiar, Delminium Travel is one of the most established travel agencies with years of experience which offers a variety of travel and transport including bus rental services, transfers, VIP transfers and guest reception. They also organize excursions and catamaran lines during the summer to the Dalmatian islands. On Thursday, we traveled on the catamaran to Vis for two exciting tours. 

Leaving from the Port of Split promptly at 9:00, a spacious and comfortable catamaran set sail to Milna on Brač where we picked up more guests for our trip – and we were there in just 35 minutes. From Milna, we made the journey to Komiža on Vis island, our final destination, arriving just before 11:00. 

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For those of you that don’t know, Vis island is known as the farthest inhabited island off the Croatian mainland with a population of around 3,000 people. The two largest settlements on the island are Vis town and Komiža. We used the ancient fishing town of Komiža as our hub for the day. 

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After we settled and took photos entering the picturesque town, by 11:30, we were ready to embark on our first tour, and it was one I was especially eager to see – the Vis Military Tour exploring the secrets of the forbidden island. 

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Vis is known as the ‘key’ of the Adriatic and was of strategic importance for regimes and attackers over the years. The island was actually isolated and closed to foreigners from the period of the former Yugoslavia in 1940 to Croatia’s independence in 1991. Vis, however, did welcome domestic tourism, though the absence of foreigner footprints for so long absolutely contributed to the island’s untouched charm. 

The secrets of Vis lie in its rich military history and mainly when it was a major military base for the Yugoslav army. The island itself boasts some 30 military objects, from tunnels to bunkers, missile bases, stone huts, and an airport that played a critical role in the Allied campaign for the invasion of Yugoslavia. 

Our guide Goran kicked off the military tour as we jumped in Land Rover jeeps perfect for off-roading. 

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St. Nikola Church on the drive up

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We sped uphill on a 20-minute drive to rocket base Stupišće to see the tunnels, remains, and abandoned warehouses. Arriving in the dark, the group was given helmets with lights to navigate through the underground crevices. 

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A room for missiles 

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Old generator 

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From the rocket base, we traveled to our next destination, but not before passing stone huts once used as air vents for the missile loading facility below. 

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Another reminder of the Yugoslav National Army. 

We then arrived at the next military attraction known as ARK Vela Glava, a former nuclear sheltering tunnel. Because photos did not do this part justice, I’ve added a video to show you just how incredible it is.  


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Metal frames attached to the walls. 

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One of the coolest parts of the tour was the Ansaldo canon from 1941 which was disabled before the JNA left the island in 1993. 

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And how can you beat these views?

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The tour then traveled to the Vis Airport, one of the reasons the island played a crucial role in the Second World War. Because Vis was one of the first islands to come under Allied control, it was used as a launch pad for invasion. The airstrip, which was 1.3 kilometers long, not only shortened bombing missions from Italy, but it also acted as an emergency landing spot for Allied planes. 

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Though the airport today is a grassy plain (but there are talks of getting it back into function), next to the airport, believe it or not, is a cricket pitch! Oddly enough, during the Napoleonic Wars in 1811, British soldiers started a cricket club here, which is now the oldest cricket club in Europe outside of the U.K. 

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From the airport and surprising cricket culture, we traveled through the stunning Vis landscapes and villages to make our way to the highest peak of the island – Hum. Vis’ highest peak stands tall at 587 meters, with a bird’s eye view of Komiža below. 

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And did you know sage grows freely around the island, too?

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Genuinely one of the best tours I have seen in Croatia and abroad (thank you, Goran and Co.), the brilliant military tour came to an end, and we made our way back down to the foot of the island and the charming town of Komiža. With some time to spare, we got ready to plunge into the next part of the tour – the famous Blue Cave, known for its unique color from sunlight that peeks through the cave’s cracks. 

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A breezy and beautiful 15-minute speedboat ride took us to the eastern side of Biševo island. From here, we jumped off of our speedboats and into wooden boats designed to fit inside the cave’s opening. Yes, we still had to duck. 

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Luckier than ever, we entered the Blue Cave without a single other boat or tourist around. A blue and breathtaking sight, we embraced the echoing sounds, earthy smells, and colors of the cave.

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Back to Komiža on another quick and painless speedboat ride, we arrived with a few hours to spare to explore the alleyways and charms of the quaint fishing town. 

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After boarding the catamaran back to Split by 17:30, a sleepy ride had us in the Dalmatian capital just in time for dinner. 

If you’re interested in taking a trip you’ll remember for a lifetime, Delminium Travel operates a catamaran every Thursday from Split to Vis this summer.

You can find the details below:

Return ticket: Split – Komiž – Split

High-speed catamaran: Mala Sirena
Departure: Every Thursday
Departure Port: Split harbor, Gat Sv. Petra

Departure from Split to Komiža at 9.00 (short stopover for passenger boarding in Milna on Brač island and arrival to Komiža at 11.10 h)
Departure from Komiža to Split at 17.30 (short stopover due to the disembarkation of passengers in Milna on Brač island and arrival to Split at 19.40 h)

adults (age 12+) – 200 HRK/ 27 euro
child (age 2-12) – 200 HRK/ 27 euro
infant (age 0-2) – 0 HRK/ 0 euro

And if you’re interested in completing your day on the island with a combined tour like we did, you can find all of Delminium’s tour options HERE


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