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Authentic Dalmatia

Chicago tribune: Vis - the life as it should be
Chicago Tribune brings a nice article about the island of Vis in it's travel section:

"Once the ferry had let off its passengers onto the dock, my son, his wife and I noticed that no one (except us) was rushing to get anywhere. Patrons in the cafes lining the waterfront barely lifted their heads from morning coffee. The ferry passengers silently disappeared into the town's narrow stone passageways."


"Nothing is hurried on this hilly, enigmatic island farthest from the mainland, where you can float in water as clear as glass, clip rosemary sprigs from roadside plants as big as VWs, witness an archeological dig in progress at long-buried Roman baths, sip golden Vugava in a winery operating out of an abandoned military cave, or hobnob with "yachties" who tie up their twin-masts to have dinner at restaurants tucked into stone courtyards and gardens.

 

With Vis' marquee sights out of the way, we spent the rest of our stay exploring Vis Town and Komiza at night. (They are just 7 miles apart but at opposite ends of the island.) We also ventured into Vis' lush, untamed interior by day. We climbed the 245 steps to Tito's Cave, a lair in the mountain from which Marshal Tito commanded his partisan operations for a few months in 1944.
We popped into every winery we saw along the Vinski Put (Wine Road), which meanders all over the island, banging on doors until someone let us in to sample their wares (they always did). We stopped to harvest rosemary from the plants that grow wild all over the island, and we hiked down (and back up) a steep, rocky trail cut through shrub pines and rosemary to Stiniva, a bay set behind a curtain of rocks with water so clear it's like swimming in an aquarium.

Mornings we headed to the local bakery for komiska pogaca (pastry stuffed with tomato, onion and sardines with a flavor oddly reminiscent of White Castle). We then joined much of Vis at a seafront cafe, where we ate our bakery treat and ordered bijela kava (coffee with milk) to wash it down. We spent a lot of time on the balcony of our rented apartment in the hills above Vis Town gawking at the picture-perfect landscape below, and even more time strolling along the footpath that links Vis Town's two neighborhoods, Kut and Luka.

 

But it was the time we spent sipping the very first vintage of a dark red plavac mali wine and eating luscious chocolate cake -- both made by our landlords, Darka and Damir Racic -- that made the strongest impression. The couple told us they moved to Vis three years ago after selling the thriving restaurant they owned in Alsace-Lorraine, France, for 15 years. Natives of Split, Croatia, before moving to France, they put everything they had into building three gorgeous properties on Vis that house 11 rental units and their home. Damir works construction in Split four days a week while Darka manages the apartments to help support their business. They have no regrets. "We made the move because we couldn't stand being away from the sea anymore," Damir said. "For us, this is life as it should be."