Split to Vis Ferry: Things To Do in Vis, Croatia on a Day Trip by JetSettingFools.com

Split to Vis Ferry: Things To Do In Vis, Croatia on a Day Trip

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Split, Croatia serves as an excellent jumping off point for exploring the nearby islands that are scattered along the Dalmatian Coast. Vis Island is one of the most intriguing Dalmatian islands to visit. Because of the island’s location (the furthest inhabited island from the mainland) and its previous use as a military base (making it inaccessible to tourists until recently), Vis is not nearly as touristic as other Croatian islands. That said, there are many things to do in Vis!


How To Get to Vis, Croatia

We have traveled to Vis Island two ways: The Ferry from Split to Vis (on a Vis day trip) and as a stop on our Croatia Island Hopping Cruise. The popular Bisevo Blue Cave Tour from Split (read reviews!) also stops at Vis Island (but does not allow time for island exploration).


Ferry from Split to Vis Island

Inexpensive ferries transport passengers from the Croatia mainland to the islands year-round. Although Vis is slightly off the beaten path (Hvar and Korcula are the top two islands to visit from Split), there is a regular ferry service from Split to Vis Town.


Jadrolinija Split to Vis Ferry

The ferry between Vis and Split is run by Jadrolinija. The ferry ride takes 2 hours and 20 minutes. Tickets are fairly inexpensive and fluctuate in price between the low and peak season, but cost less than $10 USD one way. Jadrolinija tickets can be purchased online or in person at the ferry dock. The schedule varies by day and by season, so it is best to check online or in person for accurate timetables and fares. Go to the official website for more information.

Want to plan a Split to Vis Island day trip? Because the schedule differs by day (and by season), day trippers need to pay close attention to the ferry schedules. We go into more detail about how to get to Vis on a day trip using the ferries at the end of the post (after we cover what to do in Vis, Croatia!).


Understanding Vis Island, Croatia

Before setting sail for the island, it’s important to understand a little bit about the history and layout.


The Vis Archipelago

Comprised of 13 islands (of which only 3 are inhabited), the Vis Archipelago features unique geological rock formations and numerous caves. The most popular of all Croatia caves – Blue Cave – is located within in the archipelago on the island next to Vis: Bisevo, Croatia.


Vis Island, Croatia

Of the 13 islands in the archipelago, Vis Island is the largest and most populated. There are two main towns on Vis: Vis Town on the northeast end of the island and Komiza on the west. Both towns are strategically located in deep bays as a natural means of protection.


Vis Island History

Occupied in the 4th century by Greeks, Issa (now Vis Town), was an advanced society. Already at that time, Vis Island was an important stop along the Adriatic route (between what is now Italy and Croatia). During the Middle Ages, wealthy noblemen had their summer palaces built in Vis Town and Komiza.

In the early 1800s, the island was ruled by England. The island provided a beneficial trade route to Europe during the Napoleonic wars when there was blockade on Great Britain – and the island flourished.  The largest naval battle in the Adriatic Sea, The Battle of Vis, occurred in 1866 when Italy attempted (but failed) to take Vis Island and Dalmatia from the (then ruling) Austro-Hungarian Empire.

During World War II, Vis was a free territory – and the island was used as an air base for the Allied Forces. After the war, the island became part of Yugoslavia. Under Yugoslav President Tito’s direction, the island was fortified as a military base. In addition to expanding the existing forts, Tito built a submarine cave and a maze of tunnels that crawl through the belly of the island.


Two Towns on Vis Island

Although there are small villages around the island, the two main towns are Vis Town and Komiza. 


Vis Town, Croatia

The town of Vis is located at the end of a sheltered bay – and is the larger of the two towns with 2,000 residents. The town, historically called Issa, was founded in the year 397 BC. (There are claims that Vis is the oldest town in Croatia…but Stari Grad on Hvar Island also boasts the same claim.) Prior to the 16th century, the deep bay hosted several smaller towns, which have now all merged together as Vis. The town of Vis is where the ferries from Split dock.


Komiza, Croatia

Located on the west end of Vis Island at the foot of Hum Hill, Komiza is home to 1,500 residents. Komiza was settled by Benedictine monks in the 13th century and developed into a fishing, farming and wine-making village. Although there is not necessarily an abundance of things to do in Komiza, there are a handful of sights (which we detail in a minute). 


Getting from Vis To Komiza

There are two roads across the island that connect Vis to Komiza. Visitors can travel between the two cities via public bus, car or scooter rental or in a Vis Taxi. The towns are about 6.5 miles apart and it takes roughly 15 minutes to get between the two in a vehicle.


Vis Island Bus

The Vis Town bus stop is at the base of the pier at the Vis Town Port. A current schedule is posted at the bus stop – and the timetable changes with the season. The bus stop in Komiza is one street back from the port at the intersection of Bisevska and Hrvatskih Mucenika streets. Tickets cost 20 kuna each way and are purchased directly from the driver.


Vis Town or Komiza?

Whether you visit Komiza or Vis will likely depend on how you plan on getting to Vis, Croatia…and how long you intend to stay. On a Vis Day Trip by ferry, there may not be enough time to visit both towns. However, visitors who plan on staying on Vis (where there are many options of Vis Island accommodation), can easily visit both towns. We have only spent one night at the island – on a boat in the Vis Town Port, but if we had to choose where to stay – either Vis Town or Komiza – we would pick Komiza.


Pro Tip: Get (and stay) organized for your Vacation to Croatia by using our Trip Planning Printables!

Things To Do in Vis, Croatia

Our list of what to do in Vis includes the top island sights and activities. At the end of the post, we include an Island of Vis, Croatia Map marked with the locations of the top Vis Island things to do.

Save, Pin or Bookmark this Vis Travel Guide so that you can easily access it when planning your trip to visit Vis, Croatia!


#1 Blue Cave Croatia

The Bisevo Blue Cave is a natural wonder. Accessed via a small opening in the rock wall, tiny boats carry passengers inside the cave to see the neon blue interior. The naturally lit cave is created by sunlight illuminating the cave floor through an underwater opening. Although each boat only spends approximately five minutes inside, a Blue Cave Tour is considered a Croatia must-see. Note: It is not permitted to swim inside the Vis Island Blue Cave.

The most popular way to visit the Blue Cave near Vis, Croatia is via a tour from Split or Hvar. However, visitors staying on the island can book a Blue Cave Vis Tour from Komiza.

{Book a highly-rated Blue Cave Split Tour now – read reviews!}

#2 Green Cave Croatia

Although not nearly as popular as the Blue Cave day trip, visiting the Green Cave is one of the top things to do in Vis, Croatia. The Green Cave is located on the uninhabited island of Ravnik. Unlike the Blue Cave, visitors are free to swim inside where a single shaft of light shines through a hole in the rock ceiling. Visitors can take a Green Cave Vis Tour by motorboat or via kayak.


#3 Vis, Croatia Beaches

Unlike other Dalmatian island beaches that are rock or pebble beaches, there are Vis, Croatia beaches that have sand. The most popular Vis Island beaches are tucked into deep coves and feature sandy shores. Visitors not concerned with rocky shorelines have an abundance of choices when it comes to Vis Beaches…just pick any cove!

Stoncica Vis

Located on the east end of Vis Island, Stoncica Beach has a shallow bay and small cafe. We have not visited this Vis beach, but we heard that only a portion of the beach is sandy…and it’s recommended to get there early if you want a sandy spot.

Stiniva Beach Vis Island, Croatia

The beach at Stiniva, Vis Island is one of the most spectacular of all Croatia beaches – and one of the top things to do on Vis Island. The beach is tucked into a long bay on the southern side of the island. High cliffs surround the small beach, where water flows ashore through a small opening in the rock wall. Visitors can access the beach via land (and an incredibly steep walk down) or via the sea in a small boat. We sailed into the Stiniva Cove on our Croatia Island Hopping Cruise.


#4 Vis Boat Rental

Small boats are the best way to navigate the shoreline of Vis Island. However, only visitors with a boating license can rent a boat in Vis, Croatia. Fees start at about 100 euros per day. Visitors who do not have a boating license can still explore the island by boat by hiring a skipper.


#5 Vis Kayaking

Kayaking around the coast of Vis is an active island adventure. Paddle along the shoreline under towering cliffs, explore the deep coves and visit nearby islands. Visitors can join organized kayak excursions or get a kayak rental in Vis, Croatia.


#6 Diving Vis Island, Croatia

Scuba divers will not want to miss diving in Vis! In addition to the island’s incredible natural geological formations (like caves), there are numerous underwater wreck sites around the island. And, it’s not just shipwrecks, but plane wrecks, too!


#7 Vis Island Tour

Looking for more things to do on Vis Island, Croatia? There are numerous Vis Island tours that showcase the best of the island. The Blue Cave Tour from Vis and other water activities are the most popular island tours, but not the only ones! The Military Tour is a highly-rated Vis Island tour that takes visitors into Tito’s Cave and through underground tunnels. Visitors interested in learning about the gastronomy of the island can join a Food and Vis Wine Tour. And, on-land adventurers can follow a Vis, Croatia guide on a Hike to hidden caves.

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Komiza, Croatia Things To Do

View of Komiza Town on Vis Island, Croatia

Although we have only spent one day in Komiza, we are eager to go back and explore more of this charming town! When we were there, we discovered quite a few fun things to do in Komiza.


Explore the Old Town Lanes

Get lost in the tangle of cobblestone lanes in the historic old town. Keep an eye out for the 18 plaques that provide snippets of information about the town’s history.


Go To Gusarica Pebble Beach and Pirate’s Church

There are many beaches in Komiza, but Gusarica is the town’s largest and most popular. Although Gusarica Beach has pebbles, not sand, the shallow bay makes it easy to wade into the water. The top of the beach is lined with a forest of trees that provide shade from the sun when it gets too hot. The Church of St. Mary – which is better known as The Church of Our Lady of the Pirates – is located at Gusarica Beach.

Pirate’s Church Legend: There are many legends about how the Church of St. Mary got its moniker, Lady of the Pirates. According to one tale, pirates tried to steal a portrait of Mary that was hanging in the church. When they took it to the boat, they could not paddle away. Eventually, they returned the painting to the church and were able to escape.


Climb To The Church of St. Nicholas

Sitting on the hillside among vineyards is the Church of St. Nicholas. Dating to the 13th century, the Benedictine monastery and church are an ideal spot to take in the sweeping views over the bay.


Visit the Fort of Komiza

The 16th century Komiza castle was built to defend the city against pirates – which is why it was built right on the harbor. The clock tower was added in the 19th century and, today, the building houses the city’s Museum of Fishing detailing the local fishing trade.


Top Things To Do in Vis Town

Sailing into Vis Port on Vis Island, Croatia

Much like Komiza, Vis Town has just a handful of sights. The best things to do in Vis, Croatia can be reached on foot.


Find the Remains of Issa

The ancient city of Issa was an advanced city – with thermal baths, a theater and a necropolis. Visitors can seek out the historic sights, which are all near the port.


Visit the Many Churches

There are several Catholic churches in Vis – some of which date to the 16th century. Our favorite church in Vis is the Church of St. Jerome, which occupies the peninsula on the northern side of the port. Walking along the water’s edge to St. Jerome is one of the top Vis, Croatia things to do.


Go to the Historic Forts

As a former military base, there are numerous defensive structures on Vis Island. In the southwest corner of the port is the Perasti Tower, which was built in 1617. Along the southern side of the port is Our Lady’s Battalion, built by the Austrians in the 1830s; the fort now houses the Archaeological Museum.


Wander the Lanes to Palaces

In the 16th century, many palaces were built along the southern side of the port. Stroll through the streets to find historic villas (many of which are now hotels, restaurants or shops).


Vis, Croatia Restaurants

Pizza and wine at Pizzeria Karijola on Vis Island, Croatia

Most of the restaurants in Vis, Croatia are konobas – family-run restaurants serving traditional fare, like seafood and grilled meat. Pizza-lovers, however, should check out Karijola Pizzeria in Vis Town. According to some, Karijola makes the best pizza in all of Croatia…and we couldn’t resist trying it for ourselves!

The small restaurant sits on the waterfront on the south side of the Vis Port. The wood-fired pizzas have thin crust and the perfect amount of toppings. To accompany the pizza, they serve local wine and Croatian craft beer, too!

Other unique restaurants on Vis Island are Fort George, Roki’s and Konoba Jastozera. Read fellow traveler reviews on TripAdvisor


Vis, Croatia Map

Our Vis Island map includes the highlights of things to do in Vis. Use this link to Google Maps for our Vis Island, Croatia Map online. Visitors can also pick up a useful map of Vis Island, Croatia at the Tourist Information Office in Vis Town.


Getting Around Vis Island

The best way to get around Vis is in a vehicle. Visitors can rent a scooter in Vis (which is ideal for 1 or 2 people) or get a car rental in Vis (which works better for 4-5 people in a group). We opted to take the local bus, which limited us to seeing the sights in Vis Town and Komiza. A car or Vis scooter rental is definitely a better option for greater exploration. Active travelers can opt to get a Vis bike rental and pedal around the island.


Accommodation in Vis, Croatia

Our accommodation on Vis Island, Croatia was on a boat, but there are numerous Vis Island hotels and Airbnb holiday apartments on land!  We have already been considering where we want to stay in Vis, Croatia for a longer visit – and we think the best place to stay in Vis is in Komiza. Start your search for a Vis Island hotel on Booking.com – or find an apartment on Airbnb.

Explore More With These Great Split Day Trips!

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Vis Day Trip from Split

A day trip from Split to Vis is possible via ferry, but how much time visitors will have to explore the island will depend on that day’s ferry schedule.


Short Off-Season Vis Day Trip

The first time we visited Vis was in the off-season. We were based in Split and just wanted to see the island on a Vis day trip. Getting from Split to Vis was easy enough; the ferry to Vis Island from Split departs three times a day. We took a morning ferry that arrived at the Vis Town Port just past 1pm. The boat stayed in port for about two hours. In that time, we were able to walk along the water from one end of town to the other and navigate through Vis Town’s narrow lanes before we had to hop back on the Vis Island ferry back to Split.


Summer Split to Vis Day Trip

During the summer months, the schedule changes to four ferries per day and – except on Tuesdays – there is a later evening departure that allows travelers to plan a longer Vis day trip. The morning ferry departs at 9:00am from Split (and arrives in Vis at 11:20am). The last boat back to Split departs Vis at 6:00pm (and arrives in Split at 8:20pm). The summer ferry from Split to Vis allows visitors to spend 6.5 hours on the island – which is perfect for a Vis day trip!


Hvar to Vis Day Trip

A Vis day trip from Hvar is not possible by ferry. Visitors who want to go to Vis from Hvar in a single day will need to book an organized day trip from Hvar to Vis.

Looking for more Split things to do? Use our list of the Top 10 Things To Do in Split, Croatia!

Split Sightseeing Top 10 Things to see in Split Croatia


Visiting other Top Destinations in Croatia? Fantastic! Be prepared with our detailed guides and insider tips for Dubrovnik, Split, Makarska, Sibinek, Zagreb, Rovinj, Osijek and Zadar!


Start planning your trip to Croatia! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!


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Day trip Ferry from Split to Vis Island Croatia JetSetting Fools

9 thoughts on “Split to Vis Ferry: Things To Do In Vis, Croatia on a Day Trip

  1. Been to Vis last year and I must say that I really didn’t like the ferry ride. Mostly because it took three hours and I was dying to get there.
    My bf and I stayed there for three nights. The same day that we arrived we made a reservation for a day trip to Blue and Green cave (MUST DO!) for which I advise to do asap upon your arrival to the island because usually the next day trips are full so you’ll probably get the one after tomorrow. So we decided to rent the scooters for the second day and go explore the island. Best decision ever – the island is very small so you can basically visit all the popular/famous beaches, towns, viewpoints (overlooks) in one day and you probably still won’t empty your fuel tank. All in all, enjoyable three days.
    Going back to the ferries, I was visiting the island at the end of July and was slightly disappointed there were no regular connections to other islands (like Hvar). Catamarans from two different companies drove two times a week (to Split) on the same day which is useless most of the time. So when we continued our journey to Hvar, we had to take the three hour ferry back to Split and then take another two and a half hour one to Stari Grad (Hvar). Not the most enjoyable day, but hey… did get to read my book in peace.

    • Next time, we will stay on Vis longer and explore, like you did. It sounds like such an amazing place beyond the bay. It would be nice if there were direct boats from Vis to other islands. For us, riding the ferry was part of the fun for the day. An inexpensive way to get out on the water and see the surrounding landscape. Before we departed, we grabbed a couple of beers from the store and, for the ride, we stood at the stern of the boat with the wind in our hair, basking in the sun and sipping on suds 😉

  2. We took the ferry from Split to Vis on our honeymoon! We spent four glorious days exploring the island on our rented scooters. This. Island. Is. Amazing. It’s an absolute gem and completely worth the visit.
    The ferry ride was pretty nice, and I liked that you could buy snacks and drinks on it. We packed our own snacks and were able to eat those as well. My favorite part about the ferry was sitting up on the deck enjoying the fresh breeze and reading a book. Relaxation at its finest!

  3. Pretty. One of the issues with the ferries in Croatia is that most leave Split in the early to mid afternoon and come back either late afternoon or early morning – so not great for day tripping, you almost have to spend a night on a given island to really see it. That’s a shame.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Yeah, we found the same thing. There is one ferry run by Krilo that leaves Split early in the morning and goes all the way to Dubrovnik, making stops at islands along the way. It stays in Dubrovnik for two hours before returning to Split in the evening. If we had opted for this ferry, we could have visited Hvar and Korcula and had several hours on either island. However, since we’d already been to those islands, we opted for the Jadrolinija to Vis – even though it was for such a short time. I think the best option would be to have our own boat, but since that would essentially wipe out our budget, we’ll have to paitently wait for someone who just wants to give us their boat 😉

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