Things to See

Vis Town Places to Visit




(1) Greek Cemetery and Roman Baths 





From the Ferry Pier walk around the Bay to the west then north heading toward the church visible on the headland jutting out into the bay. On your left you will see the municipal tennis courts and behind these the remains of the Greek Cemetery dating to ca 400 BC. The monument is open from 4-8pm daily during the summer.


A little further on you will find the remains of the  2nd Century AD Roman Baths with their mosaics. You are free to wander around these when the gates are open. These two sites sit in the area of Issa, the original Greek settlement of on Vis and are surround by a a number of other monuments. Full details can be found in the Town Museum (9) or at the Tourist Office.



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(2) Franciscan Monastery





Close to the remains of the Greek cemetery and the Roman baths, on a short spit of land protruding into the west side of the Viska Luka Bay is the Franciscan Monastery. Established in the 16th Century, the church, with a fine campanile is said to stand on the site of the Roman Theatre. Some of its interior walls are said to curve to follow the lines of the theatre, though currently there is no public access to the church.

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(3) Wellingtonian Fort (western)


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From the Franciscan Monastery (2) follow the road out of town, around the bay and up the hill where it becomes a dirt track. The Wellingtonian fort is ahead of you on the crest of the highest point of the ridge. Take the signposted foot path and follow painted way markers (usually two red stripes with a white stripe between them).

The fort was constructed in 1810 as part of the British military defenses of Vis, which was viewed as a strategically important naval asset at the time. It consists of a circular stone tower, two stories tall, set within an outer work, of battered stone ramparts built in a star shape and forming a redoubt. The tower had half collapsed giving an interesting view of its construction and its corbeled lower chamber.


A bench has been placed inside the tower that gives great views across the island shore.This redoubt was one of two built at the same time. The second one can be seen to the east on the opposite side of the bay (12). This virtually identical but considerably harder to reach. Both are collapsed in the same way (split in half) suggesting a design flaw or some deliberate attempt to dismantle them.




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(4) George III Fort


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From the Wellingtonian fort (3) the remains of this slightly later fort are visible on the crest of the next ridge to the north. Return to the track and follow it north, taking the right fork when it splits. Follow it along the crest of the ridge until you reach the entrance to the fort. You will pass later Yugoslav army buildings (now abandoned) before you reach the fort.


Constructed in 1813 this artillery fort dominates the entrance to the Viska Luka bay and appears to have housed at least 3 large artillery pieces (certainly smooth bore - muzzle loading guns). The entrance bears a dedication to George the 3rd, British Monarch at the time construction and also a carved union flag. The ditch at the gate has been filled in but it is still possible to see where and how the retractable bridge operated.


From the first courtyard within the gate you can walk through the main block house and keep to the north end of the fort where, in a quiet tree shaded area you will find a sunken pool or water catcher that sits over a substantial cistern in which the fort’s water would have been stored. Back in the blockhouse it is possible to take the steps to the roof where you can get an excellent view over the entrance to the Viska Luka bay.


Walking around the fort’s exterior you will see features including the defended stairways in the blockhouse/keep and all the blocked portals/embrasures in the north wall (see photo above) of the fort that would have originally housed its big guns and provided cover to the approaches to the bay. Also at the north end of the fort you will see the remains of later military activity (WW2/Yugoslav) in the form of a small blockhouse and several defensive trenches.


This survival of a fort such as this is unusual, both in the Adriatic and also in British waters.




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(5) Beach


Return to the fort in the road and take the left route, from this road, running along the hillside above the bay to the north take any one of  number of paths down through the terraces (some used, some unused) until you reach the shore. Like the vast majority of Croatia’s beaches this a pebble shore with some rock platforms and is frequently deserted as it is about 30-40 minute walk from the town.




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(6) Submarine Pens





Continue along the road above the beach (5) and eventually you will come to the small settlement of Rogacic, little more than a group of houses spreading along the shore. At the back of this bay you will see a large opening in the shore. This is the concrete lined bunker  that was once a base for some of Croatia’s submarines. Above are the remains of refueling and supply buildings. While these buildings can be visited it is officially discouraged. There is not internal lighting and extreme caution should be taken.




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(7) Venetian Tower





In the centre of Vis Town, close to the Ferry Pier stands a small tower typical of those built throughout the Dalmatian Islands during the period of Venetian rule. A larger example of a similar tower is open to the public in Komiza.

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(8) Church of Our Lady


Walking east away from the Ferry Pier follow the road around the bay towards Kut. Eventually you will reach a  point where the riva fronts onto the shore again and the large, squat edifice of the Church of Our Lady over-shadows the path. Treasures inside include a ‘Madonna and the Saints’ by the Italian painter Girolamo de Santacroce (1485-1556).


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(9) Battery of Our Lady and Town Museum


Just a few yards beyond the Church of Our Lady is the remains of an Austrian bastion or gun battery known as the ‘Battery of Our Lady.’  Climbing up through the leafy gardens away from the shore you will come to the town Museum which includes collections from the excavations of Greek and Roman Issa (1) and some interesting domestic and agricultural implements from 19th Century life on Vis. The museum is open June-September, Tuesdays to Sundays,  10am-1pm and 5pm-9pm.


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(10) British War Cemetery


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Continuing east from the Battery of Our Lady you will soon find yourself in Kut (which literally means the quiet corner) with its warren of nice 16th Century streets and lanes. Make your way through the town and follow the road north along the eastern edge of the bay until you come to the apparently abandoned villa located on the headland that sits at the entrance to Viska Luka bay. There directly in front of you (to the right of the villa) you will see a high stone wall that surrounds a small cemetery. This contains a number of memorials to the British dead both of the Napoleon War (unusual in itself) and also those who died in WW2.


Plaques read


In memory of the British Forces who from this Island of Vis gave their lives in comradeship supporting Tito’s army of liberation 1943-1945. From British War Veterans 6 September 1999.







After more than one hundred years Bristish Soldiers and Sailors who fought and died for their country’s honour on the seas and Islands of Dalmatia have again been laid to rest in this Island Cemetery. 1944

‘Here dead lie we because we did not choose to live and shame the land from which we sprung. Life to be sure is nothing much to loose but young me think it is and we were young.’



This monument was erected by the Captain and men of the British line of battle ship Victorious in memory of eleven brave Englishmen interred near this spot who died of the wounds they received on the 23rd February 1812 in action with the French ship Rivoli of 74 guns on the coast of Venice as a tribute to their memory and the may gallant fellows who lost their lives on that day in their country’s cause.


The above was inscribed on a monument formerly standing in this cemetery which was destroyed during World War II.





Here lies inclosed the remains of British seamen who lost their lives in defense of their King and Country.


AD MCCC?V












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(11) Beach





Immediately beyond the British War Cemetery is a small beach that looks out over the open sea. It is a broad pebble beach in a narrow little cove with a concrete area at its back and good flat rocks on its western side. Despite its proximity to Kut this beach is usually quite. Though an idillic spot this beach can often have a lot of rubbish piled up on the approach path waiting to be collected.




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(12) Wellingtonian Fort (eastern)


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Unlike the western Wellingtonian Fort (3) this site is not easy to find or reach and is best approached by car. Follow the road that leads out of town towards the east and climb up onto the crest of the ridge, there take an un-signposted left turn that will take you into the town dump. Once in the dump you need to head north following your nose past piles of wrecked cars. Eventually the road narrows and begins to climb. Proceed on foot and you will soon reach the fort.




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If you have had a good or bad experience with another Vis Town place of interest please let us know, write a review and where possible we will post it here.


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