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Adventure Awaits - Little Hotdog's Family Holiday
For week 7 of Adventure Awaits we’re sharing the Little Hotdog Watson family summer holiday to Vis, Croatia. Let Little Hotdog Watson inspire you to take this family adventure.
Vis, is a small island a ferry ride (2.5 hours) from Split in the south of Croatia. It’s one of the lesser known island and much more sedate and family friendly compared to the party island of Hvar. We chose Vis as we had previously visited a few years before H was born and we thought she would really enjoy herself.
A few things to know. Firstly, the island is very quiet and chilled. There are no large shops (except strangely crocs) there are no chains on the island (you won’t find a costa coffee!). In fact, the beauty of the island is that it’s back to the simplicity of life. Spending time at the beach, or hopping on a boat or bike and exploring with the family.
The island itself can more less be divided by the mountains in the middle. On the ‘front’ you have Vis and Gran Vis (the old town) and at the back you have Komiza. Around the sides there are also lots of little enclaves and teeny tiny towns and beaches which are accessible mainly by boat.
We stayed on the Vis side, in Gran Vis. For us, Gran Vis has a little more charm, more windey little roads, more local restaurants and an even slower pace. Vis, has a little more raz ma taz and couple of larger restaurants also two small hotels. The difference between the two areas though is marginal (15 mins by bike) 25/30 walking.
We rented an Air BNB which I would highly recommend. Lots of the houses / apartments in Vis are split over several floors so do check when researching where to stay as some are not suitable for wheelchair / push chair access. On our previous visit as a couple we stayed at the BelleVue Apartments. They are stunning but it is 120 steps down to the town. Fine for a couple but not toddler friendly.
We chose our Air BNB because of the space and the balcony. It is actually slightly bigger than what we needed as it came with a second appartment next door. But when we booked, we’d also been considering having guests come to stay.
The house itself has a great kitchen/dining area on to a balcony with a dishwasher and washing machine (win!) The upstairs bedroom with en-suite is beautiful and also has a mini balcony while on the ground floor their is another double bedroom and childs bedroom with another balcony and ensuite. The second apartment has a small kitchen, seating area, crows nest bed and outside area with BBQ.
Everything you could need at the house was there, towels, soaps, cotton buds, even the kitchen had oil, salt, pepper etc. The nicest thing by far though was the contact we had with the owner. We arrived REALLY late and knew we would struggle to get something to eat for H. We’d asked if there any possiblitly of bread and some ham left for us. They actually went above and beyond and made H a soup and some sweet treats and a bottle of wine for us. After 12 hours of travelling it was the perfect start to the holiday.
Once we were settled in we hired some bikes from here and started getting out and about. We made the mistake of going to a slightly cheaper shop for the bikes and they just werent up to scratch. (my brakes failed) However, I would say barter for the price. It’s much cheaper to hire for a longer period per day rate.
Once we had our bikes we were off and each morning we would pack a small picnic and cycle to a different beach or little cove. Many of the beaches don’t have facilities so taking your own food and drink is always a good idea.
The beaches all over the island are beautiful but they are 90% stone. You definitely need shoes for the water (hence the croc shop). The seas are really calm, they are all flagged off so the swimming areas are clearly marked. They are warm and have a really gentle incline so are great for paddling. Also around the island there are lots of jetties which are perfect for a spot of picnicking / sunbathing and jumping into some deeper water if you feel brave.
Stenjalo Beach - 15 min walk from Old Town. Beautiful beach which occasionaly has a beach bar open. Lots of little rock pools
Rogacic Beach - Close to Vis main town. Sandy, gentle inclines, playpark close by. Near to this jetties to sunbathe on and jump into some deeper water
Stoncica Beach - A challenging cycle from Vis town or a boat / taxi ride. Secluded mini sand beach with a beautiful outdoor restaurant that opens at 1pm (cash only)
Honestly, there are so many tiny beaches all over the island. Take a taxi boat and go explore.
If you fancy a change of pace, the bus from Vis run to Komiza several times a day and is about £1 per journey. The vibe on Komiza is slightly livelier with a few more bars and a little more nightlife. Plus it’s here you can make your own way to the BLUE CAVE.
The Blue Cave is a MUST when you’re in Vis. It is a naturally formed cave which the sunlight enters and turns the water into the clearest blue you will ever see. It is breathtaking.
There are lots of trips over to the cave and you can also take them direct from Vis. For a 6 hour shared boat tour which includes a trip to the Blue Cave, a trip to Stivina and the Green Cave it’s approximately 300 KUNA plus 50 kuna per cave visit per person (£50) For a private trip on a high end boat doing a similar excursion its approx €300 (£270)
Alternatively, head to Komiza and grab a taxi boat. You can get this privately and just go to the Blue Cave and back. This takes about 1.5 hours and I would recommend this if you have younger children. This costs around 450 Kuna (£55) for the boat trip and Blue Cave entry for all three of us.
If you have older children they may like the longer boat trip and exploring all the islands. We’ve done this previously and it is amazing to be able to jump off the boat and have a swim in the middle of the sea.
*With all of the above you leave early. The Blue Cave should be seen before 11am.
So the other question is when you’re not at the beach or on a boat trip what can you do. Aside from walking/cycling and exploring the island eating is pretty much a Little Hotdog Watson favourite.
The fish on the island is spectacular and you will be spoilt for choice. Most of the restaurants will bring out their selection and recommend what’s good each day. They are ALWAYS right.
We have a couple of faves
KANTUN - I can’t say enough nice things about this restaurant. Amazing food, atmosphere and staff. They treated H like royalty and made us feel so at home. Everything you eat here will be good. They cook all their food on a stove in the centre of the restaurant so you get to see all the action.
POJODA - Another great local spot with mainly outdoor seating. It always smells incredible when you walk past. Slightly quieter than Kantum but still family friendly
KONOBA VATRICA - Outdoor eating, premium prices but so delicious. We like this spot for lunch for sitting and watching all the boats arrive.
CHARLY PIZZERIA - Great pizza and pasta on a wood burning stove in the centre of Vis. Child friendly, crayons provided and the only place to get fast WIFI on the island.
BEBJI CAFE/COCKTAIL Bar - Great for vegetarian and vegan options. Also, our favourite spot for an evening cocktail and some people watching. Rose and Gin tonic anyone.
Other Things To Do:
Sunset Tour of the island
Military Tour on boat
Cycling - if you love you’re cycling it’s breathtaking. Like a mini Pyrenees.
Overall, if you’re looking for chilled out, minimal wifi access and a foodie holiday this is the one for you.
I’ve also included some extra tips below;
- Take shoes for the beach
- There can be some naughty mosquitos around so be prepared
- In the evenings as Vis is an island there is a chill so take longer trousers and a jumper
- Pre-book your ferry tickets. In the height of the season they can get full quickly. Don’t risk missing this.
- Don’t bother with a car. The island is so small, walk, bike or bus. If you really need to there are taxis but there not the cheapest
- Take books, you’re going to be reading :) and there isn’t a book shop on the island
- 10 days is more than enough time.
- End of season is 1st week October. Any later and most of the restaurants will be closed.
- September is a great time to visit.
Can’t wait to hear what you think. Have you ever been to Croatia? Does a small island sound perfect or too quiet?
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