A week on Vis Island

A week on Vis Island

In our busy daily lives, the time we spend on holiday is precious. With an increase in opportunities, choosing the right adventure is really important. Whether you decide on a trip based on reviews, ethical choices, recommendations or a lucky web search, we hope you find the perfect escape for your next vacation.  

Floating in the Adriatic, Vis Island
Escape in the water surrounding Vis Island

One of many wondrous advantages of running our small business on Vis Island for over 18 years is that we get to share the week with returning guests. The anticipation of greeting first time WearActive guests from the ferry, after creating an email based relationship is exciting, but welcoming familiar faces can be heartwarming and creates new memories with each day of the week long holiday. 

Kayaking holiday, Vis Island
Creating New Memories, Kayaking Vis Island

One such guest, Trish Dooley, who has also visited us in Austria at MoaAlm Mountain Retreat, wrote about her experiences of returning to us on Vis Island. 

As the doors of the ferry open upwards and the sunlight fills the car deck, I see Vis Town and think, Yay! I’ve arrived. I look to the right and see the welcome sight of the WearActive Land Rover with Craig smiling from the open space at the back, and I immediately experience that welcoming, easy feeling. Oh, it’s good to be back here, my third time in this place, but feeling as excited as my first time. But this time I am on my own, travelling without my wife busy with work back home. Would it be okay? 

My anxieties started to disappear as I met a few of the other guests and felt reassured there would be lovely people back at the house. Of course, they would be like minded. They had come for a relaxingly active holiday the same as me. We were guaranteed to have at least one thing in common.

After the 15-minute journey back to the house in Rukavac, I meet the rest of my comrades for the week ahead, my ‘sisters in arms’ an unusual week consisting of all females, 7 of us planning to challenge ourselves to try/succeed/excel in fantastic activities on the water, land and sometimes even on a slackline. A group of people who love vegan food and would want to plan every day and celebrate each achievement/failure every evening. Here also, I meet again with Xania, the amazing other half of WearActive.

Once I’ve been shown to my room, light, air-conditioned with my own little terrace/garden, I immediately walk the 300m to the sea and have a quick swim in the beautiful clear blue Adriatic Sea before our first evening meal where we sit around the table on the open terrace and begin our communal feasting which we will do all week.

Unlike the others, I knew what to expect most days, but even when you think you know, it’s always different. The day starts with what Craig describes as the morning stretch. At 7.15am, in the lovely warm morning climes, we walk with Zora, their wonderful dog, through the pine, olive and fig trees, listening to the noisy cicadas, finding our way to the flat rocks. Here the water is lapping up towards us as the morning stretch, which is actually an hour of yoga, begins. Each morning Craig leads a different increasingly challenging workout to the soundtrack of the waves. It’s a beautiful start to the day and even after just five yoga sessions over the week, I feel stronger.

A Morning Yoga session on Vis Island, Croatia
Making our Way to Morning Yoga

After our communal breakfast, we discuss which main activity we will be doing that day. Whether we’ll be kayaking, cycling, hiking as we explore the Island of Vis. If kayaking, whether we set off from the bay near the house, or the Land Rover is packed up with the kayaks and we start from a different bay. Either way, we all set off together in double or single kayaks and with minimal fuss, away we go. We start with one of the shorter routes around the first few headlands where we come to a sandy beach. We swim, have a coffee at the beach bar, then play the Croatian game Picigin, where a tennis ball is kept up in the air as we volley it to each other standing in a circle at the seashore. A simple but hugely entertaining game where commitment to the team means throwing yourself at the ball, ultimately into the water, to keep it in the air and aim for our ‘next best’ score. 

On other days we kayak further afield to other bays where we again swim, snorkel and try out Stand Up paddle boarding. For me this is another opportunity to lose my balance and fall into the water to go with all the times I do this getting into and out of a kayak. Rather than improving as the week went on, it culminated in my doing a full capsized, side-way roll on the final day. One day, I will start/end a kayak session with grace!

Kayaking into Stiniva Bay, Vis Island
Kayaking into Stiniva Bay

On another day, we cycle across the island to Komiza, the second town on Vis. It’s a 19km ride with plenty of stops factored in for refreshments. There’s a steady incline most of the way but it ends with an exhilarating 7km downhill into the town. While this is then the start of the journey back, it feels wonderful once these kilometres are behind you and you’re on the steady decline back to the house. There are other routes for the return which can be off road along tracks where full mountain biking can take place. 

Views of Komiza, Vis Island
Biking to the viewing point, looking down into Komiza

Most days we have lunch back at the house or some days, we take a hearty picnic with us which we always feel we deserve after the physical exercise of getting there. We then have a few relaxing hours to ourselves. We may just wish to go to the gorgeous local beaches, Srebrna or Teplus, to sit in the shade under the trees reading books interspersed with swimming or snorkelling.  Or go for a hike or borrow a bike to return to Komiza or Vis Town, or just sit outside our rooms or on the sun terrace in our deckchairs chatting, reading. This is always broken up by the afternoon cake freshly baked by Xania. Delicious!

Then at 5pm, slacklining is offered to those who want to further test their balance, and physical strength. Another hour of challenging ourselves to overcome the fear of falling and try to take more steps than the day before, improving every day. As with every activity, I love the subtle way Craig gently pushes you to do more, to take the next step on the slackline, to cycle the next mile, to hold the yoga position for longer. You barely notice you’ve pushed through your comfort zone excited about what’s next.

Slackline on Vis Island
Craig demonstrating how to Slackline

The food served at the house is absolutely mouth watering, delicious and healthy. Starters include; fennel, orange and almonds, or watermelon, cucumber, red onion salad with a ginger dressing, or courgette soup, all homemade by Xania. Mains are equally amazing and oh so healthy from; pumpkin & onion lentils with smashed potato, rice with roasted veg, tofu and mushrooms in a chilli dressing, or smoked chickpeas, courgette and potato pastry, which is a form of a traditional Burek, followed by the most delicious, light desserts including cherry cheesecake and chocolate torte. Breakfasts and lunches are equally healthy and inspired. The exquisite creations made by Xania using seasonal fresh fruit and veg are a key motivation for my wife and I to come to Vis. It’s a joy to know the food will be a veritable vegan feast, a plant-based heaven. 

On the evenings we are offered the opportunity to eat out, we can go to the local restaurants in Rukavac or the local wineries where we can snack on delights like homemade hummus and focaccia and sample various organic wines, or we are transported to either of the towns to learn a bit more about the island and savour some of the traditional Croatian food. 

As the week goes by it’s hard to imagine being on your own as the group has gelled so well due to the ethos of WearActive and the way Xania and Craig plan and facilitate our days. They epitomise what good healthy living can look like and do what they say they will, offering a relaxingly active week. A genius motto which reflects their passion for outdoor life.

I love coming here, I can’t believe I felt anxious about coming here on my own. It is the best place to do that as you’re not alone for long. You’re made to feel so welcome, so included and to feel so much better, stronger.

I love the fact I can go out for a walk in the evenings and feel totally safe and I love the fact I know I can come back again and feel the same/different but just as wonderful as I feel now.

I reluctantly leave but as always with a few physical commitments to work on. The first, to be able to get into a standing position from a cross-legged sitting position without touching anything, and the second, to crouch with my heels on the floor feeling comfortable enough to stay in like it for a while…. I’ll show you my successes next year!

Thanks again Xania, Craig and Zora!

Trish Dooley

Zora, our friendly Croatian Island Dog
Zora, supervising the guest swim after Yoga.

Sea, mountains, lakes, cities or something completely different, happy holidays! If you think that you would be interested in exploring Vis Island, Croatia, then click here for more details.