Stiniva, on the Croatian island of Vis was voted the best beach in Europe in 2016, by a popular European travel portal. It’s undoubtably beautiful. There seems to be a special aura when you first enter this hidden bay, with it’s dramatic enclosure of massive limestone cliffs. Stiniva is the perfect place to immerse yourself within natural Croatian beauty. It has however become busy, really busy! An increase in nautical tourism from the island of Hvar and from Split on the Dalmatian mainland, has changed the way with which most tourists experience Stiniva. TripAdvisor has ranked it as the most important place to visit on Vis island. Speed boats full of expectant tourists buzz constantly into the once quiet cove. Selfie sticks have replaced snorkels. The quiet respectful visitors have been replaced by muscle bound guys attempting to climb the rock face in a show of bravado. This invasion of speedboats will hopefully be controlled in the future, currently a swim rope has been put in place. This safety provision however can sometimes be ignored by a skipper trying to impress their boat load of expectant tourists. The other really important development in the future of Stiniva is the that Vis Island is now part of the Unesco Global Geopark.
In our fourteen years of living and running a business on Vis island we have progressively seen more visitors to Stiniva, but we still love it! We still want to enter that small sea entrance by kayak and experience the joy of our guests entering the cove for the first time. We have just become selective in our visits.
In 2016 WearActive were filmed for a UK programme 'Homes By The Med' We were featured in the Croatian episode, highlighting us as a couple that have chosen to change our lifestyle and follow our passion for sharing our active lifestyle on Vis Island. On the day filming we took the presenter and architect Charlie Luxton kayaking into Stiniva bay and then we chatted on our balcony about life on the island. Our neighbours were slightly perplexed about the huge drone that hoovered above us and the amount of equipment and people that were on our balcony for a few hours in the midday sun!
Ways to avoid the Stiniva madness!
The speed boats start arriving after 10.30. Before that time you will only have to share the bay with a few respectful travellers and some swimmers from the Yachts that have anchored overnight. After 10.30 the speed boats start to arrive and the selfie sticks start battle.
After the bay has lost it’s sun and the shade covers the pebbles, the speed boats leave. This happens generally after 4pm. At that time it is worth hiking down to Stiniva bay from on the single track requires a good pair of shoes and a supply of water. The track can be accessed from the village of Zastražišće. The reward for the steep downhill climb is an early evening swim followed by the quiet and calmness of being able to chill out in the shade.
Enter by Kayak…
This is our favourite way to experience the south coast of Vis island. When we start our trip from Rukavac, it takes around an hour on average of paddling. We pass the beautiful Srebrna beach and the inlet of Mala and Vela Travna. At WearActive, we love to take guests to Stiniva from the West of Stiniva. We start at a bay called Pritiscina. We can access the bay from an steep 4km dirt track. From Pritiscina to Stiniva, you paddle the kayak in what we believe to be the most stunning part of the Vis coastline. In the 8 km paddle you pass caves and coves only accessible by a small vessel such as a kayak. With dramatic cliffs and rock formations, lots of places for rocks jumping, it’s the perfect way to enter Stiniva. We start early, we take our breakfast with us and enter the cove before the masses.
Please try not to share this information with too many people, as we like be a little but selfish when it comes to this unspoilt island!