26 June: Blue caves and hills in Vis

Author: Mrs A

Location: Biševo and Vis, Croatia

Another early start for the captain meant we were pulling up at a dock on the island of Biševo to join another boat to tour a cave known as the Blue Cave, or Blue Grotto by 8.30am.

It was first described in 1884, by a baron who had been shown the cave by locals. At that time it was entered only by diving under the cliff, but the baron decided to blow a hole in the cliff to allow boats inside, and therefore tourists like us.

Awaiting our turn on the little boats

The little motor boat left the harbour and whizzed us around to the cliffs. We then ducked as the boat went in through the small hole in the cliff. When we sat back up we were presented with a magical sight.

This natural phenomenon occurs where the edge of the cliff has been worn away, allowing the sunlight to beam down through the water. Coupled with the white limestone of the cave walls the result is a magical blue cave.

Gordy translates what the guide is telling us about the cave
Tim takes a panorama of the spectacle

The edge of the cliff with the sunlight shining through

 

Looking through a natural bridge

 

The next two boats coming in behind us

 

The skipper delivered us back to our boat once the tour was over, and we continued on our way.

The town of Vis on the island of the same name was our next destination.

The island’s two largest settlements are the  Vis on the island’s eastern side (the settlement for which the island was originally named) and Komiža on its western coast. We had time for a look around the town before heading back to the boat for lunch. The island has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, and there is evidence of many of the cultures that followed.

Another day, another beautiful harbour
Elements of Italian architecture shining through on the backstreets
Interesting alleyways to wander down
And of course many cats…most islands have no vet, and it is uncommon to neuter males. Thankfully the local residents tend to leave cat food out for them, particularly when there are kittens involved

After lunch we were off out on the bikes. It was really warm, with temperatures up in the early 30s…and our first 10km of riding was all up hill. It was hard going in the heat, with no shade alongside the road, and out on the road it rose to 42 degrees centigrade (that’s about 108 Fahrenheit for those working in old money!).

Looking down at Komiza from the peak of our climb

Fortunately there were plenty of rewarding views. We rode across the island to Komiza, where we enjoyed the exhilarating ride down the hill before stopping for a refreshing sorbet and some cold water, before climbing up again and heading out, continuing our 32km circuit.

A little chapel high up on the cliff along our route
Komiza – a very pretty little town

Of course the road went up and up as well as we left, with a few water break stops along the way.

Beautiful views down over Komiza as we climb out
Komiza as we climbed out
Magnificent views along the island

Before long we were high up above Vis, looking at our final winding road descending below us.

Tim looking out over Vis
Me photographing Vis
Vis, our home for the night

Mr A and I headed straight off for a swim and probably increased the salt percentage of the already very salty Mediterranean in doing so, before showers and heading out to dinner.

It was just Owen, Tom, Mark and I for the night, and we headed first of all for drinks down by the water, before finding a local restaurant for food. Vis has a lovely atmosphere, particularly after our night in crazy Hvar.

Lovely sunset
Owen, Tom, Mr A and I…yes I even had a local Vis wine!

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