A Military Tour of Vis on a Croatia Sailing Break
On the surface, the island of Vis – with its crystal clear waters, quiet towns and winding roads – appears nothing more than an idyllic holiday spot in the Adriatic. However, until 1991, the Croatian island was a military base, off-limits to non-military personnel and this past has left a mark on the island that is still visible today.
As the furthest inhabited island from the Croatian coastline, Vis was an ideal spot for the many different nations which inhabited it during the years. The most recent of these was the communist Yugoslav National Army and during its occupation, spent decades burrowing, excavating and constructing a labyrinth of underground tunnels, bunkers and caves.
Following the collapse of communism and Croatia’s declaration of independence, the island was abandoned. The formerly top-secret bases are located in some of the island’s most unique locations and are definitely well worth a visit on a Croatia sailing tour.
While many of the tunnels have been converted by local residents into wine cellars and other practical spaces, much of the remaining maze of underground installations has been preserved exactly in the manner in which it was left.
Regular guided tours take visitors on an extensive walk through some of the most interesting remnants of the ‘Forbidden Island’. These include the patrol boat undermine, the underground communications centre, Tito’s cave and the radar base on the island’s highest peak, Hum, which also affords some of the most spectacular views around.
For those less into the history and more into having a blast, the tours are not all talk. Besides a history lesson, you will find yourself a guest of some of the most hospitable people around and treated to a local spread of home grown delicacies and the famous island wine of Vis.