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Culture, art & history trip

Explore historical military bases and Tito’s secret hideout on the island of Vis

The island of Vis has been prepared for a nuclear world war for half a century. There is a subterranean town built during the rule of Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito, along with gigantic military bases hidden below ground. Come over and take a tour of the secret locations that spies dispatched by the CIA and KGB couldn’t handle. You will also experience the hospitality of locals, who will show you new horizons when it comes to food and wine.

In World War II, Vis became a key military air base of the Allied forces. Later, during Tito’s Yugoslavia, the island was a highly protected military zone, and it remained off limits to tourists for a long time. Due to fear of espionage, the island was once full of guards with orders to shoot at any foreigners approaching it. There were as many as 30 military bases reinforced in concrete, brimming with personnel -- which is pretty impressive considering that the entire island has only 90 square kilometers.

Tito’s underground bunker on Vis may have been the largest underground town in the entire former Yugoslavia. The whole island is riddled with networks of underground passages and rooms, whose purpose was to protect Tito from attacks by NATO or the countries of the Warsaw Pact.

Trip highlights

  • Touring the island in a somewhat off-road experience
  • Top Secret Military tour on day 2, where you'll explore abandoned forts, underground tunnels, submarine pens, cannon nests, radar bases, Tito's cave
  • Following the Paths of Marshal Tito tour on day 3, exploring sites like the WWII British Embassy, a monument to the fallen Allied Forces pilots, a military airfield, and a house of historic importance
  • Visit to a wine cellar for tasting of autochtonous wine produced exlusively on the island
  • Tour of the Vidović family wine cellar, with tasting of 4 different local wines

Trip availableAPR-OCT
Duration4 days
Suitable for2-8 people
SupportPartially guided
Languagesen
Price per personfrom 464.00 €
Great for
  • Adults
  • Seniors
You’ll be accommodated in
  • 3-star apartments
Trip designed by Dušanka Samardžija

In love with traveling, veteran industry professional

Activities are taking place on the island of Vis

During your free time on the island we recommend that you visit the Vis Archaeological Museum, which holds a large collection of Classical antiquities, as well as the archaeological site of the Roman baths that date back to the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. As you continue your walk by the sea, you will reach the Franciscan monastery that was built on the remains of a theatre traced back to the Classical period; the remnants of the Roman wall are still visible on the façade of the monastery.

The island of Vis has kilometres of tunnels that are now open for tourists. On your first tour our guides will take you to the secret underground tunnels of the navy’s maritime refuelling base, Fort George, and the most attractive underground naval and submarine base at Nova Pošta. You’ll also visit the abandoned military base and large concrete tunnels used for weapons storage. Some of the remains of the once destructive Yugoslav Navy artillery can still be found in the artillery nests.

On your second tour you’ll visit the most famous locations where Tito was hiding during World War II, after he was almost killed in the Nazi military operation Rösselsprung (“Knight’s Move”) at the town of Drvar. 

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to the town of Vis, on the island of Vis

Immediately after getting off the ferry at the Vis town port, you will notice the island’s lush fragrances. An intense aroma of Mediterranean flora saturates the air – you’ll be smelling rosemary, lavender and immortelle all over the island.

Your hosts will welcome you with a traditional glass of homemade grape brandy called “lozovača” and tell you a little about the place. For dinner, you'll try some authentic Vis cuisine in a tavern located at the top of the promenade.

Food tip

For the most authentic experience, try the two local specialities: the world-famous “Viška pogača”, which is flatbread stuffed with anchovy paste, and “Fažol na brujet”, which is fish and bean stew with pasta.

Day 2

The top secret military tour

Use the first part of the day to explore the town and its landmarks. Your guided Top secret military tour will be starting in the afternoon. It is going to be a fascinating off-road experience in a Land Rover Defender, during which you'll be stopping at various historical military facilities all over the island; you'll get to see forts, underground tunnels with missile warehouses, submarine pens, cannon nests, radar bases etc. and get to learn how they were used.

The tour will culminate in a visit to the former super-secret military base reinforced with concrete that was cut deep into the rocks as per the orders of Josip Broz Tito in the heyday of the Cold War. You will also find out about how Tito’s Yugoslavia placed the island in a state of readiness when preparing for what would have been the critical battles of World War III, had it occurred.

At the end of the tour, you will stop at a military burial ground that used to be a power station and is today the site of a wine cellar. The cellar holds the renowned Bugava, an autochthonous wine exclusively produced on this island. Locals call it wine with a heart and soul and claim that this grape variety was planted by the ancient Greeks 2400 years ago. 

In the evening before you’ll return to Vis a typical dinner - different kind of meat prepared under the iron bell covered with ash (peka) will be served at the restaurant located in the middle of fertile Vis’s field. After Dinner return to Vis with restaurant’s shuttle with a small van. Overnight stay at the host’s property. 

Day 3

Following the Paths of Marshal Tito

Optional breakfast. Today's war tour will be starting in the afternoon, so you have the first part of the day off. We highly recommend taking an optional excursion to the beautiful Blue Grotto on the island of Biševo. It is a cave with fascinating illumination: rays of sunlight come through a naturally formed opening at the top and reflect off the surface of the sea, making everything look blue-ish. The cave gets the most light between 11am and noon, and can only be accessed during low tide when the sea is calm.

Today's tour will begin with a look around the memorial site in the town of Vis and the place where the British Embassy was during World War II. Then we'll take a hillside road to catch a stunning view of the entire Vis bay, from where we'll proceed to the monument dedicated to the fallen Allied forces’ pilots. From here you can see the Vis military airfield, which was an important Allied strategic point in the Adriatic.

Our tour ends with a visit to the house of historical importance, where an agreement signed in 1944 resulted in King Peter II of Yugoslavia acknowledging the legitimacy of Tito’s communist resistance movement. Family Vidović owns this house and will welcome you to their wine cellar. They've been making and storing its premium Tarac wines for generations. The wine owes its interesting name to a hard layer of clay and gravel that needs to be penetrated for the grapevine to flourish. You will get to taste four different wine varieties, the most famous of which is Plavac. During your time at the cellar be sure to find out more about the wines and try tasting other delightful homemade refreshments.

You'll return to the town of Vis at 9pm where you'll have dinner at the tavern.

tip

When returning from the island of Biševo, we recommend that you also take an optional tour of the gorgeous Komiža.

Food tip

Please don't leave Vis without tasting the two most prestigious vines, Vugava and Plavac Mali.

Day 4

Leaving Vis

You'll be leaving Vis from the port, by ferry or catamaran. There is a possibility of an optional transfer to the Split Airport.

What's included?

  • Return transfer Vis Port - accommodation facility - Vis Port
  • Three overnight stays in private 3-star studio apartments
  • Welcome drink
  • Three dinners consisting of traditional Vis specialities
  • Two military tours (Top Secret Military Tour and Following the Paths of Marshal Tito) including tickets and 2 wine tastings (a total of 5 different wine varieties and 2 types of refreshments)
  • Tourist tax

What's not included?

  • Drinks during the meals
  • Personal expenses
  • Insurance

Ask about availability & get an offer

Optional

Which of the following would you like to include in your offer?

Price per person
7.12 €
8.00 €
14.00 €
48.50 €
32.50 €

What happens when you request an offer?

1

We will double-check availability and make reservations for your rooms, restaurants, guides etc.

2

With reservations confirmed, we will prepare the best offer possible in regard to your arrival date & party size

3

You will get the offer via e-mail, along with the payment options. Feel free to request further customisations!

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