Komiza was the first place we hadn’t been to before on our second trip to Croatia, and as new sailors on the Adriatic we were excited to sail somewhere that we hadn’t previously visited on our flotilla two years earlier.  As newbie’s we weren’t quite ready to go completely off grid and Komiza on the South side of Vis was noted in our boat briefing as a serene spot with plenty to explore.

It was.

As you round the West side of Vis, you see the small town of Komiza nestled below the hillside of Mount Hum reminding you exactly why you chose to sail in Croatia in the first place. The town key is on the South side of a long protective anchorage. By this time our Mediterranean Mooring skills were getting better by the effort, and as we slid in beside our German neighbors on the first try, our Wave Tunneler crew collectively beamed with pride. This was kind of a big deal.

That highlight was quickly followed by the reality that the tide was pretty low and the water line was about five feet lower than the town key. This of course was not a problem for the boat, it was a problem for the scaredy-cats like me who weren’t quite sure how to navigate the plank from our boat to land now sitting at about a 60 degree angle. To those of you who didn’t pay attention in geometry, just know that is steep. And with a bobbing boat and not the world’s greatest balance, a bit unsettling.

With a hand from the boys on the boat we headed out to pay our mooring fee and explore. We also called the technician from our charter company to arrange his boarding of our boat the next day to repair a rather unfortunate toilet issue. Apparently, some boat part that I am entirely unfamiliar with but that is super important had broken causing our toilet water to seep into our bathroom floor. Not ideal. The plan was for him to come the next day and fix our boat, which meant a change in plans. We would be staying in Komiza for two nights instead of just one.

This turn of events ended up handing us one of the best days of our trip and our most prized land adventure.

Our sailing modus operandi has always been 1) sail to an island, 2) get settled in, 3) happy hour on boat, 4) explore, 5) dinner either on board or a local spot, 6) wine on boat then sleep, 7) wake up get coffee, 8) head out to the next spot. My friends, this works pretty well. The only time we’d ever broken this rule was in Anegada in the BVI because, well, it is Anegada. The most wonderful place on earth.

Staying that extra night in Komiza was the best thing that could have happened. It gave us the luxury to really explore. To rent scooters, tour Croatian wine country, hike down to beautiful Stiniva beach, and enjoy what is surely the most wonderful on-board meal I will ever have.

If you have the opportunity, do it! Our 48 hours in Komiza went a little like this:

Happy Hour Snacks: We usually happy hour on the boat, but we weren’t eager to keep walking our Everest-like plank so a few delicious and beer at one of the many charming waterside cafes seemed like a better choice.

More Wine on the Boat: Naturally, we drank a bottle of our Kastalanac wine when we got back to the boat. Generous pours all around!

Morning Coffee: First things first! A day in Croatia would not be  lining the marinas throughout Croatia are one of my very favorite things. Any stress that you might feel in your day-to-day life melts away as you drink a warm, perfect cappuccino and watch the sailors ready their boats for the day.

Wandering Around Town: Just milling through the streets of this old town is worth the stop in Komiza. I love cobblestone streets and worn buildings and locals who you can imagine have generations of family that have lived their entire lives in this very spot. With its small shops and quaint pubs, Komiza is exactly what you want it to be, and it is a bit more off the beaten path than Vis Town, so it felt less touristy.

Scooter Rental in Komiza: Komiza is relatively small so finding places you need isn’t too difficult if you politely ask around. We tracked down one of the Scooter shops and secured three scooters. You will need your driver’s license and the confidence that you can ride a scooter. They don’t necessarily test your skills, but having past experience and saying so gives you the best chance that they won’t deny you a rental. If you are wary about your scooter skills, might want to bolster those pre-vacation.

Scootering to Stiniva Beach: The island map is very straight forward. You just head up the hill, turn right, and ride along the coast, high up for some beautiful views. Our destination was Stiniva Beach.  You ultimately will end up at a small parking lot with a map showing a pretty challenging straight down hill hike to the beach which you can see far in the distance. Wear good walking shoes! Flip flops are not ok for this activity.

Hiking to Stiniva Beach: Once you park you are still not quite there. The hike down to Stiniva beach is about 20 minutes and pretty steep. We were eager for a little exercise, so it was exactly what we were looking for. The beach is truly picturesque. It is quite rocky, so don’t expect a soft sand greeting. For a while, we had the whole place to ourselves, where we could swim and enjoy the lunch we’d packed. From time to time, small tour boats would enter into the cove to check out one of Vis’ most storied beaches, an event that made us feel self-important for having figured out a route that let us stay as long as we liked.

Wine Country: After our hike back to our scooters we headed out to try to find local spots for wine tasting. Most do not have open tasting rooms, but we did find a spot that featured several of the local wines and was a favorite location for cyclists touring the area. We also stumbled on a lovely spot, the name was nowhere to be found, where we enjoyed carafes of wine and their home produced olive oil.

After our adventures, we headed back to Komiza, stopping to take photos along the way. With our scooters safely returned, we stopped at X for a happy hour snack, then to the market for evening provisions. On this particular trip, one of our companions was a trained chef, and the roasted chicken and vegetable meal accompanied by some risotto-like deliciousness was utterly fantastic. We ate late, on the deck.

Several bottles of wine that we’d procured at Kastalanac on Stomorska earlier in the trip, good conversation, great friends, and the pinch-me realization that I was on a boat in Croatia looking over at one of the most charming places I’ll ever be made it just about perfect.