We booked Croatia on a whim, but then when I found out that Mamma Mia 2 was filmed on one of it’s islands, I got that extra bit excited.
Vis is my favourite island that we visited during our trip, and apart from it being one of the backdrops to Mamma Mia 2, the island itself captured my heart because it was untouched.
Obviously tourists and travellers visit places that are popular. Not even backpackers (at least not any I know of) fly out to a random city in a round country, just because. We’re inspired by films, social media and influencers; and although Croatia has become more and more popular with tourists since the release of Game of Thrones, the island of Vis was still under the radar when we visited back in September 2018.
Getting to Vis
The best way to get to Vis is via Split.
There’s a ferry service which runs from the mainland seven days a week throughout the year, and takes 2 hours 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can hop on the catamaran as a foot passenger which only takes 1 hour 30 minutes. See here for return times.
When you embark in Vis, you can choose to either explore the harbour (where the Mamma Mia 2 market scene was filmed) or catch a 20-minute bus to Komiža, a quaint fishing village where most of the Vis scenes were filmed.
Unfortunately if you’re visiting in low season (September-June) like we did, you won’t have very long at all on the island due to ferry times. The earliest you’ll be able to get to Vis is 1.20pm with the last ferry back to Split leaving at 3.30pm. So you really need to decide which part of the island you’ll prefer to see, but I recommend just catching the first bus straight to Komiža.
!! : Make sure you check the bus times back from Komiža to Vis harbour as they are very scarce, and if you miss your last ferry you are stuck.
Walking through Komiža was a breath of fresh air. After having spent over a week in beautiful, but overcrowded tourist sites, we longed for a spot of tranquility, and Komiža delivered.
This 12th century fisherman’s village is remote with very few tourists in sight, or even locals for that matter. We wandered through narrow limestone passageways, amongst 17th century town houses with overhung balconies and boho charm.
It was wandering these passageways that led us to find this captivating spot. Apart from one other couple, these waters were deserted and it was simply perfect.
In fact, from this exact spot we could even spy one of the Mamma Mia 2 filming scenes – spot the archway in the background?
The archway belongs to restaurant Konoba Jastožera, which was the backdrop to a beautiful shot scene in the movie. During this scene Harry (Colin Firth) and Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) are having a heart to heart under the archway, before deciding that they need to be at the reopening of Sophie’s late mother’s hotel. This then leads them to jump out through the archway and into a motorboat.
We hadn’t actually planned to have lunch in Konoba Jastožera, but as we had over an hour to wait until the next bus back to Vis, and we had just dried up from swimming, we decided to take full advantage of the situation.
If you do end up visiting this restaurant, just a little heads up that the main courses include chips. Customer service is pretty appalling in Croatia (everywhere we visited at least) and we weren’t told this as we each ordered a separate side of… more chips… maybe they just thought we loved potatoes though, who knows?!
All in all, we didn’t have a long time to spend on the island of Vis, but what we did experience we cannot recommend enough. Especially if you’re looking for a spot of tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of Split.