Komiza is an old fishing village situated on the west side of Vis island inside deep Komiza bay, open to west winds. There is a newer road of about 10 km that connects Komiza to Vis town.
Komiza had its golden age from 1815 to 1918 when it was Austrian administration, when it turned into a real little town with all that that entails; there were even seven fish processing factories of which the „Fratelli Mardešić“ was the most famous. The big breakwater dates back to that time. In the beginning of the 20th century there were almost 4.000 inhabitants (today there are only 1.526).
After the fall of Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918 rich fishing areas around Palagruza went to Italy, which was the reason of the massive emmigration to California where people stayed in the fishing business. An interesting fact is there are more Komiza native people and their descendants in San Pedro in California (about ten fold) than in Komiža itself.
Make sure to visit the fishing museum Utvrda on the main boardwalk. It is truly a time machine for fisheries and a tribute that that hard and comendable line of work.
After World War II, Vis island was turned into a military zone. Some say this continued the island’s „decline“. Silver lining is that the „reopenning“ of the island in 1991 started without the massive building and hotels.
Komiza is always nice to visit, walk through its narrow streets, have coffee at the square amongst the locals; traditional cake bought in the family pastry shop „Cukar“ (for instance one made of corab) will go great with that coffee.
Locals are still fishermen, but adapted to today’s times. Thier most common visitors are seamen, for whom they have 40ish bouys for the price of about 250 kn for a 11-12 m boat.
If you wish to go scuba diving in Vis area, we recommend MANTA diving center.
For other activities like free climbing, sky diving, cave touring or kayaking we recommend Altenatura from Komiza.
Article by Inga Tomašević