We have just got back from our third WearActive holiday (www.wearactive.com). Our second one to Vis island, Croatia, which in itself is a testament to how good they are. These are not strictly vegan holidays, but suitable for everyone including vegans and plant-based individuals.
WearActive, aka Craig and Xania have created holidays that hit the right balance between doing things and lazing around. They couple this with amazing vegan / plant-based food and excellent local wines. They use the slogan ‘Relaxingly Active’ which really sums them up perfectly. Oh and they are really nice people; great hosts, knowledgeable about the activities and the area, and really interesting to talk to.
A vegan holiday on Vis
On Vis island, their ethos is to get about and see as much of the island as you can under your own steam. This works really well as the island itself is not that big. The entire coastline is less than 50 miles and the island consists of a mere 35 square miles.
The activities available are slightly weather dependent, but both times we’ve had a good share of cycling, walking and sea kayaking, with some paddle boarding, swimming in the sea and slacklining thrown in for good measure. For those who like yoga, they also do yoga most mornings on a big flat rock by the sea. I have to confess at this point, that despite enjoying yoga and loving the location of it, sleep won out every morning this time and I failed to go!
The activities are not scheduled as such – it’s your holiday after all, but each day follows a similar pattern of yoga, followed by breakfast and then setting off to do a full or half day activity (lunch provided) with your own time after, followed by dinner. The activities you can do are suggested by them depending on the weather but a decision on what is done when is made by the group. Just to clarify, the weather aspect is more about it being too windy for a long paddle or too blazing hot with no cloud cover for a cycle or walk… although I’m happy to say we managed a walk in the rain this time!!
So what did we get up to?
Sunday: Well we paddled out to and around a nearby island on the sea kayaks. This adventure proved once again that Emma and I do not have the coordination necessary to propel a double kayak forward in an efficient manner.
Monday: We cycled to Komiža, the second largest town on the island. Some of our group circumnavigated the island on bikes to get back, while we opted for the more gentle option of a lift back so we could spend some time in the sea.
Tuesday: We walked back from Vis town in the rain. This might sound miserable, but it’s nothing like the rain in the UK. In fact, walking in warm rain is lovely and kept us cool as we climbed steeply up from Vis town to the centre of the island.
Wednesday: On our ‘day off’, we cycled to a beach (with sand!) near Vis, wandered to a lighthouse, swam in the sea and cycled back via another beach. Although the sandy beach was a novelty in Vis (and Croatia as a whole), I have to say I’m a fan of pebbly beaches and swimming off the rocks.
Thursday: We kayaked around the bay of Komiža and out along the coast to a tiny beach, where we had a picnic lunch. We were the only people there as it’s only accessible from the water.
Friday: We had an unplanned lazy day. We spent the day reading and playing on paddle boards around the harbour and beaches of Rukavac where they are based. The rest of the group kayaked around Vis bay and slacklined above water in an abandoned submarine tunnel.
What was the food like?
In the evenings, meals alternated between eating at the house and eating out. I have to say, that every time, the food that Xania and Craig cook wins hands down. They are both excellent cooks, producing imaginative, flavourful, balanced plant-based meals (3 courses, so you won’t go hungry).
Eating out as a vegan in Vis was actually surprisingly easy (and nope it wasn’t all chips and salad!). Some places did have a vegan option on asking (as advised by Craig and Xania) and some places it was an imaginative combination of sides. But we ate well, including a 4 course tasting menu at a lovely courtyard restaurant in Vis town (Lola).
What was the wine like?
A very important question in any Vegan Wine Box holiday!! The island of Vis has several wineries that mostly make wines that stay on the island. The one nearest to WearActive is Rokis. A lovely inland winery that has a restaurant as well that serves Peka, which is a local speciality. We drank a lot of Rokis wines and also had a tour around the winery. The main wines we were drinking were local ones:
- White wine: A grape called Bugava (or Vugava), which is rarely seen outside of Vis. It is a fruity, aromatic wine that is high in alcohol and has similarities with Viognier.
- Red wine: A grape called Plavac Mali, which is a Croatian variety that is mostly grown on the Dalmatian coast. This is a full bodied tannic red, with black cherry flavours and notes of spice and pepper. This is again high in alcohol and has similarities to Zinfandel.
We don’t have any Croatian wines at this time, but we do have a selection of Viognier and Viognier based wines to choose from.
And if all this doesn’t inspire you, let me just mention…. there’s cake every day!!! Yep, that’s right, after you’ve been out busying yourself, you get back to a freshly baked vegan cake.
Please be aware, this is not marketed as a vegan holiday. Xania and Craig follow a plant-based diet and do provide limited dairy for those who are not vegan. For example, cow’s milk is available at breakfast alongside oat milk, but all the meals and cakes are vegan.
Eating in Split
Final word. If you find yourself in Split needing food, fear not, there are a couple of excellent places we can recommend:
- Marta’s Veggie Fusion – great for lunch and casual dinners. They serve a variety of dishes such as sandwiches, burgers, burritos etc. And have a good drinks selection from juices, to decent coffee and craft beers.
- Pandora Greenbox – good for dinner. They have a small menu but it’s well done. It’s located in one of the small side streets of Split and you can sit outside soaking up the street life. Perfect end to the holiday.