Vir is a small island in North Dalmatia, located about 30km north from Zadar along the coast. It is a popular holiday destination, with many tens of thousands of holidaymakers enjoying the island each year. This is partly because of its location and the ease by which the island can be reached – it is connected to the mainland by bridge. There is also a plentiful amount of private accommodation on the island, from private rooms and apartments to holiday homes and villas. That means holidaymakers are able to enjoy Vir for extended stays each summer.
The main town on the island is also called Vir.
Getting to Vir
As mentioned, Vir is connected to the mainland by a short bridge so it’s easy to get onto and off the island. (There are no ferries or catamarans to Vir.) When travelling from elsewhere in Croatia, you’ll need to head to the direction of Zadar, particularly if driving along the coastal road from somewhere further south, or if you’re using the A1 motorway.
There are regular buses throughout the day (with fewer buses on the weekends/holidays) from Zadar’s main bus station to Vir. You can look up timetables on the Liburnija Zadar (Zadar bus station) website – the line to Vir is a ‘suburban’ line. The journey takes about 40 minutes.
If you’re travelling to Vir by bus from further afield, we’d suggest travelling to Zadar first (there are numerous buses to here from many places in Croatia) and then taking the bus mentioned above.
The nearest international airport to Vir is Zadar Airport. You can see what airlines fly to here on our Getting to North Dalmatia page.
What to See and Do on Vir
One of the island’s big draws is the number of beaches located here. There are lovely coves – and therefore beaches – all around the island. One of the most well-known beaches is Jadro Beach, by Vir Town. This pebble-y beach (with a sandy waterbed) has sports facilities and rentals (boats, jet-skis), plus loungers and umbrellas available for hire and a number of eateries for refreshments. Radovanjica Beach, also close to town, is a stone beach with shallow waters; the beach also has plenty of places to grab a bite. Also close is the smaller Luka Beach, another pebble-y beach.
On the northern/eastern sides of the island, you will find Biskupljaca (pebble) and Velika Slatina (gravel/stone) beaches both of which are very suitable for families, and offer beach equipment rental as well as cafes. On this part of the island is also Mala Slatina (gravel/stone) and Lucica (gravel/stone) beaches, which also offer similar facilities.
Further along to the eastern side of Vir, you’ll find Gornja and Donja Prezida beaches, (both gravel/stone) – Donja Prezida has more facilities of the two.
The beaches on the southwestern side of the island are more remote and harder to get to, but you will be rewarded by a more tranquil and less crowded day by the sea.
Kastelina Castle (or Fortress), located close to Vir town, are the ruins of a structure that was built in the 16th century as a defence against Turkish and Uskok forces as well as a place of shelter for local residents. The castle had badly deteriorated over the centuries but in the early 2000s the main tower was carefully restored.
Located on the west side of the island, Vir lighthouse was originally built in 1881 although was badly destroyed during WWII meaning it was rebuilt in 1950. These days, it is in fact a private villa available for hire – see details below in our accommodation section.
Eating & Drinking on Vir
There are plenty of eateries on the island for everything from quick bites to more substantial fare.
Bistro Kaleta is one of the most popular places; come here for typical Croatian seaside dishes (fish – of course – hearty meat dishes and plenty of pasta).
Bistro Aloha is another good place to indulge in some tasty dishes with amazing sea views.
The Beach Fine & Food Bar is also a good option right by the beach.
Grizli is the best place to head to if you’re hankering after burgers and similar.
Vagabundo is the place to go for drinks and a party atmosphere.
Accommodation on Vir
There are no hotels on the island – as we’ve mentioned, all accommodation comes in the form of private apartments, villas and holiday homes where you can enjoy a good amount of time.
One of the most unusual places to stay on the island is in Vir lighthouse (mentioned above) which is now the Villa Lanterna! This accommodation is a very smartly furnished, modern ‘house’ with all mod-cons that sleeps 8 and has its own private beach.
There is also, however, campsites on Vir! Camp Sita offers mobile homes sleeping up to 5 people and is located on a beach. Kamp Lolo offers space for 10 motorhomes, wifi access and shower blocks. Camp Sapavac is a small camp with its own beach.
Use the search box/map below to search for all types of accommodation on the island:
You can learn more about holidaying here on the Vir Tourist Board website.