Clandestine cove where towering cliffs keep wartime secrets


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In World War II the caves and inlets that ruffle the edges of Croatia’s Vis island hid partisans and commandos who launched fierce resistance operations against Nazi invaders. Today’s missions, by armies of visitors armed only with sunscreen, towels and parasols, involve a cool dip in Adriatic waters and a hot bronze on the beach.

A boat ride from the mainland port of Split and a hike to the south side of Vis reveals Stiniva, a smooth white-pebble beach encircled by sheer limestone walls. A 16-feet-wide “cliff gate” opens the beach to jewel-grade turquoise sea. It’s hard to reach. The treacherous land route down the steep south slope is not for the very young, the clumsy or the flimsily sandaled. Just as well, since Stiniva’s tiny size can be strained by peak-season swimmers, sunbathers and snorkelers ferried in by taxi boats.

Photos: Mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo, Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo, Shutterstock, Shutterstock

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The beach is inaccessible to large boats thanks to a tiny "cliff gate."


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Cosy cove


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