About the island

Biševo is located 5 kilometres to the SW of the Vis island, right across the Biševo Channel. Administratively it belongs to the Town of Komiža. Stražbenica dominates the hilly landscape as its highest point, reaching 239 metres above sea level at its SE end.

There is a series of presumptions as to the origin of the island’s name. The most likely is the one saying that its name originates from the Italian word “busi”, meaning “holes”. It is supported by the fact that Komiža dialect calls wood full of wormholes “bišovo”. Similarly to the wood being full of holes, so is Biševo. It abounds in holes, i.e. speleological objects, caves and grottoes.

Numerous archaeological findings confirm that the island has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Today, Biševo is faced with depopulation lasting since the beginning of the last century. In 1961, Biševo had a population of 115, which dwindled to only 15 inhabitants in 2011. The depopulation of the island is closely followed by the change in the dominant cultural, agricultural and natural values. While the former two dominated in times of high population density, the latter dominate today, creating a vegetation cover of macchia, garrigue and the Aleppo pine. The repopulation of the island remains the primary challenge, taking into consideration the need to revitalise its anthropogenic values without jeopardising its precious natural features.