Best places for diving in Croatia
The Adriatic Sea attracts an increasing number of amateur and professional divers who find a wealth of opportunities for diving in Croatia's waters. The spectacular underwater locations that you can dive on include countless coral reefs, walls, caves and wrecks dating from ancient Greek to modern times. These are inhabited by shoals of colourful fish, gorgonias, sponges and mysterious sea creatures of all kinds.
Thanks to the exceptional climate conditions diving is possible from May through October. In summertime the temperature reaches 25°C on the surface while remaining around 17°C at depth. The Croatian Adriatic is calm and safe, with no sharks or dangerous currents and its clear turquoise-coloured waters have an incredible visibility rate of 25 m.
The country has over a hundred registered diving clubs and centres in the majority of costal and island towns where you can rent equipment and take courses to acquire basic or advanced skills. A diving licence or an individual permit – if you plan to dive on your own – is obligatory and can be purchased from the clubs for a period of one year.
Diving in Istria. Many gorgeous locations for scuba diving in Croaria are amassed in the shallow Istrian waters that are known to hide quite a number of wrecks. The most spectacular one, although accessible by expert divers only, is the Austro-Hungarian passenger ferry called Baron Gautsch that is 85 m long and lies at a depth of 28 to 42 m in front of Rovinj. It sank after striking an underwater mine on its way to Trieste in 1914. Another famous location near Rovinj is the picturesque multi-level coral reef near the islet of Piruzi. It is suitable for beginners and is visited by mackerels, breams, sea horses and octopuses.
Diving in South Dalmatia. One more well-known advanced level wreck is a merchant ship Taranto that has been lying in the waters of Dubrovnik since 1943. The hull of the ship is halved, with the stern buried in the sandy bottom at a depth of 55 m. The fragments of the engine are scattered all about and are under supervision of groupers and other fish. The Elaphite Islands in front of Dubrovnik are also rich in diving spots; the best of them is St Andrew's wall that can be explored by beginners as well. The wall is 78 m deep and is overgrown with corals and sponges, but its most attractive part is a cave at a depth of 26 m.
Diving in Central Dalmatia. The central Dalmatian island of Vis and its surroundings are a marine paradise that makes one of the best scuba diving in Croatia. The small island of Bisevo is remarkable for its caves, especially the Blue Grotto that reaches up to 40 m in depth. There is a narrow opening to enter by boat that leads to a spacious cavity where you can dive to explore the sponge-covered walls and the white bottom. The most attractive phenomenon can be observed at noon when sunlight penetrates into the cave tinging everything a mysterious blue shade. A similar phenomenon can be enjoyed in the Green Grotto that is located under Island Ravnik in the vicinity. The double entrance to the 20 m deep cave is found at a depth of 26 m.