Under the surface

Vinogradisce bay

The best diving and snorkeling in Croatia

Croatia has some of the most exciting diving opportunities in the Mediterranean. Centuries of conflict mean that there is a wealth of wrecks to explore and the natural geology of the area provides wonderful walls, caves and tunnels to investigate. Sailing among the Dalmatian islands, you can hook up with local diving centers to take time to enter a different world, under the Adriatic.

Your skipper can co-ordinate with the centers so that you can SCUBA dive during your sailing week. Let the team at The Yacht Break know what your interests are, so that we can help to create a bespoke route. There are also plenty of awesome snorkeling spots that you can visit while you sail around the islands. This article is packed full of information on the best diving and snorkeling opportunities off the Croatian coast.

Dubrovnik

Diving

Dubrovnik has two traditional dive centers as well as being home to the only free-diving school in the whole of Croatia. There is a great selection of tunnels, caves and wrecks to discover in the surrounding area.

Name Island Depth Details
Benešin rat Lopud 20-40m Lafodia reef with 39m wall and caves
Abyss Koločep 2-40m Wreck of the Aurora, cave and 60m abyss
Maros cave Dubrovnik 3-47m Narrow entranced cave, with beautiful exit at 47m
Taranto wreck Dubrovnik 23-53m Wreck of an 1899 steamboat and cargo, sunk in WW2
Sveti Andrija Sveti Andrija 3-80m Cave and wall descent to 80m
Mala Afrika Dubrovnik 3-40m Rocky reef and cave, with a sandy bottom
Grebeni-MA Dubrovnik 3-40m Narrow tunnel leading to the open sea on Grebeni island
Lokrum Lokrum 3-30m 20m long tunnel into lake in the middle of Lokrum island
Tomislav wreck Lokrum 2-35m Wall down to wreck of a fishing boat, off Lokrum island

Snorkeling

When you need to cool down while visiting Dubrovnik, swap culture for nature and head to Danče. The cliffs by this convenient beach provide plenty of interest for snorkeling right by the coastline. Even more central to the town is Buža, although the water can get whipped up by the wind.

Dive centers

  • Abyss

  • Address: Iva Dulcica 142, President Hotel Dubrovnik, 20000, Dubrovnik

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 99 25 61 256

  • Email: diving.hr@gmail.com

  • Web: Abyss

  • Blue Planet

  • Address: Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, Masarykov put 20, 20000, Dubrovnik

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 91 89 90 973

  • Email: info@blueplanet-diving.com

  • Freedive Dubrovnik

  • Address: Petra Svačića 3, Dubrovnik, Croatia

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 99 43 32 993

  • Email: info@freedivedubrovnik.com

Hvar

Diving

There are three dive centers offering SCUBA diving around this area, in Hvar town, Stari Grad and near Jelsa. As well as some wrecks, there are plenty of walls and reefs scattered around the western end of Hvar (from Jelsa round to Hvar town) and among the nearby Pakleni islands.

Name Island Depth Details
Zala Luka Hvar 5-40m Wall dive for all levels
Tatinja Hvar 10-40m Shallow reef and wall down to old wreck
Smociguzica Hvar 10-50m Reef and deep wall
RT Kabal Hvar na Wall, cave and reef, night dives possible
Vela Garska Hvar 5-30m 70m long wall and 20m long cave
Vodnjak Kampanel Pakleni 15-40m Bell tower, including 5m long tunnel
Poseidon Pillar Pakleni 11-30m Chimney rising out of water
Anchor Wall Pakleni 18-35m Drop-off wall, including old anchor
Paulina Pakleni 30m 150yr old wreck

Snorkeling

A few bays west of Vinogradišće bay, on Sveti Klement in the Pakleni islands, is Taršče bay. A relatively quiet and remote bay that faces south. If you are sailing between Hvar and Vis, ask your skipper to stop on the way past to appreciate some superb snorkeling.

Dive centers

  • Hvar Divers

  • Address: Vrboska bb, 21463, Vrboska, Hvar island

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 91 33 44 088

  • Email: info@hvardivers.com

  • Web: Hvar Divers

  • Nautica Hvar

  • Address: Naselje Helios, 21460 Stari Grad, Hvar island

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 21 743 038

  • Email: hvar@nautica.pl

  • Web: Nautica Hvar

  • Viking

  • Address: Put Podstine 7, 21450, Hvar, Hvar island

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 91 62 05 847

  • Email: info@viking-diving.com

  • Web: Viking

Korčula

Diving

Within easy reach of Korčula there are over 30 dive sites, including shipwrecks, walls, caves and sea grass meadows. Given the vast quantity of locations, only some are mentioned here. Make sure to visit the wrecks of Boca and Garda, as well as the Blue hole cave. It is only a short boat ride over to the north western end of the Pelješac peninsula, as well, for further exploring.

Name Island Depth Details
Wreck graveyard Korčula 10-30m 10-15 wrecks from different time periods in a concentrated area
Prišćapac Korčula 1-40m Beach dive around Prišćapac peninsula
Veli Prznjak Korčula 3-45m Reef wall descending to large cave and 20m vertical tunnel
Boca Pelješac  5-12m Wreck of Boca, sunk in 1984
Garda Korčula 23m Wreck of an old steamship on the sandy sea bed
Blue hole Korčula 10-58m Large deep cave

Snorkeling

On the eastern tip of Korčula is Raznjic, there are some great steep cliffs and slabs for sea-life to hide in and the water is beautifully clear (if somewhat exposed to the elements). You can ask your skipper to stop here on the circular route from Dubrovnik or the one-way voyage from Split. If you find yourself passing the other end of  Korčula (for example on this route), try snorkeling in the shallow waters around the islet of Proizd, but watch out for strong currents.

Along the nearby Pelješac peninsula, there is good snorkeling in Rasoha bay, near Loviste. Accessible only by boat, the bays of Krizica or Ceminova are also worth a stop.

Dive centers

  • Croatia Divers

  • Address: Obala 1 42, 20270, Vela Luka, Korčula

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 91 256 78 03

  • Email: info@croatiadivers.com

  • Dupin Dive Centre

  • Address: Ronilacki Centar PP101, 20260, Korčula

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 98 812 496

  • Email: croatiadiving01@gmail.com

  • Lumbarda Blue

  • Address: Uvala Račišće br. 48, 20263, Lumbarda, Korčula

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 95 560 6992

  • Email: info@lumbardablue.com

  • Prišćapac Diving Center

  • Address: Prišćapac, 46b, Prizba, 20271, Korčula

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 99 877 1619

  • Email: priscapac.diving@gmail.com

  • Web:  Prišćapac

Kornati archipelago

Diving

The Croatian Government designated this area as a National Park in 1980 and it consists of over 100 islands and islets. There are strict controls over diving in the Kornati National Park, which means that only a few dive centers have permission to do so, and all the sites are only reachable by boat. A lot of the area remains unexplored, as anchoring is not always safe, providing the excitement of discovering new and wonderful underwater worlds if the winds allow. Below the surface, the landscape is diverse; from tunnels and caves, to walls and reefs. The variety of small to medium sized marine life is as varied  as you will find anywhere in the Adriatic. There are also wrecks to investigate, for example that of the Franceska. Note that night dives are not allowed in this region.

Name Island Depth Details
Opat Kornat 0-40m Wall
Samograd Samograd 5-40m Deep wall with crevices
Oključ Diving permitted by NP Kornati
Mala Panitula Mala Panitula 0-40m Sea grass medow leading to wall with overhangs and rifts
Vela Panitula Vela Panitula 10-40m Wall
Rašip Rašip 0-40m 65m deep wall
Kasela Diving permitted by NP Kornati
Mana Mana 0-40m 45m wall down to a ship sunk in 1959 while filming Raging Sea
Borovnik Borovnik 0-40m 45m wall and three caves at varying depths
Franceska di rimani Kaprije 28-45m Italian warship sunk by a torpedo in WW2

Snorkeling

There are a vast number of snorkeling opportunities within the National Park. As long as you just have a snorkel and mask, you are permitted to dive in anywhere that you are safely able to anchor up. Have a go at the southern most tip of Kornat island, near Opat. In the north, is the Telašćica Nature Park around Dugi Otok with its salt-lake, Mir. Although it is saltier than the surrounding sea, it is also warmer in summer. The lake holds a special sort of eel that grows to 3kg. In the bay of Telašćica, the sea is alive with life and there is great snorkeling beneath the cliffs that fall at the waters edge.

Further south, in the Šibenik archipelago, the islanders of Krapanj have a culture of snorkeling and diving down for the sponges that grow here. Tourists can look on, but you need a licence to fish and harvest from the sea, so leave the pickings to the locals. You could stop here during sailing holidays from Šibenik, such as the route south to Vis, or north to the Kornati National Park.

Dive centers

  • Just Dive Croatia

  • Address: Šetalište Kneza Branimira 1, 23210, Biograd na Moru

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 99 263 5547

  • Email: info@justdive-croatia.com

  • Kornati Diving center

  • Address: Zaglav 15, 23281 Sali, Dugi otok

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 91 367 95 06

  • Email: info@kornati-diving.com

  • Najada Diving

  • Address: Put Jersan 17, 22243, Murter

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 98 137 1565

  • Email: anna.nokela@najada.com

Lastovo

Diving

There are restrictions on Scuba diving in the Lastovo Nature Park, so divers must be accompanied by registered dive centers. There is a school located on Lastovo itself, providing the perfect opportunity to hook up with the dive center during your sailing week. The area is a pleasure to dive as there are numerous bays and cliffs, as well as a miniature archipelago called the ‘Lastovnjaci’. Night and sunset dives are possible in this area.

Name Island Depth Details
Bijelac Bijelac 0-55m Underwater passage through the island
Tajan Tajan 5-35m Underwater cave
Cape Struga Lastovo 0-80m 80m wall
Međedina cave Lastovo 2-9m Series of interconnected caves
Te Vega Sušac 5-35m Small sea lake accessed by an underwater tunnel
Malo Jezero Sušac 3-20m 24m long cave with several entrance tunnels connecting to the sea

Snorkeling

On the south of Lastovo is the bay of Skrivena Luka (or Portorus), one of the most remote places in Croatia. It’s untouched beauty make it a perfect spot for a bit of snorkeling. See if you can stop there for a quick snorkel during your sailing holiday from Dubrovnik on this route.

Dive centers

  • Diving center Ankora

  • Address: Zaklopatica 46, 20290, Lastovo Island

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 91 536 1575

  • Email: dcankora@gmail.com

  • Web: DC Ankora

Mljet

Diving

There is a diving center in the Mljet National Park that can facilitate diving in this area. The surrounding waters provide a wealth of coral reefs, caves and walls, but there is the added attraction of diving in the two inland salt lakes of Veliko Jezero and Malo Jezero.

Name Island Depth Details
Zakamenica Mljet 8-55m Crag, canyon (40m long, 15m wide) and wall
Lenga Pelješac 0-86m 86m wall
Glavat Pelješac 6-60m Deep wall
Odysseus cave Mljet 0-20m Wide bright cave that can be accessed from the sea via a 30m underwater channel
Rikavica cave Mljet 3-20m Large cave with chimneys

Snorkeling

Snorkeling around Sveta Marija, the islet within one of the inland salt lakes is fantastic. The waters are warm and there is plenty to see as it is within the National Park. Outside of the park, visit Odysseus cave, although it is deep, the water is very clear and you can snorkel into the cave.

Dive and snorkel in Mljet when you enjoy either of these routes:

Dive centers

  • Aquatica Mljet

  • Address: Pomena, 20226, Mljet Island

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 98 479 916

  • Email: info@aquatica-mljet.hr

  • Diving center Žuljana

  • Address: Polje 17, Žuljana, 20247, Pelješac Peninsula

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 99 200 1222

  • Email: divingcentarzuljana@gmail.com

Vis

Diving

The strategic location of Vis within the Adriatic Sea meant it has always had a significant military role. Evidence of past battles are all around in the waters, with ship wrecks and plane crash sites. Divers can explore wrecks from WW1 and WW2 as well as caves, walls and reefs, there is something for every level.

Name Island Depth Details
Fortunal wreck Vis 30-55m Wreck of an old fishing boat lying at the bottom of a wall, plus cave
Teti Wreck Vis 10-34m Upright wreck of a cargo ship
Vassilios T Vis 22-55m Wreck of a Greek cargo ship sunk in WW2
Brioni wreck Vis 4-60m Wreck of a cargo steamboat lying on its side
B-24 Vis 40m Wreck of B-24 bomber plane
B-17 Vis 75m Technical dive site of B-17 plance wreck
Blue cave Bisevo 12m Blue cave, best visited 11-12am for sunlight effect
Brusnik Brusnik 20-60m A small volcanic islet with a wall between 20-60m

Snorkeling

The hidden cove of Stiniva is good for snorkeling, although since it has been widely publicized it can be rather busy. The Blue Cave on Bisevo island is definitely one to see while the morning light reflects off the rocks on the sea bed. Get your skipper to stop at these locations if you are sailing round the south of Vis, towards Komiža, for example during these routes:

Dive centers

  • Dive center: ANMA

  • Address: Šetalište Apolonija Zanelle 1, 21480, Vis

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 92 11 47 420

  • Email: anma@anma.hr

  • Web: ANMA

  • Dive center: B-24

  • Address: Obala Pape Aleksandra III br.8, Komiža, Vis

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 91 76 61 415

  • Email: info@diving-croatia.hr

  • Web: B-24

  • Dive center: ISSA

  • Address: Ribarska 91, Komiža, Vis

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 91 20 12 731

  • Email: info@scubadiving.hr

  • Web: ISSA

  • Dive center: Nautica Vis

  • Address: Šetalište Apolonija Zanelle 5, 21480, Vis

  • Mobile:  +385 (0) 91 22 66 115

  • Email: vis@nautica.pl

  • Web: Nautica Vis

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2018-11-12T06:00:37+00:00