There are plenty of reasons to love scuba diving Croatia, especially if you’re searching for a budget-friendly destination the whole family can enjoy. There is a multitude of different dive spots for divers of varying experience levels and with plenty of types of marine life.
Compared to other areas for scuba diving, it’s easy to see why Croatia is so famous, as its waters are impeccable. In this guide, we’ll go over all of the best places for you to visit while you’re in the country and a few tips to help make your trip one to remember.
Best Places to Scuba Dive
You can find a wide variety of places to visit for marine life surrounding the islands and if you want to venture into archaeological finds. Regardless, you can have a diving experience that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
1. Brijuni Islands
Known as one of the eight national parks in Croatia, Brijuni is home to some of the most crucial archaeological dive sites around the world. The islands have deep roots in history dating back to the Romans, and some of the remains you might want to see are both on land and in the water.
By taking the time to visit Veriga Bay, you can take guided tours of underwater archaeological sites. Another factor is that flora and fauna around the islands is strongly regulated and protected.
The area has been genuinely protected since 1983, so you’ll be able to experience crustaceans, sea urchins, fish, sponges, and shellfish. You can also view better-preserved diving sites than most other places in the world.
2. Pakleni Islands
What we love the most about the Pakleni Islands is that they have something for every person in your family to enjoy. Even for those of you who aren’t particularly interested in scuba diving, you’ll love the entertainment and vibrant lifestyle above the water. For those of you interested in diving, though, there are multiple islands to visit with fantastic dive spots right off the coast.
Our favorite location is Veli Vodnjak, as you’ll be able to explore the underwater walls as well as the incredibly popular Ujedinjeno Gasko underwater cave. This spot is likely recommended for scuba divers with a little more experience since there will be a lot of navigating through tunnels.
3. The Baron Gautsch
Ideal for divers who love exploring wreckages, The Baron Gautsch is one of the most popular destinations and shipwrecks for you to visit.
It is highly recommended for advanced divers only, as you will be navigating through an entirely sunken ship. You can even sign up for guided tours instead of trying to dive into the wreckage yourself.
The Baron Gautsch was a passenger ship that sank around 1914, and you’ll be able to explore sections of the boat that have yet to be explored. There are plenty of places on the lower part of the ship that you will visit, and it’s approximately 84.5 meters long and 11.64 meters wide. Located near Rovinj, you’ll also love the organic display of plenty of sponges and algae.
With approximately 35 different dive sites right off the coast, Korčula is one of the most popular destinations in all of Croatia. The sites are popular because they are incredibly comfortable for beginner divers to navigate through without the need for professional assistance. It is home to plenty of shipwrecks, caves, walls, and overhangs, while the waters are known to be quite warm at around 75 degrees F.
The vast majority of the dive sites are easily accessible by boat, and you should be able to obtain optimal visibility well beyond 100 feet. If you’re looking for shipwrecks, you should undoubtedly consider the Garda and the Boca, as they are filled with marine life and are exceptionally fun for new divers. Blue Hole and Big Cave are also fantastic areas filled with fantastical caves.
Scuba Diving Croatia
When you’re heading out for a brand new experience, it can be challenging to know what to expect in waters that you’ve never ventured into. Knowing what to look for when you go scuba diving in Croatia can help you to have a better experience, especially if you’re a beginner. Below are the best tips and tricks for you to use to your advantage:
1. Diving Seasons
All scuba divers can enjoy the waters in Croatia all year round; however, there are certain times of the year that are better than others. Most people find that May to November is the optimal time to explore this region in Europe as it is exceptionally sunny, and the water is warm. If you want to explore caves and shipwrecks with fewer tourists, it’s recommended you visit in late spring or the beginning of fall.
2. Interesting Marine Life
Compared to other popular diving locations around the world, Croatia is home to some unique or non-traditional experiences. The underwater life is less vibrant than in other areas but is equally as unique.
You’ll experience fascinating corals such as black coral as well as plenty of sea life, including shrimp, nudibranchs, starfish, Zeus Faber, conger eels, scorpionfish, and lobster.
3. Multiple Dive Sites
There are over 1000 islands in Croatia with fantastic dive spots, so you’ll have a more exclusive experience than if you were to visit other hot destinations. Not only will it be a more personal experience, but you’ll also visit multiple sites for an experience you’ll never forget. With numerous WWI and WWII shipwrecks, a B-17 bomber, as well as incredibly ethereal seascapes, there’s a lot to take in.
As with any other scuba diving location, you’re going to need your country-specific certification before you can explore everything the islands have to offer. The Croatian diving card costs approximately 13 Euro and will be valid for one year after it is issued. If you want to get certified, there are a multitude of classes available at affordable rates.
There’s a lot to appreciate with scuba diving Croatia no matter what your diving experience is. With plenty of underwater wrecks and caves to navigate through and a vibrant lifestyle above the surface of the water, there’s something for everyone.