If you’re like many people, the idea of snorkeling is intriguing. You’ve probably snorkeled quite a bit in lakes and might have traveled to the nearest ocean to get a peek at the saltwater marine life. You might be content with that, but most snorkelers choose to go to exotic locations to see different fishes and corals.
Snorkeling in Croatia is an excellent choice because it is rich and full of fish, clams, and coral reefs to explore. Just make sure that you have the right gear (mask, snorkel, fins, and possibly weights) before you dive in. Remember, though, that you should only look at the marvels underwater; don’t pick anything up to take back home!
Snorkeling in Croatia: What to Love About It
We love to go snorkeling anywhere, but Croatia is an excellent opportunity for avid snorkelers. It’s easy to do regardless of where you snorkel, and it’s a family-friendly activity. In most cases, it is quite cheap to do this activity, as you only need to purchase a few items of gear.
The sea in Croatia is clean and clear. The shallow waters are made up of pebbles, so you can clearly see under the water. The Adriatic Sea is safe to swim in and snorkel, as you won’t find whales, sharks, and other dangerous marine life. You may, however, encounter plenty of dolphins, which are fun to watch.
If your goal is to see dolphins on your snorkeling adventure, you may want to visit Rovinj and Losinj. You’ll also find many shipwrecks throughout the coastline. However, you should understand that Croatia isn’t home to colorful and exciting marine life as in the tropical seas. With that said, you’ll still enjoy snorkeling the waters around Croatia and will have an excellent time seeing what’s underneath.
Snorkeling Spots to Visit in Croatia
Snorkeling in Croatia isn’t by guided or organized tour. It’s an individual activity that you can partake in, but you’ll need to have your own snorkeling gear. While other areas focus on snorkeling as a tourist attraction and might offer gear rentals, Croatia does not. With that said, some boat and kayaking tours might offer it as an optional activity.
Here are the destinations we recommend you go to if you wish to go snorkeling:
1. National Park Brijuni
If you want to snorkel in Croatia, you should visit Brijuni, which is just one of eight national parks in Croatia. It has an archipelago on the south coast of Istria. We believe you should consider snorkeling in Brijuni for many reasons.
For one, the islands have a rich history, and some of its remains are still underwater. You’ll find a guided tour where you can explore the archaeological sites. As it is a national park, fishing the Brijuni Islands is regulated heavily.
Though you might not be able to fish, you’ll find that the flora and fauna here is more preserved and richer than other locations. You’ll find shellfish, crustaceans, sponges, fish, and sea urchins. You might also get to see the date-shell and pen-shell, two protected species of the area.
To get to Brijuni, you’ll need to take a boat from Fazana, a small village. Boats run from early in the morning until late at night from June through September. You don’t need to join the tour to snorkel, but you do need to join the tour if you’d like to explore the archaeological site of Veriga Bay.
2. Cape Kamenjak
If you’d like to snorkel in other areas of Croatia, Cape Kamenjak is an excellent option. It’s a park in Istria, but it’s at the southernmost point and close to Pula. If you enjoy nature, you’re going to love this park, as it has cycling, long hiking trails, and many water activities of which snorkeling is included. You’ve also got windsurfing, diving, swimming, and kayaking available.
The coast itself is rocky, though there are some round-rock pebble beaches. You’ll find underwater caves around the cape, which are home to the Mediterranean monk seal. The seal is an endangered mammal, and you might be lucky enough to see one when you go snorkeling. The sea is crystal clear, and you’ll have access to a variety of underwater creatures.
To get to Cape Kamenjak, you’ll need to travel to Pula and follow the signs to Premantura. The area has a variety of tour options, such as the bike tour with a break for swimming and snorkeling. Surely, both kids and adults will enjoy this tour.
3. Pakleni Islands
The Pakleni Islands are near Hvar, and you’ll find over 20 islets and islands to explore here. The islands are primarily made up of limestone, so the beaches here are pebbly and rocky. The entire area is stunning, and you’ve got access to restaurants and bars on most of the islands. You get amazing visibility underwater, and the water is an azure blue.
You’ll find many beaches across the islands, but two of the favorites of many are Palmizana and the Zdrilca Bay beaches. However, the most visited islands include Jerolim, Marinkovac, and Sveti Klemen.
Sveti Klemen is the largest island with three settlements while Jerolim is the closest to the town of Hvar. It also has beach bars on Kordovon and Amo Beach. Marinkovac is located in the Stipanska Bay and has the Carpe Diem Beach Bar, making it highly popular with adults. It also has a clothing-optional beach.
You get to Paklinski Islands from Hvar harbor. From there, you can take a taxi boat. We suggest that you get there earlier if you’d like to get the best spot on the beach. You can choose which island to visit or you can make a day out of it.
With so many options available, it’s no wonder that snorkeling in the beautiful beaches of Croatia is a popular attraction to individuals, friends, and families all over the globe. Many of the islands have accommodations, food, beverages, and tour options available to happy and satisfied tourist. Nevertheless, you are free to create your own accommodations and travel on your own with your group.