Under the sea
Diving is the best way to experience sea, feel it, comprehend it and plunge into it, alternatively immerse in your soul
The credit for successful Croatian tourism goes to our indented coastline, sea, people, nature… In case it is essential to define the list of priorities, the number one is definitely the sea. Our magical blue waters. Maybe Adriatic does not belong to the most transparent or the warmest ones, nor the calmest, yet it features one key element – the balance. It provides safe swimming, sailing, fishing, diving… Our sea has a few more advantages. One of these is safety. The danger of strong currents is low, being the case in the oceans, there are no big predators, we rarely have situations of hazards due to big waves, and the probability your life might be in danger due to cnidarians or poisonous fish is scarce. The pleasures of the Adriatic by sailing along the coastline, hidden nooks, gastronomy, history, all these topics have been covered and described so far, but the most beautiful part of it, the one hiding under the surface still remains undiscovered. Snorkeling is practically a free of charges activity, available to all ages and a very simple one. All you need is a scuba mask, a snorkel and flippers. The mask should fit your face perfectly, not allowing any leaking and fogging, snugly fit fins, just add a snorkel and you are all set. A lycra T-shirt, a rash guard or a diving suit are welcome as a sun protection helping you stay warm as well. Snorkeling includes swimming on the surface and does not involve dives. As soon as you start diving, snorkeling stops and free-diving begins. Just one plunge into the blue leaves you mesmerized by the colours and shapes playfully exchanging while looking towards the sea floor. Adriatic is home to 6.000 plants and 7.000 registered animal species as a result of geological, climate and biological influences that have been shaping the sea in the past ten million years. As opposed to the tropical sea, the Adriatic Sea is not that rich in colours and life but represents a world of its own worth discovering. Marine wonders, transparent shallow waters, shipwrecks, caves or simply the underwater wildlife, are some of the inspirations you might be attracted by. In addition, we wish to present a short guide of the sites convenient for the underwater explorations, from the shipwrecks to underwater safari and caves, to make a long story short, a pick for everyone.
The north-Dalmatian island belongs to Zadar archipelago and hosts a beautiful Nature park Telašćica, with a wide range of bays, beaches and of course snorkeling options – starting from the cliffs near the Veli Rat lighthouse, shipwreck Michele, all the way to Brbiščica cave on the west side of the island. The Telašćica Bay is a home to 250 animal and 300 plant species.
The limestone divine chain of twentyish islands and islets, just one hop away from Hvar, besides splendid nature on the coastline, offers underwater wonderworld of fantastic visibility. Sika, just around the Veli Vodnjan islet, images vertical cliffs rising dramatically from the sea floor to the surface. The most famous cliff is the Kampanel cliff shooting up 46 m from the deep blue sea floor into the impressive ten meters above the water surface. Since you are there already, maybe you could take a peek in the underwater cave 30 m long 5 m deep – Ujedinjeno Gasko dive spot.
Vis might be the best diving destination whether it is snorkeling or scuba diving. Stiniva and Srebrna count as the two most popular snorkeling locations. On the south side of the island, the coastline cuts vertically into the sea, towards the depths of more than 100 m opening up real treat for submarine photographers with the Green Cave on the island of Ravnik. The ceiling of the cave, with sunlight penetrating through two entrances creates a divine image of light, yet on the surface revealing just a touch of this captivating marine image.
Mali Drvenik is just a stone’s throw from Drvenik Veli and the fabulous Krknjaši. It enjoys high rate of popularity due to its blue lagoon ideal for underwater photography and free-diving. Only a hundred meters away from the coast, on small depths, it is possible to observe marine landscape with abundance of fish species. Indented subaquatic landscape unleashes curiosity taking you on a genuine submarino adventure.
If you are in for shipwrecks, in the bottom of Potkamenice Bay, just underneath the sea level you can experience a sunken ship. It is easily spotted due to mast parts sticking out in the surface.
In the Jelinak Bay, west of Trogir, on 4 m depth, sits the site of underwater statues representing the first station of The Way of the Cross – a submarine project consisting eventually of 50 statues.
Also, south side of the island of Hvar, Mali Krknjaš, the Odyssey’s Cave on Mljet, Punta Križ on Cres, south side of Pašman, Proizd, Lastovo and Elafiti stand out as impressive and attractive subaquatic sites. Should you get inspired by snorkeling and decide to head for a deeper sea adventure, I strongly suggest free-diving. As any other sports and outdoors activity, free diving has strict rules, and the best way to learn them safely and hone your new skills is with a certified instructor. With expert guidance the Adriatic Sea will become your underwater playground leaving you breathless and your soul care-free. For more information visit breathless.life.
Photos by Vitamin Maričić