Diving in Croatia

Diving in Croatia

In view of Croatia’s location and link to the sea, there is a fundamental bond between the people in this region and the sea, a timeless companion for those living in these regions. Down through the ages, man’s questioning spirit sought to explore and understand his companion and the world beneath the waves.

 

Although it is difficult to establish when diving started in these regions, it has certainly been around, in one form or another, since the dawn of mankind. Recreational diving took off in 1996 with the advent of numerous diving centres and the boom in tourism on the Croatian coast. Istria was first, followed by the rest of Croatia.

Croatia’s eventful past and the natural beauty of its undersea world lure many divers. The diversity of marine life, the monumental underwater walls, reefs, shipwrecks and plane wrecks, as well as archaeological sites are an additional bonus. As of late, cave(rn) diving is becoming more popular, as it is an exciting way to discover the wondrous marine life, especially in the karst regions of Dalmatia.

 

Sights include shipwrecks dating back to ancient times found along the sea trading routes running northwards from Greece to the Roman Empire and its colonies on the Adriatic – Cavtat (Epidaurus), Mljet (Meleda), Korčula (Corcyra), Hvar (Pharos), Vis (Issa), Split (Aspalathos/Spalatum), Solin (Salona), Trogir (Tragurium), Rogoznica (Heracleia), moorings in the Kornati region (Žirje, Lavsa, Murter), and in the environs of Šibenik and Zadar (Liburnia/ Jadera), Pula (Pola), Roman villas on the islands of Brijuni and many other micro-locations that were safe harbours and shelters for seafarers in the past.

 

In the Middle Ages, trade flourished between Italy and the Levant; Venice became a trading metropolis and towns and cities where built up along what is today the Croatian coast (Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Pula).

Sea battles fought during the 19th and 20th century left traces on the seabed. Many of the shipwrecks dating from WWII have been rescued (especially along the coast of Istria), but there are still many that are accessible to recreational divers, and those waiting to be discovered in the silent depths.