Love diving? Know Croatia’s best diving sites (including best diving centers and cost)


scuba diving croatia

With a mesmerizing coastline, crystal clear and calm waters, Croatia is fast becoming a popular destination for scuba diving enthusiasts. The coastline is filled with wrecks, underwater caves, and lakes which offer great experiences for professionals and beginners alike.

You can find the best locations for diving in Croatia near Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Pula, and around the islands like Vis, Brac, Kornati, and Krk. Croatia is famous for wreck diving which is suitable for professional divers. There are great options for beginners to explore cave diving and gorgeous sea life around the Croatian islands.  

Although you cannot compare diving sites in Croatia with some of the sites you would have visited in countries like Thailand and Indonesia, we still feel that diving locations across Croatia give a unique experience and you can choose from either a day excursion or a multi-day diving experience.

Top 10 diving sites across Croatia for beginners and advanced divers

1. Blue Grotto (Biševo)

Popularly known as the blue cave, Blue Grotto is located in Biševo which is about an hour’s distance from Split. Blue Grotto is famous for its blue cave phenomenon which occurs when reflected sun rays create a brilliant blue hue emanating from underwater. Although most tourists visit the cave using boats this is a great diving site too. It is located at a depth of 3-40m and is suitable for both beginners and advanced divers.

scuba diving croatia
                                                                      Wreck of a Cargo Ship, Vis, Croatia

2. Te Vega (Sušac Island near Korčula)

Korčula has a wide variety of sea life just a few meters below its surface and offers some great views during snorkeling and diving. Near Sušac island, you can go through a 2m tunnel to visit the underwater sea lake Te Vega. The views of the parrotfish, goby swimming along shaded crevices of coral reefs makes for an incredible sight. Starting at 5m depth and going to about 35m at deepest, this site is suitable for both beginner and advanced divers. 

3. Underwater Museum (Mali Lošinj near Korčula)

Located at about 12m below the surface, this underwater museum is a great day excursion, especially for beginners. You can explore this archaeological park which contains Venetian cannon, a wide variety of amphorae, and various other pieces. The main attraction is a replica of the famous Apoxyomenos statue, which will soon become an artificial reef.

4. Premuda (Pag near Zadar)

Premuda is a sparsely populated island near Pag and it a famous dive site for an underwater ‘Cathedral’. Beginners get to go through a series of caves and holes which when illuminated by sunlight creates a hue as if you are passing through a stained glass, which is a mesmerizing experience. More advanced divers can also explore a shipwreck located at about 67m depth.

5. Taranto (Dubrovnik)

A popular shipwreck dive close to Dubrovnik is the wreckage of the merchant ship Taranto. Located at a depth of 10 meters in shallow and about 52 meters at deepest, this site is suitable for advanced divers only.

6. Baron Gautsch (Rovinj)

This one of the most beautiful wrecks dives in Adriatic and meant only for advanced divers. The upper deck is located at a depth of 28m going to the lower deck at 42m. Corals now cover this century-old wreck and you can find shoals of fish swimming along with the hulk.

 

Shipwreck of the Baron Gautsch, Croatia
Shipwreck of the Baron Gautsch, Croatia

7. Bol and Lučice Bay (Brač Island)

Beginner divers can spend a leisurely day exploring the beautiful waters around Bol which are frequented by dolphins. For cave divers, Lučice bay is a great spot to explore the stalagmites, stalactites, corals, and sponges of the underwater cave with two chambers. The larger falls at about 37m while the smaller one falls at around 42m. 

8. Rasip (Kornati Islands)

Kornati islands are a beautiful destination to visit in Northern Dalmatia off Sibenik and have some fantastic diving sites too. Rasip is located on the southern side of the island and has a beautiful wall covered with corals, sponges, and an extraordinary variety of fish. It is a great spot for beginners as well as advanced divers.

9. Sv Andrija (Elafiti islands, near Dubrovnik)

Most tourists visit Elafiti islands as a day excursion from Dubrovnik. Sv Andrija has a beautiful sea wall of red coral formations and can be accessed by both beginners and advanced divers.

10. Tunnel of Prvić (Prvić near Sibenik)

Another great diving location near Sibenik is around the island of Prvić. The Prvić tunnel as its called is said to be one of Croatia’s must-do scuba dives and stretches under the island for about 25 meters. The tunnel itself has beautiful coral formations which when illuminated exude a burst of colors through which divers can see the sponges and shoals of fish.

What is the preferred season for diving?

The summer season between May-October is ideal for diving in Croatia. Diving conditions are normally good during this season and you can expect visibility of about 50m at some locations though on average visibility is about 10 to 15mts.

Is it safe to go diving on your own in Croatia?

Diving across Croatia is generally considered safe even for first-time divers since there are practically very few marine currents and little variation in sea depth due to tides.

If you are a professional diver, then you should easily be able to explore most diving sites on your own. However, as a beginner, you must consider planning your dive with a seasoned diver to guide you through exact diving spots and recommended depths.

Cost for scuba dives and diving equipment rentals

The average cost of a single boat dive for a beginner in Croatia to be around 70-80 EUR. Costs can vary a bit depending on the dive you choose, exact dive location, and if you require additional equipment or services. Seasonal prices could also be different.

  • Short dives near the coast/ island – 20 to 30 EUR
  • Single boat dive for beginners – 70 to 80 EUR
  • Single boat dive for certified divers – 40 to 50 EUR
  • Diving rental equipment per day – 25 to 30 EUR (rentals for individual items is available)
  • Introductory courses start at about 100 EUR, advanced courses cost between 150-300 EUR

Most diving centers in Croatia provide a short refresher before the actual dive. This is useful if you are not a professional diver and will acclimatize you with underwater conditions so check if these are included in your dive experience or can be booked separately

Booking your diving experience

You will find a number of options to book your diving excursion across all major cities and islands in Croatia. There are diving centers that provide daily dive trips, certification courses, and equipment rentals.

You will come across organized tours for diving on Tripadvisor and Viator but we highly recommend booking with a professional diving center instead since these will customizable options. It is best to book your dive in advance especially during the peak season.

If you have already planned to rent a boat in Croatia or are considering a sailing trip (here is a complete guide to boat rentals in Croatia that you can check out), then you can look to combine a diving experience with your rentals. 

Here is a list of the most recommended diving centers that we came across while booking our diving experience.

Divebooker

With Divebooker, you can book diving trips and experiences at multiple locations across Croatia. The site provides details of most popular dive centers across Croatia and options to book daily or multi-day experiences with these.

If you are looking to explore multiple diving sites across Croatia, do check out the Liveaboard experience offered on this site. This is a multi-day excursion to most famous diving sites across Croatia, and you will be staying on-board a well-equipped boat which is a great way to explore the Adriatic seas. 

Blu Planet Diving Center – Dubrovnik

One of the most popular diving centers in Dubrovnik, Blu Planet offers daily diving trips, guided diving, and certification courses. They even provide rental diving equipment on a daily and multiple-day basis.

Daily dives are conducted at specific timings during the day and have limited slots:

  • Morning dive – starts at 8:30 am, ending around 12 pm
  • Afternoon dive – starts at 1:30 pm, ending around 4 pm
  • Late afternoon dive – starts at 16:00 pm, ends around 19:30 pm
  • Night dive – check-in before sunset, and lasts for about 2 hours

Split Diving Experience – Split

Located near the  Northern entrance to the Diocletian’s Palace, Split Diving Center offers dives beginners, certified divers, and PADI courses. You can either book your experience in advance or in-person by visiting their office.

Blu diving Center – Split 

This is another popular diving center in Split which providers diving experiences for both beginners and certified divers. You can book a single dive or a full-day tour with them, or sign up for their diving certification courses. They also have some great options for water sports and equipment rentals that you can explore while spending your time in Split.

Croatia Divers – Korcula

Located on the seafront in Vela Luka, Croatia Divers offer dives across many popular sites in Korcula. You can even book a certification course with them. They list some great suggestions for accommodation on the island which is close to the start point for diving trips, and also has some discounts if you combine the diving experience with accommodation.

B-24 Diving Center – Vis Island 

The diving center is located on Vis Island off Split, this center offers a large range of diving experiences aside of diving for beginners. You can explore experiences around wreck diving, reef & cave diving, and night diving. They also offer PADI certification courses. The site provides some good accommodation recommendations which you can explore if you plan to stay over on the island.

Things to keep in mind before booking your experience

  1. Croatian law requires you to have diving insurance that provides medical assistance and assurance for divers.
  2. If you are diving on your own, then you need to obtain a permit from the port authority. Check with a local diving center if they can assist in getting this.
  3. Children above the age of 10years are allowed to take some of the easier dives like reef diving going up to depths of 10m. 
  4. Certified divers need to provide their course completion certificates/ documents while booking the dive
  5. In case of unprecedented weather conditions, you might need to consider rescheduling your dive to another time or the following day so keep some buffer time. Most operators will reschedule your trip and cancellation/ refund is done only in adverse conditions.
  6. Evaluate the boat/ vessel being used for your diving experience to ensure these are suitable diving. Some operators might combine your diving trip along with experiences/ day tours.

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