Snorkelling in Croatia
There are 117 official diving sites in Croatia altogether, ranging from 5 to 86 meters in depth. Wherever you go along the Croatian coast, all the way from the south and the Prevlaka peninsula, up to Umag in Istria to the north, there is no shortage of great diving and snorkelling spots!
And what’s more, each of them is unique – some include underwater archaeological sites, others have magnificent caves to go into, and basically all of them include a vast array of flora and fauna that you can swim among.
You can already imagine how difficult it is for a diver to choose where to start. But we’re here to help with a selection of great snorkelling spots you must go to during your next stay in Croatia, as well as to answer some questions that might be on your mind!
When to Go Snorkelling?
When planning your next trip to Croatia, bear in mind that the diving season runs from May to November. However, if you’re into snorkelling (which is probably why you’re reading this article), then this won’t affect you too much.
Regardless of which spot you choose, you’ll surely have a wonderful time since the Mediterranean sea is quite safe and rather warm on the surface, averaging 22 - 25°C in the south, to 27 - 28 °C in Istria during the summer months. Ideal temperatures for snorkelling! And no reason to fear the autumn months - the sea is still pretty warm even then!
Do I Need a Diving Card?
Although to go diving by yourself, you need a licence in Croatia, snorkelling is a different thing altogether.
You can go snorkelling almost anywhere without the need for a diving card and there are almost no restrictions (in terms of diving spots) since you’re not likely to go too deep.
Where Can and Can’t I Go Snorkelling?
Generally speaking, diving in Croatia is not allowed in the following areas:
- Ports, anchorages and heavy traffic areas;
- Near military facilities and ships;
- Strict and special sea reserves;
- Nature parks and all protected parts of the sea;
- In Brijuni and Krka National Parks;
- The islands of Palagruža and Jabuka.
Some of these might seem self-evident, but it’s worth making a note of this. Everything else, though, is open for you to explore!
However, there are additional restrictions if you’re planning on going spearfishing – there are special regulations that govern this aspect of diving and snorkelling.
But if you’re just planning on doing some recreational snorkelling, there’s no need to worry about this. Just get your snorkelling mask and dive right in!
The Best Locations to Go Snorkelling in Croatia
Just last year (2020), the world record for snorkelling was broken during the Snorkelling Championship. It was held at one of the deepest diving spots in Croatia, in the Krušija channel, at 120 m depth!
That said, not everyone is a competitive diver, and the most popular areas to go snorkelling are much shallower but equally as beautiful. We’ll be looking at some tamer spots here which have been recommended to us by experienced divers who have gotten feedback from snorkelers first-hand.
Krapanj, one of the smallest inhabited islands of the Adriatic Sea, has a snorkelling/diving spot that’s perfect for beginners! The Plić site offers an abundance of marine life to look at, including sponges, soles and weevers. The seabed is a combination of sand and rock so there’s really a bit for everyone!
In the shallower ends (which is relative since this is a relatively shallow dive - about 5 meters), you’ll find anchored boats and, if one of them is yours, you can just relax on it in between dives. And if you need a place to stay, the wonderful historic town of Šibenik is only 8 km away! If you’re looking for a place to stay, we offer plenty of villas near Šibenik for rent!
Fun fact – the previous record holder for snorkelling, Kristijan Ćurković, was from Krapanj!
Male Srakane, located near the island of Mali Lošinj, is part of the Lošinj archipelago, which were once all one larger island. Even though this specific site is filled with tunnels, caves, and crevices which are a favorite among divers, you’ll be able to enjoy the marine life and see the cave entrance which is just at 7 meters depth.
This is also a good choice for beginner and intermediate snorkelers and divers since the site depth is 10 meters.
If you want to find a nice place to stay while visiting this snorkeling site, some of the island villas for rent on Lošinj or Cres might be just what you’re looking for!
This is one of the most popular beaches in Croatia, famous for its moving tip (thanks to the differing ocean currents).
It might not be too much of a challenging dive in terms of depth (max. 18 meters), swimming in those currents along this beautiful pebbled beach is a delight. If you go a bit deeper, you’ll be able to see the marine life camouflaging itself to fit its surroundings. It’s like playing a game trying to spot them!
Plus, the town of Bol on the island of Brač (where the beach of Zlatni rat is located), has so much to offer, especially in the season. And you have your pick of villas to rent on Brač! Just browse through our selection of island villas for rent.
Komiža - The Best Choice for Novice and Expert Snorkelers Alike
Komiža (Vis), has several diving spots, ranging from relatively shallow ones like St Andrew’s (12m), Vassillios (55m) to Jabuka and Brusnik (60m).
The latter two might be for those looking for a challenge but St. Andrew’s is a fantastic option given that the clear sea and sun’s rays penetrate deep into the depths are an enchanting site.
While you’re on Vis, there’s plenty to see in terms of culture, heritage, and ancient remains, but also to experience (water sports, leisure, local cuisine).
Whichever location you choose, you can’t go wrong! And if you want to make the experience feel all the more luxurious, have a look at the villas for rent on offer and MyLuxoria.