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Best Diving Spots in Croatia

Croatia, with its stunning Adriatic coastline and crystal-clear waters, boasts some of the best diving sites in Europe, with marine life sightings including scorpionfish, sea horses, and octopuses. With everything from underwater caverns to historic shipwrecks, scuba diving in Croatia is sure to be unforgettable, with something here for divers of all skill levels. Whether it’s discovering underwater sea lakes or underwater cliffs, these are the best diving spots to visit in Croatia on your next vacation. 

Lokrum Island

View of Lokrum Island with lots of trees and blue water
Scuba divers in clear Mediterranean water swimming towards a shipwreck

Located just off the coast of medieval Dubrovnik, Lokrum Island presents many fascinating diving sites, including the shipwrecked SS Tomislav. Almost fully intact, it lies on the island’s southwest side at a depth of 40 meters, with the stern sitting on a sandy stretch of seabed. Now home to an abundance of marine life, divers on an excursion here can spot a wealth of species including moray eels, tuna, dogfish, and scorpionfish. The tuna are an especially impressive sight as their scales are known to glisten beautifully in the sunlight. Not far from here is Taranto, an Austro-Hungarian ship that’s ideal for advanced divers to explore, offering sightings of octopus, lobsters, corals, and sponges.

Baron Gautsch Wreck, Rovinj

Colourful buildings of Rovinj in Croatia on the waterfront
Scuba diver in the shipwreck of Baron Gautsch

Scuba diving in Rovinj offers the opportunity to explore Baron Gautsch Wreck, the wreckage of a Austro-Hungarian passenger ship from the early 20th century. Situated off the coast of Rovinj, the Baron Gautsch Wreck, resting at a depth suitable for advanced divers, provides a haunting yet mesmerizing underwater experience. Divers can navigate through the well-preserved structure, witnessing the thriving marine life that has made this historic vessel its home. Beyond the wreck, Rovinj’s clear turquoise waters unveil a variety of dive sites, including vibrant coral gardens, rocky formations, and the occasional hidden cave.

Rasip Island, Kornati Islands

Barren island landscapes of the Kornati archipelago with turquoise water and sailing boats
Close up view of a yellow seahorse against rocks in Croatia

Nestled within the Kornati archipelago, Rasip Island offers exceptional scuba diving in Croatia, boasting clear azure waters and a diverse marine ecosystem. Divers can discover dramatic underwater cliffs, alluring caves, and thriving coral gardens, encountering a variety of species that include schools of colorful fish, moray eels, and occasional sightings of barracudas. The most prominent dive site of Rasip is situated on the westernmost point of the island, where divers can explore a steep wall to observe an abundance of fish, corals, sponges, and bryozoans hiding in its holes and crevices.

Vodnjak Reef, Pakleni Islands

Aerial view of Pakleni Islands chain surrounded by blue water
Scuba diver in Hvar with Mediterranean sponges

The Pakleni Islands, situated off the coast of Hvar, are renowned for their crystal-clear waters and diverse dive sites. Catering to both novice and experienced divers, the islands feature underwater cliffs, colorful coral gardens, and sunken relics, including historical shipwrecks from World War II. Vodnjak Reef presents an enticing dive site, featuring intricate rock formations and the chance to encounter various marine species, including snappers, groupers, and reef fish. Laganini Beach Bar on Palmižana serves as a hub for diving excursions, offering a relaxed atmosphere for divers to gather, with dive excursions easily organised with local operators in Hvar.

Bol, Brac Island

Red starfish on rocks with sea plants in Croatia
Scuba divers preparing to dive in Bol, Brac

For those looking to encounter dolphins on a diving trip, Bol is the best place to go in Croatia. The small town is situated on the island of Brac, and thanks to the area’s geographical position, the water is protected from the winds that blow through the Hvar channel so that dolphins are often seen leaping through the gentle waves. There are diving schools that offer organized trips on the island, including night dives and trips to Lucice Cave for more advanced divers. Plus, you’ll be near one of Europe’s most beautiful beaches for relaxing afterward: Zlatni Rat.

Underwater Museum, Mali Lošinj

Blue water of Mali Losinj with speedboat
Underwater sculpture of a person

Not all museums are on land; Croatia has its own underwater museum that lies just 12 meters below the surface near the town of Mali Lošinj on an island of Lošinj. The archaeological park contains a Venetian cannon and an exceptional amphora, with a replica Apoxyomenos statue that will one day form an artificial reef. Dive sites around Mali Lošinj unveil mesmerizing underwater caves, vibrant coral gardens, and a diverse marine ecosystem, with potential sightings including cuttlefish, seahorses, and moray eels; those who are lucky may also spot loggerhead turtles, though sightings are rare.

Te Vega, Sušac Island

View of green island and sailing boat in the distance of Susac Island
Cuttlefish on seabed in Croatia

Te Vega, an underwater sea lake situated on the small island of Sušac south-west of Korcula, is one of Croatia’s top dive sites, accessed via an underwater tunnel. With surrounding underwater cliffs, caverns, and rock formations, divers here can enjoy pristine conditions and excellent visibility, navigating through the submerged arches and tunnels while encountering a diverse array of marine species, including colorful fish, octopuses, and moray eels. Sponges and soft corals adorn the underwater terrain, adding to the visual spectacle.

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