If you’re starting to plan your next dive holiday for summer, then read on to discover more about a dive holiday destination that is growing in popularity – Croatia. If you are unsure where Croatia is, it’s situated in Southeast Europe and it borders Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. Diving takes place in the Adriatic Sea and the best time to go is typically in the summer months. The particular month you choose to go, depends on what you want from your diving holiday. The season starts in May and goes onto October, with the high season between July and August. If you are looking to join the active social scene then July and August will suit you best, however, if this is not for you, then try going in June, or September, when the crowds have gone home.
Summer is the best time to come due to the sea temperature, which is at its highest in summer and reaches between 22 to 25 degrees centigrade; in the southern Adriatic and Istria this can reach a couple of degrees higher. Thermoclines are clearly seen in the area and the size of the tides varies depending on whether you are in the north, or the south. The currents can vary from weak to strong, the strongest getting right up to 4 knots – hold onto your regulator! The visibility is better in the South than the North, but due to the flowering of the sea in summer the visibility can be worse in summer than in winter.
The difference between the diving in the North and the South makes it difficult to compare the two. They are just so different! So depending on what type of dive holiday and the type of diving you prefer, will largely define which part of Croatia interests you the most. I’ll explain what I mean; Venice has been pumping sand and mud into the sea via the river Po for thousands of years. This means that depths are lower than the south, at around 40 meters, and the visibility is lower. If you enjoy a good wreck dive, then the Baron Gauch, a sunken passenger ferry is by far the most famous wreck dive and can be found off the coast, near Rovinj. There are other wrecks and small caves to explore in the areas of Pula, Losinj and Cres.
If you head down to the mid-south of the Adriatic, this is where you will find the clearest waters and the steepest drop-offs. Here you can find lots of little islands with small caves and beautiful reefs. In Korcula, there is a dive site called Te Vega and here you can dive through a tunnel to a sea lake where you can find a plethora of gobies and parrotfish. It really is a stunning site.
With the steep drop-offs, this makes this area ideal site for tech divers, with some reaching down to a depth of 100 meters. Cave divers will also not be disappointed by the selection of cave dives that can be done in this area, for example, in Lucice Bay, near Brac Island. Due to the clarity of the water, this also makes it a great place to learn how to scuba dive, or any other type of diving for that matter.
Out of the water, there is a load of things to see and do. You can choose to spend your time relaxing and soaking up the natural beauty of Croatia, by visiting the forests; the deep gorges of Gorski Kotar and the truly wonderful Plitvice Lakes in Lika. Alternatively, you can live it large and party hard on the island of Pag, by heading to the Novalja beach, or to Brac Island, Dubrovnik, Porec and many more. These are now renowned party destinations, much like Ibiza.
If you finally choose to go on a dive holiday in Croatia, it’s required that you buy a divers’ card from the Croatian Diving Federation, which can be bought through registered diving centers – this is for scuba divers and tech divers. This allows you to dive in the area. The divers’ card costs approximately 13 euros and is valid for a year. Individual diving is only allowed if you buy a much more expensive individual diving permit. If you want to dive in the special zones that are under protection by the Ministry or Culture, then diving must be accompanied by a dive guide from an authorized diving center. The special areas are the Kornati National Park and the Mljet National Park.
Whatever your diving preference: free diving, scuba diving, tech diving, cave diving or wreck diving, you’ll find a great variety of dive sites to discover in a dive holiday to Croatia. Croatia, during the summer months is a magnificent place to visit and a magical place to take a dive holiday. Whichever part you choose to dive in, you will not be disappointed.