Croatia's Islands Dive Trip
Dates & Pricing: Available upon request
Croatia, Europe's best-kept diving secret, is the Mediterranean resort holiday for those divers in the know. The landscape is beautiful, filled with protected nature reserves, whilst the island villages are exciting sea side hubs with bags of character. We have hand picked our Croatia islands to give you the best of both worlds making this an ideal choice if you want more than just a scuba diving holiday.
The islands of Dubrovnik, Korcula & Hvar have splendid shopping, great local cuisines, open air cafes, bars and restaurants - more than enough to fill the hours between dives or for non divers. Or escape from the hustle and bustle into the rugged landscape where there is a wealth of wildlife and pathways through the valley ready for exploration.In Croatia, the sea is never far away. The Adriatic has formed throughout the ages to become the crystal blue waters of today. Along its coastline it is peppered with thousands of tiny islands. Divers have yet to explore even a fraction of this and as such, trips to the Adriatic sea often include an element of exploration. With day boat diving, you can see all the highlights of this region in complete comfort.
* Return international flights
* Airport taxes
* All scheduled road and ferry transfers
* 7 nights accommodation (5 nights private apartments, self-catering & 2 nights hotel, including breakast)
* 12 day dives including cylinder and weights
* Daily tourist fee
* All Croatian visa requirements approx. @ R960 per visa
* Visa administration cost of R300 per person
* Travel / Dive / Medical Insurance
* Service fees & tips
* Food and beverages
* Depart Johannesburg TO Dubrovnik
Days 1 - 3
ACCOMMODATION: 3 nights in a private apartment, self-catering, inside the Old Town of Dubrovnik, great location less than 10 minutes stroll to the beach and within walking distance of all the major attractions Dubrovnik has to offer, including cultural attractions, restaurants, bars with settings that you would never be able to imagine, coffee bars, shops, boutiques, churches, theatres etc.
DIVING ON DAYS 2 & 3: After breakfast, on both days, we head out on a 2 dive excursion for the day. Recommended dive sites include these wreck dives: Tomislav & Taranto Wrecks (two famous wreck around Grebeni island) dating from 1943, reef dives include Lokrum (highly highly recommended) and Mala Afrika.
Days 4 & 5
An early morning road trip takes us to the port of Orebic, followed by a short ferry ride to the port of Korčula, and the onto the quaintest little fishermans village of Vela Luka by road (about 45 minutes). Depart @ 07:00am and arrive around 12:40pm
ACCOMMODATION: 2 Nights in a private apartment, self-catering, in Vela Luka, within easy walking distance of the village and a short boat ride across to the dive centre. A fishing village with a small selection of restaurants and bars - but a pizzeria that has been classed in the top 5 in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DIVING ON DAY 4: Includes 2 afternoon dives
DIVING ON DAY 5: Includes a 2 morning dives
Korčula's archipelago consists of 17 islands and offers a rich configuration of many underwater mountains with peaks, bays and cave. Recommended dive sites include the Blue Hole (highly recommended), Emmantal, the small Susac Lake, which is located on the southwest of Korčula island and includes diving Te Vega and the Reef Margarina. Susak is an open sea island in the Northern Adriatic. It is only 3 km long and 1.5 km wide. It is a completely sandy island, very unusual for this archipelago. The whole northern and north-eastern coast of the island is suitable for diving.
Te Vega is a small ‘sea lake’ which is entered through a small hole above the water and then into an underwater tunnel which that leads you to the Te Vega sea lake. Surrounded by walls rising 30m above the waterline, the bottom of the sea lake is inhabited by goby and parrotfish. Near the entrance is a large boulder, under which you can pass to the open ocean.
The reef Margarina is a very interesting location offering special diving experience even for the beginner divers. It starts by shallow waters, about 5 m deep. Beginners can enjoy there the rich submarine life and meet shoals of fish. The advanced divers accompanied by expert escorts will dive to bigger depth along the cliff through an underwater canyon beginning a few metres to the left of the centre of the reef, descending to 17 metres. The wreck of the ship used once for transportation of construction materials lies in a cutting of the reef. From this place the ground descends to the greater depth. At a depth of 20 metres there are remains of the pillars used in construction. At that level the wall falls to the depth of about 60m. There are many holes, caves, and cuttings inside the wall. There you can observe various kinds of fish. In the shallow waters of only 4-5 metres you can see fragments of the Greek amphorae.
DAYS 6 & 7
* EARLY morning transfer via catamaran ferry from Vela Luka to Hvar.
* Depart @ 05:30 and arrive 06:25am arriving in time for a delicious breakfast at Hotel Podstine in Hvar
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel accommodation including breakfast, in stardard twin room, sharing. Hotel facilities include on-site dive centre, Amo Spa and wellness facilities, small gym, sauna, 3 Jacuzzi bath-tubs and open swimming pool.
DIVING ON DAYS 6 & 7: 2 days diving included 2 dives per day - we head to the Pakleni Otoci archipelago to dive the reefs of Vodnjak as well as the south-western side of Stambedar Island.
Onto HVAR to dive the reefs which form Pakleni Otoci. Vodjnak is on the west end of the archipelago, with several dive points. The top one is also known as "Campanile" or "Turm", as it has a shape of a church tower, only without the peak. The most interesting part is the canyon with red gorgons from 15-40m depth, and a 5m long tunnel on 35m with an explosion of sea-life colors and shapes.
Stambedar is also a part of archipelago where the bottom sinks to a 20m deep plateau, which ends in a 50m deep wall. The upper part is covered with typical flora and fauna of this part of Adriatic sea, various kinds of red algae, sponges and fish. Going down, the forest of red gorgons awaits you.
Another option includes ferrying across to the island of Vis and visit to Blue Grotto. On this island the glimmering "Blue Grotto" makes an unforgettable dive. Enter the same opening as the tourist boats, enjoy the sunlit chamber and leave by the deeper opening which leads to a sponge encrusted wall and a series of crags and small caves loaded with fish.
* Ferry transfer from Hvar to Split
* Enjoy some free time in Split (must see the old castle!)
* Split on Croatia Airlines to Frankfurt, Germany. Depart @ 18:40pm and arrive 20:25pm
* Frankfurt to Johannesurg. Depart @ 22:05pm
DAY 9 - Back in SA!
* Early morning arrival in Johannesburg
* Arrive @ 08:40am
DIVING IN CROATIA
Diving in Croatia as an adventure vacation has exploded in popularity over the last 10 years, even though diving clubs and courses have been on the Croatian coast since the 1950s. You'll now find diving clubs and centres on nearly every Croatian island as well as dozens of coastal towns. Croatia's underwater treasures include wrecks, coral reefs, caves and endless schools of fish. The best diving in Croatia tends to be in comparatively deep water, so beginner divers need to choose carefully! The sea is shallowest around the Istrian coast (at around 50m) but becomes progressively deeper the further south you go. The deepest point is around Jabuka island (70km northwest of Vis Island) where the water is as deep as 1300m.
ABOUT THE ISLAND OF DUBROVNIK
Dubrovnik is Croatia's top sight, and its most visited destination. George Bernard Shaw baptised Dubrovnik "the pearl of the Adriatic" because of its incomparable architectural heritage. The gleaming marble streets of Dubrovnik are lined with baroque buildings punctuated by beautifully sculpted Renaissance fountains and facades. Dubrovnik's walls are the most intact and impressive in the Adriatic and clearly head the long list of Dubrovnik's sights. No wonder UNESCO named Dubrovnik a World Heritage Site! And there's plenty more to see in the Dubrovnik region. But Dubrovnik is more than a fascinating Old Town with an ancient history. It's also a first class Adriatic resort. Stretching out from the historical centre is a network of beaches to laze away the day in the sun. Offshore, the crystal-clear sea is littered with wooded islands that make easy day trips. And the array of cafes, bars and clubs in and around the Old Town insure that Dubrovnik at night is never dull.
ABOUT THE ISLAND OF KORčULA
Korčula has been called in song “a dream in stone” or “Aphrodite born from the sea foam”. This is a town of the finest Renaissance architecture and rich tradition. There are numerous cultural events and numerous events including the famous knightly pageants, Dalmatian harmony singing and annual attractive religious processions. The men and women of Korčula are great enjoyers of local drinks and good food. The old city has such a special atmosphere that it is no wonder that this verse was written in the 17th century: You are the adornment of the world, enchanting Korčula. The town of Korčula is one of the best preserved medieval towns in the Mediterranean, and its history is very long and interesting.
Korčula Island (pronounced kor chula) is one of the most delightful in southern Dalmatia. Nearly 47km long and 8km wide, it's blanketed with dense woods and fringed with indented coves. The interior is lush and hilly, rich with vineyards, olive groves and peaceful villages. The jewel of the island is undoubtedly Korčula Town, a cluster of remarkable Venetian architecture on a narrow peninsula. Its heritage is celebrated each week with the colourful Moreska Sword Dance. From Korčula, it's easy to day trip to lovely Badija Island. Other island villages are worth a stop: Lumbarda is near Korčula Town and has sandy beaches; Racisce is the village of choice for local seamen; Pupnat has one of the most beautiful (and inaccessible) bays on the Adriatic; Blato boasts a charming 14th century church; Vela Luka is one of the island's main port of entries and a good alternative base for exploring the island. Dive centres sometimes organise scuba diving excursions to nearby Te Vega off Susac.
ABOUT THE ISLAND OF HVAR
The island of Hvar is the queen of the Croatian Dalmatian islands and brings with it a rich antiquity, various historical periods, cultural and natural monuments, dense mediterranean nature, rich tradition and arhitecture, and nightlife. There are wine and olives, so a guest wishing to get closer to nature will stop at a small inn (Hvar "konoba") rather than a top quality restaurant, and sing old island songs and forget the monotony of the everyday routine. Hvar Island boasts 2718 hours of sunshine a year, making it Croatia's sunniest island. The throbbing nightlife and Venetian architecture of Hvar Town is the highlight. The island of Hvar is extraordinarily green and lush, filled with lavender, heather and pines and the coastline is heavily indented with an abundance of rocky coves.Hvar Town makes an excellent base for exploring the island but there's also Stari Grad, the tiny port of Jelsa, the picturesque village of Vrboskaor the even more miniscule port of Milna on the southern coast. Most wonderful are the day trips offered to the offshore Pakleni Islands, which also offer excellent scuba diving.
CROATIA'S BEST DIVING SPOTS
Croatia's Adriatic Sea draws many lovers of the underwater world. Undoubtedly the most attractive diving locations in the Adriatic are underwater cliff faces and reefs, caves and the wrecks of ships and aeroplanes. The clarity of its turquoise waters, the beauty of its depths, the variety of marine life, underwater cliff faces, reefs and caves, archaeological localities and the fascinating ship and aeroplane wrecks hidden at the bottom of the sea, are all part of its appeal.
Sea temperature fluctuations throughout the year: in winter months temperature ranges from 7 to 10 °C, in summer months average surface temperature is from 21 to 26 °C, while the temperature at a depth of from 20 to 30 m (average diving depth) remains constant throughout the year, ranging from 16 to 17 °C. The difference between high and low tide varies from 40 cm (Southern Adriatic and Dalmatia) to 1m at Istria. The Adriatic is a relatively calm sea, with no high waves or strong currents. Wave height ranges from 40 to 150 cm, to 4 to 5 m at the most in extremely adverse weather conditions on the open sea. Speed of sea currents is about 0.5 knots, although in certain places and in special weather conditions it can reach up to 4 knots.
Divers are required to purchase a HRS Divers Card from the Croatian Diving Federation, available through registered diving centres. The cost is 100 Kuna and is valid for one year. Individual diving is only permitted with the purchase of an individualpermit costing 2,400 Kuna per person.
There are zones where diving is prohibited even with individual permission. These are those zones under special protection by the Ministry of Culture, and diving in those areas may be allowed but only when accompanied by a diving guide from an authorized diving centre.
MAP OF CROATIA'S ISLANDS AND DIVE SPOTS
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR DIVERS
All divers need a Croatian diving permit in order to dive legally in Croatia. It costs 100HRK and can be obtained from dive centres and dive clubs on presentation of your passport and diving certification card. It's valid for a year. Even with a general permit, you need a special permit to dive in the Kornati Islands National Park , Mljet National Park and a number of other locations. The cost (100HRK) and paperwork of the permit is handled by the dive club organising the dive.
BOOKS & WEBSITE ABOUT DIVING IN CROATIA
1. The Croatian Undersea World - click here (BOOK)
2. New Website - Diving in Croatia - click here (WEBSITE)
3. Croatia: Dive into coral seas & a rich culture - click here
4. For more click here and view bottom left of the home page