While sailing along the Croatian coast you are sure to see many interesting and beautiful sights, but those are not limited only to dry land, as soon as you dip your head below the sea surface you will see an entirely new side of the Adriatic. While scuba diving is difficult to manage on a sailing trip and generally not allowed on chartered yachts in order to prevent damaging the boat with heavy equipment, snorkeling can be your ticket to discovering the underwater side of our coast.
Even though it’s not as popular as one would expect, snorkeling is an excellent way to spend your sailing vacation, especially in Croatia since the Adriatic hides many beautiful sights below its surface. It may not be a first thing to come to your mind when spending warm summer days on a boat, but there’s a reason why all those kids run around the beach in their flippers, fidgeting with their masks and snorkels. Snorkeling is simply pure fun!
Tips and Tricks
With the minimal equipment including a mask and snorkel (and optionally flippers to give it an extra kick) you get the chance to freely explore a rarely seen side of nature and relax while the sea takes away the usual weight of everyday life on land. What’s even more convenient is the fact that a great number of boats in the charter offer often have basic snorkeling equipment available as additional equipment. Snorkeling doesn’t require any particular preparations, but there are a few tips you might want to keep in mind if you’re a first-timer:
- Make sure your mask and snorkel fit comfortably, since a leaky mask can spoil the fun quickly.
- Foggy mask is also another possible annoyance. One of the most frequently mentioned solution to this problem is spitting on the mask, and rubbing it around with your fingers before dunking it into fresh water, but if this isn’t your cup of tea you can also use commercial defogging agents, or some other innovative solutions.
- Depending on the intensity of the sun you may want to cover your back or use good sunscreen, since this part of your body is exposed to the sun for a long time while you snorkel.
- During summer months the temperature of the Adriatic is quite nice for spending a long time in the sea, however if you plan to visit during spring you might want to consider taking a one piece wetsuit, just in case.
- In order to make this fun activity even more interesting you can learn a bit about the flora and fauna of the region you’re exploring and observe those sea creatures in their natural habitat.
- Look but don’t touch, or at least be careful if you do. Make sure to get informed about what you can and can’t do. Some areas like the National Park Kornati have specific rules when it comes to diving in the vicinity. And if you’re considering spearfishing make sure you get a permit first.
In addition to giving you a perfect opportunity to take a peek into the lifestyle of sea dwellers, snorkeling also has quite a few health benefits, most important being the benefits of rhythmic breathing, exercising and relaxing your mind as you the aquatic sights unfold before your eyes. You can also use this chance to take some breathtaking photos that you can share with your friends and family as you describe your vacation. You’re not likely to find any tropical fish in the Adriatic, but you’ll find plenty of different and interesting Mediterranean species.
Adriatic so Vast, Where to Dive in?
There’s a rich seabed and clean sea to explore practically anywhere you drop your anchor, but if you’re short on ideas you may take into consideration some of the following locations. Starting with the Northern Adriatic, the Istrian peninsula is well known for its mystic charm, beautiful nature and quite a few ancient shipwreck sites. If you’re inspired by history, you might want to visit the Cape Savudrija and its semi-submerged remains of the ancient port Silbio. If marine biology is your passion however, you may explore the underwater meadows of the protected sea grass, Posidonia oceanica along cape Kamenjak, which is also a spot visited by the illusive Mediterranean monk seal.
Further south, in the Kvarner Bay, there are several beautiful islands you can visit. Cres, has an excellent coast for snorkeling, especially around the steep cliffs on the northern side of the island. A bit further away from the coastline you’ll find Lošinj, an island that is, in addition to its natural charm, also known for being frequently visited by the Bottle-nosed dolphin. In the vicinity of Zadar, the Kornati archipelago is a definite must-see brimming with flora and fauna both on land and in the sea. Southern Adriatic has no shortage of beautiful islands but if you prefer more isolated locations, Vis is a good pick and if you sail just a bit further you can explore the famous Blue Grotto of Biševo. These are just a few locations you may consider. Thanks to an uncanny biological and geographical variety of the Croatian coast there are plenty of different areas to explore so try to find a place that perfectly suits your preference.
Just as sailing opens new horizons for exploration, snorkeling lets you change your perspective significantly, and enjoy all the hues of Neptune’s realm. The wonderful diversity of the Croatian coast simply beckons your senses, and snorkeling is bound to make this experience even more profound and thrilling. If you decide to put on the mask and snorkel, and take a plunge into the turquoise Adriatic Sea, make sure to share your experiences with us. We impatiently look forward to seeing your underwater photographic masterpieces.