August 16, 2011

And what about the Adriatic?

I'm sure I will write many entries about diving in the Adriatic sea. My reason is simple: I know more about the places where I've already spent more time. I've been to Croatia and Slovenia for a dozen times (I confess I were invited to some dive centers as a journalist but I always will indicate this when mentioning those businesses) from north to south.

But first of all I have to tell I'm a bit surprised to see the growing interest in the diving possibilities of Adriatic- especially Croatia. As a Hungarian to travel to Croatia is a typical choice because our countries have common history and it's quite close to us. Most of the Central European divers do their first salt water dives in the Adriatic. The place where we first meet the magical underwater world- and the place with a fading glory after the next Red Sea or Asian dive trip. Let's make it clear: if you expect swimming in nice warm water amongst shoals of colorful fish and encountering big animals never plan a trip to Adriatic. The water is warmer only in the very shallow, even in a hot August day you'll feel the chill at 20-30 meters depth: 17-19 Celsius degrees. So whenever you travel here, a thick wetsuit is a must, but many seasoned Adriatic divers use drysuit whole year.

A short list of 'are' and 'aren't' things. There are many wrecks, from old amphora to airplane wrecks of the Yugoslav war era. The most famous wrecks are in the north at the Istrian peninsula where diving is expensive but not fun when a lot of divers make worse the bad visibility on a summer day. Other destination for the wreck enthusiasts is the island of Vis but the most interesting ones are suitable only for the technical divers. There are some beautiful caverns as well. There are many hiding animals in the holes or in the grass from the octopus to the seahorse. There aren't pelagic fish. It's highly unusual to see a shark, a tuna, a ray. There aren't colorful coral reefs but there are some spectacular walls covered by yellow and purple gorgonians and sponges. There are many dive centers but you can't expect too cheap dives.

So if you know the specific sites you want to visit or you plan a holiday to Croatia you can do some dives and I'm sure you'll enjoy them if you prepare. I promise I'll make a detailed report about some of my favorite places near the Adriatic to show why I like this sea- and why don't.

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