Diving in Istria, in Croatia, means diving into a rainbow coloured underwater world of the North Adriatic Sea filled with a multitude of marine species, an interesting collection of wrecks which have been submerged for over a century and thrilling rock topography such as caves, caverns and swim throughs.
The flourishing waters of the North Adriatic Sea are well represented off the coast of Pula, on the south east coast of Croatia. These clear waters are filled with a plethora of vibrantly coloured marine species which inhabit the reefs, rock structures and wrecks, which results in divers always having a lot to see on each dive.
Rovinj, on the west coast of Croatia, has a combination of impressive history and impressive nature. This is represented by the many wrecks which have transformed into artificial reefs as well as by the stunning reefs which are covered in marine flora of all colours, made only more vibrant by the sun rays.
Diving in Istria
Istria, or the Istrian Peninsula, lies on the west coast of Croatia with its coast on the North Adriatic Sea. This is a popular destination for avid divers to come and see the best of what the North Adriatic Sea has to offer. The most popular destinations in this region where divers can see the best of the best are the coastal towns of Pula and Rovinj. However, other destinations in this region include Vsrar, Medulin, Labin and Opatija. All these areas have a collection of experienced guides at dive centres and/or dive resorts who know when it’s best to go where. The air temperatures range between a cool 8 degrees Celsius and reach up to 26 degrees Celsius in the summer. The peak diving season lies between May and September. The water temperature here ranges between 11 and 25 degrees Celsius and the visibility is on average good throughout the year and ranges between 10 metres and 35 metres on the best days.
The types of dives here are a mix of relaxing shallow dives where divers can admire the vibrant marine life in their colourful habitats, and high thrill dives in and around wrecks and caves. Diving here caters to a wide range of interests and diving levels, but each dive is guaranteed to have some impressive pops of colour in the background for an unforgettable diving experience.
Best places to dive
Varese is an Italian merchant steamship which sunk in 1915 and divers are able to penetrate this wreck. It lies between 32 and 40 metres and there are many species of marine flora and fauna to be admired here.
Flamingo wreck is an impressive wreck which sunk in 1914 and has created a stunning artificial reef in the century it has been submerged. It lies at 45 metres so it is for more advanced divers only, but it’s definitely worth a visit.
Fraskeric is an exciting tunnel system which lies at an average depth of 14 metres which means it’s accessible divers of all levels. This dive site also has an impressive sea wall which lies between 14 and 35 metres.
Banjole Island is a small island which lies just in front of Rovinj and is a popular diving destination due to the high abundance of marine life and also due to it being accessible to divers of all levels. The reefs here are a mecca for colourful Sea Sponges and other corals which are home to many reef critters. Aside from the stunning reefs, there are also three shallow caves here for divers to explore.
Baron Gautsch is the most popular wreck in the region and it was an 84 metre long steamship built in 1908, so a real piece of history. In 1914 it hit a mine while in the open sea and sank immediately. Considering it has been underwater for over a century, it has truly become part of the environment and created an impressive artificial reef. Divers are able to explore the wreck fully but are required to be advanced divers.
Bumbiste is one of those dive sites which has a wide selection of different topography including caverns, a lot of marine life, large rock formations and a large cave which stretches over 200 metres.