A diving safari is an adrenaline-packed combination of scuba diving and sightseeing; it’s adventurous and relaxing, soothing and mysterious. Diving safari locations are usually places of great natural beauties or exciting shipwrecks. The seabed of the Adriatic is full of such places; its rich flora and fauna, underwater caves and ancient sunk ships, plus the crystal clear sea, make up the perfect diving safari experience.
From Istria and Kvarner, to the southern islands of Vis and Mljet – the bottom of the Adriatic attracts numerous divers who wish to explore the most spectacular diving sites in the entire Mediterranean. Let’s take a look at some of the best diving routes available to you via Orvas Yachting.
NORTH ADRIATIC ROUTE – the North Adriatic route covers the astonishing 220 nautical miles between the islands of the North Adriatic region. The route will take you to the diving locations of Krk, Plavnik, Premuda, Unije and Cres. It’s an area of spectacular underwater landscapes, featuring canyons, underwater walls, rocks, caves and even whole systems of caves.
THE DEEP SOUTH TOUR – AKA the Kornati Tour, for die-hard fans of diving this tour offers the most drop-offs. It covers the waters around the island of Žirije and the Kornati National Park. Kornati have been law protected for the last 35 years, meaning there is much more wildlife than anywhere in the Adriatic – the Kornati part of the tour lasts for three full days! Emphasis is put on deep walls and wrecks. Some of the usual diving spots are Bačvice (a rock and a wreck at 45 meters), Bakul (an underwater canyon at 45 meters), Škrovada (a wall at 70 meters), the Francesca da Rimini wreck (at 45 meters), Balun (coral wall, 85 meters) and Blitvenica (a deep wall at 90 meters). Usually there is an evening reserved for night diving as well, in Žirije island bay.
VIS TOUR – This tour includes the area from Zadar all the way to Vis Island (30 knots westwards of Split). Vis is a strong diving center, loved by divers as the sea is very clear. The first day of the tour consists of visiting Tribunj, a fishing port near Šibenik. The second day includes two dive spots before proceeding to Rogoznica where the attendees spend the night. The journey continues next day: it takes about 4 hours to reach Vis from Rogoznica. The ship stays in Vis area for two days: diving spots include the wreck of Fortunal, a fishing ship, and the Brioni, an old passenger ship.
-The island of Vis has an interesting history: it was closed to tourists as it was a port of the Yugoslav navy until the country’s dissolution in the 1990s. It was thus left untouched by the process of urbanization which engulfed the entire Croatian coastline when the country became a tourist sensation. The Vis route is very flexible as weather conditions determine whether a dive is safe or not – the captain has the right to change the route if he considers the weather poor for diving. After the second day, the ship leaves Vis and continues to Šolta and then Primošten (with two dives in between). After spending a night at Primošten, the tour continues to Kornati, where attendees can explore the previously mentioned beauties of Kornati National Park.
THE NORTH DALMATIA TOUR – A circular tour with the following stops: Zadar (Sukošan) – Molat – Premuda – Rivanj – Dugi otok – Kornati – and back to Zadar. Also known as “the cave tour” as it explores the Adriatic’s many caves, it’s a mixture of intermediate diving spots and picturesque Dalmatian towns and ports. The tour starts in the town of Sukošan: the first day consists of sunbathing, relaxing and cruising towards Molat Island, where the ship stays for the night. The next morning the tour continues towards Premuda Island, considered one of the best diving spots in the region, before cruising off to Ist Island. The third day is spent exploring the waters around Ist and Dugi Otok: the night is usually spent at Dugi Otok. The fourth day provides the best diving sites – the famous underwater cage of Mežanj, and the waters of Sestrunj and Rivanj islands. There is a new wreck of the ship called Ledenik near Sestrunj; the ship sunk only a couple of years ago and it lies at the depth of 20 meters, making it a perfect site for beginner divers. The last two days are spent cruising around Kornati archipelago and the journey ends in Sukošan.
THE SOUTH DALMATIA TOUR – The south tour covers an area from Zadar to the island of Šolta, located westwards of Split. The trip starts with a cruise towards the previously mentioned Tribunj; the first dives occur during the second day near the island of Smokvica. The night it spent at Rogoznica, a port at the mainland, some 30 kilometers south of Šibenik, and the tour continues in the morning: next destination
– Šolta. The first dive of the day is in the vicinity of Orud Island, and the second is the Kamičići rock, just north of Šolta. Šolta is usually reached in late afternoon: the ship sails into port at Maslenica, the island’s main settlement (the exploration of the small castle in Maslenica can be arranged as well), where the excursion spends the night before turning back north the next morning: there are two more dives near Šolta before reaching the town of Primošten and finally Vodice. Vodice is a popular tourist destination with many entertainment and sports options. The waters around Vodice are spectacular: the area is known for walls and the WW2 Wreck Francesca da Rimini (at 45 meters). After spending the night there, the ship continues towards Kornati archipelago; there are dives near the islets of Panitula, Balun and Levranka. The trip ends in Sukošan.
All tours are flexible; meaning that the group can give their proposals to the ship’s captain on where they would like to go and what to visit. One thing is for certain – a diving safari is the perfect way to explore both the Adriatic coastline and its seabed.