Photo by Zoran Jelača

Hidden Adriatic Hotspots

You can spice up the story of sailing along the Croatian coast by visiting the numerous caves located on the islands. Thanks to the geomorphology of the coast, among the diverse natural shapes for which Croatia is known worldwide, there are also caves located on the surface of the sea, which are easily accessible to visitors. In addition to visitors, the monk seal, a nearly extinct species, frequently also used to live in them. Caves which are accessible by boat are often included in nautical itineraries, and we will provide you with a review of the most famous such destinations in the Croatian Adriatic.

Blue Grotto, Lubenice

One of the best places for a selfie is definitely the Blue Grotto on the island of Cres, if you can reach it. Although there is a traditional, very narrow and somewhat hidden entrance through which you can pass by swimming or kayaking, you can also enter the cave by diving some fifteen metres to a depth of 4.5 metres. You will dive out into a spacious, peaceful cave with beautiful tourquoise outlines. The cave has a relatively large dome and small cracks are visible through which the sunlight illuminates this unique cave. Dive into another, secret world.

Green Cave, Ravnik

In terms of domes, absolutely the most spectacular dome is in the Green Cave on the islet Ravnik, next to the island of Vis.  It can best be experienced outside the peak season, when there are not as many tourists.  It is especially popular among climbers because it offers a great opportunity for a deep-water solo, a rock climbing discipline above the sea, without a safety harness. It was named after the colour of the algae on the rocks of the cave, which also makes it one of the most beautiful climbing arenas in the world.

Blue Grotto, Biševo

A few miles from the Green Cave on the island of Biševo is the Blue Grotto, one of the most famous Adriatic caves among tourists. Though it is commonly believed that early morning and late afternoon are the best times to visit the cave, it has a magical turquoise-blue reflection all day long. It can be entered by swimming or with a small boat, and if you are a more experienced diver, then by diving. It is most difficult to reach during the jugo wind, but that is exactly when staying in it is supposed to be even more special because of the rustling of the sea, the vibrations of the rocks and every wave that comes in. An oasis for all the senses.

Medvidina Cave, Biševo

The Medvidina Cave on Biševo should also be mentioned. It is located on the south side of the island and is allegedly the home of the Mediterranean monk seal. The entrance to the cave is high, and at an angle, and it looks like a mythical creature swirled something devastating at it and cracked it. The cave is very deep and awe-inspiring for everyone who goes in to explore it. The dark blue colour of the cave hides many secrets that only the bravest adventurers will discover. Will you take on the challenge?

Seagull’s Rocks, Stoja

Dalmatian locals are locally called seagulls, but if you want to meet the real protectors of the sea, real seagulls in large numbers, head to Mužilj Bay on the Stoja peninsula, west of Pula. This rocky paradise can be reached by a lovely walk from the centre of Pula. Aside from seagulls, at Seagull’s Rocks you will also find many adventurers who enjoy exploring the caves and the rocky shore, shaped by the sea for thousands of years. The cave that particularly stands out at Seagull’s Rocks is one of the most attractive places in the world for beautiful photos for diving into the sea from a height of 10-12 metres. The cave is amphitheatre-shaped, while the more courageous ones decide to also climb the rocks. Awaken the bird in you and fly high!

Odysseus Cave, Mljet

According to the legend, when after infuriating Poseidon on his trip home Odysseus found himself on the waves of the jugo wind that brought him to the southern side of Mljet, on this Edenic island he was extended hospitality in the cave of the Nymph Calypso, where he actually resided for seven years. Odysseus eventually decided to forsake the eternal youth and immortality offered to him by Calypso if he stayed and took her as his wife. The rest is legend. The cave is located opposite the Ogiran cliff on the southern coast of Mljet. After passing through a twenty-meter-long tunnel, by swimming or by boat, you will find yourself in this beautiful cave that has a collapsed roof and opens towards the mainland. A truly legendary place.

Golubinka Cave, Dugi Otok

The Golubinka Cave is situated on the southern shores of Dugi Otok, west of the Brbinjšćica Bay, where it is also best to anchor the boat even when the sea is calm. It is characterized by a long entry, which can be passed by swimming or a very narrow boat, but it is recommended that you head down to the bottom of the cave swimming, equipped with a diving mask. Thanks to the natural light that comes through the open ceiling at its far end, an abundance of underwater fauna awaits you in the seemingly karst tunnel which opens into a lovely small hall at its end. Sail into an oasis of peace.

Croatian islands are favourite destinations because of their well-known attributes, and these hidden ones will also contribute to making vacation unforgettable.