Dubrovnik is the southernmost diving spot in Croatia, and it’s famous for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life.
Although it’s not one of the world’s most well-known scuba diving spots, it’s a hidden gem that’s well worth a visit.
In today’s diving guide, we’ll show you the best dive sites and centers, and give you everything you need to know to plan your trip scuba diving in Dubrovnik.
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Why Scuba Diving In Dubrovnik is Amazing
If you’ve never been to Dubrovnik, you’re in for a treat. There are so many reasons why this is an incredible place to dive.
Stunning Beaches and Dive Sites
The city has beautiful sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters that have unreal visibility. Known as one of the most stunning places to dive in the Adriatic Sea, you’ll be blown away by the surroundings.
Great Scuba Diving Instructors
The diving instructors in Dubrovnik are welcoming, professional, and highly trained. Even if you’ve never been diving before or you’re a non-swimmer, the instructors will work with you at your level and make you feel confident through the entire process.
It’s a great place for beginners to learn how to scuba dive, but equally, it’s an inspiring place for advanced divers to explore, and the instructors will be happy to give you their recs on the best dive spots.
Amazing Diving Tours
There are some unbeatable diving tours on offer in the Adriatic. From a couple of hours to full-day trips, you can take tours to all of the major dive sites around the coast.
The tours include safety briefings and lessons on diving gear, and the guides are incredibly knowledgeable about the area, so you’ll learn a lot on your tour.
Diverse Marine Life
There is a magical underwater world in the Adriatic Sea and plenty of marine life to search for. Some of the larger animals and fish to look for include Conger Eels, Scorpion Fish, Octopus, Moray Eels, Seahorses, and Triplefins.
If you’re incredibly lucky, you might spot a Mako or Great White, but these sightings are few and far between. Don’t worry, though; Dubrovnik is still considered an extremely safe place to swim and scuba dive.
The Best Scuba Diving Spots In Dubrovnik
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing dive sites in Dubrovnik. If you’re planning your trip, here are a few popular spots to consider.
On the south of Kolocep Island, Cape Bezdan has both shallow and deep dives to suit any skill level. You’ll find caves, inlets, and underwater reefs just off the coast and an incredible drop into a 60-meter abyss.
This spot is home to the Aurora wreck, which more experienced divers can visit. It sits at around 19 meters, so it’s shallow enough to make it an easy trip.
In Bezdan, the sea is filled with lobsters, sea figs, sea snails, and a host of other marine animals. Don’t forget to check out the Bezdan Blue Cave, which is a real jewel of this dive site.
The Taranto shipwreck is a ten-minute boat road from the diving center Blue Planet. It’s a merchant vessel originally built in 1899 that was used by the Italian Navy during the Second World War. While carrying supplies to Dubrovnik in February 1943, it hit an underwater mine and sank near the Grebeni Islands.
The deepest part of the dive is about 50 meters, where you’ll get to see the ship’s steam engine and part of the stern sitting on the seabed.
Sitting between the mainland and the Grebeni Islands is Mala Afrika (“Little Africa”). This beautiful reef ranges in depth from 10 to 40 meters and is teeming with fish and ancient amphorae fragments.
Within the rocky reef is an underwater cave opening to explore and a sandy seabed covered in seaweed that’s perfect for photos.
Lokrum Island is a green oasis just minutes from the historic Old City of Dubrovnik. On the eastern side of the island, under the looming cliffs, you’ll find a semi-submerged tunnel that conceals the entrance to an internal lake called The Dead Sea.
You can dive through the 20-meter tunnel to get to the secret lake. It’s a stunning spot, if not a little eerie. The lake is devoid of all life, hence the name, but it’s a beautiful spot to explore.
If you’re the superstitious type, you might like to know that Lokrum Island is shrouded in legend. Throughout the centuries, many of the island’s owners have met untimely deaths, which adds to the surreal feeling of the lake.
Which Dubrovnik Dive Site Should You Choose?
The Blue Planet Dive Center is one of the most popular dive shops in Dubrovnik and offers an extensive range of tours to most of the popular dive sites.
They’re a PADI Five-Star center, so you know you’re in the best hands, and the team is incredibly welcoming of divers of all skill levels.
If you have time, go for the two-day underwater adventure. This takes you to the most dive sites and lets you explore more of the shores.
If you’re a little more pressed for time, the center runs daily boats to Wreck Taranto, Saint Andrija, Maros Cave, and more.
What To Expect When Scuba Diving In Dubrovnik
If this is your first time visiting the beautiful city of Dubrovnik, here’s what to expect on your trip.
The Old Town: a UNESCO World Heritage site
Known as the Pearl of the Croatian Adriatic Sea, the Old Town is still filled with Gothic churches, Renaissance monasteries, Baroque architecture, and stunning palaces. Much of the Old Town was damaged during conflict in the 90s, so it’s currently undergoing a major restoration program coordinated by UNESCO.
When you need a break from diving, here are some of the main attractions to visit in the Old Town:
- Stradun – a paved path laid in 1468.
- The Old Town walls – you’ll get stunning views of the town and the ocean.
- Sponza Palace – built in 1522.
- Onofrio’s Large Fountain – constructed in 1438 by architect Onofrio della Cava.
- The Cathedral – home to the skull of St Blaise, which is encased in a jewel-encrusted crown.
The Clear Adriatic Sea
It’s hard to describe the beauty of the Adriatic Sea. It’s almost transparent, giving you unbelievable views of the underwater world below. From the beach, it’s pure turquoise, and you could sit and stare at it all day.
The sea is warm in the summer, reaching highs of 25°C (77°F), which is perfect for swimming and diving.
The Many Shipwrecks To Explore
Traffic in the Adriatic Sea was dense centuries ago, and because of the shallow waters around Dubrovnik, there are plenty of opportunities for wreck diving.
If you have your PADI Wreck Diver certification, here are some of the most popular wrecks you can explore:
- Tomislav – on the south side of the island, teeming with marine life.
- Jabuka – this mini volcanic island is home to the Taranto Tractor, which sank after the Taranto sank during the war.
- Boca – located in shallow waters after slamming into the shore.
- Garda – a steamship sitting 23 meters down on the seabed.
Expert Tips For Scuba Diving In Dubrovnik
Here are some of our top tips for diving in Dubrovnik, whether you’re a total beginner or a Dive Master.
Take a guided tour
It’s possible to rent a boat and some gear and go on a diving trip solo – although, we never recommend this unless you’re an experienced diver with full qualifications and a buddy to take with you.
However, the guided tours are well worth booking. The guides are great, and they know the best spots to dock for an incredible few hours of diving. They’re also knowledgeable about the area, so you’ll get a history lesson while on the boat.
Watch out for wildlife
Yes, sharks are rare in Dubrovnik, but they do swim by every so often. But more common dangers are prickly sea urchins and jellyfish. Always be mindful of your surroundings when scuba diving in Dubrovnik, and be prepared to face dangerous sea life.
Never go out alone
From underwater caves and hidden lakes to deep drops and shipwrecks, there are a lot of dive sites that pose serious risks. It’s never advisable to go out diving alone, and you should definitely take at least one scuba diver buddy with you on any trip.
Check out the Institute of Marine and Coastal Research
As a scuba diver, it’s always good to know about local conservation efforts and see if there are ways you can give back to the sites you visit. In Dubrovnik, the Institute of Marine and Coastal Research has an Aquarium and Botanical Garden that help toward their research goals.
Is Dubrovnik on Your Scuba Diving Bucket List?
You won’t be disappointed with scuba diving in Dubrovnik. From the unbelievably clear waters to the shipwrecks and colorful marine life, it’s a wonderland for divers.
On land, you’ll be welcomed by friendly locals, delicious food, and white, sandy beaches to relax and unwind – what more could you ask for?