Cave(rn) diving is one of the most dangerous, yet fascinating, types of dives. Facing up to dangers, fear, and pushing one’s limits is what motivates people into entering dark subaquatic spaces. This type of professional and recreational diving, known as cavern diving should not be attempted without appropriate prior training.
Diving in cave(rn)s includes diving at depths and lengths of up to 40 m, but up to the point where divers can see. The entrance should be clearly visible and accessible at all times. Cavern diving is attractive in regions where there are small but interesting cave(rn)s that are not too deep or too demanding.
Such sites are a frequent phenomenon in the Croatian part of the Adriatic due to the karst relief and indented coastline and islands. However, some of them are unsuitable for recreational divers and only those parts designated for this particular category (cavern diving) should be attempted. Most of the well-known sites are found along the outer side of the islands of the south Adriatic (Mljet, Vis, Lastovo, Korčula), as well as on the Islands of Dugi Otok, Cres and Krk. Smaller cave(rn)s are also found along the entire east coast of the Adriatic.
Apart from undersea cave(rn)s, there are numerous karst cave(rn)s in Croatia with springs, abysses and estavelles, some of which are among the deepest in the world. For diving in cave(rn)s, springs and at other speleological sites on land, a permit from the Ministry of Culture, Department for Environmental Protection is supplied through one of the speleological organisations in Croatia. Many divers from abroad visit these sites without a permit, which is against the law and fines are steep. There have also been fatalities among experienced diving instructors inexperienced in cave(rn) diving.
Croatia is definitely an attractive destination for an enjoyable diving experience, no matter which form it may take, but only after appropriate training and by following safety rules and regulations.