Getting out on the water is a bit of adventure itself, but if you add a certain exploratory goal to it, the experience becomes so much better. In our story today, we are giving you some ideas on how you can make the most of your time in the Adriatic.
13 caves at Lustica Peninsula
Coordinates: 42.3992931 & 18.6165528
Total distance: Approximately 5km along the Lustica Peninsula coastline.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
No prior kayaking experience is necessary, and the tour is suitable for all fitness levels. We suggest you have an expert guide accompany you.
Start exploring from Rt Veslo, and move toward Blue Cave, the main attraction among Lustica’s caves. It takes 45 minutes of kayaking from Rt Veslo towards the Blue Cave (Plava Spilja in local language), moving on to one of the most beautiful and largest caves in the range of caves – Grta, located along the very sprawling coast of Lustica in the bay of Kotor.
Grta is located between the Golden Port and Rt Mokra Gora (Wet Mountain Cape). There are two entrances, opening at 45-degree angles: the smaller one, facing south, and the greater one, 3m/9ft high and 15m/49ft wide, which is located on the southwest side. Through the larger cave entrance, boats can enter the cave and allow tourists to admire the light reflection off the water surface and the interior of the cave. Also, the blue waters in the cave are several degrees warmer than the water outside the cave.
Pro Tip: It is an ideal place for underwater photography.
Inside of the cave you can swim/snorkel or jump of the cliff. Another 5 minutes from there is the Secret Dark Cave, where you have to enter with flashlights on.
With an additional 30 minutes of kayaking/paddling, you can reach the swimming Cove for an extended swimming/snorkelling session with the chance to cliff jump.
We suggest you take an early start to avoid midday at the Cave when it is crowded with local tourist boats.
While exploring the caves, make sure you stop by Lustica Bay marina and residential development offering fantastic spa experience at the Chedi Hotel. You can also enjoy quiet dinner at one of the restaurant outlets there.
Dive under the light beam at Green Cave Vis
Kick-off your day by exploring Green Cave. It is less known than nearby Blue Cave at Bisevo Bay, which is usually crowded with tourists.
The Green Cave is conveniently located at small island Ravnik, just outside of the town of Vis.
Nearby Stiniva beach is also very attractive for the paddling. You can see a bit of the atmosphere here.
Once you get inside you will undoubtedly notice the spacious room inside the cave with towering cave walls all around you. The green reflection on the walls happens as the sun hits the rocks on the cave bottom, which are covered with green algae. That is why actually the Green Cave got its name.
The Green Cave can be entered with the speedboat, compared to the small wooden ships used to get into the Blue Cave.
The biggest attraction inside the cave is a circular hole on the top of the cave ceiling. While the sunbeam enters the hole you can clearly see the beam of light coming from the top of the cave all the way beneath the sea surface reflecting on the rocky cave bottom.
Swimming and snorkelling are allowed inside the Green Cave, comparing to the Blue Cave. This is a unique opportunity to experience swimming and snorkelling inside the cave.
The legend of the Green Cave states that if you dive through the golden bubbles of light, you will live for one hundred years so definitely add this to your bucket list 🙂. If you have an underwater camera, be sure to have it with you since the underwater scenery of the Green Cave is worth remembering.
For the adventurous spirits, there is a jump opportunity – from the top of the Green Cave into the clear sea below. This attempt can be a bit dangerous, but as you leave the cave, you will undoubtedly see a few who dare to try.
Keep in mind, though, once you climb to the top of the Green Cave, there is no way down but to jump!
Equally attractive paddling or kayaking destination would be from Stoncica Bay to Uvala Smokva.
Paddle through Submarine Tunnels at Vis
Length: around 120 metres and you can swim to the end.
Depth: about 12 metres.
Paddle inside an island and literally into military history. One of the most unique kayaking experiences in Croatia is to paddle deep inside an island to places where Yugoslav submarines used to dock and hide. Systems of such submarine caves are to be found in several spots along the Croatian coast – every place that was of strategic naval military importance.
Parja tunnel is located here.
Island Vis was one of the key military bases for the Yugoslav army. Through many years, Vis has been part of almost all the empires and civilisations in this part of the world – British, Venetian, Yugoslav, Italian, etc. Tito, the ex-Yugoslavian leader, was ordered to hide here by Churchill. The military base on Vis is a network of several subsurface tunnels, caves and facilities in total around 20km. Armed forces could hide in case of an invasion. The large entry to the main tunnel is just off the Vis town on the northern side of the island as you head to Fort George. You can walk to it from the town, take a ride with a bike or scooter or of course go there by boat. Local tour operators offer trips to get there.
It was built by Yugoslav Army during World War II.
Golubinka Sea Cave – Dugi Otok
Location: see here.
For this particular tour it is highly recommended to have a professional guide, and it is for advanced paddlers only.
Golubinka on Dugi Otok is by far the biggest and most exciting cave in the whole archipelago. It is around 50m long zigzag through the cave and fallen boulders ending with an opening – a sinkhole. That gives it enough light so you can paddle there without a flashlight.
The specialty of the Golubinka is its position over and beneath the sea surface with the entry above it. The largest colony of bats on the island with over 3000 animals is marked to live here, as well as the largest marine sponges colony counting 50 different species. Golubinka is the playground of the sea and land, a place where you can step into Had’s lobby and go down to the underwater beach under the lights that break through the cracks in salt and limestone layers. Blue and copper, gold and silver, fireworks on the rocks that are concealed by the narrow and mysterious entrance to the cave – this is the most beautiful secret of Dugi otok.
Take a look at the video of winter kayaking at Kornati Archipelago below.
Golubinka is located 300 meters from the entrance to Brbinjšćica bay to the northwest. There are frequent excursion boats that sail from Zadar or other places on the island and anchor near the entrance of the cave, but the access from the land is not easy. The journey across the rocks ends on a small plateau from where you can jump into the sea just before the entrance. Several meters of swimming or kayak driving to the hall with glittering vaults and beach from fairytale movies. Golubinka is worth every effort.