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From Trish Falconer, who's been. This from D-net:


[Trish wrote]:

" Croatia is stunning!

I have never seen such clear sea water anywhere in all of my life and I have dived in lots of places!

I have only dived the area of Mljet (one of the Croatian islands). I travelled with Neilson and flew into Dubrovnik where you get a land transfer (about 2 hours) to a small port where you get a boat over to the island (aprox 1 hour) to a resort called Pomena.

The hotel Odisej takes you back in time to the 70's! During the troubles in that part of the world the hotel was closed and now that it is open again all the furnature and mirrored ceilings make for a trip down memory lane (for some of us anyway).

The dive centre is called Odessey Diving Centre and is in part of the hotel although run seperately. If booked through Neilson a days diving is £21 or £27 with equipment rental. The dive boat is only small and will only take a maximum of 10 guests and two staff so pre-booking is essential. The dive boat goes out in the morning (about 9am) and returns by lunch time. This makes it great if you have non-divers with you cause you're not gone all day!

As the dive boat is small (likened to a bathtub) it isn't always possible to go for a second dive. In the afternoons the wind can pick up a little which prevents the dive boat getting out for a comfortable ride so it is best to only book one dive a day then book the second one locally if available.

In fact you'll find an article about it in the Sport Diver March issue.

Apart from the clear water there is also a lot to see for the med. Lots of fish, great wall dives, caves etc. The water can be a little cool and they do get thermoclines so a good two piece 5mm suit is necessary really.

Also if you travel with Neilson they have a surf, sail and cycle centre there (windsurfing, dinghy sailing and mountain biking) which is all included in your holiday price. This is a great opportunity to try new things in the afternoon if the dive boat is not going back out.

A very short distance from the hotel is two salt water lakes. This area is just stunning! In the middle of the bigger of the lakes there is a small island with Benedictine monastery. You can swim to it, hire a canoe or get the little ferry and once on the island not only look around the monastery but there is also a little Taverna to get some refreshments.

The walks through the pined forests and the bike rides around the area are really beautiful. The island is hilly so maybe not so easily accessable for those with mobility difficulties.

A day trip to Dubrovnik with the fast ferrys (aprox 60 min) is well worth the effort! It is a city like out of a story book, old, stunning and like nowhere else I have ever been. Don't waste your time visiting the aquarium though, it will make you want to cry when you see the state of the fish and the small tanks they have them in.

The only not so great thing I could say would be the food. Don't expect it to be anything great. There is nothing wrong with it but not the variety you might be used to and a little bland for my taste buds although in saying that there is plenty of it and it isn't expensive. If you are a vegi expect to lose some weight!!

All in all I would highly recomend this destination and would most definately go there again. "

Trish, a Kiwi (going off her D-net profile) and a PADI MSDT can be contacted on:

TEL: 07713 - 121252

[email protected]

or

[email protected]

You also might want to check-out the following URL's for some info. Either way, it looks a top dive venue for a holiday in the blue.

http://ss829.logika.net/cgi-bin....13&ct=0
 

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"Tanto", a diver based in Italy, just posted this on D-net:

"I've been diving the islands of Croatia for many years, always from private boats (RIBs or Motoryachts), more or less everywhere, even in (partially) prohibited areas like Kornati or Vis.

The water is clear, usually 20-30 meters of visibility, there are many wall dives, some breathtaking like walls going from 2/3 meters (where you would anchor the boat) straight down to 60, 70, 80, 90 meters or more. There are also many wrecks and many caverns.

To my surprise I have seen diving centers taking trimix and even rebreather divers to wrecks like the "Francesca da Rimini" and that was two years ago.

In the past a 10 GBP tax would grant a one year diving permit, now the law has changed, that tax only works if you go diving with authorized diving centers, otherwise the tax is 200 GBP or so.

I wouldn't know which diving center to recommend as I've been always diving with my friends, but with Google's help you might find what suits your needs.

The water is still very cold in August below 15/20 meters (14°) and if you do deep diving a drysuit makes it nicer. In June is far colder but in October/November can be much warmer (16/18° down to 60 meters).

The best walls are in the Kornati park, wrecks are everywhere, you don't really see much fish, but the rare encounters can be moving, like when I was able to stroke a Moon fish which came right to see me (Borovnik island, huge container shape rocks at -65).

Here and there you can still see the red coral, I saw a lot in the outer wall of Lavsa at -87.

Some of the best dives are a little advanced and difficoult to locate, like the pinnacle (from -70 up to -30) between Garmanjak and Sestrice.

All in all some of the best mediterranean diving, in my opinion."

You can contact Tanto at:

[email protected]
 
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