The Adriatic Sea is a popular summer holiday and snorkeling destination in Europe. One of the most visited countries along its long coastline is Croatia that offers endless possibilities for travelers consisting of more than 1000 islands. If you are planning your next vacation, let us help you with travel tips and information on snorkeling Krk Island.
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Best time to go snorkeling in Krk
It does not matter you are looking for adventures on the land or in the water, you can’t make a wrong decision if you come to Croatia. Locating on the northern side of the country very close to many Central and Western Europen countries, Krk Island is a great place for a summer family holiday or for weekend trips with friends.
The climate is continental and Mediterranean. The holiday season starts late spring and ends late autumn. The best time to visit Croatia are the hottest summer months if your priority is swimming or snorkeling in the Adriatic Sea. Although, should you decide to visit Croatia during cooler months, except perfect weather conditions for hiking and for taking historical excursions.
The sea surface temperature ranges from 22 to 28 oC (72 to 82 oF) in the summer and 12 to 14 oC (54 to 57 oF ) in the winter. During extremely cold winters ice may appear in the shallow coastal areas. Diving is also possible almost all year round, but in the winter only in a dry suit. For water activities like swimming, snorkeling and kayaking, the high season offers perfect conditions with pleasant temperatures and calm sea conditions.
If you would like to visit Croatia, our personal opinion is to avoid the main summer month, August. The most tourist arrive in this month so the traffic can be big on the highways and in the towns as well. June, July and early autumn months are less crowded and you find lower prices for accommodation and services.
Tip: Make sure you read our complete snorkeling in Croatia guide!
How to get to Krk Island?
Croatia has an extreme long coast contains more than 1000 islands. Krk Island locating on the northern side o Croatia has an ideal location that makes it easily reachable. It can be found in the Bay of Kvarner, near Rijeka, it has been thought to be the largest island in the Adriatic Sea (405,8 km2 – 156,7 sq mi) but according to recent measurements, Cres, the neighboring island has equal size. Most tourists come by car to Croatia resulting big traffic on the highways in the peak season.
If you choose Krk as your destination, you won’t waste your time spending stuck in traffic on the southern highways. The road connections are very good from nearby countries like Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and Hungary. Krk Island is connected to Croatia by a bridge that makes arriving by car more easier since you don’t need to take a ferry to get the island.
Find hotels and apartments in Krk Island:
Krk snorkeling places
Snorkeling in Krk allows you to discover the interesting Adriatic Sea life. Don’t except colorful fish and vibrant reefs because it is not a tropical destination. The marine life is similar to the Mediterranean Sea. But the sea bottom definitely has a special characteristic looking like an underwater mountain. The rocky shore features countless underwater caves. You find some type of corals, brown and yellow sponges as well.
People say that formerly this sea was also full of corals and fish, but the climate changes and human activities destroyed almost everything. The most common sea creatures are sea urchins, sea cucumbers and different types of starfish. Sea anemones are also visible almost everywhere and tube worms can be found on some places. Usually, the sea bottom is covered with sea grass or brown algae. Most beaches on Krk are rocky and just a few are sandy.
The Karaka is a restaurant directly on the beach not so far from the city centre of Krk. I don’t think that the Karaka Bay is the official name of this place, but everybody called it just “Karaka” and you can easily find it on the map if you search this name. This is a huge free beach area with the restaurant in the middle. There is a car park next to the restaurant, but it is not free. You can leave your stuff on the main beach or there is a forest area on the right side where you can also find free space. If you walk through this lovely forest, you find many little bays where you can enter the water. This area is well-kept and clean, it was not crowded, we always found free space.
When snorkeling in Krk, especially around this Karaka area you will notice that the sea bottom is covered with the Padiva Pavonica (brown algae) and there are some Neptun Grass beds. Therefore the visibility is not the best when the water is choppy. You can observe here red starfish, sea urchins, yellow tube sponges and different fish species of the Adriatic Sea. Check the little holes for the chance to spot an octopus!
If you walk left from the restaurant, there is a shallow sandy bay, a great place for kids! Next to this sandy bay, a huge camping area can be found.
The Sveti Marek Bay is a popular diving and snorkeling beach in Croatia. Thanks to its location, Sveti Marak is less windy than other beaches on Krk Island. Sveti Marak is after the town of Risika. Many people come here every day, but we think the beach is big enough so rarely gets crowded. There is parking available against a fee.
To enter the water is a bit dangerous because you need to walk on the cliffs. The entrance is pebbly, be careful when walking in! If you are in the water, the only thing you need decide is in which direction will you start your snorkeling tour. For novice snorkelers, we recommend staying in the middle in the shallow area. Confident swimmers can discover the right side by swimming alongside the wall. Also the left wall is nice for snorkeling with underwater caves.
In the middle there is a shallow, sandy area with sea cucumbers on the bottom. Here often beginner divers make training. You will see an intersting underwater rock formation on the right side. It is fun to swim through this tiny tunnel! On the right side of the bay, the underwater landscape is very impressive, you can feel yourself flying over green mountains. The sea is deep on this side with sharp drop-offs. If the visibility is good, a small boat wreck is also visible (lies at 15 m -50 ft- deep).
We recommend swimming on the left side if you prefer shallow water. Here you find small open caves that are totally safe for swimming in and taking photos. On the cliffs there are almost everywhere prawns as well as different Adriatic Sea fish species also can be observed here, like Mediterranen Rainbow Wrasse, Painted Comber and Common Two-banded Seabeams. There are Mediterranean Snakelocks Anemomes almost everywhere in the Adriatic Sea. But be careful because they have stinging cells and can be dangerous!
It is a huge, modern camping area but daily visitors also can come in and spend the day on this beach. Excpet to pay parking fee. There are more entrance points where you can go into the water and swim any direction you want. The sea is usually calm with great visibility. On the left side, the sea bottom is full with black sea urchins.
On the right side of the camping, the sea bottom is covered with brown sea algae. The water is deeper, but if you stay close to the shore after few hundred metres you will find a nice bay where the cliffs are white. Swim into this area and check the crystal clear water and tiny caves underwater. Glavotok is a nice shallow water area, one of our favorite snorkeling beaches on Krk. We recommended this place for novice snorkelers and kids too!
This is a picturesque beach between hills not so far from Punat. Best is to arrive early in the morning, because in the peak-season it can be crowded. Take a beach umbrella with you, there is no shadow on the beach.
The Stara Baska beach is a wide bay. You can snorkel in the left and in the right direction as well. The underwater landscape is very similar in both direction, you will meet different Adriatic Sea fish species, sea cucumbers, little crabs here and there are yellow tube sponges on the bottom.
The sea temperature was a bit lower here around 22 oC (72 oF) due to currents but the clarity was excellent. If you have time it is worth to walk up the hills, enjoy the view and the stunning shades of the blue water!
For more photos, visit our Croatia snorkeling photos gallery!