Sun and sea

Top 5 shipwrecks along the coast of Istria

Immerse yourself in the blue depths of the Adriatic and explore shipwrecks more than a hundred years old!

The Istrian underwater world hides a rich wildlife that flourishes around the colorful reefs. Wrecks of sunken ships sleep in this gorgeous world. Captains, officers and the crew no longer walk on their decks. They are now home only to fish and corals.

Learn the stories of the most beautiful shipwrecks along the coast of Istria. Dare to dive into the empire of silence. Perhaps only for a moment you will hear the sounds of ancient times.

baron gautsch1. Baron Gautsch  
Dive to the most famous wreck of the northern Adriatic, located directly in front of Rovinj.
This Austrian ship sank after hitting a mine in 1914. It was carrying the families of Austrian officers on the Boka Kotorska - Mali Lošinj - Trieste route.

Wanting to shorten the voyage, the ship attempted to pass through a minefield, 9 nautical miles from Rovinj. With its left side, it touched a mine amid ship portside. It sank in just a few minutes, along with hundreds of terrified passengers.

Every year in August, a memorial dive and the lowering of chaplets is organized to commemorate the victims of the worst sea tragedy to take place in the Adriatic area during the First World War.

Diving to the Baron Gautsch wreck is possible only through diving centres that hold a special permit of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, and entry to the ship is allowed only through the first two decks.  

2. Lina  
Take the dive between Rabac and Cape Pečen on Cres Island to this iron steamship built in 1879 in Great Britain. It sailed the entire Mediterranean and up to northern Europe transporting oil and wine from the Italian province of Puglia, and bringing back coal from Cardiff on the return voyage.  

One dark night in 1914, the Lina crew lost its way because of a dense fog. A heavy storm wrecked the ship on the cliffs. Lina was doomed.  

Visit the Lina wreck, one of the most visited wrecks of the Adriatic.

coriolanus3. Coriolanus
This battle ship of the British Royal Navy of the Shakespeare class was sunk west of Novigrad (Cittanova). Although being a minesweeper, the ship sunk after hitting a mine.

The massive Coriolanus weighed more than 554 tons, and was armed with anti-aircraft cannons and 30 anti-submarine depth charges. In May 1945, this seemingly unsinkable monster bumped into a floating mine and soon found itself at the seabed.

Dive to the Coriolanus wreck and enjoy the view of the many flocks of fish that have found home in the back of the ship.

4. Hans Schmidt  
This cargo steamship was ripped in two by an explosion of an underwater mine in 1943. Dive to the wreck of the Hans Schmidt and explore both halves of the ship. Particularly interesting and historically significant is the special type of anchor that has not been in production for more than 100 years.

hans schmidt5. Giuseppe Dezza  
This Italian minesweeper was cut in half by an English aircraft missile. This happened at the end of World War II. Dive to the wreck of the Giuseppe Dezza and see the visible stern cannon and military equipment frozen in times lost.

Useful information about diving in Istria
Dive centres throughout Istria provide diving courses (CMAS, PADI, NITROX, APNEA) that take you to exciting underwater sites. Rent top-quality and tested equipment or have your own equipment repaired and maintained.

The vicinity of a hyperbaric chamber located in Pula adds to your safety in diving.

Diving in Istria is possible all year round due to favourable sea temperatures, and especially between the months of May and November.

The Istra diving brochure contains 23 most attractive locations of sunken ships and 40 submarine reefs. Apart from useful information, laws and regulations, it also contains the list of diving centres authorized for tourist recreational diving.

Download the Istria Diving brochure! 

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