Kršan Snorkeling

Rt Mašnjak

The fascinating vistas of the eastern coast of Istria is a home to Plominska draga, which bay has penetrated deep into the land, and its steep gorges have risen to a height. A very secluded snorkeling location at the foot of Plomin is well preserved because it can be reached only by sea.  

Cape Mašnjak is located on the northern side of the entrance to the Plomin Bay and hides several points of interest. If you looked at it from a height, you would notice that it is actually a part of Učka, the largest Istrian mountain, which eastern ridge here enters the sea. In front of the cape itself, just below the steep gorges that rise high, all the way to the Plomin Viewpoint, there is an imposing rock that carries the white harbour light. And here is our snorkeling location.  

The Plomin ridge, which is located above the cliff, has a visible, deep fault, after which the nearby hidden small beaches were given their local nickname "Poli storega", meaning near or under the old one (gap). The beaches are partly hidden in half-open caves in the rock, and decorated with small white pebbles. There are water springs by every beach, which freshness is a pleasant surprise. This pearl of the eastern Istrian coast exudes primal beauty, despite being exposed to strong storm surges, and definitely due to the non-existence of a land route to the cape, which makes it less visited.  

In order to immerse in the beautiful and clean waters of the Kvarner Bay and to explore this snorkeling location, you need to come by boat or by SUP. There is a promenade stretching along the coastline from Plomin Luka to the beaches, which are still a kilometer away, while the snorkeling location is a few hundred meters further. No matter how you arrive at the location, you will enjoy every view above and below the sea!  

As soon as you reach the rock with the harbour light, start exploring. You can swim around it from all sides. The shallower part is located just below the gorge. The itinerary takes you to small pools on the inside of the rock. You will notice the stairs leading to the harbour light. Climb up to see the winding view of the Plomin Bay on one side, and on the other the Kvarner Bay and the islands of Cres and Lošinj.  

During the time of the Venetians, this cape was the easternmost border of Venice bearing the honorary name "Pax Tecum", peace be with you. Namely, this name has been recorded in historical sources and old nautical charts. The name sent a well-thought-out message in troubled times when the pirates regularly disrupted the "Serenissima" maritime trade and attacked small towns along the coast.  

Another point of interest is hidden right under the harbour light, on the outer side of the cliff. Above the high tide line you will notice a white cross drawn on the rock. Older locals say that it has always been there, they remember it since they were children. It resists the sea and the wind without losing any of its whiteness, and it is a memory of a long-ago event that is remembered only by historical archives. On the Christian holiday of Corpus Christi, the procession would go by boat to Cape Mašnjak, where a holy mass was held and blessings were given to fishermen, that is, their nets, as was a custom in coastal towns. On one of those occasions, the priest accidentally fell into the sea. The skillful hands of a sailor immediately pulled him out and saved him. In commemoration of that day, that sailor drew this cross, which remained recorded, as we hear, forever.  

However, few people know that under that cross there is a flat rock, resembling a wall, stretching up to a depth of 27 meters, and forking in the middle opening a passage at a depth of 22 meters like an underwater cathedral on the sand. The beauty of this diving location is stunning. The walls of the reef are intensely marbled with sponges and algae of various colours, and the biggest surprise are the gorgonians, i.e. the yellow fan-shaped corals that live here in large numbers. Here you can see them even at a depth of 9 meters. On a sunny day, if visibility is good, you can spot them from the surface of the sea or by shallow diving.  

Several types of coral live on the rocks of this underwater wall, the stony coral, among others, which is the only one in the Mediterranean Sea that can create coral reefs. Corals live in a community with tiny polyps that peep from the basic skeleton like tiny flowers. Interestingly, the corals are carnivorous and feed on animal plankton, which they hunt by using tentacles. They are classified as marine mammals.   

Large shoals of small fish swim around the rocks, especially the bogue and individual specimens of larger sea bream. Near the scattered larger stones painted in various shades of pink, red and yellowish green of red flat algae, a large red scorpionfish can be seen, which colour pattern mimics the environment well and is therefore not easily observed.    


Let's protect our environment  

If you come from the direction of Plomin Luka, you will feel the intoxicating smell of immortelles covering the slopes of the bay, and in the evening see mouflons grazing.  

With the desire to preserve this enchanting location for new generations, we would like to remind you that ecological changes, the constant warming of the sea and the consequent appearance of numerous species that come from warmer seas have far-reaching and often fatal consequences for the marine environment.  

Your behaviour can also have a direct impact on the pollution of the sea or its preservation. Enjoy the sea and look forward to every living being, because as long as the sea is healthy, we are healthy too!

Dive with us - we are taking you into the blue of the Adriatic, its enchanting colours and shapes, the fantastic flora and fauna - the world of snorkeling

Rt Mašnjak

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