There is a lot to love about Slovenia; the land is filled with dense forests, there are some pretty neat caves on the Karst Plateau and most importantly they have scuba diving! For a country that has only 40 kilometers of coastline I was pleasantly surprised at all the variety in diving locations available to explore.
The Slovenian Diving Sites
If you’re a licensed scuba diver making big vacation plans to check out Slovenia, don’t forget to pencil in a few days near the coast for some diving. It’s totally worth it! The two main shore dive you can reach in Slovenia are Fiesa Reef and Punta Reef.
Fiesa Reef is located in the waters right in front of the Fiesa Hotel. It is one of the most popular dive sites in Slovenia due to its accessibility and good visibility. Fiesa Reef is also a relatively shallow site depth is about 5 meters/15 feet that runs parallel to the shoreline. For more details about diving Fiesa Reef read our blog post about scuba diving into an underwater Slovenian playground.
Punta Reef is considered the better of the two shore diving sites. This reef can be dove from the north or south side, a nice convenience in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. Generally speaking when one side is rough the other side is nice and calm. The biggest issue with Punta Reef is that the bottom is a little murky so when lots of divers are in the area especially new divers on course the visibility can be significantly compromised.
In addition to the reef diving, there are also some wrecks off the coast of Slovenia that can be reached via boat. Kec and Maon Ross are two sunken shipwrecks fully loaded with things to see. Kec is a World War II military transport ship submerged 2.9 kilometers from Cape Madona. Maon Ross is also a ship from World War II resting closer to Piran. It is hypothesised that the Maon Ross went down due to an underwater mine because there are three similar mines in the vicinity.
What can I find while Scuba Diving in Slovenia
From sunken ships to fake grave yards it’s a playground of fun in Slovenian waters. Let the wonders of the Adriatic whisk you away as you dive to check out historic ships, funky statues, eerie tombstones and even my personal favorite an old sunk car. Visit these underwater sites and enjoy the strange appearance of these abnormal structures on the bottom of the sea. Observe how nature has adapted to these artifacts and begun to transform them into artificial reef that many species can now call home.
The Slovenian Marine Life
The rich waters off the coast of Slovenia are teeming with an abundance of Adriatic marine life. From tiny little nudibranchs to fish and plant life galore, this country packs quite the punch. Here are some of the marine critters you could stumble across.
Black Scorpionfish Scorpaena porcus:
Watch what you touch while scuba diving. You wouldn’t want to get pricked by the venomous dorsal of an unsuspecting scorpionfish. The well camouflaged black scorpionfish may only grow to be 37 centimeters in length but the sharp spines on the dorsal, anal and pelvic region can cause some serious pain to the unfortunate soul who gets stung by it.
European cuttlefish Sepia officinalis:
You’d be crazy not to want a cuttle from this cephalopod species. Cuttlefish are close relatives to octopus and squid. Just like their family members cuttlefish are highly intelligent and very cryptic. They can blend into their environment at the blink of an eye thanks to specialized cells called chromatophores. If you hope to find one of these guys on your dive, you’ll need to look very carefully.
Long Snouted Seahorse Hippocampus ramulosus:
Hold your horses! There are seahorses in the northern regions of the Mediterranean? Most people don’t realize it but in the northern region of the Adriatic sea, you might get lucky and find seahorses. Yellow, black, brown, some with even hints of purple… The Long Snouted Seahorse may be considered a “data deficient” species on the IUCN Red list due to its rarity, but if you of you know where to look you’ll get the exciting chance to get up close and personal with one of these Syngnathidae cuties!
Marine Sea Slug Tethys fimbria:
I’m told that finding this predatory sea slug on your dive is like hitting the scuba diving jackpot. They are elusive and often found at depth along the muddy, silty bottom. To a passing diver’s eye the Tethys fimbria may look like nothing more than a dying jellyfish or plastic bag, but they are in fact the largest slug in the Mediterranean growing up to 30 centimeters long. Should this sea slug feel endangered or threatened, they have the wicked ability to self-amputate by dropping one of their dorsal outgrowths cerata.
Painted Comber Serranus scriba:
Painted combers are a fish species found in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea as well as the Black Sea. These hermaphroditic fish can self fertilize, their spawning synced with the phase of the moon. Combers are in the same family as groupers and sea bass and tend to like solidarity and rocky environments.
Damselfish Chromis chromis:
There is no shortage of damselfish in the Mediterranean. They can easily be found in swimming in large schools around seagrass beds, rocky outcropping and even near sandy bottoms. As juveniles the damselfish take on a brilliant electric blue coloration which pales and eventually disappears as they reach adolescence.
Tentacled blenny Parablennius tentacularis:
This species of Blenny has been called many things; Rock Blennies, Fringehead Blenny, Horned Blenny… These little territorial fish can be found in salt and freshwater habitats in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean regions. What’s particular about these guys is they are known to skip and jump over rock pools scraping algae off the surface of rocks and corals.
Whether you dive for the marine life, the strange and glorious sights or simply because you’re addicted to the water, Slovenia is your ticket to some serious underwater fun.
From staring down a 300 lb sand tiger shark to currently being a certified PADI divemaster, Alisha Postma’s resume is pretty jam packed with extreme water hobbies. A scuba diver, photographer and ocean activist with a background in marine biology, Alisha loves being underwater and the only thing she’s missing is a tail. Alisha and her husband Joey are plunging into as many strange and exotic waters as possible and sharing their adventures on their scuba diving travel blog. Together they hope to promote ocean conservation and help the world understand what a beautiful place the aquatic realm can be.
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