Have you ever heard of Zavratnica Bay? If not, now is the time to discover this hidden gem of the Croatian Adriatic Coast. Nestled in the northern coastal region of Croatia, at the foot of the majestic Velebit mountain, Zavratnica Bay is a world away from the popular Dalmatia region.
What makes this bay so stunning is its unique curvature, framed by the mountainous backdrop, providing breathtaking views and the perfect backdrop for pictures.
Explore the Abandoned German Wehrmacht Shipwreck
The beauty of the bay is only part of what makes it so special. What’s more, there is a hidden gem – an abandoned German Wehrmacht shipwreck from the Second World War, which sunk in the bay while hiding from British bombings. This wreck is a Siebel ferry, a shallow-draft catamaran landing craft, and its outlines are still visible, making diving even more interesting. Located about 2-3 meters below sea level, even those without professional equipment can dive and touch it if they can hold their breath long enough.
How to Reach Zavratnica Bay
To reach the bay, you can drive along the coastal street until you reach Jablanac and find a parking spot for your car. From there, a walkway next to the sea will lead you straight to the bay in about 15 minutes. The walk itself is breathtaking, with high rocks and a view of the Velebit mountain and the deep blue sea. There is even a short tunnel to pass through the rocky area, making the journey even more exciting!
Once you pass through the tunnel, it is likely that a fisherman’s boat will approach you and request a fee. Don’t worry, this is completely normal. The fee is 15 kuna per person, as the bay was declared a protected landscape in 1964 due to its stunning beauty.
Once you have paid, you can continue your journey and find a pleasant spot in the shade before indulging in a day of swimming and snorkeling in the bay.
Get an Aerial View of Zavratnica Bay
If you’re looking to capture a breathtaking aerial shot, don’t stop in Jablanac town; keep driving along the coastal road. You’ll soon spot a sign for ‘Zavratnica’, which will lead you onto a winding, rocky path. Follow the signs for around 10 minutes and you’ll arrive at the perfect viewpoint.
When visiting the viewpoint, be sure to stay on the path and watch your step. Although the area is not heavily populated, there is a small chance of encountering a venomous horned viper. However, if you remain on the path, you should be safe. To ensure a tranquil experience, I recommend visiting the bay in the early morning or around 6pm. During peak season, many boat tours bring tourists to the bay, making it quite crowded. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle, consider visiting during the off season and enjoy the bay all to yourself!
Other Protected Landscapes to Visit in Croatia
If you’re a fan of protected landscapes, be sure to also check out the stunning Plitvice Lakes and Mljet National Parks in Croatia!
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