Školjić beach is located 2.5 kilometers from Kavran, from where you take a local road with a wonderful view of Kvarner and the island of Cres. There are several macadam paths leading to Školjić beach, and you will recognize one wider branch by the asphalt on the initial part of the path (some 20 meters), which then continues as a white road to the beach itself. At its end there is a short concrete descent with rope handrails.

Školjić is a small beach with tiny pebbles, while the rest of the bay is surrounded by beautiful rocky slabs with small recesses for those who want some privacy. Every corner of this beach has a view of the island of Cres. On the left side of the bay, looking towards the sea, you will notice a slope of rocks that sharply descend into the sea, but also providing some excellent places to rest on that side as well. There is a small canyon, a notch, with an imposing stone column behind which shyly peeks a small pebble beach with a wonderful golden and orange gorge.

The bottom of the beach starts with small pebbles that gradually fall onto the stone plateau. On the southern side of the bay, at a depth of 5 to 6 meters, you can notice an interesting shape of rocks that from the surface resemble a sunken jetty. If you dive down, you can look underneath as this where groupers and cuttlefish as well as shoals of mullets live and hide.

Following the coastline in the direction of the small canyon, in the shallowest part you will notice a lot of stone arms reaching a depth of 2 to 3 meters, looking as if they were carved. Between each arm there is a rounded notch, in places resembling a slide. They are very interesting to explore, especially if you go towards the land because almost every one of them takes you under the rocks with towels, hiding schools of small fish and crabs. If you swim towards the canyon, you will come across a slightly larger, round notch which bottom is strewn with small pebbles, but do not try to enter because it is too narrow.

The view of the small canyon from the sea is truly unique. Exploring further along the coastline in a northerly direction you will notice a longer stone wall on land above the rocks. At the end of that wall, at a depth of 3 meters, lies a real surprise of this beach, namely two underwater arches that are easy to dive through. You will recognize them easily if you do a shallow dive because they have a longer roof in the shape of a blue shark head. The bottom under the arches is gravel. When you dive through the smaller arch and if you continue to swim towards the land, right under the stone wall on the rocks, you will notice another tiny ring-shaped passage less than a meter deep, overgrown with brown algae as a carpet. You can easily dive through, but do not go through the smaller passage as you can get stuck.

You can continue to explore the coastline further, but the depth increases. Or you can swim back through the middle of the bay towards the pebble beach, because the bottom is on average 3 to 4 meters deep, and offers a wonderful view of large boulders. The conger eel hides here, as well as the moray eel, a rare inhabitant of the northern Adriatic. Both have a serpent-like appearance, but the conger eel is gray-black and likes to live in small holes and caves, while the moray eel is dark brown with yellowish spots and likes to hide in crevices and piles of stones. You can even watch them up close, but never tease them with your fingers because they both have a strong bite and poisonous blood, while the moray eel is also known for its poisonous mucus.

Large shoals of deep-sea mullets and garfish swim through this bay, although the permanent in habitants include damselfish, mullets, the saddled seabream, the painted comber and the black scorpionfish.

Interesting facts

If you want to explore what is under the larger stones in the shallows, it is important to put them back as they were. You will notice that under each stone lives a whole settlement of different crayfish, snails, starfish and shellfish such as the green ormer. They are the favourite food of all fish and once you expose their hiding place they become an easy prey.   There is an inquisitive explorer in all of us, but it is equally important to remember that we are only visitors in the sea, and that they are the real inhabitants. Therefore, be good guests and leave everything behind you as you’d found it. This beach is natural and wild, and that is the biggest charm of this place.

Krnički porat

Port of Krnica or Krnica harbour is a sea bay at the foot of Krnica, situated deep inland and well protected from the southern and northern winds. This was once a station of the Austro-Hungarian gendarmes, and later of the Italian finance, during the Kingdom of Italy, as the merchant ships from all over the northern Adriatic docked here in search of a safe haven exchanging goods and catches.

Today, the Port of Krnica is home to fishermen and boats, while the beautiful beaches located on its northern coast, which can be reached by a short few minute walk along the white road, give it that little something extra. At the end of the road, there are several houses and a small pebble beach with benches and shade for those who arrive first.

The Krnica harbour snorkeling location stretches from the small strand, across the first, to the second beach. The bottom in the shallows is covered with small pebbles, while in the deeper parts of the sea there are larger stones of various shapes that fall like a waterfall on the sandy bottom of the bay. In the shallow parts, especially near the small strand, you can see larger boulders, among which schools of small fish hide. You should be careful of urchins if you don’t wear fins.

While exploring the bottom in the shallows along the coastline, you will notice rocky furrows overgrown with brown algae resembling small groves with trees and branches swaying with the waves. They are a sign of a healthy and clean sea, and an excellent shelter for various types of combtooth blennies.

If you look carefully at the rocks, you will notice small, regular holes. They were hollowed out by date shells, a strictly protected Adriatic bivalve. The low walls are decorated with various types of fescue and sponges, a snail gathering location.   Under each stone, you can find an interesting fauna of small crabs and brittle stars that rush around in search of a shelter because they are the favourite food of numerous fish.

Where the rocks stop and the sandy bottom begins, you can find various live shells such as oysters, warty venus clams and scallops that can also swim, especially if you scare them. On such a mixed bottom, strewn with stones and overgrown with algae, you can find small soles and cuttlefish, because this type of bottom is ideal for them to hide, snails, various starfish, golden anemones and a hermit crab that lives in a symbiosis with the sea anemone it carries on its back.

On the slope towards the bottom, the stones are dotted with yellow tube sponges, dark green sponges and small, white clumps of algae that are home to painted combers, combers and the peacock wrasse. Under the second beach, at a depth of 4 metres, there is a small but well-preserved colony of light brown, round and oval-shaped sod corals.

As the seabed in this bay remembers some ancient times, you can also find an occasional scale weight that might have been used in the exchange of goods from merchant ships, even a bullet, but also a bottle (perhaps rum?) thrown from a pirate ship. There are old petrified ship ropes saved from oblivion, fragments of Roman amphorae and who knows what other treasures hide here to be discovered because throughout history this bay was the outlet of Krnica and the surrounding villages to the sea and their connection with the rest of the world.

Important note

A good personal assessment is required when diving through an underwater arch at a depth of 3 meters. Dive into the center hole and take a good look at the distance that needs to be covered for both arches. If the children want to dive through the arches, be sure to dive with them to the edge so that they can judge the distance and their personal fitness by themselves. The easiest way to dive is with scuba fins, but it depends on your freediving fitness.