Saturday, June 15, 2024

Biševo's Blue Grotto

Biševo is a small island in the Adriatic Sea archipelago, in Croatia. It is just off the larger island Vis. Under the sea front cliffs of this island there's Modra špilja or the Blue Grotto. A cave in the limestone rock, lit inside entirely blue by sunlight filtering through the underwater entrance. This cave has been called the world's most beautiful cave. Obviously a category with a lot of competition and different criteria could be applied. But, I don't think the claim is outrageous. It is remarkable.

And no, you don't have to dive to get in. There's apparently a natural entrance from the top somewhere, but the tourist entrance is a tiny hole just barely above water, enough for a small boats to enter if everyone ducks their head entirely inside the boat. The tiny hole was man-made in 1884. The cave itself is only 24 meters long, but quite high, as well as deep under the sea.

The experience is magical! This really is a blue light moment, very odd feeling when one is used to dark and moldy caves :-) Much recommended.

The cave was made popular by Baron Eugene Ransonnet in 1884, when he wrote an article about it in the a newspaper in Vienna. He believed it topped Grotta Azzura, previously believed to be world's most beautiful cave.

Biševo island otherwise would be an interesting excursion place. There's been a monastery on the island from 1050, though it was later abandoned due to the danger of pirates. It is one of the outermost small islands in the archipelago, and only got electricity for instance in 1970. Inhabitants in the island live off fishing, including spreading their expertise much further than in the archipelago. A migrant from Biševo, Martin Bogdanovic, is said to be a founder of US fishing industry, for instance.

How to get to the Blue Grotto? There ferries and catamarans running from Split to Vis several times a day, tickets are 8.60€ one way on Jadrolinija. The ferries to Vis arrive on the town of Vis; there's a bus leaving right in front of the ferry to the small fishing village of Komiža (tickets 3€). The ride takes 20 minutes. From Komiža's harbor there are multiple water taxi services to Biševo and the Blue Cave, prices vary but expect to pay 50-100€. The boat trip will take half an hour on a fast boat, and the boat will wait for you while you get on a tiny boat to make the official cave visit. I can't remember the price of the tickets for these, but I think was in the order of 10€. Beware that there are also more complete tours, either from Split or Vis that are inclusive everything, but they are potentially also more expensive.

More information about the Blue Grotto can be found on the Wikipedia page and the show caves page. I can also recommend the excellent book, The Azure Sun: The Blue Grotto on the Island of Biševo by Joško Božanic. I can't find an online source to buy this book, but it should be on sale everywhere on Biševo and Vis. This book and Božanic has been the prime source of information in this blog article - thanks!

More information about Biševo can also be found from its Wikipedia page.

I did not realize this when visiting , but there's another cave on the Biševo island, the Medvidina Špilja (Monk Cave) as well. Now I have to visit again... And if you haven't been to the island of Vis, there's also many interesting bunkers (fancy a swim in an underground submarine base?) and caves (an article about the Queen's cave is pending... but there's also Tito's cave) there as well!

Entrance to the cave:


The underwater entrance to the cave, from the outside:

Komiža and the taxi to the grotto:

Read more urban exploration stories from, and other underground stories from Read the full Planetskier series at, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos and text (c) 2021-2024 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. 

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