Bisevo is an inhabited but small island in the middle section of the Dalmatian archipelago in the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. The island is a popular tourist destination thanks to its remoteness, beautiful landscape and caves.
How to Get to Bisevo
The island of Bisevo is located relatively far (almost 100 km) from the mainland′s coast. The big cities on the mainland′s coast in this area include Split and Makarska. The two big and better known inhabited islands located between the mainland and Bisevo are Brac and Hvar.
The closest bigger inhabited island of Vis is about 5 km far (you can get to Vis by a ferry from Split). The small town of Komiza on Vis is the usual access point to Bisevo. Most organized excursions for tourists visiting Bisevo and its caves depart from here. The boat ride from Komiza to Bisevo takes about one hour.
There are other small islands near Bisevo, including Palagruza, Jabuka, or Svetac. Most of the islands are uninhabited, but some are used for fishing, sheep pasture, or as a lighthouse location.
The coordinates of Bisevo are 42°58′N 16°0′E.
Bisevo Surface and People
The surface area of Bisevo is 5.8 square kilometres. The landscape is quite hilly and the highest mountain, Strazenica, is 239 metres high. Bisevo is mostly covered with limestone rocks or pine, but there are also fertile fields in the central part of the island.
The permanent population of Bisevo accounts for only 19 people (according to the official Croatian statistics from 2001). However the island gets quite busy during the summer tourist season. The settlements on Bisevo include Polje, Potok, Nevaja, Salbunara, and Mezuporat. Besides tourism the main industry on Bisevo is fishing, as the waters off its coast are among the richest in the Adriatic Sea.
Monastery and Church
People lived on Bisevo several centuries ago. In 1050 a Benedictine Monastery was founded on the island by Ivan Grlić from Split. Nevertheless pirates reportedly threatened the monastery and it was deserted in the 13th century. The ruins of the monastery can be seen on Bisevo today, as well as the preserved church of Saint Sylvester.
Bisevo Blue Cave
Bisevo is most famous thanks to the numerous limestone caves on its coast. The best known and frequently visited is the Blue Cave, named after the unique light effects in its interior. Around noon sunrays coming from outside and reflecting from the limestone floor of the cave give the water inside the cave a unique clear blue colour and all objects in the water appear silver or grey. The Blue Cave is accessible only by boat, which passes into the cave through its small entrance.
The cave is 24 metres long and 12 metres wide. At some places the sea is up to 16 metres deep in the cave. An underwater rock bridge in the depth of about 6 metres divides the cave in two.
Light Effects in the Blue Cave
The reason why the interior of Bisevo Blue Cave has such colour is the light which enters the cave from underwater. Sunrays which get to the waters of the Adriatic Sea in front of the cave′s entrance reflect on the limestone seabed and find their way to the surface inside the cave. The resulting light effects (unusually clear blue water and silver or grey colour of anything in the water) are a unique experience for the Blue Cave′s visitors.
Best Time to Visit the Blue Cave
According to locals the best time to visit Bisevo Blue Cave (the time when the light effects are the most beautiful) is around noon or early afternoon on a sunny day.
The Cave′s Entrance
Bisevo Blue Cave has been known to local people for centuries, but in the past it was very difficult to access. The only way was to dive and use the underwater entrance. In 1884 Baron Eugen Rensonneta used dynamite to expand the entrance. Today it is possible to enter the Blue Cave with small boats (the cave′s entrance is about 1.5 metres high and 2.5 metres wide).
Getting to Bisevo Blue Cave
The Blue Cave (Modra spilja in Croatian) is located in the Balun Cove on the eastern coast of Bisevo. Excursions for tourists are organized from Komiza in Vis. The boats used for accessing the Blue Cave are very small (mostly they are just rubber rafts), providing that they fit in the small entrance.