The diversity of Mljet has something to offer every visitor. Part of this island’s beauty lies underground; in its numerous caves, of which those with undersea entrances and those partially under water attract the most attention.
One of the most beautiful is the Rikavica (Roaring) Cave, which lies on the island’s south shore facing the open sea. Its name becomes clearer if you stand on the cliff above it, or enter its air-filled siphons through the underwater tunnel. Air compressed into the fissures in the rock by pounding waves creates a sound similar to a roaring animal.
The cave is not easy to find as its entrance lies under water; the overlying cliff offers no sign of its presence. The only tell-tale signs are dark stains in the rock fissures – the result of air being expelled from the cave’s interior. The entrance to the cave’s spacious hall lies at 5 m and close to its ceiling, so that it extends 12 m beyond the entrance and 15 m inland; its size allows enough sunlight to enter the cave and offers good visibility.
The hall is filled with water, but two tunnels/chimneys facing the entrance to the cave rise above the surface and end in two smaller air pockets where divers can surface to hear the cave ‘roar’. The exit, and another entrance to the cave, lies at the end of a 15-metre tunnel at the bottom of the cave (12 m), to the left of the larger entrance, ending at a depth of 18 m. The spacious hall is large enough for several divers.
Anchoring is in the shallows in front of the cave, followed by a descent to the cave’s entrance zone, on through the hall to 12 m and to the far side of the cave and exit through the left/right ‘chimney’.
Ascent is through the right chimney, wide enough for two divers to pass, leading to an air-filled siphon, large enough for two to three divers. An exploration of the second siphon is followed by a return to the hall and exploration of the cave wall and seabed. Ascent to the surface is possible through the cave’s entrance or via a tunnel leading to the open sea. Further exploration may include the cave’s environs with gradual ascent along the wall.
Although the unusual sights and sounds at this site are captivating, dives also include a wealth of flora and fauna – forkbeards, smaller and larger scorpionfish, sponges and anemones make the diving experience complete.