Gorgons, ugly beasts who turn everyone who sees their snakelike hair into stone might not be the first association once you see the delicate structure and vivid colors of a Sea Fan but we have to remember that they were too once considered more beautiful than the gods who cursed them so no mere mortal could see their beauty and live to tell the tale.
With the advent of scuba diving you no longer have to be a demigod armed with a polished shield to gaze at them. In fact on Vis island it’s enough to hold a open water certificate or equivalent. The gorgonias you are apt to find in the Adriatic are the Yellow Gorgonia (Eunicella cavolini), the Red Sea Whip (Paramuricea Clavata) and the Gold Coral (Savalia Savaglia)
The Yellow Gorgonia and the Red Sea Whip live all across the Croatian coast but the biggest colonies can be found on Vis island, in depths ranging from 15 to 60 meters. The densest colonies are located around 25 meters.
The Gold Coral however is very rare, usually being available only to technical divers. On the steep underwater reefs of Komiža bay however you can find large specimens as shallow as 40 meters.
The locations i personally recommend you visit are the Inner Reef (Nutornja Sika) for the dense walls covered with the Yellow Gorgonias and the Outer Reef (Zvonsko Sika) for it’s one of a kind cliffs overgrown with large specimens of Red Sea Whips. Both dives are available to Open Water divers but a certification of Advance Open Water will allow you to also see the rare Gold Coral that is found on the bottom of the Outer Reef.
For those more technically inclined the steep slopes of Gnjilina bay offer the densest field of Gold Corals you are likely to see in your life along with a thriving population of John Dorry and Scorpionfish.
Of all the islands you are likely to be diving in Croatia the combination of geographical, bathyspheric and meteorological conditions around Vis island offer the greatest chance to see populations of these beautiful animals in the Mediterranean as it once was.