The Adventurer's Guide
Why You Need to Try Rock Climbing in Croatia
Somewhere along your travels in Croatia, you probably noticed something: This country has a lot of rock! In fact, 60% of Croatia’s surface is mountainous, and its prominent karst topography provides miles and miles of exposed limestone. Or, as most climbers would put it, loads of crag waiting to be conquered! Here’s why rock climbing in Croatia needs to be part of your itinerary.
Break away from the city
Most of Croatia’s best rock climbing takes place in close proximity to its big cities. So when your travels take you to Split, you’re just a 40-minute drive away from great scaling at Trogir and Malacka. Near the capital, Zagreb, you’re just a hop, skip, and a climb away from two picturesque trails: Pokojec, set on rolling hills and vineyards, and Kalnik, located within the ruins of a castle. And in Zadar, you’re less than an hour from the granddaddy of Croatian climbing: Paklenica National Park, where the iconic Anica Kuk face is a special experience for experts as well as first-timers. When you’ve had nothing but big-city hustle, a getaway to these natural, beautiful climbs makes the perfect escape.
If you’ve ever tried rock climbing, you know that it’s not just a physical challenge, but a mental one. On the rocks, focus and determination are paramount. And many first-timers find out quickly that the challenge, whether on an indoor training wall or on sharp limestone in Europe, is addictive. Climbing in Croatia can be more difficult than the average place. Croatia is part of the Dinaric Alps, one of Europe’s most rugged mountain ranges. Due to its sharp, bare karst shapes and dry climate, Croatia’s mountains climb a lot bigger than they actually are.
Enjoy beautiful surroundings
Chances are one of the main reasons you came to Croatia is to relish in some of its gorgeous scenery (or visit the filming locations of your favorite show). What better way to take in the sprawling views than by elevating yourself to new heights? You won’t be surprised to learn that climbing thousands of feet in the air in a remote setting will produce some awesome vistas far and wide. Bring your camera — or just snap a mental picture — because by the time you reach the top, you’ll have earned those memorable views. Along with Pokojec and Kalnik (above), Paklenica’s peak offers sprawling views of the park’s valleys and rivers. Rock climbing in Croatia is a rewarding adventure.
Near Split, you can find some of the best island climbing anywhere in Europe. Between Hvar, Brač, and Vis, you can climb roughly 600 sport routes any day of the year thanks to temps that never dip below freezing. In the summer you can expect heat, and that’s the perfect opportunity to try deep water soloing on Hvar. DWS is a type of advanced climbing that takes place on small but challenging cliffs over sea or ocean where the climber is free of gear and instead falls into the water at the end of the climb. Sounds like a refreshing way to climb on a hot day!
Kill two birds with one stone: not only is rock climbing one of the best ways to see the country, it will also keep you fit and active while you travel. Convinced? Get to planning your next Croatian adventure, starting with our curated collection of THE STELLA vacation rentals!