Istria and the coastal part of Kvarner is a land of climbing hedonism and the land of the future. Developed and touristy coast gave the inhabitants the attitude to welcome foreign visitors with open arms, even though the mainland has just started to open up. And since the development of sport climbing here was a little bit behind the surrounding regions, like Dalmatia or south of Slovenia, the equippers and village communities had enough important lessons in advance, on how to properly develop the area, when it’s swarmed like locusts by climbers. Of course, abundance of rocks plays in their favor too, which despite being smaller, are all of top notch quality. So the climbers spread over the whole area and their impact is much lower. Istria is also a paradise for history buffs, from the old Rome to small medieval towns and fortifications and also later architectural heritage of Venetians and Austro-Hungarian empire, mostly based on the use of local stone. Istrian were never overachievers, always biting as much as they can chew. In the coast they originate from fishing, while the mainland is based more on wine and olive oil producing, fruit, truffles and other delights. No wonder this forest-sea combination is also a culinary pearl. All of this is usually placed in wonderful and scenic nature, in canyons of the rivers or on points with great vistas. The best and biggest crags are often situated in areas, protected in one way or another (Rovinj, Vela Draga, Medveja, Buzetski kanjon, Istarske toplice, Limski kanal…), and yet, climbers are welcome and appreciated guests. And what about the rock? It’s fresh, solid, karsty, exhilarating limestone! As most of the crags were developed late, in the 90s or even after 2000, the route equipment is modern and of high quality. Many options for other activities from biking to hiking and the closeness of the sea will guarantee an enjoyable vacation in any part of the year. Not to mention, that the potential is far from exhausted! If you’re an elite climber, looking for the hardest routes, you’ll swing by Pandora, Buzetski kanjon or Medveja. Complete beginners will climb their ass off in Rovinj, Vela draga, Čepić or Dvigrad. Then both will meet in Kompanj or Limski kanal. There are plenty of small crags too, good for at least one or two visits, which will often excite you for their peculiarities. From the wild, water-washed Rječina canyon to the Roman quarry of Vinkuran and many crags on high peaks with a view, like Veli Vrh, Kamenjak or Raspadalica. Summer DWS is getting more and more popular. So, no matter of your level, in the summer or winter, on the coast or mainland, overhangs or verticals, in wilderness, in small villages or in the city center, on boulders, above the sea or in multipitches – Istria and Kvarner offer everything.
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