The Istria region of northern Croatia is the 2nd best rock climbing area in Croatia after Paklenica with over 1,200 sport routes. The majority of these routes are single pitch, well bolted, and on solid limestone rock. There are 22 different crags in the area with something for everyone as shown on the map below.
List of rock climbing areas around Pula and Istria
|No||Crag||Total No of routes||Number of Routes in Grade Range||Multi Pitch?|
|Up to 4c||5a to 5c+||6a to 6c+||7a to 7c+||8a to 8c+||Project|
|8||HC (Hard Core)||9||0||0||1||2||4||2||No|
|17||Vinkuran - Cava Romana||37||0||5||17||12||3||0||No|
The best area is around the town of Buzet where in a circle of only 10km there are some fantastic crags. The most popular is Kompanji that offers more than 100 routes on vertical or slightly overhanging limestone rock, with plenty of small crimps and tufas. Buzetski Kanjon is the largest crag split into 6 sectors offering more than 120 routes, where many of them are long endurance routes.
Rovinj is a famous tourist destination and is a beautiful town. Close by in a forested peninsula is an old quarry with more than 130 routes in the lower to mid-grade range. Close to Rovinj are Dvigrad and Limski Kanal. Dvigrad is a series of needle towers with around 90 well-bolted routes mainly on slabs and small crimps. Limski Kanal has 5 different sectors offering good routes mainly in the mid-grades; all of them are positioned above a deep fjord with nice views.
On the eastern coast of the Istria peninsula there are a number of popular crags such as Medveja. Medveja is close to the sea and is one of the best areas in Croatia especially for top climbers. The routes are well-bolted offering mainly endurance climbing on tufas and technical slabs with grades up to F9a.
The best time to rock climb in Istria is the spring and autumn; though due to the varied character of the crags it is possible to climb all year round. For example it is possible to climb at places such as Rovinj, Pazin and Cepic in the hot summer months, or climb at sheltered crags such as Limski Kanal, Dvigrad and Raspadalica in the winter.
Istria is a popular holiday resort, with the main towns being Pula, Rovinj, and Porec, and is ideal to include a few days rock climbing as part of your general holiday. Close by there is also the excellent crag at Osp in Slovenia, and further rock climbing can be found around Trieste in Italy.