In November 2021 we are kicking off with a new epic climbing road trip in the Balkans and here you can read some lines about Slovenia. Written by Klemen Becan, the local climber and route developer.
Just across the border from Slovenia, half an hour drive from Osp is Istria. Istria is a big peninsula with lots of climbing to do. The first stop is Buzet. Here you will find areas like Kompanj, Pandora, Kamena vrata, HC, Kanjon Mirne, Aleluja cave, and many more. Limestone routes of all shapes and sizes and each sector offers a different experience. HC (Hard Core) has vertical short powerful hard routes. Pandora offers big overhangs filled with stalactites and blobs for 3D climbing, and if you are lucky, you will have also a waterfall coming out from the middle of the wall. There are some easier lines here, but to fully enjoy the place I recommend mastering at least 7c grade. Good for sightseeing though. Kompanj is the biggest sector here and it will amaze every climber with the beauty of its routes. Mirna Canyon has 5 different sectors facing all the orientations. North facing Befana has long endurance problems, Pengari same, but on the sun in the afternoon, Đoser next to it offers some funny lines and south-facing Zimski sector (winter sector) is obviously good only for cold winter days. There is not just Buzet in Istria. There are other places like Pazin in the center and seaside cliffs like Rovinj, Limski Kanal, Vinkuran, Pazin, Brseč which are definitely worth a visit, but we want to continue traveling down south to real Balkan.
The most famous place in Croatia is definitely Paklenica. Humans climbed in Paklenica even before it got popular because of the movie Winnetou which was filmed in this beautiful canyon. Now the canyon is a big tourist attraction, visited by many tourists, but luckily they stay on the main path, so climbing is possible without much interference. The main attraction here is multi-pitch routes which are up to 350m high and difficulty up to 8c. Most of them are friendly bolted and just calling for a full-day expedition. Besides long routes, there are many nice, easy, and hard normal lines to choose from.
Brand new, years old place next to the sea is Čikola canyon. Since it’s so fresh, routes are still new and not polished like in some old school sectors around the world. Still, there are many sectors to choose from, orientated in all directions.
Split has many good crags for sport climbing, and there is also the possibility of deep water solo in Čiovo. Walls are best accessed with a sailing boat which is not hard to arrange. Local climbers will take you there and show you all the hidden treasures above the water. Not far from Split is another gorgeous place called Omiš. If you are interested in long and hard multi-pitches, Drašnice is just a bit more south and you can try yourself with amazing Roctrip, 250m long 8c+.