Here’s a scenario: you’re on a Central Dalmatia sailing holiday, but it’s time to give your sea legs a rest. Your jellied joints, however, aren’t looking to stay idle - they’re just craving the adventure that only the excitement and rush of cliff climbing can bring.
Fortunately, Croatia’s jagged coastline is a dream for cliff climbers looking for the thrill of a hill, with many prime climbing spots just steps away from your yacht charter. So is there a better way to enhance your sailing holiday? We’re not so sure, and we are here to reveal some of Dalmatia’s best cliff climbing locations to put your able body to work off the sailboat.
If you’re sailing from Split or find your sailing yacht near Split, there are two sky-high locales you’ll want to track. For starters, one of Split’s most popular climbing locations is just around the bend from its bustling center. Sustipan Park, which sits on the southwest cape of Split, once housed a monastery from the Middle Ages as the final resting place for Croatian Kings. In the 19th century, it was transformed into Split's first cemetery, which was later destroyed by communist forces. Today, however, Sustipan is the favorite park of Split locals, and its spanning views of the Adriatic don’t make it hard to see why. Thanks to its perched-up location, Sustipan is a dream for cliff climbers who can enjoy 6-10 meter high cliffs and many pockets to hold their grip. These cliffs are easily reachable from the neighboring beach, and there are said to be some 25 different routes you can enjoy in this area alone! The Adriatic Sea beneath your feet to sweep off the sweat is a bonus.
But Split has another climbing gem located at the foot of Marjan hill - Kašjuni. Known as an excellent place for beginners thanks to accessible heights, Kašjuni may not have as many routes as Sustipan, but it compensates with its beauty. With cliffs ranging 2 to 10 meters high, Kašjuni is also a favorite spot for deep water soloing (DWS) in Croatia - and you won’t even need any equipment to join in!
When sailing from Split, climbing enthusiasts won’t want to miss the island of Čiovo, especially its southern side. The island boasts around 120 routes in total, which extend much higher than its Split neighbor - reaching up to 20 meters! Čiovo is a diverse climbing location that also began developing DWS almost 20 years ago, though these areas are mainly on the south-eastern tip of Čiovo and best reached by boat. Čiovo is also connected to the famous museum town of Trogir thanks to a bridge, so should you opt to take a break from the bluffs and enjoy history instead, you’re in the right place.
Your sailing vacation will likely bring you to the prized island of Hvar, and while you’re probably already familiar with the glitz and glam of Hvar town, we’re bringing you to the cliffs of a small nearby village, known to attract active holidayers. Meet Sveta Nedilja, THE place to get your cliff climbing in on your sailing holiday. Because the coastal village sits on a bluff at the foot of Hvar's highest peak (Sv. Nikola), climbers can uncover a variety of routes ranging from beginner to expert, from 8 to 40 meters high! Cliff climbing begins just a few meters from the sea, and the most adventurous in the group can take a risk on the 300-meter-wide DWS wall!
Marked by sharp cliffs, it’s no wonder why the Kornati is a go-to destination for thrill-seekers - and it helps that the area is protected as a national park. Boasting 89 uninhabited islands, islets, and reefs, climbing may be forbidden inside the Kornati National Park area today to conserve bird nests, but the area is a nautical paradise with absolutely no lack of cliffs to climb. These vertical ‘crowns’ (as they have been called for centuries) face the open sea, with the tallest on Klobučar Island (82 meters). The crowns stretch below sea level as well, with the deepest on Piškera Island (over 90 meters). Kornati has been praised for having some of the best DWS cliffs in the Adriatic and perhaps even Europe. With a setting this stunning, it’s easy to see why Kornati sailing trips are rated among the best in Croatia.
Cliff climbing and DWS in Croatia offer something for all types of adrenaline junkies on your sailing vacation. Whether you’re a beginner climber or cliff enthusiast on your yacht charter, it won’t take long to find the heights that suit your fancy, no matter if you take the Hvar sailing route or the Kornati.
After reading this, why wouldn’t you add cliff climbing to your Croatia sailing list? Contact our charter specialists to find the best yacht for you to explore Dalmatia’s best cliff climbing spots!