By: Gavin Moulton, a Let’s Go! researcher-writer
“If you climbed these cliffs in communist times, you’d catch a bullet.”
That was not the reassuring news I wanted to hear as I was about to jump off the edge of a cliff next to Yugoslav dictator Tito’s former villa, which is currently an active Croatian military compound.
All manmade threats to my life aside, the jump into the water was not as intimidating as it seemed. The painstakingly hot sun made the 20-foot fall seem significantly more attractive, but didn’t lessen the challenge.
Let’s start from the top: deep water solo climbing is similar to your run-of-the-mill rock climbing except there are no safety harnesses and the climb both starts and finishes in the sweet, ice cold water.
Fortunately, the cliffs of Marjan offer both simple and advanced routes; for the less daunting options, it was easy to reconcile my inner adrenaline junkie with the reality of my novice climbing. After overcoming a brief five seconds of fear and plunging into the water, I had to face the far more difficult step of returning to the top of the vertical cliff face. Armed with climbing shoes and a GoPro to show the world how cool I am, I swam over towards the cliffs.
Getting out of the water is one of the hardest steps. Waves make establishing a foothold strenuous and erosion frequently causes an overhang on the same level as the water.
Once I found a grip for my hands, it became significantly easier. Even though the cliff is perpendicular to the water there are small crevices that, if you can find them, make excellent hand grabs and toeholds. Within a couple minutes, I was back at the top.
Though it’s not Acapulco, the limestone cliffs of Park Marjan are perfect for novice adrenaline junkies. Trek out to the Kastelet, make your way down to the beach, and walk far enough to reach the 15-20 feet tall cliffs. Before jumping, be sure to swim in the area first to make sure the water is deep enough and that there’s an easy way up. Always jump feet first!
Alternatively, you could climb the cliffs, but, without climbing shoes, that’s not recommended.
Ready to go cliff diving? Book your own tour in Split Croatia with PlacePass!
Looking for some more action in Split? Walk in the footsteps of your favorite Game of Thrones character with this tour.
Don’t forget to take a look at our blog post about the top ten things to do in Hawaii for more fun water activities.
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