Kayaking at Cape Kamenjak with Jistra Adventures – Croatia
The kayaking south of Rovinj seemed to offer some pretty unique opportunities, including cliff jumping, snorkeling, cave exploration, and even dinosaur footprints (that’s right – dating back to the Crustacean period). The two areas popular were out of Pula and our of the final point on the peninsula Rt Kamenjak. I figured Pula would be like Rovinj (and based on our short experience in Pula I would say I am happy with that decision) so I looked around Rt Kamenjak for some fun options.
One that popped out was a five hour excursion through caves with the opportunity to cliff jump and snorkel as well. I was hopeful this would be an exciting and fun alternative to our first kayak out of Rovinj.
Unfortunately, this kayak trip was impacted by weather – the thunderstorms the previous night brought in some strong winds and currents. The night before I received a Whatapp message that the trip was canceled and would be rescheduled for the follow day… a day in which we would no longer be in Istria. After speaking on the phone, it seemed that they could recover a portion of the kayak later in the day. We had dinner at 5PM that I could not change so when they wanted to start at 2PM, I was a bit nervous. In the morning, they confirmed they that conditions of the wind and water improved and we could depart on a 1230PM three hour abbreviated tour.
Getting to Rt Kamenjak is a bit of an adventure. The tour operates out of Camp Supice and when we arrived, it was certainly not at all what I expected to see. Hundreds of camper vans lined up for a summer vacation of water activities, sports, and grilling.
We made our way to the kayak launch point and learned we were waiting for seven more people… it was already 1230PM and they said this would go no later than 4PM so our 5PM reservation would not be impacted. We applied sunscreen and prepared our dry bags, and we were also given snacks and giant bottles of water for the trip. Luckily the missing seven people was a large group of friends so once they arrived we were good to go. Turns out they were all from Romania and they ended up being a fun group. Our guide was great – so fun and personable and able to include everyone (I feel so bad for forgetting his name!).
The kayak started down along the coast for a peaceful and relaxing kayak on the sea. As opposed to our first kayak, we were steaming ahead this time and it barely felt like it was exerting effort. Before we knew it, we were turning into our little bay area where we landed the kayaks.
The next portion of the journey required a brief walk through a rather brushy trail. At the top there were some beautiful views of where we had started and out to the sea.
When we arrive, suddenly steep cliffs emerged from the brush and waves continuously crashed into the jagged rocks. My anxiety started to elevate… umm what is it that I paid for? Despite the fear, it was beautiful.
We got down to the base of the cliffs for an a-la-carte option for cliff jumping – from a baby jump to a giant jump, everyone got to pick their preference. Kevin took to opportunity to take a large jump – I could not even watch but met him in the water after. The water here was pretty rough from the winds and current – I was really happy to have kept my life vest on for this part.
The cave that we would be exploring was against where the crashing waves were smacking and it was pretty intimidating. Due to the high tide and the conditions, it would have required diving under the opening on order to access the cave. While we could have made it work, the group as a whole was not comfortable and instead headed back to the rocks for more cliff jumping. It was disappointing to not have an easier, less scary way to go see the cave – we were told the day before the opening was large enough that you could go in on your kayak!
We returned to the kayak and took some time to snorkel in the calmer water being able to see smaller fish and lots of shellfish, particularly among the rocks. The snacks were a welcomed treat at this point before we headed back to the launch point.
The way back was nice and easy because we had the wind pushing us along. When we docked, I was a bit distressed to see it was already passed 5PM and we quickly ran off like Cinderella getting ready to turn into a pumpkin. Plans of looking nice for dinner were out the window! While it is typically also nice to get extra time on a paid tour, today was not that day for us.
Overall, we had a really fun time with this tour, our guide, and the group. I would say for those adventure seekers, this company offers some great options. It is important that you are a strong swimmer – I can swim but with the conditions they way they were I was so grateful to have the life jacket on for the moments post pathetic cliff jump and when deciding if we should go into the cave. I have also never had a tour provide so much water as an inclusion in the price of the tour!
The destination we kayaked too was a bit disappointing because it is obvious you can drive to this cliff jumping spot so it was not private or exclusive. Do not get me wrong, it was gorgeous. If those that arrive know how to access the cave, I do not know, but I was hoping for something that was accessible only by kayak to heighten that reward. That being said, I had no idea what we were going to be doing since we got re-booked and was happy to have been able to participate.
If you are looking for a kayak experience, there are tons available in the south of Istria. Do your research to see what you are comfortable participating in before making a selection. I would kayak with Jistra again and would recommend their services.