Grabbing an adventure at Glavani Park

Trip Adviser’s top Istrian attraction is Glavani Park. Opened in 2011, it is listed ahead of standard tourist attractions like Rovinj old town and Pula amphitheatre. We wanted to see what all the excitement was about and if it lived up to its billing, so went for a day of high-wires and zip-lines.

 

The circuits at Glavani Park, IstriaOn the road between Vodnjan and Barban in south-central Istria, Glavani Park is Istria’s leading high-wire adventure park. With its soaring tree trunks and forest of wires, nets and platforms, it’s an impressive sight… but at first sight, was somewhat smaller than I was expecting. “Don’t be deceived,” said owner Nigel, helping me into my harness. “It’s much bigger than it looks. There are three levels out there, all looped around, so I think you’ll find there is more than enough to keep you amused.” He was to be proved right, but first up was our safety talk.

Phil crossing wire walk at Glavani Park, Istria“Safety’s all important,” stressed Nigel. “If you keep clipped on to the safety wires, you can come to no harm.” Proving this he had me clip onto a training wire four feet off the ground. “Now sit down,” he said. Taking a deep breath, I obeyed and found myself gently swinging below the line. “Your harness is strong enough to stop a car falling, so you don’t need to worry. No matter what happens you won’t fall.” For a woman in her late 40s who gets shaky when put on a ledge two feet off the ground, that was extremely reassuring news.

First we had a go on the Yellow training run, basically a simple set of obstacles where we learned how to stay clipped on at all times, and tested the equipment and ourselves – walking along wires and open bridges, clambering through nets and swinging down a small zip line. Securely clipped on I knew falling didn’t matter, which was very reassuring as, with my terrible sense of balance, I knew a tumble was inevitable. Sure enough, I fell off on my first wire run. Swinging around in my harness, trying to work out how to get back on the wire, just added to the fun – even if I did feel a complete dork for slipping in the first place. Once I found my technique and balance, things went much more smoothly.

Phil on zip line at Glavani Park, IstriaSome confidence built up, we moved up a level onto the Blue run. Higher up, more complex and strenuous, it ended with a fantastic 113 m zip line. Flying down here, at up to 30 km/hour, is a real adrenalin rush.

Finally came the Black run. After completing two circuits, my aging body was already feeling tired but I was buzzing to give it a go, so launched myself straight into it. As well as being at the top, this is by far the trickiest course and it tested my balance, courage and perseverance to the max. I’m a 40+ chicken, so finishing it gave me a real sense of achievement.

Nicky crossing a wobbly walk way at Glavani Park, Istria“Want to go again?” asked Nigel as I came off the last zip line. “No way,” I replied holding up my hands in surrender. “It was great, but I’m exhausted!”

The Park might look small, but one trip round all the circuits took me well over two hours, and I wished I’d taken a rest before tackling the Black run. That was more than enough for me but, if you’re up to it, you can go round as many times as you want. Fine for young, fit bodies but not ageing couch potatoes like me!

 

Good day out?

Absolutely ‘Yes’ – Glavani Park was a great day out! I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Safely clipped on I was able to stretch myself and found I could do more than I expected – a real confidence boost. With its different levels of complexity, there’s something to challenge most people. They’ve had people of all ages go round: the oldest has been seventy, and they’ve had a four year old complete the Blue run and a six year old the Black!

Nicky walking across a long high wire walk at Glavani Park, IstriaFor the little-uns who are too small for the wires, there are a couple of play areas including a great fun see-saw walk which ends in an enormous net. There’s also a couple of nature walks through the woods and a small café serving drinks and ice-creams.

When I was there, work was under way on the next stage of the park – a long suspended ropewalk with unicycle ride over a valley and a high swing which they hope to have ready for June.

One final thought – as well as a great day out, Glavani Park’s also a great venue for a party. If you’re thinking of coming with a group or have something to celebrate, it may be worth contacting them ahead of time to see if they can help you arrange something special, such as a BBQ or birthday party.

Contact details and more information on the park can be found on their website: http://glavanipark.com/

Nigel’s offered all Live Istria readers a 10% discount. Just let them know by telling them you read about it on ‘Live Istria’ when you buy your ticket.

In case you wondered, we visited in early December, hence the jumpers and autumnal trees.

First published February 2012

 

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