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Climbing in Greece

The unique geology of Greece make is a totally one-off destination for rock climbing. The rough and rugged landscape of both the mainland and some of the Greek islands make it a perfect travel location for those who want to enjoy rock climbing in a completely unique setting.

Rock Climbing in Greece

Over the years, more and more people have taken to climbing and it is proving to be a very popular activity with locals and well as travelers from abroad. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that interest in rock climbing really began to grow, and things haven’t been the same since. In Greece sport climbing routes are graded in accordance with the French grading system.

In Greece the most dominant rock variety is limestone, and this can offer a large range of climbing experiences. You’ll find limestone all over the country, from Mount Olympus ( the largest mountain in Greece ) to the Dodecanese island of Kalymnos, which is a very popular rock climbing destination in Greece. The capital city of Athens too has its fair share of limestone.

You can enjoy climbing throughout the year in Greece due to the typical Mediterranean climate, though the best times are during the spring and autumn seasons, when the temperatures are a lot more bearable and not as hot as during the peak summer months. That being said, you can certainly go climbing during the summer months, but it is best to make sure you follow the shade, and try and avoid the peak hours of between 11am and 1pm. The Peloponnese region of Greece also has some great locations for winter climbing.

Rock Climbing in Greece

There are a number of rock climbing clubs that operate in Greece and who can arrange climbing excursions for you all around the country. The majority of these clubs can provide equipment, as well as arrange courses for you, so whether you are a seasoned climber, or a complete newcomer to the sport, you will be able to experience rock climbing during your holidays in Greece.

Below you will find information about of the most popular climbing destinations in Greece.

Kalymnos

The Dodecanese island of Kalymnos is the Mecca for rock climbing in Greece and attracts huge numbers of visitors from all over the world. It was in the late 1990s that Italian climbers visited the island and laid down the first routes after discovering the vast richness of the rock formations. The massive limestone formations on the western side of the island has turned Kalymnos into a must visit destination for rock climbers all over the world.

There are over 10,000 climbers travelling to the island each year, and with its great infrastructure, not only for climbing but for accommodation and dining out, it is a paradise for climbers. Even though the island attracts such a large number of climbers it doesn’t feel crowded, as there are lots of routes for all levels of climber. There are a number of climbing clubs operating in Kalymnos, so you can easily arrange your climbing excursions before travelling over there either by plane or ferry.

Meteora

The unique Meteora area in Trikala in the region of Thessaly is a UNESCO Heritage site, and the stunning natural conglomerate and sandstone boulders that tower up into the sky provide a truly amazing setting for your rock climbing excursions. Off limits are the size pillars on which the monasteries are located, but there are over 100 others that you can climb. The whole area of Meteora is like something out of a fairy tale, and climbers and visitors alike are often overwhelmed by the immense beauty and landscape that awaits you here.

Rock Climbing in Meteora

Crete

The island of Crete is another very popular destination for rock climbing in Greece and offers a variety of locations where you can visit. You’ll find options for all levels of climber and there are various clubs and organizations that can assist in arranging climbs for you. One of the most popular climbing areas in Crete is Kapetaniana, which is an isolated village located approximately 75km from the capital city of Heraklion. As the village is very remote, you can enjoy a very peaceful climbing experience.

Probably the most popular destination in Crete is that of Agiofarango, which is located within a beautiful gorge that leads all the way down to the sea, and which has routes for all levels of climber. Surrounded by rich nature, climbing is possible on both sides of the gorge meaning that you can always find shade during the year.

Peloponnese

The Peloponnese region of Greece in the south has a number of great locations where you can enjoy climbing. The facilities for climbing here have improved greatly over the years, and it is a place that is attracting a lot of visitors from all over the world.

The most popular destination for climbing in the Peloponnese is Leonidio, which is a small town located at the foot of Mount Parnon. There are close to 1000 different climbing routes here spread over 50 different crags, and it is one of the only areas in Europe which is suitable for winter climbing.

The most popular destination for climbing in the Peloponnese is Leonidio, which is a small town located at the foot of Mount Parnon. There are close to 1000 different climbing routes here spread over 50 different crags, and it is one of the only areas in Europe which is suitable for winter climbing.

Athens

Surprisingly for many, Athens is a very popular location for rock climbing in Greece, and the Attica region is surrounded by four mountains. There are over 30 crags that you can reach in less than an hour’s drive from the city and you will be able to find a good choice of different climbing styles to experience such as sheers slabs and tufa walls to sea cliff climbing. There are also various quarries over 2500 years old where you can climb. Across Attica and the greater Athens region there are over 1000 routes you can choose from.


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