Europe is home to a number of historical cities, exotic locales, and unbeatable scenery. In between exploring the streets of London and the islands of Greece, there are also unforgettable rock climbing locations to explore.
Many climbers flock to Europe for its rock climbing locations’ easy accessibility, scenic routes, and small crowds. The options in this guide have a variety of difficulty levels, so choose what’s best for your skill level and group, for instance, if you’re bringing kids.
We have just a few of the amazing sites of Europe listed here so you can improve climbing skills, soak in the scenery, and build strength. So, start planning a trip and remember to pack a range of different options when it comes to your rock climbing shoes!
1. Finale Ligure, Italy
Finale Ligure is the largest climbing space in Italy and is home to over 3,000 routes. These routes range from low to moderate difficulty, bringing something for everyone. You will not suffer from a lack of choices either as the geography ranges from white limestone slabs to walls and overhangs. Some routes even reach 250 meters!
Davide Papalini / CC BY-SA
2. Frankenjura, Germany
Germany is an appealing European destination for many reasons. This hidden treasure is one of them! Frankenjura is tucked away in lush forests and has over 1,000 crags of vertical white limestone and overhangs. There are route options with both short routes and single-pitch. Be cautious when planning travel here though! The best time to climb is late spring due to low winds. Plus, nearby villages are well-stocked with beer gardens to cool down at the end of a long climb.
3. El Chorro, Spain
Over the years, El Chorro has garnered a reputation as the top limestone climbing spot in Spain. This reputation is well-deserved! A climb here will start by hiking to the cliff edge of Camino del Rey, the southern-most rock climbing destination in Europe. The gorge has steep walls and presents a moderate difficulty challenge. There are more than 800 multi-pitch and single routes to choose from!
4. Osp, Slovenia
Osp is great for newcomers to the climbing community. It has over 600 routes along limestone crags that are within a 4-kilometer range. The area has a unique U-shaped wall with both single and multi-pitches. The destination is easily accessible and close to climbing destinations in nearby Italy and Croatia.
Miran Hladnik / CC BY-SA 2.5 SI
5. Kalymnos, Greece
Rock climbing originated in Kalymnos in the 2000s, and it is now one of the hottest destinations for rock climbing in Europe. It has 80 crags and over 3,400 routes to choose from. The area is very scenic, especially when sunlight shines on the orange and yellow limestone. It is composed of some difficult routes, so is best for those at expert level.
6. Mallorca, Spain
Spain graces our list again with Mallorca, an island with several outdoor recreation opportunities. In addition to excellent rock climbing, it also allows for deep water soloing and amazing views. The moderate rock climbing difficulty here includes unforgettable climbing along the Formentor peninsula sea cliffs and the overhands found at Es Fumat and La Creveta.
7. Kyparissi, Greece
Just five hours from Athens you will find over 1,400 climbing routes. Kyparissi is home to the difficult slopes of Mount Parnon that many expert climbers choose to tackle. Other famous climbing spots include Watermill, Babala, and the touch grades found in the Vlychada bay.
8. Siurana, Spain
Imagine a world-class rock climbing set with the Sierra de Prades Mountains as the backdrop. Well, that is what you will find in Siurana. Be ready to navigate complicated routes – but don’t worry, you have 1,750 to choose from! It is a challenging area, so it will be strenuous for novice climbers. In fact, consider tackling another area on this list unless you’re experienced.
9. Sicily, Italy
If you are looking for routes for all experience levels, check out Sicily! There are over 1,000 single and multi-pitch routes that include everything from cracks, slabs, roofs, and chimneys. The nearby town of San Vito lo Capo offers several guided adventures to explore the four-kilometer coastal cliff. More experienced climbers can visit Siracusa and Messina.
10. Sella, Spain
To round off the list we have the steep limestone walls of Sella that bring low to high difficulty levels. It has around 300 routes and 8 crags. Newcomers enjoy Divino and Hidden Valley as a nice introductory route. Sella summers can be chilly, so be sure to layer up.
Ready to Book?
Europe offers a huge range of options for vacationing, and its rock climbing areas are no exception. Not only will you be able to explore new destinations, you will also be able to dive into a new culture. We hope you enjoy your European adventures!