Spain Guide


Best Climbing in Spain

Some of the best climbing areas in Spain are to be found in the north (on the southern side of the Pyrenees), in the mountains which loom behind the eastern Costas and in the southern provinces of Andalucia and GranadaGranada.

Northern Spain offers a wealth of good climbing routes in the Pyrenees, the magnificent Cordillera Cantabrica mountain range and the nearby Picos de Europa national park.

The eastern side of the country provides a rich variety of climbing territory from the weird and wonderful rock formations of Montserrat near Barcelona to the sea cliffs of the Costa Blanca and the seemingly endless mountain ranges of Alicante province.

Probably the best known rock climbing venue in southern Spain is "El Chorro", to the north west of Málaga on the fringes of the beautiful El Torcal national park. The area attracts climbers from all over Europe and beyond with soaring cliffs to test the most experienced rock jock. There are many different routes to suit all abilities most are no longer than three pitches but there are tougher challenges for the more experienced climber including a 260 metre vertical route up El Chorro's main wall. Most of the climbing routes are in the gorges which lie behind the main walls. A narrow concrete walkway the Camino del Rey (King's Way) stretches along the walls of the largest gorge and offers spectacular views to anyone bold enough to attempt it. Parts of it have crumbled away so it's only accessible to experienced climbers with proper equipment.

The area is busy in the summer months when accommodation can be hard to come by unless you book a room well in advance.

To the east of Málaga there's some superb climbing around Granada and in the Alpujarras on the southern side of the Sierra Nevada. The Sierra Nevada itself (best known as the home of Europe's most southerly ski resort) is the Iberian Peninsula's highest mountain range and offers an unlimited range of rock climbing and mountaineering challenges. Specialist tour operators offer combined climbing, canyoning and rafting adventure holidays in the Sierra Nevada national park, tailor made to suit the needs of both novice and experienced climbers. And down at the coast, just 40 kilometres from the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, the sheer cliffs at Salobreña (west of Motril) are a year round magnet for rock climbers.