If you’re a climbing fanatic, you know the feeling of traveling to a new place and immediately looking for the best places to go climbing. It’s no different in Spain! In fact, Spain has become Europe’s premier winter-sun climbing destination, as the weather conditions are ideal from autumn through to spring, so expect a lot of climbing to be had and not enough time to do it in! With a great variety of rock climbing areas, you can choose between the most popular and established crags close to the tourist areas, or more difficult and secluded climbs that are off the map. Whatever your style, we’ve listed the best places to go rock climbing in Spain to help you with your decision. Enjoy!
Best Rock Climbing in Andalucía
In Southern Spain, the Andalucía region is a climber’s paradise! Full of fantastic multi-pitch gorge rock climbing and quality single pitch sport routes, this area has the routes and scenic backdrop that is perfect for climbing. Particularly good rock climbing areas in Andalucía include Córdoba, El Chorro, Granada, and Malaga.
Although Córdoba is less concentrated than the rest of the region in Southern Spain, this by no means says anything about the climbing it has to offer! Surrounded by mountains and Andalucían olive fields, the remote and picturesque areas in Córdoba have many good crags to climb. Our recommendation? Head to Sierra Morena in Espiel. Here you will find over 230 routes with a variety of grades, amongst stunning rock formations and rolling hills.
Location: Sierra Morena in Espiel
Insider Tip: If all you want to do is climb, check out this rock climbing holiday adventure with Rug&Rock Adventures.
Consisting of 5 days of climbing, food, accommodation and a city tour, this climbing holiday is a great way to make the most out of your climbing trip. Taking you through the challenging green crags of Sierra Morena while being guided by local experts, this is something we recommend you check out.
El Chorro is a popular climbing spot in Spain and why wouldn’t it be, it has something for every climber! Only 50km from the center of Malaga, it is a breeze to get to. Probably one of the most diverse areas for rock climbing in Spain, El Chorro boasts over 650 routes at all grades and up to 10-pitches long! Man, I’m getting excited just thinking about it! With a great selection of bolted single and multi-pitch routes, sweet limestone slabs and exceptionally steep walls, this place is a true climbers paradise.
Location: A small village in Málaga
Best Rock Climbing in Costa Blanca
Another area that offers a crazy variety of rock climbing in Spain is Costa Blanca. When you think of the perfect place to climb, Costa Blanca is what you’re dreaming of. Imagine yourself climbing perfect limestone rock, surrounded by blue seas, white beaches and terraced fruit groves stretching across the mountains. Yep, this place is real! Offering everything from a quick bolted route a few minutes from the car park to multi-pitch and bolted routes a hike away to the coast, Costa Blanca is one of Spain’s most exciting climbing destinations. What’s even cooler, is every pound you spend on your climbing holiday here, a penny of it will go towards a bolt fund to maintain and create new crags!
Xalo Valley/Jalon Valley
There are more than 200 routes in this area at 6 different crags, with Alcalali and Pena Roja being the most popular. A perfect spot for face climbing and if you like single-pitch sport routes!
Location: Marina Alta Area, Costa Blanca North
Offering 400 routes at 8 different crags, the Calpe Area is the place to go for multi-pitch with both sport and traditional routes. If sport climbing is on your agenda, be sure to check out the sea cliffs of Mascarat and Toix!
Location: Costa Blanca, Alicante
With a massive 750 routes at 8 different crags, the Benidorm area definitely doesn’t lack quantity. What’s great, is that it also offers quality climbing too! The main crag is Sella which is ideal for beginners to intermediate climbers, whereas Puig Campana is for the more adventurous (it’s an adventure in itself to get to!).
Location: Benidorm, Alicante
Best Rock Climbing in Northern Spain
In the north, rock climbing in Spain consists of traditional climbing, sport climbing and some damn good bouldering! It’s no surprise really when you see Northern Spain. A rugged and incredibly green region of the country, this is actually one of the best-kept secrets for climbing in the whole of Europe!
Picos de Europe
The Picos is a vast area of wild limestone peaks just waiting for rock climbers and mountaineers to take advantage. Here, you will find bolted sport routes, trad routes and alpine-style routes, with the longest being 700m (19 pitches) long! If you love a good challenge, take on the mammoth Picos peak: the tower of Naranjo de Bulnes. Decide between the 27 routes up and give it your best shot!
When snow creeps during the colder months in the Picos de Europe, you can always keep up your love for climbing in your own DIY home climbing gym.
Location: Cantabrian Mountains, Asturias
Barcelona and Catalunya
Surprisingly, the Catalunya area is recognized as one of the finest sport climbing destinations in Europe! As well as this impressive feat, the area is also extremely popular for bouldering and rock climbing in Spain. Offering awesome steep limestone gorges, you can choose between sport climbingg in the mountains or practicing your skills on the sandstone boulders.
Best places for climbing: Sierra de Prades, Montserrat, Rodellar, Terradets, Vilanova de Meia and the Pyrenees.
Best places for bouldering: El Cogul, St. Joan, Cervia, Belianes-Malda and Savassona.
Best Rock Climbing in Central Spain
Just because you’re in the heart of the city, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t some fantastic rock climbing to do. Located in Central Spain, you have two main climbing areas mainly found in Madrid and in Albarracín.
So rock climbing in Spain is found around the coast and in the mountains, but you’ll also find some wicked routes in the center! Just outside of Madrid, you will find two excellent rock climbing locations: La Pedriza and Patones. The climbing at La Pedriza is all about long granite slab climbing, so you’ll need to practice your precise footwork and balance for these climbs! Pantones is more about sport routes, from steep single routes and pocketed vertical walls to huge roofs. If you want to extend your adventure in this area, head to Sierra de Gredos for some amazing granite rock climbing! With a maze of 40 granite spires, you can relish in alpine-style multi-pitch climbing at altitudes of over 2,000m. Hell yeah!
Resources: Best Places to Stay in Madrid, Spain
Holding a reputation for the best bouldering area in Spain, Albarracín has also been described as the next best bouldering destination in Europe behind Fontainebleau. As if this isn’t justification enough, Albarracín is also a favorite among Spanish climbers! Full of huge, weathered sandstone blocks scattered around a plush forest, let’s just say that you’ll have your hands full trying to climb from slabs, crimps, and cracks, to huge roofs, overhanging walls and amazing arêtes.
Insider’s Tip: Why boulder here in the whole of Spain? As Albarracín is at an altitude of over 1,000m above sea level, it is cool enough to climb here almost all times of the year! Just makes sure to avoid it at high summer as it gets extremely dry and humid.
Now all that is left to do is get climbing! Whether you like traditional climbing, sport climbing, challenging routes or bouldering, rock climbing in Spain is sure to give you all the adventure and excitement you could ever need.
Check out our other articles in Spain and get inspired!
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