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Rock climbing

Climbing and mountaineering

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If you fancy a challenge, and want to have fun and discover stunning natural spaces with spectacular views, then Spain is your perfect place to go climbing! There is a wide range of areas where you can practise your favourite sport. You can climb up rocks of different levels, go climbing on ice and reach summits more than 3,000 metres high. 

WHY SPAIN?

Spain is Europe's second most mountainous country, which means that it is perfect for climbing. It boasts many high summits, sheer cliffs and faces, even right next to the sea, suitable for different levels of ability in climbing and alpine traverses.Spain has gained prime position worldwide as a rock climbing destination.Inland Spain is very mountainous, with the Central System and Iberian System, and river canyons with cliffs that are perfect for rock climbing.In the Balearic Islands, you will find the Tramuntana mountain range on Mallorca, while Tenerife in the Canary Islands boasts Spain's highest peak, Mount Teide.

Climbing

Spain has a large network of mountain huts that cater for anything you may need on your ascents and traverses. The staff at these facilities can also tell you about the traverses in the area.In most Spanish cities, you will find schools, clubs and companies specialising in rock climbing, who can advise you and show you the different routes available.Many mountain areas are protected spaces with spectacular landscapes and unique flora and fauna, such as Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park (the highest limestone massif in Europe) and Sierra Nevada National Park (with 15 peaks over 3,000 metres above sea level).

TYPES OF CLIMBING: ROCK CLIMBING

There are three types, depending on the surface you are going to climb: ice, snow and rock. One of the most popular is rock climbing, as rock is the main climbing surface. Before you start, you should know what type of rock you are going to be climbing, because each type has its own specific features, and the level of adhesion will be different. In Spain, you will find three types: granite, limestone and aggregates.

BEST TIMES OF THE YEAR

Any time of year is great for rock climbing on the Mediterranean coast – even in winter. Ice climbing is best done in winter.

Rock climbing

AREAS

There are several mountainous regions in Spain which are suitable for climbing. If you are up for it, here are some of the places you can visit: Picos de Europa: the peak of Naranjo de Bulnes is one of the favourites for climbers. The Pyrenees: summits here reach 3,400 metres. Sobrarbe and the Ansó Valley are a climber's paradise. The gorges in Sierra de Guara mountains (Somontano) are also ideal. Sierra de Guadarrama: approximately 50 kilometres from Madrid, Sierra de Guadarrama National Park is home to the mountainous region of La Pedriza. It is one of the most popular places with climbing enthusiasts, with routes suitable for all levels.

The Pyrenees in Huesca

Sierra de Gredos: in Ávila, don't miss the gorges and lakes formed by the Gredos Cirque. The peaks of La Galana and El Almanzor afford the best panoramic views. Sierra Nevada: in Granada, you can find areas that are suitable for climbing on the highest peak on the Iberian Peninsula: Mount Mulhacén (3,479 metres). Montserrat: there are more than 3,000 paths to the top. La Hoz del Júcar: you'll be amazed by its spectacular faces, some of which are extremely difficult to climb. Balearic Islands: in Mallorca you can go climbing in areas like La Creveta, in Pollença; El Puig de Son Sant Martí, in Alcúdia; and Cala Magraner, in Manacor. Canary Islands: Torreón de Figueroa, in the Teide National Park, in Tenerife; and the rocky cirque of La Ayacata, in Gran Canaria.

Sierra de Gredos

Summit of Mount Moncayo: the highest peak in the Cordillera Ibérica mountain range. Basque Mountains: in the mountains of Gorbea and Anboto you will find many marked routes and a wide variety of climbing schools. Limestone mountains in Alicante: Peñón de Ifach, Callosa de Segura, Tozal de Levante. If you are an expert climber and you like to take risks, don't miss El Caminito del Rey (Malaga), which is considered to be one of the most dangerous routes in the world. Its main attractions include the beautiful scenery, a ravine, a hanging footbridge and its height (more than 100 metres). Access is free to go climbing, but you have to have civil liability insurance.

Caminito del Rey

HANDY TIPS

  • Wear a light helmet that meets climbing regulations, and comfortable, light and breathable clothing to start climbing.

  • Harness, ropes and carabiners are also necessary for certain types of climbing.

  • If you don't have the equipment you need, you can always hire it at the place where you go climbing.

  • Before you start climbing a wall, take into account the inclination, and the size and shape of holds and distance between them.

  • If you want to organise your own climbing, you should find out whether you need a permit or prior authorisation for the area you are interested in.

  • You don't need to be federated to enjoy climbing in Spain, but you should always check the specific conditions in each region at the schools and federations.

  • In case of an accident, contact the emergency service by calling 112, or the Civil Guard at 062.

  • For more information on climbing and to find out which route suits you best, visit the tourist offices in each area or get in touch with their respective federations and schools.

  • You can also visit the Spanish Mountain Sports and Climbing Federation's website.

  • Given that the recommendations and regulations provided may change, we advise you always to check the requirements before starting out on your journey.

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