Climbing at world-class crags around the globe is every climber’s dream. You get to see the world, meet interesting people, and experience some of the coolest movements on the planet. So, whether you are gearing up for your next international outdoor climbing trip adventure or daydreaming from your desk, we have put together a list of our dream destinations.
Best Places for Sports Outdoor Climbing Trip
1. Catalonia, Spain
Catalonia (also spelled Cataluyna) is an autonomous region of Spain. Barcelona, one of Spain’s more famous cities, is located in this region and has some of Europe’s finest sports climbing. The region has three areas worth looking into for a climbing trip: Lleida, Montserrat, and Rodellar (Spanish Pyrenees).
Lleida has the highest concentration of climbing in Catalonia and receives recognition as one of Europe’s finest sports climbing venues. The rock is limestone and dominated by overhangs and massive roof features.
Montserrat comprises conglomerate rock and houses sport and trad routes, with many multi-pitch trad routes.
Lastly, Rodellar in the Spanish Pyrenees is famous for its limestone gorge, with a significant number of 6b and up climbs that are either single or multi-pitch sports routes.
2. Kalymnos, Greece
If you love the water and the mountains, Kalymnos, Greece, is your dream sports climbing location. Choose from various well-developed and bolted climbs on cliffs jutting up against the Mediterranean Sea. Due to it being an island, traveling to Kalymnos, Greece, can be on the longer and costlier side, but with climbs spanning across all ability levels, it is a fantastic place for climbers of any level to visit. Or, if you’re planning a group climbing trip, options are abundant for each person at numerous crags on the island.
3. Tonsai, Thailand
Another climbing destination up against the sea, Tonsia Bay in Krabi, Thailand, is a near paradise sport climbing location for climbers of all levels. Hundreds of limestone routes ranging from 5c to 8c are on the island, which sees the most climber traffic from November through March. If you’re into deep water soloing, the location offers plenty of options and one of the best multi-pitch routes in the world, “Lord of the Thais” (7b).
Best Places for Outdoor Boulder Climbing Trip
4. Fontainebleau, France
Yes, this is the place that influenced the name of the Font bouldering scale, and for good reason. Filled with a rich climbing history, this is the boulder’s dream destination, with over 30,000 problems spanning all grades. Known for its stiff grades and beta-intensive climbs, you’ll find a variety of styles, including slab, traves, roof, dynamic, and even high-ball climbs. Located just 40 miles south of Paris, Fontainebleau (Font) is a reasonably accessible climbing location, so if you’re a boulder lover, you might want to start looking to book your next trip here!
5. Rocklands, South Africa
This area has gained media traction among the climbing community for the number of hard boulders climbed by professional climbers. But the bullet-hard sandstone and plethora of boulders of varying grades make it an excellent destination for a climbing trip. Note that, unlike the other locations we’ve highlighted, Rocklands is not a tourist town. It’s about three hours north of Cape Town, South Africa, and within a National Preserve. This means that climbing is the only reason you’re traveling to Rocklands, and you’ll need a permit to climb on the land. However, the permits are relatively cheap at about $4/day. There are many different sub-areas to visit within the Rocklands, but if you’re looking to try classics and have a high concentration of boulders close together, look to go to Roadside, Roadcrew, and De Pakhuis (you can buy permits here). A bonus of climbing in the Rocklands is that they have relatively stable weather and opposite seasons of the U.S., making it an ideal location for climbing in the middle of the freezing winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
Hopefully, we’ve given you ideas of some of the best sport-climbing and bouldering locations worldwide. If you have ever been to one of these climbing locations or have a good addition to the list, let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!