Step away from the climbing wall and into the wilderness at these awe-inspiring climbing spots…
Thinking of turning your after-work-hobby into the adventure of a lifetime? We asked climbing addict and SunGod Ambassador Lena Drapella to share her favorite and most spectacular climbing destinations. Whether you are a total beginner or the next Alex Honnold, all of these spots will accommodate you, so why not plan a trip with a difference this summer?
Lena's top tips
Before embarking on a climbing trip, here are my top 3 things to consider:
1. Go with the right people: There is no more important thing in the world, or in climbing for the matter. If you’re travelling with the right people, your trip WILL be a success, even if you don't send, or if the weather breaks down for the whole week. PRO TIP - if one of your friends is a good cook, always bring them along!
2. Packing: It seems obvious but aside from all the necessary climbing gear - I’ve learned that you must never forget your swim suit and your down jacket. The latter is a must, even if you’re going to the sunniest place on earth!
3. Do your research: No matter your destination, speak to people who have been there before. Learn which spots are the best in the area and find out what type of climbing you’ll be facing so you can train accordingly. If you're new to outdoor climbing, either hire a guide or bring along an experienced climber whom you trust to show you the ropes.
1. The Dolomites - Italy
If you’re into big stuff and big scenery, the Italian Dolomites is your place to be. The temperatures are perfect for summer sends and there is something for everyone regardless of your ability, from via ferratas to long trad multi-pitch routes. Keep your eyes peeled for Marmots too!
2. Finale Ligure - Italy
Though also in Italy, Finale Ligure is quite a contrast to the Dolomites. You won’t find big and scary trad routes but if you’re into technical sport climbing on pockets, you’ll love it. If you’re keen to try some other sports on your rest days, Finale is a Mecca for mountain biking as well – Not a bad combo!
3. The Peak District – UK
Known to some as ‘God’s own rock’, the Peak District can be found in the heart of the UK. The Peak District is fantastic for both trad and sport climbing suiting any level - from beginners to pros. The grit is all about friction, so beware of hot temperatures if you’re hoping for hard sends!
For a unique cultural experience, Morocco is the perfect choice. Morocco offers a variety of bouldering, sport and trad. Todra Gorge is a great place to start, offering long, well bolted routes on ridiculously sharp limestone. And what’s better than enjoying a tasty tagine in the Secret Garden, after a day of adventures?! While in Morocco, make sure to also visit Taghazout for some of the world class surfing and Marrakech with it's hidden Riads.
5. Leonidio - Greece
A Greek gem located 3 hours drive from Athens, Leonidio is one of the best newly developed climbing destinations in Europe. Think world class sport climbing in steep caves filled with tufas and stalactites… Not to mention the local food which is just too good to be true.
6. The Isle of Portland - UK
The Isle of Portland on the Dorset coast is the perfect weekend destination for UK based climbers. Escape the city bustle and go for a sport climbing adventure in supposedly the sunniest place in the UK. Sun, breeze, sea and quality routes, what more could you want? Ice cream prizes for the first one to spot a seal!
7. Mallorca - Spain
If you’re looking for the one that has it all, Mallorca is THE PLACE. Having a go at Deep Water Soloing is a must - This is when you climb on the cliffs, falling into the sea if necessary - the ultimate refreshment! Mallorca has also a variety of single and multi pitch climbs for those not so keen to splash. There is no better way to finish off the day than with a bunch of friends on the beach, with guitars and a cerveza or two!
There you have it! 7 mega places to head to this year which have hopefully inspired you to step out of your comfort zone and into the adventure of a lifetime! Remember, you have to start somewhere...
Check out Lena's Instagram (@lenadrapella) to stay up to date with her adventures!