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Best Summer Climbing Destinations in Europe

Best Summer Climbing Destinations in Europe

Not all of us get long breaks from work and responsibility to travel internationally, and many of us cannot afford to leave the continent, but the good news is that there are a number of great summer destinations located within Europe that you can drive or take a short flight to!

P.S If you're ready to fly further, check out this article covering destinations outside of Europe!

Céüse, France

 Diamonds in the inside 6c. Photo by Laurent Girousse.

Diamonds in the inside 6c. Photo by Laurent Girousse.

Céüse sits around 2000m/7000ft high with an equal amount of sunny and shaded areas to deal with a variety of temperatures. Many of the climbs are long and some would consider the bolts run out, so be ready! It’s a long approach so many climbers stash their climbing equipment near their project.

  • Type of climbing: Limestone Sport Climbing. Have a 70m rope to be safe
  • Currency: Euro
  • Language: French
  • Accommodation: Les Guernis campsite or caravans. There is are also the more luxurious options of hotel Muret in Sigoyer or one of the numerous "gites rureaux"
  • Where to eat: buy your food in Gap or Sigoyer
  • What else to do nearby: Gorges de la Méouge swimming hole for cliff jumping, waterfall swimming, deep water bouldering
  • Pad rentals/Stores: in Gap
  • Fees/Permits: No
  • Airport: Grenoble, Nimes, Marseille or Turin are the most affordable options

Bohuslän, Sweden

Comparable to Yosemite, but virtually empty and located by the sea, Bohuslän is said to be a trad climber’s paradise. With a variety of grades to choose from, the rock quality is exceptional and the landscape is beautiful.

Just like the rest of Scandanavia, Bohuslän is not cheap, so stock up in the bigger cities.

 Erik Heyman on  Dr Snuggles  8b . Photo: Petter Restorp

Erik Heyman on Dr Snuggles  8b. Photo: Petter Restorp

  • Type of climbing: Granite rope climbing- mostly trad, also some sport climbing and bouldering
  • Currency: Swedish Krona
  • Language: Swedish
  • Accomodation: camping on the farm or stay with other climbers at the Bohuslän Climbing Club hut
  • Where to eat: grocery stores, cafes
  • What else to do nearby: beaches (a lot of the climbing is located on the water), cinema, exploring other nearby towns and cities
  • Pad rentals/Climbing store: No
  • When to go: Spring or Fall, summer possible.
  • Fees/Permits: No but most of the crags are on private land so remember to behave.
  • Airport: Fly into Gothenburg and drive from there

Magic Wood, Switzerland

  The Wizard 7C , Magic Wood. Photo: Jonathan Linné Ryn,

The Wizard 7C, Magic Wood. Photo: Jonathan Linné Ryn,

Magic Wood boasts some of the best quality bouldering rock in the world in a damp, yet “magical” forest of moss, trees, rocks and a beautiful river. The landings are sub par and hiking can be treacherous if you don't pay attention.

If you go in late August and have time to stay, you might be able to sample some of the incredible bouldering in Ticino at the base of the mountain as well.

  • Type of climbing: Gneiss Bouldering
  • Currency: Swiss franc
  • Language: German
  • Where to stay: Pay to camp camping, Gasthaus Edelweis, or make the drive from Chur or Ticino
  • Where to eat: You can cook at the Gasthaus or you can drive to one of the towns
  • What else to do nearby: Visit Chur, Bellizona, or any of the other nearby Italian towns for history, art, beauty and great food!
  • Pad rentals/Stores: In Ticino
  • Fees/Permits: No
  • Airport: Zurich or Milan.

Lofoten, Norway

  Kingfisher 7A,  Lofoten. Photo: Sam Mawson

Kingfisher 7A, Lofoten. Photo: Sam Mawson

Lofoten is one of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in Europe- iconic Fisherman’s houses line the coast and soaring green mountains cover the land.

While expensive and not the easiest to get to, the incredible beauty of this place is worth a trip in itself and the climbing is new enough that it is still in its development stage if that’s your thing. The weather is definitely inconsistent so it is best to keep this in mind.

  • Type of climbing: Granite bouldering
  • Currency: Krone
  • Language: Norwegian
  • Where to stay: Free camping or cabins
  • Where to eat: Grocery stores are the best bet in the main town of Svolvaer because of the high costs of food
  • What else to do nearby: Explore the beautiful island, fishing, hiking, beaches
  • Pad rentals/Stores: No- if camping make sure to bring your fuel
  • Fees/Permits: No
  • Airport: Svolvaer- it is somewhat difficult to get to Lofoten but there are options to fly, take a ferry or drive

Flatanger, Norway

 Flatanger. Photo: Janne Otavaara

Flatanger. Photo: Janne Otavaara

Despite its reputation as the home of many of the hardest lines in the world, Flatanger also offers a plethora of climbing for other levels.

Sitting beside a fjord, this picturesque rope climbing destination is truly world class. Come for the Flatanger Climbing Festival in June!

  • Type of climbing: granite trad and sport climbing
  • Currency: Krone
  • Language: Norwegian
  • Where to stay: camp for free or pay to camp with some great amenities through www.climbflatanger.com. For double the price of camping you can stay in the farmhouse
  • Where to eat: Bring food to cook which you can purchase at the Spar in the nearby town of Lauvnes
  • What else to do nearby: swim and fish in the ocean, hiking, boating, via ferrata
  • Pad rentals/Stores: only in Trondheim but the campsite owner sells a small amount of chalk
  • Fees/Permits: No
  • Airport: Trondheim

Hoya Moros, Spain

A beautiful alpine granite area of lush greenery unlike any other climbing area in Spain. It is part of the Natura 2000 network and Biosphere Reserve and there are strict rules that need to be followed in order to keep the place as pristine as it is. A few of these main rules are no fires, no tents, no disturbing the cows and no trash left behind.

The area sits at 2050 meters above sea level so be weary if you get altitude sickness. Hoya Moros is unlike most European bouldering destinations because you feel so far away from everything and everyone.

  • Type of climbing: Granite Bouldering. Very sharp, be warned
  • Currency: Euro
  • Language: Spanish
  • Where to stay: Camping at the top but no tents allowed- sleeping bags and bivvy spots, be prepared to bring everything you will need and more (except water- just bring a filtration system).
  • Where to eat: You must bring your food
  • What else to do nearby: This is for the adventure boulderers looking for an extended trip in a remote location- think of it as the Chimanimani National Park of Europe. Its a long, hard, steep hike and once you are there, you want to stay. There is a river if you want to swim and of course you can hike around the area. If you do want to venture back down, you can explore the town of Candelario
  • Pad rentals/Stores: In Madrid
  • Fees/Permits: No
  • Airport: Madrid, it is 2.5 hours drive from Madrid

Dolomites, Italy

  Vajolet Towers in Dolomites. Photo: Anders Lidström

 Vajolet Towers in Dolomites. Photo: Anders Lidström

The approaches here are short, unlike typical Alpine areas, and with the pristine and lush landscape of meadows and forests, this is a paradise for rope climbers.

Famous for via ferrata and mountaineering, climbing has a long standing tradition in this area of the world. There is a fantastic mix of single and long multi pitch climbing here, so there is something for everyone.

  • Type of climbing: Mostly limestone trad with some sport climbing
  • Currency: Euro
  • Language: Italian
  • Where to stay: Hotel or campsite
  • Where to eat: In any of the nearby towns. Cooking yourself.
  • What else to do nearby: Zipline, high ropes course, horse back riding, mountain biking, white water rafting, canyoning, road biking, spas, museums
  • Pad rentals/Stores: Shops in Treviso, Cortina, Canazei and Corvara
  • Fees/Permits: No
  • Airport: Innsbruck, Austria or Venice and Verona in Italy

Text by Alexandra Kahn

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Top Climbing Places for Families in Europe

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Best Summer Climbing Destinations Outside of Europe