Angelika’s Top 5 sport climbing destinations in Europe

Climbing inspires you to travel, to visit different places, discover new rocks and try new routes. Angelika Rainer shares with us her top 5 climbs from all across Europe.
 
My favorite 5 sport climbing crags in Europe are really different from each other in the kind of rock you climb on and in the landscape they are surrounded by but all of them offer absolutely great climbing.
 
Pian Schiavaneis is my homecrag, situated in the Italian Dolomites, in a wind protected valley between Passo Sella and Passo Pordoi. Thanks to this protected location it is possible to climb at 2000 metres above the sea level all year round, even on a sunny winter day after approaching through deep snow you can end up climbing in the T-Shirt.
 
I love the place especially because of its beautiful panorama that you can enjoy already while driving. Although most routes have been artificially modified as the overhanging has not much structured rock and would not allow you to climb, climbing here is still very diverse. Here I have climbed some of my hardest routes and pushed up my level.
 
At the base of the crag there is a nice meadow where it is possible to rest and even to do a barbecue. This crag is perfect for families, also because of the easy approach of 10 minutes.
 
AR6
 
Cornalba near Bergamo is one of the most historical crags in Italy.
 
In the 80’s some of the first 8a’s and 8b’s of the country have been established here. The crag has a stunning appearance, when you drive from Bergamo, at a certain moment you will see this white limestone in the middle of the forest, just like a fungi that has grown overnight.
 
The climbing style is very technical and grades are quite stiff but it is really worth the visit.
 
AR2
 
Ceuse in France – I have visited this Crag numerous times.
 This famous crag, that sits highly visible above the city of Gap is a meeting point for climbers from all around the world. The grey limestone is of perfect quality, you climb mainly on holes and crimps and you should be prepared to some longer run-outs, on most of the routes bolts are quite distant.
 
The approach of 1 hour is quite long for a sports climbing crag but the climbing and the view will reward you.
 
AR1
 
Margalef is one of the most famous crags in Spain.
 
The rock is fantastic, the crag is located in a beautiful valley and the nice climate make it a perfect destination for climbers in search for some sunshine, especially in early spring and autumn.
 
On the rest day it is possible to visit the city of Barcelona, that is only about 2 hours drive of distance.
 
AR3
 
My absolute favourite is Kalymnos, the Greek climbing Island.
 
Since I visited this place for the first time in 2005 I came back more that 10 times. There are almost numerous sectors with routes in all grades. Some of them you climb on fantasy, like the tufas, hanging from the ceiling of the caves.
 
From all sectors you can see the sea and after climbing in the morning, the afternoon is going to be spent on the beach. With great climbing, relax on the beach, really friendly people and good food, for me this is the perfect place for holidays. And if you have been there once, coming back will feel like coming home!
 
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my 5 favourite sport climbing locations. 
Happy climbing. 
Angelika Rainer