Europe’s finest rock climbing areas

 
Rock climbing at its finest
 
During the past few weeks I have been climbing in three of Europe’s finest rock climbing areas. First I did a trip to the famous, Gorge du Verdon, in Southern France. I had already visited 8 years ago but only for a couple of days and I promised myself to come back as I had been absolutely stunned by the amazing landscape.
 
Here the climbing has something special. As you drive by car up to one of the panoramic viewpoints, it is always crowded by lots of tourists. From there you rappel down the wall and climb up the route you have previously chosen from the guide book, while normally you choose your route from below, climb up and then rappel down.
 
Arriving the first day after a morning drive from Italy, looking down the canyon and immediately rappelling down made us feel a bit dizzy at first but soon we got used to the exposition. The rock quality here is superb and many of the routes are a piece of history as the Verdon had been one of the playgrounds for the best climbers from all over the world during the 80’s and 90’s.
 
Verdon2
 
Both on our way to Verdon and on the way back we have been climbing in another top sportsclimbing area, Finale Ligure in Italy. This place is located in the Italian region of Liguria and just a one hour drive from the rich people’s paradise of Monte Carlo. Finalborgo is the medieval old town and has a very relaxed atmosphere where in the evening locals, climbers and mountain bikers drink beer or eat ice-cream on the streets and squares. And not to forget the Italian pizza! The access to the climbing areas is a little harder than finding a good pizza though. Many of the crags are a bit hidden in the forest but when you get there you will see that the searching was well worth it. There are crags for all seasons, from the south facing where you climb in the sun all winter long to some in complete shade.
 
Kalymnos 2
 
Having been home for just enough time to do the laundry and get packed again, I headed to Kalymnos, the perfect climbing island in Greece. I must say that here I feel almost at home, this had been already my 13th visit over the past 11 years! This trip started very well as I was able to climb the 7c+ called “Princess Marine” in the sector Secret Garden and throughout my stay I was able to tick off my list some more 7c+ climbs including; “Arogluopulos”, “Super Themelina” and “Syrtaki Lesson”, as well as one 8a, “Punto Caramello”.
 
Verdon1
 
For sure, this has not been not my last visit to these great climbing areas!