Greece

Climbing Area

The best sport climbing area in the world. Probably.

I am not sure a lot more than that needs to be said. If you are after good quality sports climbing, Kalymnos has it all. Thousands of routes on over 50 different crags, and still potential for many more. The weather is near perfect in spring and autumn, and the routes are solid, clean, and very well bolted. The island still has very few cars (please hire a scooter rather than a car and keep it that way). The ambiance in the restaurants doesn't leave a lot to be desired.

Number of routes
3000
Crag

The bright red walls of Arginonta contain many outstanding climbs that are spoilt only by the popularity of the crag. With so many classic lines in the 6a to 6c range, it is perhaps no surprise that so many people flock to this climbing mecca. The arrival of the sun after midday on the right hand side forces everyone into the little space on the left hand side, making it feel crowded and detracting from the high quality of the routes. The message is clear. Arrive early and leave early.

Number of routes
70
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

With fantastic views over Arginonta bay, a sense of loneliness, and some quality rock and routes to match, the Arginonta skyline is well worth the longer walk. Maybe even the walk is one of the attractions.  The skyline consists of 6 separate sectors, each offering something different. Kryptos and Haute Gorge face east and do not get the shade until mid afternoon. The other sectors face SW and get the sun around midday. 

Number of routes
80
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Arginonta valley is a set of 3 cliffs just a few miinutes walk from the parking in Arginonta village With it's well bolted, mid grade routes, on good rock, that are in the shade when most crags are in the sun, it is perhaps inevitable that the crags are popular, sometimes too popular. Most of the route names are written at the foot of the climbs, making route finding easy.

Number of routes
60
Range of Routes
5b - 7a+
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Arhi is an excellent and popular crag, and has a bit of everything. The left hand side has mostly steep wall climbs

Number of routes
50
Range of Routes
5a to 9a
Rock Type
Limestone
Sun
After about 10am
Crag

Atlantis and Utopia are a set of recently developed crags (2017 / 2018) up and to the right of Ghost Kitchen. The Atlantis sector offers excellent middle grade slab climbing on gouttes d'eau, and the neighbouring sector Utopia, has many hard steep tufa and wall climbs. The rock is sharp and still brittle in places but with time should produce many classic routes. Sector Atlantis is in the shade until 1pm, the cave until 5pm and the rest of Utopia gets the sun at about 2pm.

Number of routes
50
Range of Routes
5c - 8c
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Solid climbing on rough rock with good holds in a beautiful location. Shade after midday

Number of routes
25
Range of Routes
5a - 7c
Rock Type
Limestone
Sun
Gets the sun until about 12.30
Crag

Excellent wall climbing on good pockets and gouttes d'eau. Some of the routes are 2 or more pitches, the 2nd pitches of which are excellent.

Number of routes
50
Range of Routes
Mostly 5c to 6c
Rock Type
Limestone
Sun
Gets the sun after 11am
Crag

A big crag with a mountain feel about it and lots of potential for more routes up the orange walls. It is in the shade after about midday, and due to the long (for Kalymnos) walk in, you are likely to have the crag to yourself. 

Number of routes
20
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Cave is so called because of, you guessed it, a cave. Not the cave on the crag, but the cave under the crag which is accessed via an iron gate and a ladder and is well worth exploring, it is huge. The cave on the crag is also pretty big and offers a few hard tufa climbs. Either side of this are some pleasant easier slab and wall climbs, all very enjoyable. The cave under the ground never gets the sun, the cave on the crag gets it after 2pm and the rest of the cliff after 1pm.

Number of routes
40
Range of Routes
5a - 7c
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

E.T. is so called because of it's resemblance to the alien in the Spielberg film. The cave forming the left eye has hard tufa cimbing up its overhanging walls, whilst the main buttress, between the eyes, has several long middle grade routes from 6a to 6c. A lot further left (facing in) is the Koukouvas buttress with some more middle grade wall climbs. The crag has the advantage in hot weather of being in the shade for most of the day, and the disadvantage that this sometimes means you have to wear warm clothes, especially if it is windy.

Number of routes
30
Range of Routes
6a - 8b
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

A quiet cliff with three distinct sectors. Reservoir Dogs is the nearest to the road and has a handful of long wall climbs on rough rock. The Calcite Cave is a mini Grande Grotte with a number of excellent steep tufa climbs, and a few easier routes to either side. Black Forest is a small crag with a few pleasant, albeit sharp, climbs. The sun reaches the Calcite Cave between 12 and 1pm, the other two crags a bit earlier, around 10.30am. In the warmer months it is worth the effort of an early start. 

Number of routes
40
Range of Routes
6a - 8b
Rock Type
Limestone
Sun
Reservoir dogs gets the sun after about 10am, Calcite cave after 12.30
Crag

Gerakios Left has two cliffs, Rainbow Wall and the Upper Cave. Both are excellent, with routes mostly in the 7s and 8s, although there are a few easier ones. The rock is rough, often with good pockets, and the cliff is usually quieter than the more popular lower cliffs. Partly due to the difficulty and partly due to the longer walk in. It gets the sun after about 12.30

 

Number of routes
30
Range of Routes
6a - 8a
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Gerakios has two distinct sectors. The left hand side containing the more difficult routes on Rainbow Wall and the Upper Cave, and the right hand side including Main Wall and Trois Ilots. The right hand side, described here, has many excellent mid grade routes on walls and slabs with rough rock and good incut holds. It gets the sun after about 12.30. Mot of the route names are written at the foot of the climbs.

Number of routes
50
Range of Routes
5c to 6c
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

An excellent and popular crag with a wide variety of routes, from pleasant slabs to incredible tufas on a gently overhanging wall. There are 4 sectors. The sun hits the left hand side after about 13.00, A little later for each of the other sectors.

Number of routes
30
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Big roofs ! The showpiece of Kalymnos is understandably very popular, and queueing for routes is not uncommon. Lots of stamina and technique required  giving inspiring, exposed and often 3D climbing. Gets the sun early afternoon in the Spring and Autumn, later in the summer

Number of routes
50
Range of Routes
7a-8b
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

A small goat's cave up the gorge from Sea Breeze, Great Canyon has a few slabs and some steeper cave routes that stay in the shade most of the day

Number of routes
20
Range of Routes
6b - 7b
Rock Type
Limestone
Sun
After 1pm for most of the crag, although the cave stays in the shade
Crag

Iannis is a the large stalactite cave at the left hand end of Poets, flanked by steep orange walls containing many steep classic tufa lines. Included also are the grey and white slabs a bit further right containing many excellent easier routes. The slabs get the sun after 1pm, the cave itself stays in the shade until 3pm. It's accessibility, the quality of climbing and late shade make it a popular destination. 

Number of routes
30
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Iliada is overshadowed by Odyssey, but perhaps should not be. It is less polished, has some excellent routes, and for a few minutes extra walk is a lot less crowded. It gets the sun relatively early, between 11am and 1pm according to the sector, so an early start is recommended in the hotter months. The routes vary from slabs to middle grade walls, steep overhanging walls and tufas, plus a few hard cave routes.

Number of routes
50
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Situated just off the Arginonta, Vathy road just after the col, Je t'aime has a varied selection of routes, from hard overhanging walls to easy slabs. Although the rock and lines are not always perfect, there are several good lines, the crag is usually quiet, and the main crag gets the shade in the afternoon

Number of routes
30
Range of Routes
4c - 8a
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

A scenic walk to an excellent crag that is usually far from the madding crowds. It has two sides, the left hand is a steep wall with lots of big pockets, the right hand is overhanging with a large cave, that is also peppered with large pockets and holds.

Number of routes
30
Range of Routes
6b - 8b+
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Big steep orange walls with technical climbing on pockets and crimps. Excellent. Gets the sun after about 14.00, although the right hand parts can be climbed until 16.00

Number of routes
50
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

Kastri is an archeological site, which is interesting to visit in its own right. The climbing is in 3 sectors. The left hand sector, Kreissaal, is mostly slabs. The middle and main section has an ancient fortress dating back to the 4th century BC. It contains many excellent routes, both slabs and steep walls. The right hand section, Sophie, is less interesting, but nevertheless has a dozen or so routes, of varying quality. The sun reaches most of the sectors between 11.00 and 12.00, although one or two of the steep walls stay in the shade a little longer.

Number of routes
50
Rock Type
Limestone
Crag

A couple of caves with some steep overhanging routes that are always in the shade

Number of routes
20
Range of Routes
6b+ - 8b
Rock Type
Limestone
Sun
In the shade all day
Crag

Pleasant climbing, mainly on slabs and steep walls with a couple of caves to test the ambitious climber. Bolting is good and the holds often sharp. Gets the sun between 10.30am on the LHS, and 13.00 on the right hand side cave.

Number of routes
60
Range of Routes
5b - 8b
Rock Type
Limestone