About Rock Climbing in Mallorca
Mallorca is without a doubt one of Europe’s most beautiful and varied sports climbing venues. An abundance of top quality limestone means that the island has an unparalleled variety of routes of all grades.
Combine this with its beautiful beaches, rugged coastline and the dramatic Tramuntana mountain range and it is easy to see why Mallorca is fast becoming an incredibly popular climbing destination. Whether you are a complete beginner looking for a friendly introduction to a new and exciting sport or a well travelled rock climber looking for fresh challenges then Mallorca is for you.
Rock climbing in Mallorca is well established, with plenty of routes on mainly bolted limestone with single and multi-pitch routes to explore. A huge draw to the visiting rock climber is the variety of routes on offer, sheer slab walls, steep overhanging roofs, juggy tufas and cracks on pristine limestone, for both sport and traditional climbing, so there really is something for everyone.
The Climbing Hotspots
It is always difficult advising someone on the best area for climbing in Mallorca as the climbing venues are spread throughout the island. However, one of the great attractions of Mallorca is its compact size and its good road network. This allows all of the crags to be visited from wherever you end up staying. The summer months will see the climbers predominantly heading to the high mountain crags, shady valleys and of course the deep water soloing venues. The winter will see the return of the climbers to the hotter east coast and south west areas.
Most of the established climbs are in the Tramuntana Mountains in the north west of Mallorca. The mountains also mean a cooler climate in climb in, and give you the added luxury of glorious sea views. There are also several areas on the east coast of Mallorca which offer ideal climbs for beginners.
For those new to the sport that are looking for well bolted climbs in a stunning location you must visit Cala Magraner on the east coast, just north of Cales de Mallorca (65 routes from grade 3 upwards). For the seasoned sports climber looking to challenge themselves against some of the finest lines in Europe then you can’t beat Alaro in the foothills of the Tramuntana mountains, just to the west of Binissalem (65+ routes from grade 5 to 8). And of course Mallorca’s prime climbing area is Sa Gubia, also in the foothills of the Tramuntana to the west of Bunyola (125+ routes from grade 4 – 8). There are also venues like Fraguel (also near Bunyola) and Gorg Blau (high in the mountains on the road from Soller to Escorca) perfect for the rock gods who are content to spend their days working impossibly hard routes (55+ routes each from 5 to 8c+).
Mallorca also has opportunities for the more adventurous multi-pitch climbers. The huge amphitheatre of Sa Gubia offers a wealth of classic fully bolted longer climbs. Sa Gubia is also home to a seven-pitch traditional route which follows the long Albahida ridge line that dominates the area. There is also no shortage of venues still to be explored and developed. The island is dotted with impressive spires of rock just crying out to be climbed. Despite new climbing areas being equipped constantly there is still enough untouched rock here to last a life time.
Deep Water Soloing (Psicobloc)
Mallorca has recently become world famous as a deep water soling venue, with world class climbers like Chris Shrama visiting during the summer and autumn months. The deep water soloing (known locally as Psicobloc) is excellent in Mallorca. There are numerous sea cliff venues, particularly in the south east of the island, covered in pockets, juggy tufas, cracks and crimps catering for many styles. There is Cova del Diablo (just to the north of Porto Cristo), home to the world’s best lines; Cala Serena (north Cala d'Or), the largest venue on the island with almost 100 separate lines and Cala Barques (just south of Porto Cristo), an incredibly popular quality deep water soloing playground........to name but a few! The routes start from as short as five metres to as high as twenty metres and grades range from 4+ to 8a. In the past climbers have been wild camping at some of the venues, this has caused many problems with the landowners and the police. Please don’t do it.
When to come climbing in Mallorca?
The best time to visit for climbing in when the island is quieter (September to May) when the roads are clear, the accommodation ample and the temperature perfect. That said, with a little research, a hire car and a few early starts it is possible to enjoy climbing in Mallorca throughout the year. Even in August there are cooler mountain crags, tucked away walls and of course deep water soloing.
Written by Sam Shelley
Sam Shelley is a UK MIA qualified climbing instructor with Rock and Ride – Mallorca - fully qualified climbing guides living and working on the island. They are able to offer advice on everything you need to know for a successful climbing holiday in Mallorca. Visit Rock and Ride – Mallorca for more information on climbing courses, guided multi-pitch adventures, advanced coaching, traditional climbing, deep water soling and much more