If you ask a group of rock-climbers, of varying specialities, where the best rock-climbing destination is, you are sure to start a major debate. Depending on your preference of either bouldering or top roping, you will surely have your own unique rock-climbing destination bucket list. Regardless of these differences, we have assembled a list of the world’s most legendary climbing hubs. Each is guaranteed to inspire and challenge any enthusiastic climber.
Rocklands, South Africa
This destination is frequently described by the climbing community as the modern-day mecca of bouldering. The expanse of red and sunset-orange coloured sandstone formations is located in the heart of the Cederberg. The desert-esque setting is a three-hour drive from the coastal Cape Town. The region has limited signal which allows you to disconnect from the world and to feel fully immersed in nature and climbing.
Rocklands is known for a style of bouldering that is steep and physically challenging. It demands a level of skill and strength that is perhaps a bit beyond the capabilities of a beginner to intermediate climber.
Yosemite National Park, USA
Yosemite has been catapulted into the spotlight by climbing films such as Free Solo and The Dawn Wall. Its fame is well-deserved as the national park is home to an exquisite natural landscape and some of the best – if not the best – climbable granite on the planet.
Climbing in Yosemite requires you to have a keen eye for details as many routes will require you to balance on the tiniest footholds. Although this is world-class granite, it is still challenging to find your grip and footing – even for experienced climbers. The Park contains some of the most iconic climbing routes of all time; Midnight Lightening, The Dawn Wall, and El Capitan are just a few favourites.
This destination is suited to all enthusiastic climbers looking to embark on a sporty outdoors holiday adventure. The limestone routes cater to all levels of experience and are primarily suited to sports climbing. This region offers far more than just its climbing routes, thus making it the ideal holiday destination.
The surrounding area boasts a breath-taking coastline that lends itself to endless suntanning, swimming and snorkelling. Furthermore, you need not worry about fuelling your daily climbs. Kalymnos is known for its exquisite fresh fish and fruit. Although most climbers visit the region in October, the Mediterranean climate allows for ideal climbing conditions year-round.
Tonsai and Railay, Thailand
If you want to really emphasise the ‘holiday’ part of your climbing holiday then Tonsai and Railay is the place for you. There are many guided climbing tours available to put the less experienced at ease. Tonsai and Railway has both bouldering and multi-pitch options, thus eliminating any friction between you and friends with different preferences. Since the climbing routes are walls overhanging the beaches and the bars that populate them, a non-climber partner or best friend would be overjoyed to learn more and accompany you on this holiday of a lifetime.