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Rock Climbing in Crete

Sport climbing on the Greek island of Crete is relatively new (and therefore relatively undeveloped) when compared to the rest of Europe.  The main rock climbing areas in Crete are shown on the map below, with Kapetaniana and Agiofarango in the south of the island being the largest and most developed.
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Map of the rock climbing areas in Crete

Map of the rock climbing areas in Crete Rock climbing and sports climbing in Kapetaniana, Crete

This information has been extracted from the 2 current guidebooks that cover the rock climbing to be found on Crete, which are; Crete from north to south; and Crete topo Kapetaniana.  Both of these guidebook can be bought from our shop.

Kapetaniana is the best rock climbing area in Crete.  The rock climbing is based around the isolated village of Kapetaniana, and therefore offers remote and peaceful rock climbing.  However it is only 75Km from the capital Iraklio (Heraklion), with its airport, and therefore is very accessible. There are 6 areas offering single pitch sports routes from 15 to 40m long, plus a small amount of traditional climbing on Mount Kofinas.  It total at Kapetaniana there are over 130 routes across a wide range of grades on solid white limestone rock. 

No Crag Name Grade Range Total number of routes at these grades Total No of Routes
Up to 4c 5a to 5c 6a to 6c+ 7a to 7c+ 8a & over
1 Skoteino 5b to 8b+ 0 2 3 4 6 15
2 Malia 6a to 8a 0 0 7 3 2 12
3 Plakias 4c to 8a 1 13 13 7 8 42
4 Agiofarango 4c to 8a 10 16 37 33 9 105
5 Kapetanania 3b to 8a 30 46 43 15 2 136
6 Agios Ioannis 4c to 6c+ 3 16 9 0 0 28
7 Treis Ekklisies 4c to 7c+ 2 5 8 14 0 29

Agiofarango is situated within a picturesque gorge that runs down to the sea and is a great sports climbing venue.  The climbing is situated on both sides of the gorge, which means that you can find sun or shade no matter what the season or time of the day.  The routes are generally long and cover all styles from slabs, overhangs, steep walls, chimneys and cracks, across a wide range of grades.

In the Aradena gorge near Loutro, on the southern coast, there are great possibilities for opening new long sports routes.  Around Chora Sfakion there is also some deep water soloing (DWS) opportunities.  More information about these other areas can be found on the ClimbinCrete web site.