Macedonia is located in the heart of the Balkans with beautiful mountains, forests, lakes and rivers. The rock climbing is located all over the country either in the mountains, in canons or on the coast of Lakes. The map opposite shows the location of the major rock climbing, sport climbing and bouldering areas in Macedonia.
Prilep is Macedonia’s largest bouldering area that also attracts climbers from all over Europe. Overlooking the town is a chaotic and huge granite boulder field where over 400 problems have been established. However there is enormous scope to develop new boulder problems at Prilep as only a small amount of the boulders have been developed. Currently the largest developed area is called Kamena Baba plus there are 4 other areas called Treskavec, Markovi kuli, Dabnica and the Old Quarry.
The style of bouldering found at Prilep is predominately crimpy with the emphasis on finger strength though there are jugs, cracks and huecos as well. The granite rock tends to sharp so looking after the fingers is essential. Most of the lines are either vertical or slightly overhanging with the top-outs being of moderate height. Landings are mostly flat with many problems climbed using only one or two crash pads.
The best time to boulder at Prilep is during the spring and autumn. During the winter there is a risk of snow, though dry sunny days in the winter offers the best friction. The summers in Macedonia are just too hot to climb and there is very little shade amongst the boulders. There is a comprehensive guidebook called “Prilep Bouldering Guidebook” that is available to buy from our shop.
Rock climbing areas in Macedonia
|No||Rock climbing Area||Type of Climbing||Type of rock|
|2||Matka||Trad and Sport||Limestone|
|3||Demir Kapija||Trad and Sport||Limestone|
|6||Plocha||Trad and Sport||Granite – Basalt|
Matka Canyon is only 15km west of the capital Skopje and has both trad rock climbing and sport climbing on limestone rock. The cliffs are located above a large dam and lake in a beautiful and majestic setting that is protected as a natural wilderness area. In total there are 5 sectors with routes ranging from trad multi-pitch routes up to 150m long to single pitch sport routes.
Located only 117km south of Skopje, Demir Kapija is Macedonia’s largest and best sport climbing area on good quality limestone rock. There are more than 120 single pitch sport routes plus around 20 bolted multi-pitch routes. The sport climbing is spread across 12 individual sectors, each with a unique style, and routes ranging from F4 to F8c. These sectors are located in various gorges where it is possible to find the sun or shade depending upon the time of year. This area is rapidly being developed with Alex Klenov being one of the main developers. He also runs a camping/hostel centre in Demir Kapija aimed at climbers.
There are also trad routes at Demir Kapija. On the Sought Wall there are around 20 long multi-pitch trad routes up to 250m long. These routes are south facing and the best time to climb them is from the autumn through to the spring.
Located 25km south of Shtip, Plocha has both trad and sport climbing on limestone rock. The style of climbing is mostly on slabs with most of the routes in the 6a to 6b grade range.
Around Lake Ohrid there are four different crags, at different locations, that offer single pitch sport climbing. The climbing is on red limestone and is set amongst some stunning scenery.
On the south of Macedonia on the coast of Lake Prespa near to the border of Albania is the village of Stenje on the coast of Lake Prespa. Here there is some sport climbing on the beach of the lake.
The sport climbing crag Kadina is only 36km from Skopje. Here the climbing is on good quality limestone rock where the style of climbing is on vertical and overhanging rock with many roof sections. There is also great potential for opening new routes here. The crag faces south making it ideal to climb from October through to May. The routes are up to 30m long and are well bolted.
Mavrovo is a gorge high in the mountains within a National Park. Here there is a huge limestone cave that has been developed as a sport climbing venue with both single pitch and multi-pitch routes. This cave has been likened to the Grande Grotta in Kalymnos.
The Prilep Bouldering guidebook is the comprehensive guidebook describing the bouldering at Prilep.
Buy this guidebook from our shop.
Read an article by Tom Newberry describing Prilep: Eastern Europe’s Premier Bouldering Destination.