Rock climbing in Malta and Gozo was started by the British RAF in the 60's and 70's and hence has a history of British traditional rock climbing ethics (with the leader placing natural protection such as nuts and friends). During the 80's and 90's other European climbers (mainly Italian) visited the island and established many new bolted sport routes. Hence the islands offer a good mixture of sports and traditional rock climbing on good quality limestone rock. This is something that is unique in the Mediterranean and offers rock climbers the best of both worlds. The climbing ethic is to have designated sport climbing crags and keep the traditional rock climbing crags bolt free.
There are many crags on the islands of Malta and Gozo, with nearly 1,500 routes across all grades on excellent limestone rock. Approximately 70% of these routes are on Malta with 30% on Gozo. The style of rock climbing varies from single pitch to multi-pitch routes, coupled with bouldering (mainly on Gozo); and many deep-water soloing (DWS) locations, ideal in the hot summer months!. These routes are spread all across the islands from rugged coastlines, inland valleys, to caves and ridges.
Surprisingly the crags on Malta and Gozo are very quiet as there few local climbers! However this does mean there is virtually no polish and peaceful. The Maltese islands are the most southerly European country, which makes them the ideal year round rock climbing area, with lots of sun and warm seas.
For information about average temperatures for Malta and Gozo, accommodation and how to get there, then look at our Malta & Gozo Logistics Page.
The comprehensive guidebook called Malta Rock Climbing that covers both traditional and sport climbing on Malta and Gozo is currently out of print.