Climbing in Portugal
Portugal is not the
first place you would think of as a top rock-climbing destination
and it doesn't have any world famous climbing areas. However
there are plenty of excellent sports crags and bouldering
areas, of which the majority are located near the major tourist
destinations of Portugal. Therefore it is an ideal place to
visit if you are looking to combine rock climbing with your
general holiday, with superb beaches, surfing and World-class
windsurfing spots. The rock climbing areas of Portugal can
be split up into 3 areas as described below.
Rock climbing around Lisbon
To the west of Lisbon are the towns of Sintra & Cascais.
Around the hills of Sintra the rock climbing is on granite
rock. Here there are some fantastic bolted granite slabs,
which provide a great sense of exposure. High in the forest
above Sintra at 1,780 feet are a series of granite bouldering
areas, which provide significantly cooler climbing than the
beaches a few kilometres away. At Cascais it is all about
sea cliff climbing on limestone rock. This ranges from the
sports climbing at Farol Da Guia to bouldering on the beach
at Baia Do Mexilhoeiro.
To the south of Lisbon between the towns of Sesimbra &
Setubal are 3 sports climbing areas, the largest being Fenda.
Here the routes are definitely in the higher grades (mainly
7's) on steep and overhanging walls of limestone rock.
Rock Climbing in central Portugal
Central Portugal offers some very picturesque locations to
go rock climbing. The hills of Montejunto and Redinha provide
several good limestone crags. These short bolted cliffs provide
a good number of routes across all grades. The altitude of
these places makes them perfect to escape the hot sun, as
they are significantly cooler than the coast.
Near the town of Covilha is Portugal's premier bouldering
area called Pedra do Urso. Situated at 1,400m the granite
boulders offer 1000's of quality problems across all grades.
The rough granite provides excellent friction and the altitude
makes the place lovely and cool throughout the year apart
from the hot summer months.