Sardinia has long being known as a rock climbing destination with its wild and spectacular rocky interior and coastline. There are many established sport climbing crags across the island including the popular areas at Cala Gonone, Domusnovas & Isili. These sport climbing areas are mainly single pitch, though at Supramonte, situated between Dorgali and Oliena, there is a big wall rock climbing area with many bolted multi-pitch routes up to 400m long. Sardinia also offers some great granite bouldering around Nuoro and the capital Cagliari. With its abundance of quality routes, cheap flights, and great weather for rock climbing throughout the year, it is easy to understand why rock climbing holidays in Sardinia have always been popular.
The information detailed below concentrates on the various sports climbing (single and multi-pitch), bouldering and Deep Water Soloing (DWS) that is available in Sardinia.
(1) - Nuoro and Cala Gonone Area
The traditional area to go rock climbing in Sardinia is Cala Gonone within the Province of Nuoro, which offers plenty of single pitch bolted sports routes on good quality limestone rock.
Also the mountains near Cala Gonone offer superb multi-pitch climbing in dramatic situations. For more information about rock climbing around Nuoro (including bouldering) please click here. For specific information about Cala Gonone, then please click here.
(2) - Sassari Area
The main climbing is around Osilo, just to the east and south of Sassari, where there are several limestone crags, which offer good single pitch sport routes. To the west of Alghero, at Capo Caccia, there is some impressive sea cliff climbing on bolted limestone up to 70m long, as well as some Deep Water Soloing (DWS). For more detailed information, click here.
(3) - Isili & Oristano Area
Isili is one of the most popular rock climbing areas in Sardinia, with over hundreds of single pitch sport routes. It is famous for its super-steep roof climbing on large pockets but there are easier routes as well. The area around Oristano has only recently been developed and hence there are limited climbing opportunities. To the north west of Oristano there is a large granite Bouldering area, with other crags offering sports climbing on mainly dark basalt rock. For more detailed information, click here for information about Isili and Oristano.
(4) - Ogliastra Area
Ogliastra, a new province, stretches from south of Cala Gonone almost to Quirra in the south. This area around Tortoli has seen the greatest development of new single pitch sport routes in Sardinia in the last few years. The development has taken place at Jerzu, Baunei, Ulassai, Osini, Villagrande, Seui, and Quirra, where there are now nearly many hundreds of sport routes, from sea level to an altitude of 1,100m. The area also offers some of Sardinia's best multi-pitch sports routes, along the eastern coastline, as well as bouldering and DWS.
(5) - Iglesias area
Concentrated around the town of Iglesias is one of Sardinia's largest rock climbing areas. This area is dominated by the rock climbing at Domusnovas, where there are over 500 routes alone! The rock climbing at Domusnovas is very varied with numerous slabs, walls and overhangs to choose from across all levels of difficulty. The rock climbing here is generally on excellent bolted limestone.
(6) - Cagliari area
To the south east of Cagliari (known as Sarrabus) there are several bouldering areas on excellent granite rock. The largest area is called Geremeas where there are over 100 recorded problems. However as always with bouldering there are a great many other problems waiting to be invented.
Thanks have to go to Peter Herold who has contributed much of this text and supplied many of the photographs. Peter with his wife Ann run the Lemon house. This is a guesthouse for rock climbers, cyclists and walkers based in Lotzorai, Ogliastra.
The Rock Climbing Atlas for South Western Europe & Morocco describes the rock climbing around Domusnovas, Isili, Jerzu, Baunei & Cala Gonone in Sardinia. This useful book describes the different crags, number of routes, style of climbing, how to get there, where to stay, and general information about the area, though it doesn't describe any individual routes. As well as Sardinia, the book also includes information about Italy, France, Malta, Portugal, Spain & Morocco.
Sardinia is also a great place to go walking and mountain biking. Our sister site Outdoors Europe has some excellent information about Walking in Sardinia and Mountain Biking in Sardinia. Visit Outdoors Europe for more information.