The excellent Sierra de Prades Mountains (also known as the Costa Daurada climbing area) are close to the towns of Reus and Tarragona to the south of Barcelona. These predominantly limestone and conglomerate mountains rise steeply from the coast and many of the climbing areas are at an altitude between 500m and 1000m.
For guided or instructed climbing holidays in the Sierra de Prades Mountains we recommend our friends at
Rock & Sun.
|Rock climbing and bouldering areas around Sierra de Prades|
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There are 11 major sports areas with nearly 5,000 in the Sierra de Prades Mountains, of which the majority are single or 2-pitch routes. The mixture of limestone or conglomerate rock is usually of an excellent standard and there is a wide range of grades to suit all levels and styles. To the north there are also 2 sandstone bouldering areas, with the main one being El Cogul, which is one of the largest bouldering areas in Spain.
Undoubtedly the main area is at the tiny village of Siurana, which is situated above a beautiful canyon with stunning limestone crags in all directions. Here alone there are over 1,200 routes and its position, charm and high standard quality routes make this area one of the most popular winter rock climbing destinations in Europe. The Siurana rock climbing guidebook (published in November 2010), is currently out of print. However Siurana is covered in the new Tarragona Climbs guidebook, which is a selective guidebook to the Sierra de Prades Mountains.
Montsant has over 400 routes on very solid and compact conglomerate rock with many pockets. Here the various crags are up to 200m long that are conveniently split into tiers linked by spectacular paths and ladders. The current guidebook for the area is called Montsant Vertiente sur (published in March 2009), and is available to buy from our shop.
Margalef is the second largest area with over 800 routes across a wide grade range. The crags are situated either side of a secluded river meaning that you can climb either in the sun or shade, depending upon the time of day and your preference.
Situated at 1,000m, La Mussara is a large area split into various crags, each with different characteristics, including some multi-pitch routes. The grades here are concentrated in the F5 to F7a range on good quality conglomerate rock.
When to go – With the majority of the climbing areas at an altitude of 500m to 1,000m, the best time to visit this area is in the spring or autumn when the temperature is ideal for rock climbing. During the winter the climate is not as stable though there are many cold, dry sunny days when the friction is at its best. The summer is just too hot though in a few areas (such as Margalef) it is possible to find shade.
Getting there – The closest airport is Rues, though the main airport at Barcelona is not that much further. To make the most of the crags in this area a car is necessary.
Gear – Whilst a 60m rope will be sufficient for the majority of routes it is recommended that you take a 70m rope as this is standard for sport climbing in Spain now. Around 15 quickdraws plus the usual lower off gear is all that is required. Climb Europe currently stocks several guidebooks for the Sierra de Prades Mountains, these being; a selective guidebook to the area called Tarragona Climbs; a definitive guidebook for Siurana; and a definitive guidebook called Montsant Vertiente sur that are available to buy from our shop.