Kapetaniana is the best rock climbing area in Crete. The rock climbing is based around the isolated village of Kapetaniana, and therefore offers remote and peaceful rock climbing. However it is only 75Km from the capital Iraklio (Heraklion), with its airport, and therefore is very accessible. There are 6 areas offering single pitch sport routes from 15 to 40m long, plus a small amount of traditional climbing on Mount Kofinas, which are up to 150m long. It total at Kapetaniana there are over 130 routes across a wide range of grades on solid white limestone rock. These routes are detailed in the guidebook called “Crete Topo Kapetaniana”, which is available from our shop.
Close to Kapetaniana is Crete’s other main rock climbing area called Agiofarango, situated within a picturesque gorge that runs down to the sea and is a great sport climbing venue. The climbing is situated on both sides of the gorge, which means that you can find sun or shade no matter what the season or time of the day. The routes are generally long and cover all styles from slabs, overhangs, steep walls, chimneys and cracks, across a wide range of grades. Though the “Crete Topo Kapetaniana” guidebook does detail some of the routes in Agiofarango, a more comprehensive guidebook for this area is called “Crete north to south”, and is available from our shop.
Rock Climbing in Kapetaniana Areas
|Crag Name||Total number of routes at these grades||Grade Range||Total No of Routes||Sport or Trad|
|3 to 5+||6a to 6b+||6c to 7a+||7b & over|
|Sheep Fold||17||2||1||0||3b to 7a||20||Both|
|Achilles||5||1||0||0||3b to 6a||6||Both|
|Monoan Library||16||8||10||2||3b to 7b+||36||Sport|
|Kofinas Keeper||8||10||4||2||3c to 8a+||24||Sport|
|Mont Kofinas||4||2||0||0||5b to 6b||6||Trad|
|Goat Trap||2||4||0||1||3b to 7a/6||7||Both|
|The Garden||11||4||0||0||3c to 6b+||15||Both|
|Indian Cliff||2||1||3||0||4c to 7a||6||Sport|
As with most European sport climbing venues a 70m rope is ideal, though for the majority of the routes at Kapetaniana a 60m rope will be sufficient. The trad routes require mainly nuts and slings and the occasional cams. As Crete is one of the southern most islands it goes without saying it gets very hot in the summer, and the ideal rock climbing season is from autumn through to spring as the winters are very dry.
There is a guesthouse in Kapetaniana called Pansion Kofinas, who welcome climbers and walkers alike.