Climb Europe

Rock Climbing in Kalymnos

It is said that Kalymnos has the highest concentration of sport routes anywhere in the world. Quite a bold statement but it is certainly true there is a colossal amount of rock to climb here. The current Definitive Kalymnos rock climbing guidebook (available from our shop) describes 66 sport crags, mainly west and south facing, with approximately 3,400 routes ranging from F4a to F9a. The existing routes only cover a tiny portion of what is available to climb here. There are some quality crags still waiting for their first route - all they demand is a little longer walk-in.

The rock is top quality solid limestone, which is a little sharp in places. The style of the rock climbing has everything from stalactites and tufas on steep and overhanging wall to delicate slabs and pumpy walls with pockets and smaller tufa features. The majority of the routes are single pitch of around 20 to 30m. However there are a few longer routes reaching 3 to 5 pitches. The limestone at Kalymnos is as yet almost unpolished, and this will be slow to change given the particular rough surface of the rock.

Map of the rock climbing and sport climbing areas of Kalymnos

Rock climbing and sport climbing around Masouri, Myrties and Armeos, Kalymnos Rock climbing and sport climbing around northern Kalymnos Rock climbing and sport climbing on the island of Telendos, Kalymnos Rock climbing and sport climbing around southern Kalymnos

The climbing areas of Kalymnos can be broken up into 4 areas as shown on the map opposite.

The largest concentration of crags and routes are situated above the villages of Myrties, Masouri and Armeos.  In fact all of these sectors can be reached from Masouri on foot, and the approach takes between 20 and 35 minutes.  Find out more…..

Another well-established rock climbing area is the north of Kalymnos around the villages of Arginonta, Skalia, and Emporios.  It is popular to rent a scooter to visit these areas from Masouri.  Find out more…..

The island of Telendos is only a 10 minute boat trip from Myrties jetty.  The island has seen a lot of recent development in terms of opening new crags and routes. Many of these routes are in caves and face east making them ideal to visit during the summer.  Find out more….

The southern part of Kalymnos is the least developed area in terms of rock climbing and therefore the climbing feels a little more remote than the rest of the island.  Find out more….

All of the above information has been extracted from the rock climbing guidebook for Kalymnos, which details 66 separate crags and 3,400 routes. This guidebook can be bought from our shop.

The style of climbing found in Kalymnos is very varied and can be broken into 3 main types:

  1. Extremely overhanging with blobs, tufas, and stalactites, which can be “just” F7a even at a 20 degree angle.
  2. Slightly overhanging or vertically smooth white and orange walls with pockets and smaller tufa features.
  3. Sharp grey slabs full of water pockets with little iron knobs cemented into the wall.

The best of the routes on Kalymnos can combine all three types of styles in one route.

The graphic shows the grade split for all the routes on Kalymnos.  There is a wide range of grades at Kalymnos that are suitable for climbers of all abilities.

Total number of routes at Kalymnos in each grade range
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Rockfax Kalymnos rock climbing guidebookClick on the images above to view a larger photograph, showing the excellent rock climbing to be found on the island of Kalymnos.

For information on getting to Kalymnos, the best time of the year to visit, and the type of equipment required go to the Kalymnos Logistics page.

Buy rock climbing guidebooks for Kalymnos from our shop.


The 8th edition of the Kalymnos rock climbing guidebook published in 2018

The definitive Kalymnos rock climbing guidebook,published in 2018 is available to buy from our shop.

Published by local climbers, a large part of the profit from this guidebook goes back into the Kalymnos bolt fund for the maintenance of existing routes and creating new routes.