Sweden is a great country for outdoor enthusiasts, the country boasts over 97,500 lakes and a whopping 27.9 million hectares of natural forest. For climbers, Sweden is often overshadowed by its more mountainous neighbour, Norway. However, Sweden has many superb crags of its own, as well as having the benefit of being much less touristy than Norway. As part of our road trip in Scandinavia, we spent 3 weeks in Sweden and thoroughly enjoyed it. Sweden and Norway have many similarities and differences, they are both wonderful countries that complement each other well.
We were fortunate enough to spend 7 weeks in Norway, enjoying a stunning road trip and sampling many of Norways best climbing areas. We drove up Sweden to arrive in Northern Norway in peak climbing season, starting with Lofoten. After visiting more crags further north, we made the long and beautiful journey down the west coast of the country. The crags will be described in the order we visited them, so depending on where you plan to climb in Norway it might be worth starting from the bottom of the article. The country is full of mountains, fjords, rivers and crags – we only visited a small selection of what’s on offer, even on our relatively long trip.
We had long wanted to visit Uzbekistan, a country with a fascinating history and beautiful cities. We also really wanted to do some climbing in Uzbekistan, but for a number of reasons it never happened. The two main factors were the very hot weather (over 35°C) and the fact we got severe food poisoning only a few days into the trip. We felt totally wiped out and couldn’t really face the effort of trying to find any crags, let alone climb on them! At the moment there isn’t really any developed climbing in Uzbekistan at all. However, there are definitely plenty of mountains and canyons in certain parts of the country and it is surely possible for climbing to be developed.
Kazakhstan is a vast country with an equally vast amount of things to see and do. Kazakhstan is actually the world’s largest landlocked country and the ninth largest overall. Despite all of this, Kazakhstan doesn’t receive many visitors, particularly from western tourists. We spent just under 3 weeks in Kazakhstan and had a great time. Of course, it would have been impossible to see much of the country in that time, so our recommendations in this article will be focused around the Almaty region. Kazakhstan’s other regions have a lot to offer as well, but a combination of the landscape and transport links make Almaty the obvious place to start.
Armenia is a real gem of a country, with a landscape that took us completely by surprise. Amazingly, the average elevation of Armenia is 1,792 meters above sea level, making it the 11th highest average elevation in the world. The country’s highest point is 4,090 meters and no point is below 390 meters. Anyone who loves mountains and being in nature is in for an absolute treat, Armenia is covered in stunning scenery and impressive geographical features.
Frankenjura is a well known climbing destination, although perhaps it is less popular now than areas like Kalymnos or El Chorro. The routes are old school, often being sportingly graded and sportingly bolted. Needless to say any route you climb near your limit, you will feel you’ve earned. Don’t be discouraged by this, endless amounts of quality rock make Frankenjura a really special place.
Croatia is a Jewel of Europe, a place full of natural beauty. In recent years Croatia has cemented itself as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and it isn’t hard to see why. Despite the tourist boom, for every packed beach you see there will be a quiet cove nearby for you to enjoy in peace. The crags, mountains and coastline are a feast for anybody who loves the outdoors. Croatia is quite an unusually shaped country and a road trip is the best way to explore what’s on offer.
After our bouldering trip to Prilep, we decided to spend the rest of our time in North Macedonia sampling the sport climbing. We bought a small information booklet about the sport climbing along with our bouldering guidebook from Hristo, in Prilep. This guide had the same information as this website. We found that it was easy enough to match the list of route names and grades, from the website, to the ones written under the routes.Continue reading
If you haven’t read part one yet, which is all about the fantastic climbing on offer in Turkey, you can read it here.
This article is going to be about the culture, activities and traditions you can enjoy whilst you’re taking a rest from climbing. Much like the climbing on our trip, this will focus mainly on the Antalya area. However, there are places we visited further a field, all of which are worth the journey.Continue reading