Azerbaijan is an incredibly diverse country, often touted as having 9 out of 11 different climatic zones. When travelling through the country the variety is remarkable. In Lankaran, tea and citrus fruits are grown in the lush green landscape. By comparison the Abşeron Peninsular is a semi-arid climate with dry sandy soil and very little rainfall. For climbers Azerbaijan is still quite unknown and we found very little information about the climbing here before our visit. Climbing aside we wanted to visit as the country looked both beautiful and interesting. We made contact with some local climbers before we arrived and we were very lucky to meet some others on our first day in Azerbaijan. Their help and information made this article possible. Climbing in Azerbaijan is still developing as a sport, but we were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of some of the routes here.
Before planning our trip to Georgia, we would often be asked ‘Is there climbing there?’ or ‘Why are you going there for climbing?’. The answer is yes, there is climbing here and that Georgia is worth visiting because it is a beautiful and interesting country. One thing you will hear about before you visit, is the friendly Georgian people and you will certainly receive a warm welcome throughout your time in the country. The climbing here is fierce and is a test of your mettle, you will almost certainly leave stronger than you arrived.
Datça is a beautiful seaside town in the South-West of Turkey, on a large peninsular of the same name. Situated in the Aegean Sea, Datça is only a stones throw away from the Greek island Kalymnos, which is famous worldwide for its climbing. We spent three months of 2021 climbing in Geyikbayiri, Turkey’s most famous climbing area. We regretted not visiting Datça, but we are fortunate enough to make the return to Turkey and spend some time in this wonderful place.
The location of Datça is perfect, the area is quiet with lots of untouched, pristine coastline and beautiful forests. The area is renowned for pine honey, which is delicious and testament to the quality of the forests in the area. You are never far from the sea and there’s always a quiet, secluded spot to swim and enjoy the clear water. The supply of rock is seemingly endless and hints at how big the area will be in the future.
The official guidebook has been made free to download as PDF, which you can find on ‘theCrag’ here.Continue reading
Sometimes climbing trips are about adventure, the unknown and pushing yourself to your limit. However, it can be nice to have a trip when you know exactly what you’re getting. Guaranteed good climbing, nice weather and delicious food. Northern Italy is a perfect choice for either sort of climbing trip, with everything from Dolomite and alpine adventures to coastal cragging and relaxing in the sun. This article is going to focus on the fantastic sport climbing on offer in Northern Italy, perfect as a trip in its own right or as part of a bigger road trip, leading on perfectly to countries like of Slovenia and Croatia.
Serbia is right in the heart of the Balkans, but sadly it is not on the radar for most climbers and tourists. For example, Spain receives around 120 times more tourists per year than Serbia. Those who make the effort to go will be rewarded with stunning mountains, rivers and serene forests that can be enjoyed in solitude. For climbers, there are already several great crags to choose from, but like most of the Balkans there is the potential for much more development in the future.Continue reading
Although Slovakia borders some frequently visited countries like Austria, relatively few people visit for tourism. Anybody that does visit Slovakia will be pleasantly surprised as the country has lots of beautiful nature, impressive medieval castles and many interesting places to visit. For climbing, Slovakia has several well established and good quality venues and surely much more areas that haven’t been developed yet.
Slovenia is a relatively small country, but it packs in an incredible amount of beautiful natural spaces for its size. A climber will have a choice of long mountain routes, abundant sport climbs and bouldering. Slovenian climbers are known for being very good and have made an incredible mark on the competition scene. The routes are of a similarly high standard and there aren’t any soft grades here. The country has lots of outdoor activities other than climbing and Slovenian people have a great love of the outdoors.Continue reading
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.
Bulgaria might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of a climbing trip abroad. However, anyone that visits is bound to be impressed by the quality and quantity of climbing the country has to offer. Bulgaria has a great landscape for climbing and mountaineering, as well as a strong scene of dedicated local climbers. Aside from climbing, there are lots of interesting and beautiful places to visit and enjoy.Continue reading