Climbing in Sweden: A Scandinavian Road Trip

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.

Climber jamming their hands up a crack in the granite rock
Enjoying the classic ‘Tuborg’ at Utby
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Climbing in Norway: A Scandinavian Road Trip

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.

Climber using small crimpy holes and a high foot to climb the face of the route at Kvitnes, Kristiansund. On their left side is a sharp arête of the rock and in the background is some rocky outcrops and the sea.
Beautiful rock and location on ‘Til Min Venn Thomas’
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Our trip to Uzbekistan: A Cultural Success and a Climbing Failure

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.

Large tiled and detailed decoration on the front of a madrasa, a grand  arced entrance with two minarets either side. The tiles, which are different blues and creams created different floral and decorative designs on every part of the front.
The Ulugh Beg Madrasa, dating back to 1420
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Rock Climbing and Hiking in Kazakhstan

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.

Limestone lie cliff of Tamgaly-Tas it is sat upon a grassy bank
A panorama of Tamgaly-Tas
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Northern Italy Climbing Road Trip

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.

Large limestone cliff with a blue lake in front which mirrors the cliff on.
The beautiful Lago di Cavedine
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Serene Sport Climbing in Serbia

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.

Spring time in Eastern Serbia
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Unique Rock and Stunning Scenery: Climbing in Slovakia

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.

The view from the Súlovsky Hrad Castle
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Sunny Sport Climbing in Slovenia

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.

The stunning Soča river
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A Brief Insight and Tips for Climbing in Frankenjura

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.

Smooth grey limestone crag filled with chalk pockets.
The quality shaded sector Reichelsmühler Wand
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Climbing In Bulgaria: Mystical Caves and Majestic Waterfalls

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.

Waterfall Raisko Praskalo
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