Four of the world's top climbing spots to suit every traveller

With climbing set to become an Olympic sport, interest is escalating as new climbing walls and trips appeal to scrambling newcomers.

Published 16 Sept 2017, 09:00 BST, Updated 12 Jul 2021, 11:21 BST
Do it now: Climbing

We list four top climbing destinations around the world, and recommend five climbing centres in the UK to visit.

Photograph by Alamy

1. The best for views

The Zagori region in Greece, currently being considered for UNESCO World Heritage status, features some of Europe's most scenic climbing excursions up the Tymphe rocks and the Gamila Mountain peaks. Suitable for both beginners and the experienced, climbers can stay at the picturesque Aristi Mountain Resort and Villas from £90 per night.

2. The best for families

Specialist operator Neilson has added rock climbing for all abilities to its list of outdoor activities at Messini Beachclub in Greece and also at its newest resort, the Alana Beachclub in Croatia. Very experienced climbers can climb one of the premier free climbing sites in Europe, the Paklenica National Park, also in Croatia, located in very close proximity to the Alana Beachclub.

3. The best for historic climbs

Most people know that El Capitan isn't just a Mac operating system but a 3,000ft-high monolith in Yosemite National Park in the US. Learn to climb in its shadow with a school offering lessons for all levels ($143/£111) and guided climbs (from $163/£127). Closer to home, Ben Nevis in Scotland has plenty of climbs for those making their first forays into outdoor climbing.

4. The best for luxury

Famed for its spa and two-Michelin-starred restaurant, the luxury Italian hotel Rosa Alpina has built a new outdoor beginners' climbing wall. For guests who want to experience real climbing this summer, guide Zanesco Diego will be on hand to reveal the region's best rock faces. Alternatively, climb the area's Via Ferrata routes (immense ladders carved into rock faces), for easy access to the highest peaks.

Five of the best climbing centres in the UK

1. The Castle, London
2. The Climbing Academy, Glasgow and Bristol
3. Ice Factor Lochaber, Scotland
4. The Climbing Works, Sheffield
5. Beacon Caernarfon, Wales

Published in the October 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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