If you’ve always fancied trying out rock climbing then Spain is a great place to start. Unlike in the UK most of the climbs are bolted, making it easier and safer for beginners, and there are plenty of highly qualified instructors ready to take you from clueless to pro over the course of an intense week. Add balmy weather and stunning surroundings into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for the ultimate adventure holiday.
Costa Blanca: You wouldn’t tag Benidorm as Spain’s adventure sports capital, but just inland from the coastal city is some of the best climbing in the country. It’s easy to book cheap holidays in Spain, particularly if you’re flying to nearby Alicante, so this is one holiday that won’t deplete your pocket book too much. Other plusses of starting your climbing career in this area include the bolted climbs, the number of longer, multi-pitch routes and the variety of beginner’s routes on stunning sea cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean.
El Chorro: This spectacular limestone gorge lies an hour inland from the city of Malaga and has whole crags entirely dedicated to low-level climbs. As well as offering great climbing, the area is a bastion of traditional Spanish culture – it’s dotted with unspoiled Andalucian villages and there are plenty of secluded stretches of countryside to explore when you’re not on the rock.
Tenerife: The largest Canary Island is made largely from grippy volcanic ignibrite, making it a real climber’s mecca. The Arico Gorge in the south east of the island has some of the best sports climbing in Tenerife, but there are also worthwhile crags at Las Canadas, Martinez and Tabares.
Majorca: This small island packs in one of the greatest concentrations of crags in Europe. The best climbing areas are easily accessible and offer a range of climbs from beginner to extremely advanced, so it’s a good place for a mixed group to visit. Even in the off-season the weather is still warm, so you can break up your climbing with a pleasant interlude spent relaxing on one of the island’s stunning sandy beaches.