Stuck in France with no snow, why not head south from the Alps and do some rock climbing? In Tarifa, Spain you can experience sport climbing along the southernmost point of Continental Europe. Surrounded by the mountains of Andalucía to the North and three bodies of water to the south, the views from the San Bartolo crag are unparallelled. The sandstone rock features over 250 sport and traditional routes ranging from 20 to 90 meters in length. Forty percent of the routes in San Bartolo are rated between 5.7 and 5.11b offering a variety of challenges for all ability levels. For those climbers who are more advanced and would like to push their limits, over twenty-five percent of the routes here are rated between 5.11d to 5.13a. Additionally, in the past few years San Bartolo has become a bouldering destination boasting more than 30 problems to satisfy the free-soloing adrenaline junkies. The quality sandstone features positive slabs as well as overhangs that will test your equilibrium, and all of the routes require smart foot placements and precise technique.
Climbing in Andalucía is rather comfortable thanks to the constant offshore breeze that maintains a warm, annual temperature between 15 -32°C. Yet even with the renowned winds that make the peninsula a kite and windsurfing mecca, San Bartolo has climbs facing in all directions, offering protection from whatever elements the battling oceans may bring. While ascending the Oceanside cliffs views of the Mediterranean, the Straits of Gibraltar, the rough Atlantic and the country of Morocco span 180 degrees to the South. Given this close proximity to waterways and Africa, Tarifa is a cultural melting pot of the region. Food and accommodation are plentiful and affordable, if not equally exciting as the outdoor adventures that await you. Choose from chill, quiet hostels or a party atmosphere surrounded by the walls of the Old Town, with it’s heavily Moorish buildings left behind when Tarifa was a military fort. If you don’t mind the wind, campsites on the Punta Paloma beach are readily available and when you need a rest day a 45 minute ferry ride takes you across the Straights of Gibraltar to the port town of Tanger where you can spend an afternoon shopping in the market and sampling the unique blend of foods. Tarifa is easily reached by bus from major Spanish cities such as Malaga or Seville. A short comfortable bus ride can have you there in a few hours and all you need do is sit back and enjoy the views of the Mediterranean or Atlantic oceans.
Please contact Kyle for more information about rock climbing in Spain!