Off the Beaten Path: Some not-super-well-known international climbing destinations

Here's a guest pass from our Marketing intern, Rylee Curtis!

Alright climbers! — these are are the top places around the world to travel to as a rock climber! All of these are outdoor climbs and there are many places you should travel to. In no particular order, here is a list of the top 7 of the off beaten path areas all around the world! We have rated them all based on price, on a scale from $ (not too pricey) to $$$$$ (very expensive). Click on the climbing area to get to the Mountain Project (Sugarloaf Mountain does not have a Mountain Project, so we linked to a local guiding service instead.)

  1. Sugarloaf Mountain, Brazil

  2. The Frankenjura in Bavaria, Germany

  3. Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand

  4. Skaha Bluffs in British Columbia, Canada

  5. Costa Blanca in Alicante, Spain

  6. Kalymnos, Greece

  7. Moon Hill, China

Sugarloaf Mountain, Brazil:

 The grand Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil.

The grand Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil.

There are 8 different sport climbing routes at Sugarloaf Mountain, ranging from 5.7 to 5.11+. It is more than a day's worth of climbing, so I would be prepared to spend a few days. It takes about 30 minutes to get from Rio to the Secundo Costa Neto climbing area, so have a transportation plan. As you prepare to leave the United States (make sure you get a Brazilian visa!), you should watch "Wreck it Ralph," since it will provide great insight into the world of Sugarloaf Mountain! (May not be factual ...) There's much more to Rio than just Carnaval!

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Hotels range in price from $25-$45 per night.

Flights: $1,012-$1,200

The total cost: $

... this doesn’t include any candy you would like to purchase on Sugarloaf Mountain.


Frankenjura in Bavaria:

 The beautiful landscape of Frankenjura.

The beautiful landscape of Frankenjura.

As stated as one of the best 20 places to climb around the world, the Frankenjura in Bavaria, Germany is home to more than 10,000 routes. It was the birthplace of the term "redpoint," and home to the world's-first recognized 14d. It's got some history, for sure. The majority of the climbs here are short and powerful single pitch sport styles. Finger pockets, slopers and holes make this area ‘chalked up’ with character. The best time of year for this excursion would be in the summer, as temperatures are as low as -7 degrees in winter.

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Flights range in price of $1892-$2000.

Hotel costs $140-$160 per night

Note: There are very few food places near Frankenjura, so hope that your hotel has a dine in area.

Total Cost: $$


Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand:

 Not a bad place to vacation! Railay beach in Krabi, Thailand.

Not a bad place to vacation! Railay beach in Krabi, Thailand.

Railay Beach is a once in a lifetime experience for all climbers. Krabi has different difficulty levels, but of course the real attraction here is the deep water soloing.  Outside Magazine called this area the best place to learn to rock climb, due to the amount of climbing schools nearby and the fact that it's just an awesome place to be, outside of climbing. There are plenty of taxis in the area, so you can save some money by not renting a car.

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Flights: $2,000-$2,800 per person

Hotels: Vary greatly - they range from resorts at $90 - $100 a night, to much cheaper hostels.

Total Cost: $$


Skaha Bluffs, British Columbia:

 Cliff clambering at Skaha.

Cliff clambering at Skaha.

Up in the north where the Canucks run rampant, the Skaha Bluffs in British Columbia are on a hillside above Skaha Lake. The climbing takes place in three parallel canyons, with 66 crags with over 1000 climbs. This area is perfect for camping, so rent some camping gear or simply go to Barefoot Beach Resort. It's aboot time to have some outdoor fun! (See what we did there ... it's ok, I'm Canadian)

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Airfare: $711-$800

Hotels: $130-$160 per night

Total Cost: $


Costa Blanca in Alicante, Spain:

 The ridiculous beautiful-ness that is Costa Blanca.

The ridiculous beautiful-ness that is Costa Blanca.

Costa Blanca, on the coast of Spain, has amazing shores and is surrounded by bolted limestone crags. It has an excellent climate from October to April, so it's no surprise that Costa Blanca has become a great rock climbing destination, especially in winter. There are six different areas of focus: the Gandia area, Xalo Valley, Calpe Area, Benidorm area, Alicante Area, and Murcia Area. Take a look into the area and find your style, because there’s a little bit of everything! Cooking your own food by shopping in markets will give you the opportunity to save an extra dollar or two. Planning the trip for 7 days minimum would be muy inteligente, allowing for you to see every nook and cranny at Costa Blanca.  

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Flights are roughly $1,950-$2,150

Hotels are $124 -$150 per night.

Total cost: $$$


Kalymnos, Greece:

 The landscape near Kalymnos.

The landscape near Kalymnos.

Kalymnos is a Greek island that is well known as a climbing Mecca, that attracts climbers from all over the world. There are 7 areas on the island, with about 2,500 sport routes. Between June and November, you have the option to fly directly to Kos island from many major European cities. But after Nov. 1 many of these flights won’t start up again until spring, so plan accordingly!

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Flights: $2,500-$2,900

Hotels: $70-$120 per night

Total cost: $$$


Moon Hill, China:

 LOOK AT THAT ARCH. Moon Hill, in China.

LOOK AT THAT ARCH. Moon Hill, in China.

Moon Hill is definitely for the more advanced climber, since there are only about 16 routes here — and 7 of those range in difficulty from 5.9+ to 5.12d. A previous visiting climber mentioned that sometimes local vendors camp out at the top of the wall. He described topping out on a climb and hearing a Chinese lady yelling, "Water, soda, beer!" He said it was funny the first time ... annoying by the fifteenth time. While it doesn't offer many climbs, all the climbs it does have are truly breathtaking!

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Flights: $1,700-$2,100

Hotels: $50-$90 per night

Total Cost: $$$


Here's just a handful of some international climbing areas that are a little off the beaten path. There's climbing to be had nearly everywhere, though. Next time you plan a vacation, see what kind of climbing is nearby! Mountain Project is always a great resource, but when in doubt, you can always ask the locals!