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Monte Vardia: Introduction

This is a really interesting spot! I've been for the first time just a few months ago and been really impressed. It's just a breath from the city centre with superb view to the city of Chania and the harbour. The climbing area consists of a face around 100 meters wide and up to 12 high. It's well bolted and you wont face any run out here. You can climb all year long in Monte Vardia except the very hot summer days and between 13:00 to 17:00 o'clock. Having said that, if you are from northern Europe and you really like sun you can give a try cool.

Agiofarago: Introduction


The southernmost climbing area in Crete is Agiofarago. The area's characteristic is the rock, which is very sharp, along with the combination of climbing, swimming and walking. Most of the routes are inside the gorge with the oldest ones situated on the beach or near the beach. Here you will find some of the most difficult routes in Crete, up to 8b+, from single to multiple pitches. There are just a few lower than 5c where most of them are around 6c/7a. Almost 90% of the climbing routes are equipped and you will only need quickdraws and 60-70 meters of single rope to repeat them. Having said that, there are also many where natural anchors must be used. Those are usually the first routes in the area opened in late 80s. The place is marvellous and you will enjoy climbing and swimming in one of the most beautiful places not only in Crete but also in Greece!


Malia is surrounded by olive groves and the slopes of mount Selena. Malia is best known for its lively atmosphere; however Malia is not only for young people, it has a lot to offer everyone (almost) especially if you visit the old city and a few km before the traditional village of Koutouloufari, you wont regret it. The beach is the one of the best in Crete, three miles of fine, golden sand, which gradually slopes into the warm, clear blue sea. Just a few km away there is a climbing spot too :)

An overview of climbing in Dikti

Climbing the route Diktamos in winter of 1999In Dikti you will find the best climbing spot for climbers who are looking for to try traditional climbing routes without dealing with high grades of difficulty. The most difficult rock climbing route is around 6a+ and there are plenty near to 5a/5b+. Having said that, the long routes, the loose rock in places and the long (in some routes) access, contributes to an absolute adventure.
During winter, things are more complicated. Rock, frozen snow and rarely ice, lead to the ultimate escape from the daily routin. Be aware that winter climbing in Dikti's gullies are quiet difficult and is not recommended for newbies.

Plakias: Introduction

This is a huge slab! Some really hard routes are here. The main cliff of Plakias is just a few meters away from the beach (superb for swimming) with excellent quality of rock and up to 80 meters high. Some bolts need to be replaced but most of them are ok to climb. It faces north west and is possible to climb almost all day even during the summer. There is a camping to stay and plenty of hotels in the area. to reach the clmbing routes all you need is a 2 minutes walk. There are some fantastic routes in this area.

Agia Paraskeui Cave: Introduction

This is one of the three largest caves in the prefecture of Heraklion.It's just a few minutes driving from the village of Skotino and is at a height of 225 meters above sea-level. Many dyno's here! There is one route at 5b, one at 5c and 3 between 6a+ and 6c. Rest are really hard, up to 8b+, maybe more. It's a lovely place to climb during the summer as it's always in the shadow.

Kleissoura gorge: Introduction

In this area newbies can't do a lot unless you can climb easily 6c. There are 5 routes under 6a and around 20 between 6b to 7b+. The place is too warm to climb during the summer but ideal during the winter. The area is located before reaching the village of Tries Ekklisies and you'll see it on the left as you going down. All you need is 2-3 minutes walking to get to the starting point.

Therissos Introduction

The 14 km drive up the gorge is considered spectacular and is popular with Chania residents for the cooler temperatures and grill restaurants of the village. Apart from this there is also interesting for rock climbing smiley. Here there are many routes for all tastes. Along the road to the village of Therissos you will see all the routes that vary from V up to X- (UIAA) and almost all of them are protected with bolts. In some of them you may need nuts, friends and some slings. You will certainly enjoy your climbing here as long as you climb easily 6a/6b as most of the routes are close to that level. The easiest climbing area is the one with graffiti ''ΛΟΚ'', the initials of the Greek Special forces who use this area for rock climbing training. You will get a detailed view of the climbing sectors by choosing any of them from the top menu. In the mean while let's get you informed about some other important aspects of the area! This climbing area is the most important for local climbers as in just a few minutes from Chania you can get there and start climbing a large number of routes.

Goat trap sector

Area Info

This is a really nice spot for climbing early in the morning untll around 14:30 pm which is in the shadow. Excellent rock, fully bolted as usual by Zbynek Cepela apart from route L'hypothenuse which needs a few nuts, friends and slings. To access the area follow the off road to Agios Ioannis for around 2km until yu see on your right a small stone contruction (see image below). There is a small blue sign from there pointing to the path. Follow the path on the right and then after 5 minutes turn left until you reach the bottom of the gorge and then turn left until you reach the climbing sector. You will need around 15 minutes to go there. The area is well protected from winds and offer some really great routes. Try definetely the route Kri-kri (6a, 22 meters).

Garden sector 1

Area Info

Very sharp rock, completely different from all other sectors in Kapetaniana. I've been only once to this sector and wont go again. It is very windy and on some routes the bolts are not on the best possible place making hard to put the quickdraw. You will need around 10 minutes to access the area.  Follow the road to Agios Ioanis for around 2km. See photo below for more details.

Kofinas keeper sector 1

Area Info

A great climbing sector with plenty of nice routes with excellent view to the sea. The area face west which means no sun the whole morning until 15:00 o'clock. Some of the hardest routes (8a+) can be found here. All routes in this sector opened from Zbynek Cepela, Manolis Kampourakis and two of them from Philippe roca. To aproach the routes follow a small gorge for a while and then climb left until you reach the 1st routes. You will need around 10 minutes to get there. For the rest of the routes make your way around the ridge and you've done. That will take around 20 minutes from the car.

Kofinas keeper sector 2

Area Info

This sector is located on the left side of Minoan library (opposite) to the right of the path which leads to the monastery of Koudoumas and can be seen clearly from the same parking as Minoan library sector. To get to the area just follow the signs from Kapetaniana to the monastery of Koudouma and after around 2.2km from the village stop to a small plateau. You should see from that point the sector as showing in the image below.

Schafstall sector 2

Area Info

This is located just a few meters on the right from Schafstall sector 1 and is in the shadow usually in the early morning until 14:00 o'clock. Very beautiful routes exist in this sector. I've added a panoramic photo of the area below listing all 3 sub-sectors for easier navigation. To visit each sub sector you need just a couple of minutes (3-4).

Minoan library sector 2

Area Info

This sector is located just above the belay of sector 1. To reach the area just follow the same path as described on that page (click for more). You can also see the sector marked on the image below. 4 easy routes are located here along with one at 6b (maybe more).

Schafstall sector 1

Area Info

This is one of the most visited places of the area. You will need just 5-10 minutes of driving from Kapetaniana. Just follow the road to the monastery of Koudouma and after a while (around 1,5km) you will see the climbing area on your right.

Minoan library sector 5

Area Info

This sector is located somewhere in the middle of the area of Minoan libray and you will need around 5 minutes to get there either if you make an abseil or if you follow the main path. Route called "First Book" might be the most beautiful in the whole area. Do not miss it! This sector is in the shadow after 4 o'clock pm so be prepared to get burned if you climb earlier than that during the summer.

Minoan library sector 6

Area Info

Next to sector 5 is this one with four routes, all opened from Zbynek Cepela apart from "Cretan diet, 7a+" which opened by Manolis Kampourakis. You can open more routes in this sector if you can climb above 6b.

Minoan library sector 7

Area Info

This sector is located as soon as you abseil, as seen in the photo below.  It is located on the left side as you seen the area from the parking. Plenty of very easy routes exist here along with one at 6a.