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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.


New routes, Prinias
I was looking something really close to my flat while searching for rocks. I start cycling around the area and found a small cliff, around 8-9 meters and a second one around 18m, well protected from the weather conditions. It is perfect for newbies as all routes (9 in total) are low and easy (5a+/6a+). All routes are equipped with 10mm stainless bolts and belays are ready with two bolts and a ring ready to abseil. You can climb all year long apart from hot summer days due to been in sun most of the day. You need around 30 minutes from Heraklion to Prinias and just 10 from my flat cheeky

Voulismeno Aloni

Voulismeno Aloni is a sinkhole located on the foot of Strouboulas mountain, next to the old national road, at the 14th kilometer from Heraklion to Rethymnon. You need just a few minutes to get there. There are 12 routes in this climbing sector. All of them are very hard apart from one which is around 6b+ (the first from the right side of the sector). There are routes up to 8a+ in this area.

Abas gorge 8c+?

Abas gorge and climbing routes
In the summer of 2003 Kabourakis Manolis and Psaraksis Kostas decided to descend the gorge of Abas in Asteroussia mountains, which starts from the village of Paranimfi and ends down in the sea at Tris Eklissies. This is the reason that we didn't follow the path which goes up in the east edge of the gorge but instead we went along the course of the water. This bring us to an end where we had to climb down the 160 metre waterfall, and believe me, that was not so easy.


This is a new climbing area opened recently from local climbers in Rethimno. It is very close to the city of Rethimno. A detailed description of the area will be added soon. All information posted for this area collected from Thodoris Vourvachakis (many thanks).

Kria Vrisi

The village of Kria Vrisi is around 45km from the city of Rethimnon (see map below). You will need around 40-45 minutes to get there and a few more to reach the climbing area. The first routes opened from Dimitris Titopoulos (a Greek mountain guide). Since the first published routes there been a few more probably during a Cretan climbing meeting from various climbers. Unfortunately I wasn't there that day and don't have more info about those routes apart from two of them which managed to climb during my last visit.

UPDATE: Vourvachakis Thodoris sent us over the latest routes of the area. I've add them and also update a few grades which seem to be not accurate. Many thanks to Thodoris.

Kalathas routes

Area Info

If you've been around the area for swimming bear in mind that there is a small climbing sector too. The area itself does not reserve a long trip just to climb as it doesn't have to offer something extraordinary. Instead there are a few routes, up to 12 meters and most of them without bolts but can be climbed using tope-rope. The area is splitted into two sectrors, the first one is on the left in the quarry and the other one around 200 meters on the left inside a small gorge. The bad thing is that during the winter it's almost impossible to get there due to germination, it's like hiking in a jungle! However, hike up the quary and follow the path, the climbs are on your right hand side. You will figure out how to get there

Dhamnoni Introduction

This is one of the best climbing areas for climbers who climb up to 5c+/6a as all routes are up to that level.
The area takes just a few more routes as it's almost full. All routes are well bolted and rock is typical limestone.
There is enough space to park your vehicle. The area is too hot during the summer so avoid going there in the middle of the day. The best period to climb there is from October to May.

Dhamnoni: Sector 1

Area Info

This sector is located on the left of the area just a few meters from the road.

Dhamnoni: Sector 2

Area Info

5c is the most difficult route in this area. Great spot for beginners. Just avoid going there during the hot days of the summer.

Kalathas Introduction

There is nothing funcy in this area. However, if you are close for swimming and got your harness try a few routes. The area has two main sectors, one up to the quarry and the other one inside the small gorge on the right as you see it from the road.