/ Recommend me an Easter rock destination

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sheelba - on 09 Jan 2018
With Easter early this year (late March) me and my girlfriend are looking for somewhere warmer and drier than the usual Scotland to climb. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the choice so would like some suggestions of somewhere which:

Has ideally multi-pitch trad and/or sport in the VS to HVS and 5-6b range. Would consider a single pitch sport location if it fit all the other criteria
Has culture, history and nature attractions close-by for non-climbing days
Somewhere reasonalby cheap to fly to, although I think the days we need to travel on will effect that more than the place
Ideally somewhere with descent public transport but would consider hiring a car if need be
Is a nice place to be, I'm not sure I could cope with somewhere resorty like the Costa Blanca (or is it actually not that bad?)
Somewhere in Spain is a bonus as I speak reasonable Spanish
Preferably somewhere not too popular

Currently considering, but open to ideas:
La Pedriza - but are the routes a bit samey hold less slabs?
Orpierre - but is it only single pitch sport?
Sardinia - but seems more exspensive and difficult to get to
Morocco (talafoute) - but ditto
Montserrat, Spain

alx on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

Costa Blanca is not that bad. Actually outside main season it’s dead.

We stayed in Calpe which was very reasonable, easy to hit the major crags, good rest day activities and the local supermarket seafood was mind bogglingly good and cheap.
scott titt - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

San Vito lo Capo, Sicily. San Vito lo Capo Salinella
Clint86 - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

Costa Blanca........don't stay in the resorts.
sheelba - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Clint86:

I have no intention of staying in a resort but surely places life Benidorm are not particularly nice places to be and don't offer much in terms of culture/nature for days off. I also imagine the Costa Blanca to be pretty busy climbing wise at Easter
sheelba - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

Having googled Caple it does appear to offer those things but we would much rather stay somewhere smaller and quieter
Steve Broadbent - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

Tafraout in Morocco certainly meets your criteria. Few places offer such a great range of VS-HVS multipitch trad routes at that time of year. The trad is awesome, and there's a little bit of fun bolted stuff as well. And if you've got a bit longer then you can extend your trip with a visit to the Todra Gorge for some multi-pitch sport as well. Should be able to get reasonably cheap flights to either Marrakech or Agadir.

Montserrat is also great... but routes are a little bit samey and it starts to feel small as a climbing area after a couple of days.
Mark Eddy - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

Costa Blanca is far more diverse than you may realise. A good mix of mountains and sea. Bustling coastal resorts and sleepy mountain villages. Plenty of climbing throughout the grade ranges and single & multi pitch in abundance.
There's also good ridge traverses, mountaineering days, via ferrata, canyoning, hillwalking.

Altea: smaller than Calpe and with a lovely 'old town' up on the hill.
Javea: as above but without the hill.

For inland places during that time of year try either Jalon valley or Vall de Gallinera. Both wonderful places to be during springtime
Blue Straggler - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

I did Easter in Sardinia 5 years ago at your grades and got a bit spanked, to be honest! We did lose some days to rain, and one day lost to a farcical attempt to find some inland multipitch (I am sure we were driving through the right place but we were attracting a lot of hostile glares from farmers and eventually reached a padlocked gate and it all seemed a bit iffy)

I would consider Croatia. Paklenica is the "obvious" location but don't write off the northern area (Istria), I had a great time there in 2009. Worth having a car. Fly to Pula or Ljubljana and stay perhaps near the east coast (Brsec, Moscenicka Draga). Good variety of climbing, and a lovely bit of the world. Pula has a Roman colosseum, and sure there are other things for non-climbing days.
Sutok - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

Just got back from a tour around Spain and these are the places I'd recommend, in no particular order!

Costa Blanca - is great and you can easily find accommodation outside of towns, there are tonnes on airbnb. Climbing wise the penon in Calpe is excellent for multi pitch and the surrounding area has some great crags with trad climbs (Sierra de toix etc). Loads to do on off days as its a whole area! Transport is pretty decent.

El Chorro - is a climbing paradise, more climbing than you can ever do, lots of multi pitch at all grades, great campsites full of dirtbags and visiting climbers. Some other activities to do on off days but it's mostly climbing focused unless you hop on a train or go for a drive. There's a train right into el chorro from Seville (which is a pretty stunning city and a good place to spend a day or two) and it's a short hike up to the crags and most of the accommodation.

Chulilla - is great but most of the grading is pretty high, 7a and up (though there are some awesome low grade single and multis). There are some crags with a lot of lower grade stuff a bit off the beaten track but you need a car. This is probably the least well known of the spanish major crags and half of the stuff we climbed wasn't even on the UKC. Not sure about public transport. There's plenty to do on days off if you have a car as your a short drive to Valencia.

Otherwise as someone else said san vito in sicily if you want easy crag access, decent food and great campsites (though a bit lacking in multi pitch IIRC).
tjekel - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba: ste. Victoire has it all in your grades - if your like slabby stuff. Close to marseille airport, single pitch and multipitch (the Grand parcours is a heavenly day out at 15 pitches), public transport along the crag, and a good gite in Puyloubier. Aix as a closeby attraction, a rental car allows for Avignon within an hour). Oh, and good wine ...

Fredt on 10 Jan 2018
Niceboy - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

Orpierre has many multipitch routes in the grades you are looking for; although there is not much else there for non climbing days.

Surprised no-one has mentioned the Nice area - apart from not being Spain, it has cheap flights ( easyjet) , lots of crags around, lots to do on non climbing days. Some crags can be reached by public transport from Nice - St Jeanett/ La Turbie/ La Trinite ( poss a bit cold at Easter!) but a car makes more sense to get around.
jonathandavey - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Niceboy:

We had a great punters' holiday in St Jeannet in May last year, though perhaps more a "holiday with climbing" than a "climbing holiday". A mix of long semi-sport routes on the baou and single pitch routes in La Source below. All walking distance from a beautiful quiet village with easy public transport links to Nice airport (not hiring a car was a big plus to me). Not sure about the weather at Easter, but it was verging on being too hot in May. Lots of birdlife and wildflowers around, topped out on the baou to meet peregrines more than once.

We had a rest day trip to Monaco and Nice on the train, and another walking in the hills above the village. The bistro in the village is excellent, as is the bakery.

There were a few other french parties around, mostly in the shade of La Source, and some slacklining on the summit outcrops, but mostly very quiet.
Steve Hayward - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

Kalymnos! Early in the season so all the locals are in a great mood. Easter is a very special time there, with big celebrations going on and plenty of cultural stuff including the tradition of dynamiting! Lots of roast lamb and beautiful places to visit, just a moped ride away. Weather can be chilly but if you're hardy a quick dip in the sea will revive you. There is lots of good and easy climbing plus a multi pitch feast on Telendos at reasonable grades...
sheelba - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

Thank you for all the great replies. Was considering croatia but it looks like it would be a bit cold that time of year
Niceboy - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to jonathandavey:

St Jeannet is a great little villlage.

I have climbed a few time at La Source but have only climbed one of the multi-pitch routes- La Malet ( the easiest but quite polished, so felt harder).

Unless unlucky, Easter should have good climbing weather ( climbed La Malet in March in very good weather).

As a "punter" myself, I appreciate the area for having so much to offer outwith the climbing itself.

Blue Straggler - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:


Yeah we were in Croatia at the end of May so Easter might indeed be a bit colder than what you want from a trip


tallsteve - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to sheelba:

We did costa blanca at Easter.  Basically UK summer temperatures.  Incredibly diverse activities from trad and bolted climbing, canyoning, a few via ferratas and walking.

We stayed here: which is 20mins walk from the Mascarat Gorge trad multipitch climbing and 30mins from the Sierra de Toix bolted climbing area.

Loads to do in the area.  See the above page.  Never do Scotland again!!

Exocet - on 14 Jan 2018

Kalymnos is awesome but not easy to get to at Easter. Charters don’t start till 24th April at the earliest and gettingthere via Athens or Rhodes is time consuming to say the least. I agree with the arse smacking that awaits you in Sardinia! San Vito is an excellent early venu but expect  the town to be dead and it’s not cheap. There is plenty of cultural heritage to explore in the area. And all that has been said about the Costa Blanca is spot on.  Since the inland areas have been opened up with crags some nice villages have been revealed. It’s not all high rises and fish and chips.  But Calpe is a good centre to stay with a lovely old town. Nobody has mentioned the Dentelles de  Montmirail,  though they could be getting seriously polished by now?  Not been for a few years.  Right in the heart of the Cote De Rhône- Grand Cru on your doorstep.  And Chateau Verte and Chateau Double further east and a fairly short drive from Nice. Excellent mid grade climbing. 


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