/ DESTINATION GUIDE: Greece - In Search of Solitude

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UKC Articles - on 14 Mar 2019
Varasova - a mountain in the sea.Frygani, Kalogria, Varasova, Mytikas and Meteora? I'm guessing that like me you have never heard of them, well except for the last in the list, which is well known as a UNESCO world heritage site.

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Chris Craggs - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

All the crags were excellent but Meteora is somewhere really special - it is a lot of years since I have just stood somewhere and gazed around in awe:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/dbpage.php?id=324810

https://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/dbpage.php?id=324811

Chris

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Josh Willett - on 17 Mar 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article, thanks. Them towers are dreamy!

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roar on 19 Mar 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

A nice article, Chris. I have some Greek friends who've shown me that there is plenty of little known climbing in Greece. There's also some ski touring and winter climbing to be done!

Outside of alpine environments, Meteora is one of the beautiful places I've  visited, never mind climbed in! 

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Matt Vigg - on 19 Mar 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Further north in Greece is also worth a visit around Thessaloniki and Kavala, some great sport, bouldering, a few mountain routes and a bit of deep water soloing and rarely another climber to be seen if that’s what you’re after.

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Chris Craggs - on 20 Mar 2019
In reply to Matt Vigg:

It was such a great trip that next week we are going to try a similar loop but heading south instead of north- Solomos, Kardamyli, Lagada, Nedusa and Zobolo are pencilled in - I will report back,

Chris

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roar on 20 Mar 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

I'd agree with Matt re. northern Greece, especially around Kavala. Within 40 minutes drive of this loverly town you have a choice of Limestone sport and trad along the coast, Limestone trad at inland crags (with potential for new routing at friendly grades !) and then Granite sport and multipitch trad on Mount Paggaio.

Then theres plenty of climbing on the island of Thasos, which I've yet to experience.

There's also some amazing hiking/trekking in the nearby ancient forests of the Rhodope mountains, on the border with Bulgeria.

If you're interested, Chris, I could make introductions to my Kavala friends, who are also members of the local mountaineering club. It's an area that could do with a guidebook! I now they'd love to see more visitors.  

To anyone who's interested in trekking in the area, one of the people I met is a loverly lady who offers bespoke guided walks/trekking. She speaks english and has a wide knowledge of this part of Greece. You can find her on facebook; Mountain Leader Eirini.

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Chris Craggs - on 20 Mar 2019
In reply to roar:

That all sounds great. I checked on the map, looks like an interesting area.

Not sure when we could fit in a visit, I will have to give it some thought,

Chris

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RyanA on 21 Mar 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Hi Chris,

Great article. I am looking to visit Meteora mid April this year. I'm travelling solo, so I'm looking to hire a guide. One of the routes that has been offered is the Pillar of Dreams which looks like a decent long rewarding climb.

Are you aware of any other guides that operate in the area other than Hellas (who I am currently speaking with)?

Thanks,

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Chris Craggs - on 22 Mar 2019
In reply to RyanA:

I don't personally know of anyone but there is a good Tourist Info in town which may be able to help: https://www.visitmeteora.travel/meteora-tourist-info/

Chris

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dominic o - on 22 Mar 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Great to flag up that there's a lot more to climbing in Greece than Kaly! We've worked our way through all but two of the 25 mainland areas covered in the Greece Sport Climbing guide and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience - cragging  weather, scenery and the great hospitality  For those people who've had their appetites whetted by the article  there's loads more beta and pictures of the locations covered and 20 or so others at https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/category/greece/

Enjoy  

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dominic o - on 22 Mar 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Hi Chris 

Looking at your itinerary for your next Greek Odyssey we've just completed pretty much the same loop. 

We especially enjoyed Zobolo https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2019/02/07/zobolo-the-only-way-is-up/

Kardamyli was a bit of a mixed bag, with some particularly random grading - check out https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2019/02/04/kardamyli/ for some soft touch and sandbag warnings ..

Lagada https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2017/10/07/lagada/ and Nedousa https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2017/10/08/nedousa/ both have a lot to go at, but were a bit warm when we visited in October  Shouldn't be a problem now  but might be worth checking the snow has cleared 

Enjoy, Cheers Dom 

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flaneur - on 22 Mar 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

I can't believe you didn't call this "Beyond Rockfax"!

Seriously, good to hear about some fine sounding climbing other than the usual suspects. What is the coverage of Metoria like in the Greece Sport Climbing guide? Enough for a week of climbing (up to 7b/E4)?

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Chris Craggs - on 22 Mar 2019
In reply to dominic o:

Thanks for the positive response to the article, your travels and Blog have been a source of info/inspiration for that trip and the next one - which starts tomorrow 😊

Chris

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Chris Craggs - on 22 Mar 2019
In reply to flaneur:

> Seriously, good to hear about some fine sounding climbing other than the usual suspects. What is the coverage of Metoria like in the Greece Sport Climbing guide? Enough for a week of climbing (up to 7b/E4)?

The book has 55 routes at Meteora, almost all multi-pitch and mostly in the 5c to 6c range. Worth mentioning that quite a lot of them need a small rack (nuts and cams) to plug the gaps between the bolts.

 There is a nearby (about 10km) sport crag whose name escapes me with a decent set of ’proper’ sport routes,

Chris

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Fat Boy Slim - on 23 Mar 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

any chance you can keep some of this info to yourself?  Surely these are the sort of places that are better left to the more adventurous type.  Why spoil the peace and tranquillity by publicising it...  I've had 2 great trips exploring remote crags in the south of the Peloponnese and not seen a single Brit..  people can find out about these places in their own time...

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LeeWood - on 24 Mar 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

It does seem a bit ironic to title In search of Solitude - open on UKC. 

But perhaps you judge the scale and/orr access to be such that it will nevertheless remain that way ??

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Chris Craggs - on 24 Mar 2019
In reply to LeeWood:

> It does seem a bit ironic to title In search of Solitude - open on UKC. 

> But perhaps you judge the scale and/orr access to be such that it will nevertheless remain that way ??

Well that’s the point isn’t it, 90%+ of visiting climbers will fly into Greece for a two week bolt clipping holiday to Kalymnos or Leonidio and love every minute. The article points out that if you fancy something different, then the opportunity is there. I don’t imagine everybody will suddenly zoom off into the ‘unknown’.

Chtis

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philipivan - on 24 Mar 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Mainland Greece is fantastic for food, scenery, camping and activities. We drove through meteora on a whitewater kayaking trip a few years back and just stood around in awe for a few hours! The whitewater kayaking was fantastic too and do beautiful. An underrated destination but a lot of driving on poor roads to get to the rivers! 

Post edited at 07:55
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Simon Caldwell - on 25 Mar 2019
In reply to Fat Boy Slim:

> Why spoil the peace and tranquillity by publicising it... 

You mean by including the crags in a selected sports climbing guide to Greece?

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jimtitt - on 25 Mar 2019
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Several of which have had their own guides for decades and nearly all the rest appear (plus some other ones) in a previous sport guide to Greece published in 2003.

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clochette - on 25 Mar 2019
In reply to Fat Boy Slim:

Totally agree...this is all heading towards another Rockfax as far as I can see. Otherwise why write about it? 

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clochette - on 25 Mar 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Why write it?

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Chris Craggs - on 25 Mar 2019
In reply to clochette:

> Why write it?


Why write the Destination Article? I like climbing, taking photos and writing about it, been doing it for 30+ years.

Chris

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Jess Szekely on 16 Apr 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Hey guys,

Thinking of doing a last minute trip to Meteora next week... any beta on whether it's likely to be a good time to visit weather wise? (is the climbing mostly in the sun / shade / both..?)

Also heard rumour that it can be hard to climb there at times because of festivals / religious happenings where they temporarily ban climbing..?

Lastly... any thoughts on a guidebook? Or easy enough to pick one up there..?

Thanks for any help ^_^

Jess

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