Altitude 600m a.s.l
Guadalest - Sector del Castillo © Tom Phillips
The rocky citadel of Guadalest has always been known as a major tourist trap for coach trips from the coast. In recent years the extensive walls have been developed with a selection of excellent routes across the grades, on some unique rock formations.
The routes listed here are well-bolted sport routes - a good supply of quick-draws and a 60m rope should be adequate for the majority of them. There are some multi-pitch routes too, offering a good a introduction to that style of climbing. There is also the occasional longer pitch (30m+) in amongst the rest, though mid-height lower-offs are usually installed. There isn't too much in the way of harder climbing, as most of the faces are slabby. There are some older trad routes scattered amongst the sporty stuff; we haven't listed these here. In the early days of development there were sporadic incidents of people being asked to leave the newly developed climbs on the walls below the swimming pool, on the Sector Penya l'Alcalà. The place is well and truly open for business now and it can get very busy.
Set at 600m, Guadalest can be cold in the winter - snow is not unheard of. In the summer, the sun can be followed or avoided depending on how hot it is. There is also some shade to be had from the trees when it gets too hot. The town and its trappings is worth a look if it is too hot to climb.
Guadalest is well-signed since it is a popular tourist destination. The quickest approach is to take the good CV70 from one of the Benidorm junctions inland past Polop (and Vall de Guadar and the Ponoch). It can also be reached from Altea via Callosa but the roads aren't as good. The Castle and Boulder crags are approached from one of the main coach car parks. For the main Penya l'Alcalà and Penya Maura crags, on a right-hand bend in town, turn sharp left onto a steep road signed to 'Piscine Municipal' and drop down, past the swimming pool, to a large parking area by a building directly below the main crag. More details are given on the crag pages.
Some routes between Arc de San Marti and Avaratar on the central sector of Penya l'Alcala have had their bolts removed due to loose rock.
IMPORTANT: the council could halt climbing at any time. Miguel, the owner of the refuge opposite Penya Maura, has developed the crag at his own effort and expense, as part of his business. It is a crag which needs maintenance, as there is much soft and loose rock, which undergoes changes with use and weathering. The council look to Miguel to keep climbing there safe, so for climbing to continue at Guadalest, Miguel's Refuge needs to be a viable business, and serious accidents need to be avoided.
So please take advice from Miguel, who does not speak english, even if you have difficulty understanding what he is trying to communicate.
Wear a helmet all the time you are at the crag.
Support Miguel's business. Please visit the Refuge for a beer or (excellent) coffee. There is plenty of parking space at the refuge.
Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Tom Phillips