Climbs 249
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 600m a.s.l
Faces all

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Guadalest - Sector del Castillo © Tom Phillips

Crag features

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.

Approach notes

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.

Access Advice

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.

Climbed at the Zoo today. Sharp but high friction rock with great bolting and excellent lower offs. Should be more popular.
Wayne.Gaudin - 14/Oct/17
On Penya Maura we were asked to wear helmets to belay because it is on private property and that is the agreement with the land owners.
Wayne.Gaudin - 29/Mar/17
I was with a group of friends climbing at Penya Maura yesterday and we were told by the refugio owner that guides/climbing businesses shouldn't bring their clients to 'his' crag! I wasn't working whilst here so wasn't applicable (our car is logo'd). But I do have this venue in mind for future working days, now unsure if this is a good idea. Tom Philips or anyone else in the know, are you able to shed any light on this please?
Mark Eddy - 05/Nov/16
Great crag, lovely rock, varied routes. We experienced no access problems. Perfect location
beefyhanes - 17/Jan/13
There are many new climbs here that have been added over the last few years. It is now a great venue with very easy access. Full details will appear in the 2013 Rockfax, but should you need a topo in the meantime email the crag moderator [email protected]
Tom Phillips - 29/Nov/12
New routes are being checked an added every week - soon I will re-group climbs into the correct butresses and remove incorrect routes, but please add any missing routes or enter notes on any info you think is incorrect. Thanks
Tom Phillips - 07/Mar/12
The route list is seriously outdated and needs attention.
Pencarth - 07/Mar/12
No access issues a great place to go to escape the sun if too hot. Grading is a bit hit and miss and some of the rock is quite friabble.Sector Pyramid seems easy for grades in guide, while Sector Castillo seems hard than guide, though some holds may be missing since guide was written. Very quite only saw two other climbers and we went there two days.
krikoman - 12/Oct/09
No access issues, lots of Spanish climbers there when we were (Sunday) great place to go to escape sun if too hot.
krikoman - 12/Oct/09
Access issues seem to be OK at the moment, The Spanish chap who has in the past asked people to leave is called "Tubo" and has no right to do so. But if in doubt climb on the Sector Penya Maura (most Easterly section)
Tom Phillips - 24/Feb/09
We were also told to leave the crag due to conservation. Apparently not true (you should note the amount of rubbish nearby)its possibly a grudge against rockfax not talking to the locals.
cwarby - 10/Nov/07
We were asked to leave this crag (Oct 07) by a Spanish chap who claimed that 'alpinism' was forbidden, due to the presence of rare plants on the crags. Nothing about this in the guidebooks, but he seemed genuine.
geckoid - 23/Oct/07
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