I’ve recently spent 1.5 weeks climbing the Costa Blanca. During this time, we visited several climbing regions – Gandia, Bellus, Sella, Guadalest, Cabeçó d’Or, Sierra de Toix and Peñón de Ifach.
The last two offer multi-pitch climbing, which I will write about in the next post. Here I will focus on single-pitch sport routes. And there are plenty of them on the Costa Blanca!
Climbing in Gandia
Gandia is a small city by the sea, 70 km from Valencia and 110 km from Alicante. This is where we stayed for the first week before moving to Benidorm.
Marxuquera is a rock located just 5 km from the center of Gandia, on which you will find almost 200 routes of a wide range of difficulties. It’s the best place around Gandia for climbers on level four-five, but climbers doing sixes or sevens will also find plenty of routes for themselves.
The rock is surrounded by orange orchards, and in the distance you can see the mountains and the sea. The atmosphere is only spoiled by the noise of cars from the nearby highway. And for half of the first day, also the sound of a chainsaw coming from the orchard …
Most of the routes are 15-25 m high. There are vertical walls, dihedrals, overhangs, and caves with short seven rated routes.
There is also an interesting five (Patxi Saez) that goes through a hole inside the rock.
You can also meet animals on the rock ;)
Bovedón, Bovedin and Bovedós are adjacent sectors, also very close to Gandia.
Bovedón and Bovedós are sure to be fun for those who climb on the seven or eight level. We spent one day in Bovedin, which offers a lot of climbing in the sixth range.
There are a few short fives to warm up, but with a very sharp, unpleasant rock.
I like long climbing routes, so I really like the 28-meter Cosme (6b). I made it top rope because I did not think that on the second day I would lead the 6b, being a bit tired at the end of the day. However, I did so well that I think that I could do it on sight. Very pleasant climbing on jugs.
Climbing in Bellus
Bellus is half an hour’s drive from Gandia. The Costa Blanca Climbs guidebook by Roberto Lopez does not mention this area, but you can find topos on valenciaclimb.com.
The sector is located in a very nice area along the river.
The rock is about 20 m high and there are several fours and fives on it, and over 30 routes ranging from 6a+ to 8b. Warming up on the slippery easiest routes, I reminded Polish Jura that I had not visited for a long time. In addition, we were there during the weekend, so at the crag there were the whole families and even a drone buzzing overhead. You could really feel like on a Polish summer weekend ;) More difficult routes are less slippery and there is calmer by the rock, but the nature of climbing also reminded me of the Jura.
Here I didn’t feel like in Poland anymore, but like in Spain :) There are about 100 routes in the sector, mainly sixes and sevens, but there are two fours and two fives for warming up. Routes’ height is more or less like Cova Petxina, but with normal friction.
This is where I sent my first 6b OS (San Casporro de Asís). And I didn’t even get tired. It felt like 6a. My friends were doing 6c next to my route and were also surprised that it has such a high rate. I regret that the rain chased us away, because I was also going to try ;)
Climbing in Guadalest
Guadalest is a small town half an hour from Benidorm. Already browsing the topo, I knew that I would like it there. Lots of routes in the range 6a – 6b and many of them about 30 m high. Moreover, interesting rock formations.
I did at this crag my second 6b on sight (Orgasmo de …). 30 meters of diversified climbing. The beginning in the chimney, then overhang with jugs and then more or less vertical with nothing. And this one was not so easy as that one in Bellus. Here, there was a fight!
Climbing in Cabeçó d’Or
Large climbing area 30 km from the center of Alicante. Approx. 200 routes, the vast majority of which are from 6b upwards and most of them are long – 30-40 m, some even longer. We chose the only sector where you can find easier routes – Cuevas del Canelobre.
In the sector, there are several 30-meter routes in the 5a – 6b range, all of a similar style, i.e. slabs and verticals with crimps. Nice views from above :)
Right below the rock there is a cave that can be visited by tourists. We didn’t have time for this, but I think it might be a good option for a rainy day.
Climbing in Sella
Even the road to Sella is beautiful. The village is surrounded by mountains up to approx. 1500 m high, which make an amazing impression. And for climbers, several hundred routes at every level. In the Costa Blanca Climbs guidebook there are 440 of them, in 4 areas, but it is noted that these are not all. We only spent half a day in the La Moleta area.
From the parking lot you can see the large roof, which makes an even greater impression from under the rock itself.
However, we did not try it, despite the fact that on the sides lead 6b, so maybe it could be done ;) We were doing 6c on the left side of the roof and we spent most of the time on the 3-pitches V+, about which I will write in the article about multi-pitch routes.
The described areas are only a small part of what the Costa Blanca offers to climbers. I regret I had been there for such a short time and I will definitely want to come back :)