Rock climbs on the western tip of Europe
A guidebook that brings to light a compilation of most of the up to now “hidden” Portuguese rock climbing potential; a big update of what has been written and further developed in the last ten years. From the western tip of Europe comes an extensive list of climbs to be enjoyed along 700km of beautiful Atlantic coastline and 200km of inland, charming landscapes.
With a history of climbing developments which dates back to the late 50’s, Portugal’s hundreds of lines have been kept out of the spotlight – mostly enjoyed by the lucky locals and the occasional visitor – but are by no means of less quality than neighbouring Spain or other continental venues. Instead, these varied, quiet and isolated, considering the small territory and peripheral situation, are a true gem. More than enough arguments for a climbing trip, regardless if you’re flying for a brief visit, longer stay or road journey.
From infinite granite chaos, domes and walls in the north, to central limestone crags, random basalt splitters, quartzite, the renowned Sintra’s bouldering, coastal routes around the capital and down south… there is space for everyone, whether you are seeking remote trad adventures, boulders, deep water soloing or hard sport sends. Complemented with culture, gastronomy, ease of travelling, other water sports or – for the more fanatic – on its own, Portugal is with no doubt one of the ultimate European climbing destinations.
Author: Carlos “Cuca” Eduardo Braga de Sousa Simes, Lisbon, 1981. He grew up in Cascais and discovered his passion for climbing at the age of 15 at the limestone and granite crags surrounding his home town’s Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais. He won a national junior cham- pionship but has always been more focused on the natural side of the sport, doing young repetitions of most of the Portuguese test pieces, bolting and rebolting crags and opening boulders. Carlos graduated as M.A. in Geography from the Uni- versity of Dundee, Scotland, where his learnings also included the art of ground-up traditional climbs. He lived in Catalonia for a few years of frantic climbing, namely on the Montserrat massif, and then climbed extensively around Europe. He works as a walking/cycling guide, fitting climbing, surfing and travelling in between tours and off season.
Photographer: Ricardo “Macau” Santiago Alves, Lisbon, 1976, graduated in civil engineer by FCT-UNL. His interest for photography started at the age 15 and gradually grown into a deeper passion! As a freelancer, has spe- cialized in travel/documentary, lifestyle, rock-climb- ing and nature photography. His distinctive and award winning portfolio has been published in sev- eral national and international magazines. Ricardo has an active role in the Portuguese climbing scene through the development of Sintra’s bouldering area (BoulderSintra) and noteworthy contribution to the visibility of the sport.