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Kalymnos has established itself worldwide as one of the most important climbing areas. The diversity of cliffs and the unique climbing style imposed by the landforms, the easy access to climbing sectors and the easy connection from one sector to the other, the incredible feeling of climbing the ovehanging routes overlooking the sea, and the possibility, thanks to the mild climate, of climbing all year, make Kalymnos one of the most attractive climbing areas in the world.

Climbing in Kalymnos began in the late 90s, after the visit of some well known Italian climbers. Soon, Greek climbers were involved and started equipping the cliffs; their efforts was supported by the Municipality of Kalymnos. The warm welcome offered by Kalymnians to the climbers, and the publishing of the climbing guidebook written by Aris Theodoropoulos aided climbing to be a standalone tourism product.

Up to now they have been equipped approximately 60 sectors and subsectors with about 2000 routes; every year about 100-150 new routes are opened. Most routes are equipped and the degrees of difficulty varies from 4c up to 9c, thus offering endless challenges for both beginners and experienced climbers.

The apex of climbing activity in Kalymnos is the annual Kalymnos Rock Climbing Festival, initiated in 2005. The festival attracts annually more and more visitors climbers from around the world. Information on special information office of Kalymnos Municipality (telephone number +30 22430 59445).

“The search for the climbing paradise ends on the island of Kalymnos”,

“a jewel of rock glistening in the Aegean”,

“Kalymnos the Mecca of sport climbing”

“the world epicenter of sport climbing”

are just a few of the media titles used in articles dedicated to the

“Rocking island of Kalymnos.”

Rock & Routes:

Huge rock formations, of high quality limestone, line its West – North West coast, overlooking the Aegean. Rough steep hills lead to delicate slabs with pockets and crimps, impressive pumpy vertical walls.Large overhanging cliffs with plenty of features and massive caves, decorated with golden large hanging stalactites and tufa blobs.    

Kalymnos including Telendos (a small inhabitant island 1km opposite the west coast of Kalymnos) is a sport climbing venue with more than 3,500 well secured sport climbing routes,pre-equipped with permanent drilled-in boltsand stationary carabiners for the anchors.Most routes are single pitch of around 20 to 35m the majority of which are in the mid-grade range 6a - 6c.The development of longer alpine style routes from 3 to 11 pitches has increased over the past few years. A few via ferrata routes and deep water soloing also exist offering more options. The quality of the rock is such that it will take a long time for it to become polished and the amount of it offers endless possibilities with more and more new routes every year.                                                                  

The most spectacular thing about Kalymnos though, is the volume of high quality routes at every grade and at every crag! There is everything, whether you are a beginner or a pro, there is a lot for everyone! Last but not least, climbing takes place “at your backyard” referring to the proximity of the crags from the islands’ main roads and accommodation facilities. As a reward after a hard climbing day turquoise crystal waters are awaiting to cool you down within just a few minutes’ walk below the crags.


Kalymnos attracts such a wide range of climbers in terms of nationality, age and ability. You will meet teenage climbers, young couples, climbers with their children and some in their late 60s, from all over the world. The scene around the climbing or away from the crags is laid back and very sociable. Kalymnos is the melting pot of the climbing world. A place where people from all over the world come together and share their culture.

The Municipality of Kalymnos has worked enthusiastically hand in hand with climbers to promote, and more importantly support, climbing tourism and the climbing community. On Kalymnos climbers feel like home. The locals always give rock-climbers the warmest of welcomes.

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