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Rock Climbing Areas in Malaga , Granada & Andalucia


Sun rock climbing in spain


Bouldering at Rosario


El Corral - Villanueva del Rosario


El Torcalito






Climbing Areas in Andalucia - El Chorro, Loja, Archidona and El Torcal


Andalucia is a massive province that stretches down the eastern coast of southern spain. We are based in the hills, 30 minutes north of Malaga and 50 minutes from Granada in the small town of Villanueva del Rosario.

Villanueva del Rosario offers some brilliant venues for rock climbing with both sports and traditional climbs of all grades up to 300m high. Villanueva del Rosario itself shot to fame a few years ago when a route was bolted in a large cave on the outskirts of the town and claimed as the worlds hardest route - 'Chilam Balam 9b+'. The beauty of this area though is that it offers a wide range of routes from grade 4 upwards with lots of sports and traditional routes in the 5s' and 6's.

The main climbing areas are listed below:

Climbing at La Ventana, Villanueva del Rosario Villanueva del Rosario. The cave of Chilam Balam is stunning, but the hills behind the town hide a labyrinth that is full of limestone crags for climbers of all abilities.


The most impressive area surrounds the Llano del Hondonero, a green meadow in the hills behind the town. The crags surrounding the meadow include the massive buttress of El Corral, the grey walls and slabs of Tajo de Madera and the varied and extensive climbing on La Ventana.


There are also several other great areas behind Villanueva del Rosario together with some quite extensive limestone bouldering. The local activists have been careful to bolt crags of all orientations so that climbing is possible all year round.


There are all types of routes at all grades including long mountain scrambles on El Chamizo, perfect grey limestone slabs and walls that are ideal venues for learning the core climbing skills and steeper orange walls for more advanced climbers.


There is no published information, but we have compiled a climbing guide with a full series of topos to the area that covers the Chilam Balam cave, Tajo de Corral, Tajo de Madera, La Ventana, Los Pinos, El Diamente and El Chaos.


The information has been compiled with the help of the local activists who wish to keep the area quiet and so access to the information is restricted to local climberss only.

Chilam Balam Topo

Villanueva del Rosario Climbing Topo and Guide

The closest town to us is Villanueva del Trabuco and crags behind the town are now also being developed and there are two good areas with a lot of routes in the 5's, 6's and 7's.

Villanueva del Cauche: A great crag with lots of good bolted 6's and 7's and a few easier and harder routes. This crag often gets great weather when El Chorro is under clag. Basic, but slightly outdated info in David Munilla's Andalucia guide and unfortunately the latest Rockfax guide seems to have largely just copied this information, inaccuracies and all, whilst missing out the Upper Crag completely along with the new developments across the road.


The upper cave is currently being developed as a dry tooling/wet weather venue with a couple of brand new trad cracks being freed inside the cave itself and exiting via a blowhole! There are some fantastic crags being developed in this valley. 10 minutes drive.


Archidona: An area with two separate sections. Low down there is a steep, rain-proof cave with 7's and 8's and above this there are some good long walls that have been recently developed. These walls contain a lot of friendly 5's and 6's plus a few technical horrors in the middle. The cave area is covered by both the Munilla and Rockfax guides, but neither really cover the upper crags. 20 minutes drive.


Loja: A really good set of crags with some superb climbing. The crags lie either side of the A92 close to Loja. The Zorreras crags are very good, especially the big tufa walls on the lower section, whilst the Train Station crags are smaller, but still contain some very good routes. All in all there is everything you need; sun or shade, vertical or steep, 5's, 6's, 7's and 8's. Reasonable info in David Munilla's Andalucia guide. Rockfax covers the Zorreras crags pretty well, but totally missed out the Train Station crags. The train station crags are the best winter option as they get any sun going. 35 minutes drive.

St Anton de Pinares (Malaga): A good little set of crags overlooking the sea that are perfect when the weather inland is looking dodgy or cold. Their position also makes them great for airport days. There are two crags; one facing SE with about 50 short routes on perfect grey limestone and the larger WNW crag with about 30 routes from 5b to 7c. There are online topos on a separate page - contact us if you need more details.

El Torcal: Limestone that thinks its gritstone. Limestone towers in a lovely area. Info in Munillas guide and more, different, information in the Rockfax guide 25 minutes drive.

Desplomilandia. An outlying area of El Chorro - lots of potential and the current routes are pretty good. The new Rockfax guide has covered this pretty well - 1 hours drive.


Turon: A great crag, largely unknown to UK climbers, but that will no doubt change with the new Rockfax guide. 1 hour


El Chorro: A world class area that is a bit too popular and a bit too polished in places, but is still very, very good. 1 hour.


Valle de Abdalajis: A large expanse rock above this old village. Largely 4s-6s on slabby rock. Online guide here and it has also been covered in the new Rockfax guide pretty well . There are some amazing steep cliffs being developed above this area - local info only at the moment.

Montefrio left hand sideThere are lots more crags within easy driving distance; Monte Frio (picture left) is a complete gem offering lots of great 6s and 7's in a beautiful, hidden location; Cahorros is a surreal valley on the outskirts of Granada with loads of climbing at all levels and the worlds hardest grading system. Also close to Granada are Cogollos (Steep 7s) and Alfacar (5s and 6s)

There are lots of other activities to do on rest days - mountain biking, canyoning and hiking - or the beaches on the coast.



Map of Climbing Areas in Andalucia


View Larger Map


Climbing in Villanueva del Rosario


Chilam Balam CaveThere is no published guide to climbing around Villanueva del Rosario, but with the kind help of the local climbers we have tried to document the area.

There is a general consensus that this information should not be made freely available in order to maintain the tranquility of the area - thus there is no general access to this information - sorry.

The link below will allow those with the correct access information to download the full climbing guide.

The Climbing Area of Villanueva del Rosario - A Climbers Guide

In addition the following pages are available separately :

Villanueva del Rosario Climbing Guide (no topos)

Climbing Guide to Chilam Balam Cave



El Torcalito - Climbing in Malaga

The map below outlines the position of the El Torcalito crags - this is a small, but neat little bouldering area on the outskirts of the city. It is steep and thuggy - reminiscent of the steep bit of Rubicon in the Peak District. There is a fair bit of sika around which has been to both build and reinforce holds.

El Torcalito offers rain proof bouldering and about 4 short steep routes.

The parking in at a small layby on the left hand side of the dirt access road - there is space for 6 or so cars here. The crag is found by continuing on foot up the dirt road for another another 20 m until an unmarked footpath heads off slightly to the right into the woods. Follow this track for a couple of hundred metres until you are at a small makeshift gate marked 'No Entry'. Go through this and the crag is straight ahead and on your left.

It is a popular venue for the Malaga climbers - please respect them if you go there; say hello (Hola! pronounced Ola) and don't just ignore them. They are friendly and very helpful and so reciprocate - it is their area you are visiting.

A complete set of topos for all the climbing in Malaga is also available

View Larger Map


Villanueva de Cauche - New Crag

Cauche - New Crag

Villanueva de Cauche has recently shot to fame with its inclusion in the latest Rockfax El Chorro climbing guide. This usually quiet crag was busy when I last visited it with British and Norwegian climber taking advantage of its sunny aspect.

The El Chorro guide is a fairly half-hearted effort at documenting the crags around here though as it misses the Upper crag entirely and really is just a copy of David Munillas Andalucia guide - inaccuracies and all.

In an effort to make the guide even more obsolete the locals have been busy developing more routes. The crag above is the latest centre of attention. The long corner line running up the entire cliff is a 5 pitch trad route that goes at a UK HVS / E1 with bolted belays, whilst the red wall to it's right is an amazing climbers playground.

At the moment there are only 8 routes here varying from 6a to 7c+; I've only done 4 of them so far but they are brilliant - 20 - 30m of intricate climbing on great rock up a slightly overhanging wall.



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