I’ve been bitten by the bug, the rock-climbing bug and it happened when I least expected it. My brother insisted on dragging me along to a climbing course and after a couple of hours of frustration, I had a breakthrough and realised that I liked it…a lot. I have to admit that this was largely due to the fact that for once, I was better than my brother at something!
Recently my parents discovered some cheap flights to Cyprus and enquired as to whether my brother and I would like to join them. I have to admit that at first I wasn't sure but after a brief browse on the internet I realised that Cyprus is home to some fantastic rock climbing and like that, I was sold.
There are two different types of climbing that you can do in Cyprus; ‘sport’ which is a type of climbing that involves permanent anchors and bolts already installed in the rock face and ‘trad’ climbing which is for those with a little more experience who install their own safety gear.
Cyprus has one of the best climates in Europe and the warm, dry weather means that people can climb almost all year round. Things can get a little too hot in the height of summer but if you are still keen to climb then the best spot to head for is Eagle’s Crag which is situated at 600m meaning the breeze makes it a much cooler climb than other places. The best time to climb in Cyprus is thought to be spring and autumn.
Fantastic locations that we explored during our stay included Gerokopetra, home to a number of different level sports routes. The views over Akamas Peninsula and Lara Bay were a welcome distraction when we needed a rest mid-climb. Droushia and Ineia have a nice mix of trad and sports routes and if you are partial to some bouldering, there are some great opportunities for that here.
We were staying in Limassol and I would highly recommend opting to stay in a resort whilst climbing in Cyprus. Staying in a resort means there are plenty of options for accommodation and most importantly, places to feed your appetite after a long day of climbing. It also means that should you need a day off to ease those aches and pains, there are other activities to keep you occupied. Car hire is great value and the roads are easy to navigate.
By far the most amazing climbing site we found was Dhiarizos, an imposing limestone crag located in the foothills north east of Pafos which together with its close neighbour, Kourtelorotsos North, is home to the best sports routes on the island. Another plus point of the area is that even on the hottest day there is somewhere to climb in the shade.
For all novice and expert climbers out there, there is something for you in Cyprus. This relatively unknown climbing destination is only going to remain that way for so long before people catch on to its charms. Visit as soon as you can.