Rock Climbing in Kalymnos, Greece

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Known as the “Island of the Sponge divers,” Kalymnos has a long history with ties to the sea, but much to the delight of adrenaline junkies, things are changing for this small rocky island. Jagged cliffs once only suitable for grazing goats are now the island’s moneymakers.

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Sport climbers from all over the world are heading to Kalymnos to take on its challenging topography. Rock climbing in Kalymnos has changed the tourism sphere here completely. 

Kalymnos has been named as one of the world’s best rock climbing locations, and it’s easy to see why by just looking up at the monumental limestone crags that cover the island.

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Watch our video: The Best Rock Climbing in the World: Kalymnos, Greece

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Kalymnos hosts the annual North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival. This three-day event draws in international professional climbers competing for prize money and climbing gear. But you don’t have to be an expert to try sport climbing for yourself. Even if you haven’t practiced on a climbing wall before, Kalymnos is the perfect place for beginners to learn. There are more than 2,000 bolted routes to take, with most of them located near the town of Massouri. Make sure to take lessons with a certified instructor. We recommend Simon Montmory, a French-born mountaineer and professional rock climber. He and his wife Myriam Caissy have years of experience. They loved the climbing here so much they decided to make Kalymnos their home. Simon and Myriam are among the few local guides that offer beginner’s level courses. For information or reservations, visit their Website or E-mail: kalymnos.climbing@gmail.com.

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For anyone interested in rock climbing in Kalymnos, it is necessary to bring the “climbing Bible,” A.K.A. Rock Climbing Kalymnos Guidebook. This 360-page book is written by professional climber, Aris Theodoropoulos.

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Along with others, Theodoropoulos bolted many of the 1,000+ routes featured in his book. Theodoropoulos is renown in the climbing world for his valuable contributions to the sport and in helping Kalymnos become one of the world’s leading climbing destinations.

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With all the recent media attention focused on Kalymnos, many of the locals seem puzzled as to why people come to the island just to climb. In the meantime they are thrilled to see Kalymnos coming back to life again in the midst of an economic crisis. Some even enjoy observing the climbers… from a distance.

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Like what you are reading so far? Check out our film A Tour of Kalymnos Island, Greece

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Have you ever heard about rock climbing in Kalymnos? Leave us a question or comment below!

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