Rock Climbing in Kalymnos: Kalymnos gained fame for rock climbing in 1996 when an Italian couple discovered some beautiful paths. With amazing routes on the limestone cliff, Kalymnos has become the climbers' paradise. The small size of the island makes it easier to get around and explore it.
The best period to visit Kalymnos is during the spring and fall season. Summers are very hot. The island has very friendly weather all around the year and this facilitates climbing. The rainy season starts in December and there is no much rainfall here. July and August are extremely hot but the sea wind tends to cool the climbers and most cliffs have shadows at certain times and hence the climbers can choose to share their time between climbing and swimming. Friendly weather, peaceful scenery, beautiful landscapes add more charm to the climbing experience.
Kalymnos has become one of the major rock climbing destinations for professional climbers as well as beginners on an international level. The island has various kinds of good quality limestone rocks with different difficulty degrees like overhangs, caves with stalactites and slabs. The quality of the limestone rock is excellent and has easy access. Cliffs are very close to the city and may require 5 to 10 minutes of driving or 5 to 20 minutes of walking. There are some 44 high steep rocks. It has a number of 1,200 single pitch and multi-pitch routes.
There are many easy routes for starters as well as more difficult routes for those willing to make adventures. There are many cliffs that rise to 200 meters in height. The best climbing spot is around the village of Massouri. You can either get your own climbing equipment or rent from the many climbing clubs and shops you will find on the island. Climbing can never become boring as there are numerous routes and every route, in turn, leads to a number of ways. The climbers can decide which route they might wish to take. More adventurous climbers can even discover new routes on their own as plenty of virgin routes are yet to be explored.
Four climbing festivals take place every year on the island, including the International Climbing Festival.
International Climbing Festival
The Municipality of Kalymnos encourages rock climbing by organizing the International Climbing Festival. The first festival was held in October 2000, and then again in 2004 and 2006. Famous and unknown climbers are welcomed to the festival. The International Climbing Festival of Kalymnos gives an opportunity for various climbers to meet, share their ideas and explore various routes.
More than 600 people, including famous climbers and world champions, took part in this event in the previous years. The enjoyment and thrill that climbers experience in these festivals often make them come back again to have that adventurous experience.