Rock climbing is a fun and exhilarating way to connect with nature and outdoor sports. The Comunitat Valenciana has innumerable sport climbing areas to practice this sport. But not all are valid to start rock climbing. Below we explain which areas have the best conditions and why.
Why is it important to identify climbing areas for beginners?
An appropriate area to start rock climbing has to collect some appropriate factors so that we can fully enjoy this sport with family and friends. It is very important to collect information about the different areas to identify which ones meet these requirements. If you want to make sure that everybody has a good time aiming to come back very soon, it is crucial to pick the right place. On our climbing areas page, you can get very good information of the most popular climbing areas of the Comunitat Valenciana, but if you can’t find the area you were looking for, we recommend searching on internet or buying a local guidebook of the area (if it exists).
What features does a climbing area for beginners require?
The first thing we should take into account is that it has to be an area with bolted climbing routes or what is the same, a sport climbing area in which the routes and their anchors are well bolted and in good condition. Some of the sport climbing areas that were equipped many years ago may have been forgotten. These areas are not recommended as the equipment may be outdated. In addition, low traffic on the routes can lead to more rockfalls and access tracks may be hard to find or damaged.
Which routes are considered suitable for initiation? Although each person is different and will be more or less skilled, we will always look for routes with the easiest levels or grades to guarantee a good experience, ideally between grades IIIº and IVº. It is not recommended to climb routes of more than Vº grade on the first day of climbing. In addition to the grade of difficulty, the routes should not be too long. A height between 15 and 20 meters is recommended to be able to enjoy a first contact without having to defy gravity too much.
It is always appreciated if the environment is of special interest, providing beautiful views or a pleasant walk to the crag. We should take into account that the approach is neither too long nor complicated. If we can see the wall from the parking lot, much better to avoid getting lost in the forest. In addition, a wide and comfortable base will help us logistically when going with the family or with a large group.
It is important to check the orientation of the wall and the season of year in which we are going to prepare our outing to enjoy the best conditions. We will look for sunny faces in winter and walls in the shade in summer (even better if they are also close to a bathing area).
And finally, it is necessary to verify that there is no regulation that prevents the practice of climbing or other sports. Consulting the temporary regulations of the most popular areas is a good practice that we should do frequently.
The best areas to start rock climbing near Valencia
Below we will name what for us are the 5 best climbing areas for beginners and why.
1. Peñas de Guaita, in Puzol
With impressive views of the coast and the city of Valencia, the Peñas de Guaita, on Mount Picaio, have become the quintessential area to take beginners to make their first moves on the wall. At just 35′ of travel form the city and with a large number of routes of IIIº and IVº grade, this is where we almost always carry out our climbing tasters and some initiation courses.
2. The Quarry of Villamarchante
Hidden in the middle of an industrial area, the Villamarchante Quarry offers a small rock wall with well-bolted routes that are very suitable for practicing or giving climbing courses. The parking lot is directly at the quarry and the base is wide and comfortable. Although the environment is not the most beautiful and the height of the routes is not very high, the comfort of the sector and the proximity to the city make it a good option to start.
3. El Cuchillo, in Cheste
El Cuchillo, in Cheste, is a small climbing area not very far from the city. In addition, the parking lot is located just in front of the wall. It has several initiation routes and some intermediate level routes and the wall is accessible from above, which is interesting for certain practices or setiing a top-rope.
4. Cova de la Petxina, in Bellus
Located in the Paraje Natural de l’Estret de les Aigües, the Cova de la Petxina is a small jewel of Valencian rock climbing. Its very short approach and comfortable base make it a very good area to visit with the family. Although it does not have a large number of routes, it offers challenges for all levels. It also has a wide variety of complementary activities such as hiking, visits to cave paintings, bathing in the river or eating in the picnic areas.
5. Mola de Montesa
With unbeatable views and surroundings, the Mola de Montesa has one of the most suitable areas for beginners and families. The walls are very close to the parking lot and the base is suitable for small children. El Ramallar restaurant is a very good option where you can end the climbing day with tasty llescas and a some beers, and the castle gives it a historical and charismatic atmosphere.
Although this is only a proposal, there are more options to start rock climbing and we would like you to share your ideas with us. We also want to take this opportunity to remind you that it is very important to make a first contact with an experienced person. If it is with a qualified guide and framed within a regulated activity, much better since you will ensure that the guide has received the appropriate training, that the gear is in good condition and you will also be covered by an insurance.
Do you know any other rock climbing area suitable for beginners near Valencia? Do not hesitate to write your ideas in the comments.