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Rock Climbing Areas in Malaga & Marbella, Granada Andalucia































































Main climbing areas in Malaga province

Villanueva del Rosario - El Chorro - Marbella - San Anton - Archidona - El Torcal - -Villanueva del Cauche - Loja


The main climbing areas in Malaga are listed below:


Climbing at La Ventana, Villanueva del Rosario

Villanueva del Rosario


The limestone crags behind this town are full of routes for climbers of all abilities and level of experience.


One of the two main areas surrounds the 'Llano del Hondonero', a green and big meadow in the hills behind the town. This area is accessed by driving -or walking- 2 km past the car park by 'La Ermita Virgen del Rosario'.This small and pretty white chapel is the village icon and it is known by everyone as 'La ermita', one of our usual meeting points.

The crags surrounding the meadow include the massive buttress of sector El Corral, the grey walls and slabs of Tajo de la Madera and the varied and extensive climbing on La Ventana sector.

The cave of Chilam Balam and the climbs on the vertical walls beside it -are located in a different part of the mountain area and this is accessed by walking directly from the 'Fuente Vieja' - the old fountain in the old part of the village. Take the narrow tarmac lane perpendicular to the playground leaving a white house on your left after 20 meters. This tarmac lane takes you to the stream, croos it on a small brige on your left and continue straight on the rough track leading you to the cave and surrounding walls in 15 minutes. You can also drive 1.5 km past the local oil factory 'Hojiblanca' at the town entrance.


The Chilam Balam cave and the walls around it are mainly shaded and protected from the East wind. The cave is famous all over the world for the many amazing climbs graded 8s and 9s. Many of the best sport climbers in the world have visited Villanueva del Rosario to attempt some of the hardest climbs ever achieved. The walls beside the cave have many entertaining lines between 5a and 7c+ .


There are also several other great climbing sectors beyond Hondonero in Villanueva del Rosario together with some quite extensive limestone bouldering. The local climbers have bolted crags of all orientations so that climbing is possible all year round.



The clean, grey limestone slabs and walls are ideal venues for learning the core climbing skills and the steeper orange walls are perfect for the more advanced climbers.


For those looking for an introduction to the vertical world -or an adventure day with friends and family- there is also a great Via Ferrata with easy access and fantastic views.


There are all types of routes at all grades, including long mountain scrambles on El Chamizo mountain. This is 1641meters tall and the second highest peak in the province of Malaga-


There is no published content in a guidebook, but we have compiled some climbing information. This certainly needs some updating but it is 'better than nothing' and this simple description hopefully will get you there. This covers the Chilam Balam cave, Tajo de Corral, Tajo de Madera and La Ventana sectors. Once you are there, the locals will help you to complete the information.


The information has been compiled with the help of the local climbers. They wish to keep the area quiet and this means that this content is restricted. Please contact us if you wish to access it.

Chilam Balam Topo

Villanueva del Rosario Climbing Guide



Villanueva del Trabuco: the closest town to Villanueva del Rosario is Villanueva del Trabuco and the crags behind this village have 3 good climbing sectors with several routes in the 5's and 6's. There is also a 200 meter 'Via Cordata' with no steel cables. It does have good steps, bolts and anchors and can be climbed safely with a rope, quickdraws and a few slings in the same way as a multi pitch route.


Villanueva del Cauche: a great crag with lots of good bolted 6's and 7's and some good 8s -as well as a few easier and harder routes-. This climbing area often gets good weather when VVa del Rosario or El Chorro are under clag. Basic info can be found in David Munilla's Andalucia guide and the latest Rockfax El Chorro guide.




Archidona: an important area with two separate sections. Low down there is a steep, rain-proof cave with some 6s, brilliant 7's, 8's and above. Round the corner, the sector called 'La Olla' there are some good long walls that have been recently developed. These walls contain many friendly 5's and 6's plus a few technical and demanding lines in the middle. The climbing area of Archidona is covered by the old guidebook 'Escalada en Andalucia' by David Munilla and the cave is also featured in new El Chorro Rockfax guide. This climbing area is 20 minutes drive from Villanueva del Rosario.



Loja: this area has partially been bird banned except for the Train Station sector which also hosts a recent Via Ferrata. The train station crags -'sector La estacion'- are the best winter option when the strong east and south east wind is blowing everywhwere, as they get any sun going and they are very sheltered. This climbing venue is 25 minutes drive from our base.



Pinares de San Anton (Malaga): a good 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 and this area is also covered by the new 'El Chorro' Rockfax guide.



El Torcal: rock of excellent quality with rounded holds. Limestone towers with interesting animal shapes located in a lovely area. Info can be found in Munilla's guide and El Chorro Rockfax guide. El Torcal de Antequera Natural Park is definitely worth a visit, even if you are on a rest day. It is a lunar landscape on a high plateau and only 25 minutes drive from our base in Villanueva del Rosario.



Desplomilandia: a fantastic outlying area of El Chorro - most of the routes are in the shade and are pretty good. The new Rockfax guide has covered this climbing sector very well.



Turon: a great crag close to the village of Ardales. Featured in the new El Chorro Rockfax guide.



El Chorro: a world class area that is very popular and has some amazing, fully bolted multi-pitch lines.



Valle de Abdalajis: a long band of rock above this white and pretty old village. Largely grades 4s to 6s on slabby and solid rock. Online guide here and it has also been covered in the new Rockfax guide very well.



Marbella: the climbing area called 'Puerto Rico' is a great venue with many routes graded between 5a and 6c. It is excellent for cold days, as it is south facing and fairly close to the sea. It has been featured in El Chorro Rockfax guidebook and there is also an specific smaller guide book compiled by the local climber Pedro Soto, who has set many of the climbs.


Climbing in Granada province


There are many more crags in Granada province within easy driving distance from our base.

Los Cahorros is a beautiful valley on the outskirts of Monachil village,only 20 minutes drive from the centre of Granada. It has interesting climbing at all levels and with all orientations -and a hard grading system-.

Also, very close to Granada city are two brilliant crags: Cogollos-Vega, with steep 6s and 7s and Alfacar with many 5s and 6s

When it is cold inland, the climbing area known as 'Los Vados' is the best place to climb. The nearest big town is Motril, which is on the coast of the Granada province. It has many good quality climbs on vertical and steep walls, facing north and south. The grades range from 5s to hard 7s and a few brilliant 8s.


Active rest days

Apart from climbing around Villanueva del Rosario, there are many other activities to do on 'active rest days': the world famous high gorge walk Caminito del Rey in El Chorro, skiing in the Sierra Nevada of Granada, mountain and road biking, parapenting in Villanueva del Trabuco and Valle de Abdalajis, horse riding in Villanueva de la Tapia and Villananueva del Trabuco... There are excellent hiking routes everywhere with a 'must visit' to the high plateau of El Torcal de Antequera Natural Park.



















Climbing in Villanueva del Rosario


Chilam Balam CaveThere is no published guide to the climbing around Villanueva del Rosario, but with the kind help of the local climbers we have tried to document the area a few years ago. Many more routes have been added so the best way to know about them is to go there and ask the locals.

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.

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

El Corral - Villanueva del Rosario

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

El Torcalito 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.




Villanueva de Cauche - El Colmillo


Villanueva de Cauche has also a climbing sector known as El Colmillo. The long corner line running up the entire cliff is a 5 pitches semi - trad route that goes at a UK HVS / E1. It has bolted belays and some bolts on the tricky areas with no cracks. The orange and grey walls below and to the right are amazing climbers playground.

At the moment, there are about 30 routes here varying from 6a to 8a+ which are all brilliant; 20 to 50m of intricate climbing on great rock up a slightly overhanging wall.

Once you get there, the locals will help you with the grades and recommendations

Cauche - New Crag



El Colmillo area, as viewed from the main road. The distinctive diagonal crack line in the middle of this picture is the multipitch route named 'Diedro Long John'. Below and to the right,on the orange rock, there are some great sport climbing lines.










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