Rock Climbing

Updated Oct. 27, 2017

There’s tons of climbing around Lisbon, even multi-pitch trad if you know where to go.

The climbing community is a tight one, and very generous. Please don’t abuse the fact that they share topos. Buy the guides from the authors when you can — there’s a great guide that came out in the summer of 2017 by Carlos “Cuca” Simes. And don’t bolt unless you talk to the locals first — some crags are being saved for natural climbing.

Climbing in and around Lisbon

sintra-climb

For a full list of Portugal’s climbing crags, check out the map. If you need gear, check out Climbing Gear under Buy.

Gym Climbing (and a Secret Artificial Wall that Costs Nothing)

Several Lisbon climbing gyms have come and gone, but there’s a great bouldering center and cafe that opened in 2014 right on the Tejo river near the cruise terminal, and another bouldering gym in Odivelas:

Vertigo
Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Edifício Beira Rio, Beato
+351 967 890 179
Mon – Fri, 14h – 24h; Sat, 10h – 24h; Sun 10h – 18h
€6 – 8 for a day pass, less for kids, value packs and monthly access, more for classes.

Vertical Wall
Rua de Angola, Edifício Lobo, 1º Frente 2620-036 Olival Do Basto, Lisboa (for GPS coordinates, use “Rua Heróis de Chaimite”)
+351 926 828 307
Mon-Fri, 14h-23h; Sat, 11h-19h; Sun, 14h-19h
6€ for a day pass, 5€ before 17h, less for kids, gread deals on monthly and other subscriptions.

And in 2016, Alfragide got a new climbing center, with roped climbing to boot and a good climbing supplies store. The wall is in a corner of a huge activities complex geared toward kids, but the routes are more than satisfactory to climb on:

Space Radical Kids
Avenida dos cavaleiros nº 72 Carnaxide, Alfragide
Mon-Sun, 10h – 20h, but may want to call ahead: +351 912 174 139
5€ for a day pass, which doesn’t cover equitpment rental

There are also two small but free artificial outdoor climbing walls in Lisbon, although one of them is in bad shape. They are so small that we would rather not put directions on the internet, but if you really want to go, contact us directly or ask other Lisbon climbers – we share.

Escalada Deportiva (Sport Climbing)

Farol da Guia Crag in Cascais: Fancy climbing some limestone right on the Atlantic?

Farol da Guia was set up by the local climbing association Desnivel and is maintained by many volunteers. It’s crowded on weekends and in the summer when it’s in the shade (morning is best), but there’s always room for everyone, and it has routes from III to 7c and beyond. Topos are available here (Portugal uses the French rating system – for conversions, see http://www.alpinist.com/p/online/grades).

The crag is a few km from Cascais along the Avenida Marginal, GPS coordinates 38.69141, -9.43485. Parking is typically easy if you go into the side streets, and if you have no car, you can still reach it by train and bike, or a beautiful 1-hr walk from the Cascais train station. From Lisbon, take the Linha de Cascais train at the Cais do Sodre train station (or at SantosAlcântara,
or Belem) all the way to the last stop, Cascais. From here, you can walk, grab a €4-6 euro taxi to Farol da Guia, or, if you come early enough, grab a free bicycle from the kiosk in front of the station in exchange for an ID. The crag entrance is directly to the right of the lighthouse (farol) when facing the water, and across the road from the gas station (good coffee, bad snacks). DIRECTIONS

The walled-in area east of the crag has some great cafés for inexpensive tostas (sandwiches) and more fancy fare too.

 

Trad Climbing (and Multi-Pitch) – For True Adventurers

trad-climbingPenedo da Amizade in Sintra: This is the closest area for trad climbing, and also a spectacular location underneath centuries-old palaces and castles, including the majestic Castelo dos Mouros, all in front of the blue smile of the ocean.

You can drive, or grab a 40-min train from Rossio train station (DIRECTIONS) to Sintra, to reach the Penedo da Amizade (Boulder of Friendship) crag. Here you can use your cams and friends and nuts if you like, or stick with the quickdraws — there are even several bolted multi-pitch routes, which can make for a wonderful picnic under the walls of Castelo dos Mouros. Topos are here and are also now posted on a board at the start of the crag. It’s also much easier to reach now, thanks to the fastifidious renovation of the pleasant walking path to Vila Sassetti. The entrance to the trail is around 38.795014, -9.391798, next to a small park with a tiny artificial climbing wall. Enter through the gate on the left, which immediately leads to a series of stairs, go through the whole quinta, continue past Vila Sassetti and out of the walled-in area, where you’ll find the board with the topo.