Rock Climbing Around Lisbon
Updated June 2022
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.
There’s also a Part 2 for outdoor climbing, and a guide to the Lisbon-area climbing gyms. For a full list of Portugal’s climbing crags, check out the map. If you need gear, check out Climbing Gear under Buy.
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 Santos, Alcântara, 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 rent a bike from the kiosk in front of the station.
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
Penedo da Amizade in Sintra
This is the closest area for trad climbing, and also a spectacular location amid 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 fastidious 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 (abandoned since 2019). 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.
Other Outdoor Climbing Areas
For bouldering in Sintra and Cascais and sport-climbing in Arrábida and Montejunto, head to Part 2.
Artificial Walls in Lisbon
Like most capital cities, Lisbon has some free climbing options, outdoors.
The newest wall, or walls, rather, are in Vale de Silencio (located here). New holds went up in the Spring of 2022.
There are also two rock climbing walls in Lisbon’s Monsanto Park. One is close to Benfica (located here) and has been reset with routes in February 2022. Two or three routes were changed in March. Nothing ever happened again.
The other Monsanto climbing wall sat abandoned since at least 2012, and when certain Atlas contributors fixed it up at their own expense, someone took down all the holds, changed the routes, and then took them all down again, so it stands there, useless but beautiful, waiting for someone to love it.
There’s also a wall in the Jamor sports complex. It hasn’t had enough holds to be actually used for several years now, but it, too, is beautiful.
Now, thanks in part to work by several Atlas contributors, there’s an outdoor climbing wall that’s 12 m high, under the 25 de Abril bridge. This one’s paid, but it also has routes being changed weekly, as well as instruction, gear rentals, and auto-belays if you can’t find a partner. It joins a growing list of climbing gyms in the city and its environs, which you can read about here.
Related: Rock Climbing Around Lisbon — and Beyond, a Part II of Sorts
Lisbon’s Rock Climbing Gyms (Rocodromos)
The Portuguese Climbing Guide: An Interview with the Author, Carlos Simes