Lisabon - A future destination


Tuesday, 23 February



The people of Portugal, though resolutely proud of their beautiful country, humorously refer to their nation as "O nosso cantinho de Espanha" which literally means, our small corner by the seaThroughout history Portugal has been overshadowed by its giant neighbour in so many disciplines and in climbing this is no exception. Though Portugal may not posses the world famous routes of Spain, it is a unique and very charming climbing destination. Here are five irrefutable reasons why Portugal should be your next port of call.

1. Variety of rock and dramatic scenery

Within a 40km radius of stepping off the plane in Lisbon, there is a multitude of small yet charming crags set in spectacular scenery with grades ranging from 4a to 8a.

To the West of Lisbon you have the mystical Serra de Sintra, offering granite slab climbing situated just under the ancient walls of the Castelo dos Mouros, and an immense playground of granite boulders in the Sintra forest, where there is still a lot of potential to explore. Then for the seasoned pros there is the trad climbing at Europe's most Westerly point Cabo da Roca, where you’re climbing with one eye on the rock and the other on the wild waves crashing beneath you. Casal dos Pianos is another spectacular basalt crag with crack climbing in an awe-inspiring setting by the ocean.

About 20 min. from Sintra and near the tourist hotspot of Cascais is Guia. Guia with its limestone walls was the birthplace of sport climbing in Portugal. Here it is impossible to resist a dip in the sea at the end of a good days’ climbing.

Further afield and to the South of Lisbon, we have Portinho da Arrabida located in the beautiful Arrabida national park. This large limestone crag not only has many fun routes, but it overlooks the type of exquisite turquoise bay that you imagine only existed in Greece. Many of these coastal crags are Westerly facing which makes for unforgettable sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean.

Unless you've been hiding your head under a rock, you’ll know that Portugal is the place to be for surfing. From Garret McNamara's death defying feats at giant Nazaré, the World’s Surfing Leagues’ annual visit to Supertubos, to Ericiera becoming the World's first surfing reserve, Portugal is certainly a Mecca for surfing. Portugal is super consistent boasting 280+ surfable days and has a huge variety of spots for every level from the first time beginner to the seasoned pro, so what better way to spend your lay days from climbing by getting some waves.

3. Friendly vibe

The Portuguese are not only hugely proud of their “cantinho de Espanha” but are eager to show the world what a unique and wonderful place it is, and so everyone will happily show you around and help you immerse into the bohemian lifestyle that Portugal is so famed for.

4. Where is everyone?

Since so many travelling climbers opt for Spain over Portugal it means that while people are queuing up for routes in Spain, the routes here are empty. Portugal is well worth a visit, even if it’s to enjoy climbing in quiet, yet spectacular settings.

5. Climate

The sun shines approximately 239 days a year in Lisbon, making it the sunniest capital in Europe. The weather is perfect in spring, summer and still awesome in autumn and winter. From March to November you can expect reliably dry, sunny weather with temperatures around 20 - 25°C, rising to 25-35°C during the summer months. Even in winter, it rarely drops below 15°C. If on the other hand it gets too hot in the summer, you can always find a shady spot for climbing and a cool splash in the ocean. 

Want to visit?

If Portugal has by this point made it onto your hit list, come discover this secret paradise with SaltyWay.We will take you to the best climbing spots in the most amazing scenery, you can combine your climbing with surfing and yoga while enjoying the bohemian lifestyle and fun in the sun with likeminded people.

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