PlanetFear ran coaching holidays for climbers on the idyllic Greek island of Kalymnos and with great pleasure Becky and I went to the last one ever! PlanetFear Kalymnos SunRock holiday. As you’ll see from the photos on this site, we had an awesome time…
This is Massouri Beach. The crags on the right have masses of routes, all sport climbing, with a lot still to be developed. We stayed in a hotel directly down the hill from the big cave on the right (the Grande Grotta). The Grande Grotta has some of the best steep natural overhanging routes I’ve ever climbed on (and I did my hardest flash there: Ivi, F7b).
We did five days climbing out of the six we were there (badly needed the rest-day in the middle!). On the second day we climbed at Ghosts Kitchen which had tufas like nothing I’ve seen before. Tufas are basically stalactites which are still attached to the rock for most of their length. The tufas at Ghosts Kitchen have obviously been formed by mineral-laden water running over the surface from the top, which has caused the tufa to ‘grow’ away from the rock. Some of these, like those in the photo, are flat enough to sit on!
Not all of the sport climbing on Kalymnos is steep rock. There’s some amazing slab climbs too, if you’re into that kind of thing. Here, Becky climbs ‘Persephone’, a F6b that’s about 25m long and all at quite an easy angle as you can see.
Because the weather is pretty reliable in September any time before about 2/3pm is good for climbing, depending on the crag. We pretty much watched the line of the shadow and once the routes get in the sun that’s the time to head for the beach. It was so good being able to get a hard morning’s climbing done and then head for the sea for a dip before tea. The food was generally good, but we had the best from the Aegean Tavern - the bread they serve for the table is gorgeous too!
Before the climbing and tourist industry came along, Kalymnos was famous for its sponges. There’s plenty of shops that sell them but a lot are imported these days as the demand has vastly outstripped the supply. Kalymnos is still a really good place for divers and an international diving festival was recently held there, maybe I’ll give that a go one day too… once I’ve learnt to swim!
I could go on and on about Kalymnos for ages; we had such a good time and got loads of climbing done. Be sure to take a look at the Kalymnos gallery whilst you’re here, for more photos as well as the few shown on this page.