Climbing Destination Guide: Siurana, Cataluña (Spain)

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Siurana, Cataluna
Siurana is a small medieval village at the top of a hill and you climb along the winding cliff system that surrounds it. These tall orange walls possess some of the hardest routes on the planet.

The climbing here—notably sharp and crimpy—will simultaneously humble you, inspire you, and teach you the technique you thought you had. Cataluña is packed with incredible crags, and Siurana is not one to miss by any measure.

Specific description of climbing style

Long, crimpy sport climbing. Bring a lot of draws and at least a 70-meter rope!

Best season

Fog envelopes the cliffs nearly every morning, so plan for late starts to let the humidity burn off. Due to the sharp nature of the holds, the moderate Mediterranean climate, and the fact that the vast majority of the cliffs are south-facing, you’ll find yourself chasing shade even in the dead of winter. Siurana is best as a late fall/winter/early spring destination.

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Climbing grade range

Lots of routes. The best climbing is found starting at the 5.10/11 level, all the way up to Siurana’s legendary 5.15s.

The climbing feels hard if you aren’t used to small, sharp holds, but those who like crimps will excel here. Prepare to tape up your fingers and/or devote some time to skin farming if you go too many days on!

Top climbs in the area

  • Marieta de L’ull Viu (5.10c/6a+): A unique, varied climb that goes through knob-like holds into a crimpy vertical sequence to the chains.
  • Tikis-Mikis (5.11d/7a): A tall bolted crack dihedral in front of an amazing view. What more could you want?
  • Crosta-Panic (5.12a/7a+): Techy climbing, typical of the area, that leads to an exciting finish.
  • Mandragora (5.12c/7b+): Pumpy! This tall route climbs through uncharacteristically skin-friendly holds through fun, sustained sequences.

Best local spots

What Siurana lacks in amenities it makes up for in charm.

Within its cobblestone streets, it has a few hostels, a restaurant, and a charming shop selling high-quality local products (wine, olive oil, homemade cheese).

Less than a mile from the village, Camping Siurana, run by local developer Toni Arbones, is a campground, hostel, and restaurant all-in-one. At the base of the hill is the slightly bigger town of Cornudella de Montsant, which has more cafes, restaurants, and bars.

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Where to stay

There are several options for hotels and hostels in Siurana proper, and Camping Siurana down the road offers a hostel, tent camping, and van-camping options.

Free van-camping (but notably, not tent camping) is tolerated in the pull-offs and lots along the mountain. If the crag ever feels crowded, walk along the cliff line to yet another world-class area.

Best kept secret

The view of the sunset from the top of the cliffs by the castle (yes, there is a castle) is amazing. Even if it means taking one less burn, make it a priority to watch at least one.

Other information

A little bit of Spanish and/or Catalán will help you get around. If you get the chance, sample the climbing in nearby Margalef or Montsant, or one of the many, many world-class crags in the region!

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Now to you

These destination guides are only made possible through the feedback of climbers like yourself. Are we missing some beta? Have anything extra to share? Leave a message in the comments below.

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