Although climbing is a high-level athletic sport there are some areas in Sardinia where you can try it, for the first time, without any problems or need of special knowledge.
The best climbing guidebook about Sardinia is Pietra di Luna by Maurizio Oviglia. I have used this wonderful book and the experience of my friend and colleague to present to you a small list with three wonderful places where you can take your first steps in this overwhelming discipline.
1) Cala Gonone
Kingdom of limestone climbing and the most popular and well-known center for rock climbing in Sardinia.The real strength of this location is that its cliffs are all close to the town. You can find clean ways ranging from difficulty 8a / 8b to many other easy routes for beginners, as in my case!
Location: Cala Gonone is silhouetted against the sea. This small resort is located 1 hour and 30 from Olbia and 2 from Cagliari.
Where to sleep: There is a large number and variety of accommodation in Cala Gonone. There are numerous hotels and also the possibility of finding an apartment or holiday house rental in Cala Gonone or in neighboring towns such as Dorgali.
Our advice: Cala Gonone is the ideal place to test the combination sea + climbing. If you are planning your holidays in Sardinia with the family you can always find climbers to join with while your family enjoys the sea. In addition the area offers you the possibility of other activities such as visits to the caves, hiking, scuba diving courses and much more.
One of the most interesting and evocative climbing areas in Sardinia. Visitors are generally attracted to this wonderful out-door sport and its cliffs are known all over the world. Rock climbing practiced in these walls is very technical and therefore ideal for learning the basics of this sport.
Location: Jerzu is located 110 km from Cagliari and the best part is that its walls are close to the town. A true paradise at your fingertips!
Where to sleep: There is a great variety of accommodation in Jerzu. However, if you want to fully enjoy the beaches of Sardinia together with your rock climbing then you can rent an apartment in Barisardo (15 km).
Our advice: Climbing in this area is ideal during the summer when it’s too hot to climb elsewhere. Most famous walls are Il Castello, l’Isola del Tesoro and Palazzo d’Inverno, the latter exposed to the east and ideal for hot weather. If you are hungry don’t miss the chance to taste the “culurgiones all’ogliastrina” and the renowned local wine (cannonau).
Domusnovas is located near Mount Marganai, in the south-west coast of Sardinia. In this area you can find many explored and cleaned walls, in fact, together with the nearby areas of Iglesias, Domusnovas constitutes the largest area, and certainly also the most important one, of Sardinia rock climbing. There are two famous walls (Chinatown and Ruota del Tempo) and many other “smaller walls” with a wide choice of difficulty level, ideal for beginners and those who want to take their first steps in this sport.
Location: Domusnovas is located just 35 minutes from Cagliari and 8 km from Iglesias. The main walls are located to the north of the town, near the Cave of St. John (Grotta di San Giovanni). The grotto has a great natural value and is unique in Italy and third in the world that could be traveled by car. The best part of it is that you can climb on its walls!
Where to sleep: You can find apartments for rent in Domusnovas but in order to fully enjoy the whole area is better to look for a house for rent in Gonnesa or Iglesias, where in addition to climb you also have the opportunity to enjoy other outdoor activities such as horseback riding , kite-surfing and hiking.
Our advice: Cliffs and rocks scattered in this area are many, for all tastes and difficulties. Moreover, in a matter of minutes, you can achieve stunning beaches or visit the mining areas of Sardinia once full of life.
From my personal experience I can tell you that the feelings you have in these vertiginous canyons and towering mountains are so overwhelming and powerful that will leave an indelible mark in your memory.
The bond that you create with the limestone walls and the blue sea of Sardinia will make you open your eyes and discover a new unexplored world.
You just have to prepare the shoes, rucksacks and snap!