Climb Europe

Rock Climbing in Northern Portugal

The northern part of Portugal is very rural and it is a completely different way of life than the commercialised coastal areas.  The climbing is this picturesque and mountainous area is very varied with the added bonus of experiencing a more authentic taste of Portuguese life.  The map opposite shows the main rock climbing areas in northern Portugal.

Main crags in Northern Portugal

No Crag Rock Type Type of Climbing Single or Multi Pitch Altitude
1 Meadinha Granite Sport and Trad Multi-Pitch 850m
2 Santo Tirso Granite Bouldering N/A N/N
3 Serra de Passos Quartzite Sport and Trad Single 900m
4 Serra da Estrela Granite Trad, Sport and bouldering Both 1700m
5 Penha Garcia Quartzite Sport Single 500m
6 Serra do Sico Limestone Sport Single 300m

The Serra da Estrela Mountains is the largest climbing area in northern Portugal.  The mountains are close to the town of Covilha, and are the highest point in Portugal (the 2,000m peak of Torre).  The variety of climbing in these granite mountains is immense, from adventurous multi-pitch trad climbing, and sport climbing to bouldering and even ice climbing in the winter.  The granite rock provides friction slabs, jamming cracks and steep walls.

Map of the main rock climbing and bouldering areas in Northern Portugal

Map of the main rock climbing and bouldering areas in Northern Portugal

Portugal rock climbing guidebookThere are 4 main climbing areas in the Serra da Estrela Mountains, which are as follows:

  • Cantaro Magro/Covao Cimeiro – Adventurous trad climbing with multi-pitch routes up to 160m long.
  • Covao D'Ametade – Trad and sport climbing, with routes up to 80m long.
  • Placa da Francelha – Sport climbing
  • Pedra do Urso – The superb bouldering found at Pedra do Urso, is the largest bouldering area in Portugal with 1,000’s of quality problems across a wide range of grades. 

The best time of the year to visit the Serra da Estrela Mountains for climbing is in the spring and autumn.  Winter is reserved for hard core boulderers to obtain maximum friction, while the summer months are just too hot.

Portugal Onsight - the guidebook for sport climbing and bouldering in PortugalMeadinha is a granite dome located in the northern tip of Portugal, and is a popular climbing area.  Here there is a mixture of trad and sport multi-pitch routes up to 160m long with many routes over 100m long.

Santo Tirso is a very accessible bouldering area near Porto.  Situated in a forest these granite boulders provide good quality problems, from slabs requiring friction and balance, to explosive moves off crimps and sloping top outs.

The Portugal rock climbing guidebook and the Portugal Onsight Guidebook detail all the rock climbing and bouldering in northern Portugal.

Portugal rock climbing photograph – Santo Tirso Portugal rock climbing photograph – Serra da Estrela - 1 Portugal rock climbing photograph – Serra da Estrela – 2 Portugal rock climbing photograph – Serra da Estrela - Pedra do Urso Portugal rock climbing photograph – Serra de Passos - 1 Portugal rock climbing photograph – Serra de Passos - 2


Click on the images above to view a larger photograph, showing the excellent rock climbing and bouldering to be found in Northern Portugal.

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The Portugal rock climbing guidebook covers the climbing and bouldering at Meadinha, Santo Tirso, Serra de Passos, Serra da Estrela Mountains, Penha Garcia and Serra do Sico. 

Portugal rock climbing guidebook

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