Located approximately 45 minutes from Málaga, El Chorro is one of the largest and most popular climbing destinations in Andalucía. Sport climbing tends to be the most popular, although long, multipitch, traditional lines exist. El Chorro is also home to the very popular el Camino del Rey which is used to access some of the climbing areas.…

The rock is very pocketed limestone that is not always of the most confidence-inspiring quality. That is to say, most routes are well-traveled and quite clean, although one is bound to knock on a few hollow flakes. The limestone faces are typically vertical to off-vertical, but very steep routes do exist at a few of the crags. Like much of Spain, bolts are abundant and routes rarely feel runout.

Camping is possible, but hostels and bed & breakfasts are nearly the same price. There are a variety of options in the village of El Chorro, and other accommodations very near to the town. For more info about lodging check out the classifieds on UK Climbing .

There is a small grocery store in El Chorro, but if you need to stock up drive to Álora or buy before you leave Málaga.

El Chorro is a great Fall/Winter/Spring destination, as summers are very hot and shade is often difficult to find. Climbing in summer is doable, but expect temperatures to be in the 90's or greater and bring suntan lotion.

There are two quality guidebooks for the area. The first is "Málaga Rock Climbs - El Chorro", a spiral bound book that is written by a local climber. It is pretty good and available at the gear shop in El Chorro, but it would be helpful to know some Spanish. The other is from RockFax and is available from both their website and at the gear shop. However, take each with a grain of salt, as they both contain errors or a lack of information.

Getting There

El Chorro is probably the best climbing destination if you don't want to rent a car. There are many options for getting here. To get to Málaga either: Fly into Madrid and take an AVE train (~77 euro) from the Renfe Atocha station to Málaga Maria Zambrano OR fly into Málaga. From Málaga, you can rent a car (probably your best bet) or take a train to Álora or El Chorro from Maria Zambrano (~4 euro). Trains frequently run to Álora, and about once a day to El Chorro, so plan ahead. If you take a train to Álora, you can hire a taxi or take a bus.

Once in El Chorro, you can walk to many (though not all) of the crags or carpool with other climbers. If you want to get the most out of your stay rent a car so that you can climb anywhere, buy groceries, and drive to nearby towns on rest days.

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Classic Climbing Routes at El Chorro

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Valentine's Day
Sport 4 pitches
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Trad 8 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Buena Sombra
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Sport 5 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
El canalillo de la Mari
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Trad 10 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Poema di Roca
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Little Brown Baby
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Putifero Zona de las Fro… > Sector los Albercones
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Valentine's Day Zona de las Fro… > Sector Austria
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport 4 pitches
Amptrax Zona de las Fro… > Apmtrax Area
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 8 pitches
Buena Sombra Desplomilandia > Buena Sombra
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Ebola Zona de las Fro… > Apmtrax Area
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport 5 pitches
El canalillo de la Mari Escalera Arabe > Upper crag
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Zeppelin Gorge > Sector Zeppelin
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 10 pitches
Poema di Roca Zona de las Fro… > Poema de Roca
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Little Brown Baby Zona de las Fro… > Sector castrojo
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Sara Las Encantades
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in El Chorro »

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season


D. Durrant
Utah, USA
D. Durrant   Utah, USA
Great climbing area with quality, varied climbing for all types of climbers. We stayed in the campground and found the "restaurant", and bar to be a cheap place to eat, drink and talk with other climbers. There is a small climbing shop in El Chorro, and a small grocery store. Note: if you come to El Chorro via train and bus, be aware that there is limited service on the weekends and holidays. Jul 16, 2010
Ryan Williams
London (sort of)
Ryan Williams   London (sort of)
The best kept secret in Spain! A lifetime of climbing in a beautiful setting, no crowds, cheap food and accommodation and excellent and relaxing Spanish mountain villages to enjoy on rest days.

I agree that the rock quality on some of the routes under 5.10 is not always excellent, but I climb here a lot and don't recall ever being on any route over 6b that wasn't bombproof.

Check out the Olive Branch for a relaxing place to stay... Gary and Mel are awesome and you are a 5 minute walk to Las Encantadas and about 25 from Frontales. They currently have a car for rent for 15 Euro per day if you don't want to rent one from the airport. They will also pick you up in Alora for 15 Euro or you can catch a train directly to El Chorro. If going in winter, it is completely reasonable to spend weeks in El Chorro w/o a car. Over a thousand routes that bath in the sun all day are w/in 30 minutes walk or less. If the weather is hot, you'll need a car to drive to shady areas at higher elevations. Feb 29, 2012
tarajane Laycock
North Vancouver
tarajane Laycock   North Vancouver
Hello! I'm a Canadian hoping to climb at El Chorro for a week sometime in Feb/March, as an offshoot of a trip with family. I won't have any climbing partners...can you offer insight on how easy it is to arrive & connect with others to climb? and to get around? I'm a female, ~40yr, leading mod 10's and can follow 11a. I would bring rope/gear. Thanks! Dec 27, 2012
At present, the camino del Rey is closed due to rebuilding of the whole trail. According to local sources, it is supposed to open again in spring 2015. Until then, access to the routes in the first canyon is virtually impossible. Please don't try to use the camino while it is still under construction. Fortunately there is still more than plenty of climbing in the sectors outside the canyon Nov 11, 2014
North Kingstown, RI
Brian   North Kingstown, RI
Update: The Caminito del Rey is open and a major tourist attraction. You are no longer allowed to access climbs from the walkway/trail. There is a new RockFax guidebook that came out in December 2018 replacing the 2008 edition. You should check this out. It is like a Mountain Project of Spain. Aug 22, 2018
Cole Pazar
Boulder, CO
Cole Pazar   Boulder, CO
Best place to visit for weeks!!!! I would recommend you stay with the best german climbers ever! They own the local climbing lodge and it is epic.… The food, the slackline over the pool, the topos for climbing, everything... Message me for any help! Oct 8, 2018