Cuenca is undoubtedly one of the best sport climbing areas in Spain but it is not very well known abroad. It is conveniently situated in central Spain, only two hours’ drive from Madrid, which makes it a favourite weekend destination for climbers from the capital.
The climbing sectors are located around the medieval town of Cuenca, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fortress is popular among tourists but it remains mostly quiet during the day. At night, the sleepy town comes to life.
The historical centre of Cuenca is definitely worth visiting even for those who are not particularly keen on sightseeing, be it for the spectacular architecture or the excellent nightlife.
The climbing area of Cuenca is quite big and offers many different types of crags full of excellent quality lines on solid, yellow limestone. Cuenca is mostly known for its short and athletic routes requiring a lot of explosive power, but there are lines of every kind to be found here. Slightly overhanging walls with long moves on finger pockets and crimps is the essence of the Cuenca climbing style.
Sport climbing in Cuenca started in the eighties. A group of climbers from Madrid ventured out in search of an area with a potential for hard routes. Now there are over 400 lines in Cuenca, most of them demanding and fingery. It is a very good destination for intermediate and advanced climbers.
The best time to go to Cuenca is early spring and late autumn. The area can get very cold in the winter and snow is not unusual. Summers are unfortunately way too hot to climb.
You can choose from many types of accommodation available in town. If you prefer camping, there is a campsite situated only seven kilometres from Cuenca. As in the case of most Spanish crags, it is recommended to hire a car to be able to move around the sectors.