The crags are scattered around two small canyons, all very close to each other. Margalef rock is a conglomerate, not too solid but great anyway. Climbing here is quite peculiar as you mostly move between one, two or three finger pockets. There are also some slopers and crimps, and tufas can be found in some of the smaller sectors.
There are great lines of all difficulties from the f5 to f9, which is one of the reasons for Margalef’s popularity. On top of that, once you get used to the style, red pointing here seems less difficult than in other, more demanding areas such as nearby Siurana. The grades in Margalef may be slightly softer, but it does not make it a less worthwhile place in any way. It is still superb, fun climbing in great scenery, where everybody can find what they need: more remote, tranquil crags, such as Catedral and Ermita, or always busy crags, filled with fanatics of hard sport climbing. Some of them are located just off the road: Raco de Finestra or El Laboratori.
Margalef offers mostly slightly overhanging or vertical lines as well as slabs, very steep overhangs and even some tufas. Climbing here is varied enough to satisfy every climber.
The whole area was developed very quickly and, thanks to some very active local climbers, there are still a couple of new routes bolted every month. Margalef’s potential is far from fully exhausted and there is plenty of rock waiting to be equipped.
The weather in Margalef is mild and the best time to climb is from late autumn to spring. There are many crags which remain sunny or shady throughout the day, and choosing one in accordance with the weather is easy. The best season for hard sport climbing is definitely winter, when when you can climb in Espadelles, Ermita and Cabernet sectors. The sun feels warm and the friction remains superb.
The only problem in Margalef is that it gets very busy, especially during holidays and weekends, so remember to check out Spanish and French Bank Holidays before you book your holiday.
Travelling to Margalef is easy. You can fly to Barcelona or Girona and hire a car as you will need one to get to the crags in Margalef itself. If you stay longer, don't forget to check out nearby crags like Siurana, Arboli or Montsant which are all worth visiting. The whole province of Catalonia is now considered to be the place with the highest number of high quality sport climbing areas in the world.
There is no campsite in Margalef yet, but there is a free camping area close to a huge dam. There are also many other affordable accommodation options, from a refuge to apartments for long or short term rent, or a cheap hotel down in the village.
Staying in Margalef, make sure not leave any rubbish and protect the natural environment as much as possible. The locals used to be very welcoming to the climbers but sadly, due to some disrespectful behaviour, the relationship has been strained. The climbing community has to ensure we rebuild the trust.