The Costa Blanca is the original Spanish destination for winter Sun. There are now a ton more places to visit all over Europe for a winter hit, but the facts can’t be ignored: The climbing around Costa Blanca is awesome, and the weather is the best in the whole country.


These are the two most important ingredients. Climbing and weather. First the weather. This is the clincher really! January has typically 4 days of rain, so that’s one a week. Not a bad start. And temps range from maybe 10 up to 20, which is more than acceptable! But it can be all over the place, last week I got the coldest hands I have ever had on a route, though we started at 9am on a high crag, out of the sun, where there had been a deep frost overnight. So it was my own fault. By midday it was in the sun and kind of perfect. By 3pm it would have been too hot! So it takes the normal planning. But I’ve not missed a single day of doing stuff in a load of trips. The key is it’s dry. Take your big duvet, and your shorts, and you’ll have fun. I even swam in the sea in February, though to be fair, it wasn’t a very long swim! It’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll be doing stuff, all the time, all the way through autumn, winter and spring. In summer you’ll just be too hot!

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Second ingredient – the climbing. But actually let’s just glance at the other ingredients first that are handy.

Airport: Alicante, cheapest place to fly in Spain from UK, stacks of choice at all times from just about every airport in Britain, 40 minutes drive to the heart of the climbing. Don’t think you can beat that. Transport. OK, you’ll need a car. But at about £40 per week, or less, you’ll not really consider hitching. And the roads are easy and go everywhere.

Accommodation: tons of cheap stuff in Benidorm, but you’ll not really enjoy your rest days. Plenty of gites easy to find online, the famous Orange House in a perfect location, a few refuges including the one at Sella, or camping, which is best in Spring rather than winter unless you are tough and like hanging around in the dark.

Shopping: as in supermarkets. Benidorm is massive and has everything you will ever need, and everything you won’t need. Cheap and cheerful, with lots pf Aldi’s and Lidl’s to make you feel at home!

So in a nutshell, the Coata Blanca is one of the easiest, most convenient, cheapest and best weather places to visit out of just about anywhere in the world!

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Amazingly, and by pure fluke for us climbers, there is amazing rock everywhere! Most of the climbing is single pitch sport. Every grade is catered for. There is a massive abundance of lower grade crags that soak up the sun; easy angled walls with solid grey limestone. Information for those operating in the 6’s is easy to find, and for those in the mid 7’s there is an endless supply. However, there are also many hard cliffs. In recent years The Coast Blanca has kind of been left behind by the big hitters of Oliana and Santa Linya. For the 8a onsighter The Blanca has become one to avoid. But there is still plenty to go at, and this is what I’m interested in, and maybe others also.

First of all The Wildside, which is one of the best crags in the world! And that’s saying something! Always out of the sun, sheltered from the wind, easy walk in, tons of routes from 7b to 8c all fantastic quality. This really is not to be missed, many a week’s trip has been spent exclusively there. There is also Forada, with a good bunch of 8a’s to go at, and Bovedon up near Gandia, a huge cave with upside down 8’s that never get wet in the rain. But these crags have been around a while, and personally I’ve been there, done that…

But in the last few trips I’ve been to new crags I’ve never even heard of just about every day! Bovedos, Cherry, Collosseo, Rincon, Water Cave, Sherpa…. All with a bunch of 8’s to go at and all excellent quality. This last trip in Feb 2018 I had a day and a morning and managed 5 routes of 8a and above spread over 3 cliffs, with plenty left to go at on each crag. En-route we passed other bulging walls with routes ready to go. There is just so much rock! The problem is in the details. The topos don’t exist yet, slowly info is trickling out but with the rate of development there is no one to keep up and let the world know. If you search you’ll find it, or head to places like The Orange House or Sella Refuge and the locals will put you right.

As a comparison, Chulilla, the hot new destination just up the road (which is amazing), has way less to go at then Costa Blanca.

Perhaps what is missing from The Coasta Blanca is the really hard stuff; the 9a’s and 9a+ routes. A few exist, but not in their masses like in Santa Linya. This will keep the headlines away, and the super hard redpointers moving on past. But if you are after some serious mileage, 8a and 8b, then you’ll not do better to be honest, and you’ll have the crags to yourself! But not only to yourself, you’ll have the choice of sun, shade, high, low, steep, technical, tufa, crimps, roadside or walk in. And all beside the seaside.

Rincon – 4 or 5 routes 8a-8b. Orange rock, technical, shade all day

Sherpa – 6+ routes 8a-8b+. Just off vertical, long.

Cherry -  4 or 5 routes 8a-8b. Sun from 10am, no walk in. Thin tufa and super technical

Bovedos – plenty of 8a – 8c routes, super steep upside down stuff

Collosseo – a steep 8a, and a whole load of upside down routes that could easily be 9a

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