Varassova is well known to Greek climbers not because of its height (with 917m it doesn't even qualify as medium height) but its steep walls, home to many rock climbs. It is one of the three most important climbing areas in Greece (along with Meteora
) and very few rock climbing courses don't include a weekend there.
There are all types of routes from hard, bolted sport lines to adventurous trad climbs that challenge your route-finding skills. The rock is solid limestone, pretty sharp in routes closer to the sea because of salt-water errosion.
Route lengths vary from 100 to 850m and there are grades to suit every mood. For sport routes a single rope and 10-12 quickdraws are sufficient (with a thinner line for rappels), while most trad routes have little to none fixed gear (belay stations mostly) so they require a full trad rack.
Nearest International Airport: Athens
Nearest Local Airport: Preveza
Nearest Train Station: Patra
From Athens take the road to Patra. Just before getting there turn right in the junction to Rio (not de Janeiro :o) ) (Athens - Rio route description
). Take the ferry to Antirrio (until next when the world's longest cable bridge
will be ready). Follow the road for Mesolongi and turn left at the junction to Galatas and Kryoneri. This road runs parallel to the cliffs and it ends (after 6km) by the sea at Kryoneri.
The road after Antirrio is at places carved into steep rocky slopes (a nice appetiser for a climbing trip). In some places the rock is actually overhanging right over the road! Keep your eyes on the road, however, as there are many dangerous bends there.
When To Climb
Climbing all around the year (weather permitting) is possible, but the best seasons are spring and autumn.
There are many rooms for rent available in the Kryoneri but most climbers prefer to camp in the flat area where the cliffs meet the sea (not too close to the rocks though, as stones fall from time to time). There is fresh water from springs, taverns nearby and you can shop in Galatas.
LiteratureVarassova Rock Climbing Guide by Aris Theodoropoulos available from Needle Sports
Varassova - Climbing Guide: Rock Climbing in Greece by Yannis Aliyannis available from the UK Amazon