Climbing Albania

Bovilla - Albania

Description
Everything about climbing in Albania is an adventure and getting to Bovilla crag is no exception. A steep windy dirt track up along a valley gets you high into the Dajti Mountain National Park and above the Bovilla reservoir are some impressive cliffs. The largest sector sits right above the reservoir and a smaller sector with yellow limestone and snake-like dihedrals sits around the corner with views down the valley. If you don't mind the long, bumpy drive in, Bovilla is a great Albanian crag with newly-bolted, well set routes and wild views. Watch out for loose rock on some routes. Great place, quite far off the beaten track but worth it for the wild views.
Rock
Rocktype:
limestone
Number of Routes:
21
Grades:
5a-7c+
Angle:
slab / vertical / overhanging
Climbing:
Sportclimbing
Best time to visit:
all year
Guidebook:
does not yet exist but topo available http://climbingalbania.com/climbing%20spot/bovilla/
Location
Country:
Albania
Nearest town:
Pinar
Longitude/Latitude:
19.8664/41.445
Wildcamping
It is permitted to stay overnight on the banks of the reservoir. Respect the reservoir since it provides drinking water for Albania's capital, Tirana. Let the reservoir guards know you'll be staying.
Additional information:
If you’re heading northwards through Albania to Bovilla, it’s worth driving the “Albanian riviera” – a stretch of coastline running between Sarandë and Vlora with beautiful coastal views and white beach after white beach.

Gjipe - Albania

Description
Definitely one of Albania's best, most picturesque crags. Routes are set at the mouth of a steep canyon  above a postcard-perfect, secluded white beach with aquamarine waters - the ultimate seaside crag! The approach is a lovely 30min hike where the views of the Albanian riviera get more impressive the further down you get. If you want a superb Albanian sea-side crag with lots of snaking tufas, with private beach, Gjipe cannot be missed.
Rock
Rocktype:
limestone
Number of Routes:
40
Grades:
5b-8b
Angle:
vertical / overhanging
Climbing:
Sportclimbing (single & multipitch)
Best time to visit:
October - May
Guidebook:
Does not yet exist but topos available http://climbingalbania.com/climbing%20spot/gjipe/
Location
Country:
Albania
Nearest town:
Dhërmi
Longitude/Latitude:
19.6695/40.127
Wildcamping
There is a campsite and bar on the beach but they're closed in low season... if you've got a four wheel drive, you might be able to drive down to beach (but no guarantee!).
Additional information:
If you’re driving from Gjirokaster to Sarandë, you’ll pass the Blue Eye Springs – pop by!

Përmet - Albania

Description
Nestled between rolling green hills, snow-dusted mountains and hidden canyons in Southern Albania is Përmet. You’ve three types of climbing to choose from there: an alpine style trad ridge, easier single-pitch outcrop climbing with views over the river and harder climbing in the Lengarica Gorge. Just so happens there are hot thermal springs at the entrance to the gorge so you can soak your muscles after a day’s climbing.
Rock
Rocktype:
limestone
Number of Routes:
14
Grades:
3-8b
Angle:
vertical
Climbing:
sport & trad
Best time to visit:
all year
Guidebook:
Does not yet exist but topos available here http://climbingalbania.com/climbing%20spot/permet/
Location
Country:
Albania
Nearest town:
Përmet
Longitude/Latitude:
20.4313/40.2438
Wildcamping
In low season, wild camp near the stunning canyon (campsite is closed and owner is happy for vans to stay). The area is very green with ample options to stay overnight just down the road.