My husband loves climbing so while in Spain we had to visit the climbing mecca, Siurana. It ended up being a great adventure where we got to stay at a local camping, visited the medieval town of Cornudella and toured the tiny town of Siurana. Of course there was a lot of climbing too even my five year old was able to get as high as 120 feet.
Traveling to Siurana, Spain’s climbing heaven, was some sort of pilgrimage to Mecca for my husband. But it seems that there is more people that feel that way. Sasha Gerzha, one of the world champions of climbing, was also there. In fact, she was staying right next to our bungalow.
We also bumped into Dahlia Ojeda, in the cafeteria of the camping grounds. She is also famous in the climbing world.
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They are the equivalent to Shaun White on the slopes while snowboarding, or Kelly Slater while surfing.
My husband loves climbing and know the reputation and work of those two climbers. He couldn’t hide the smile on his face! The fact that he was about to climb the same routes as these top climbers of the world was an amazing feeling for him.
Seeing top climbers is an everyday thing here. My husband even gave it a nickname – The Hollywood of Climbing.
The main thing I noticed here was that were no pretensions or egos. Everyone was here to truly appreciate the gift of mother-nature – the rock.
Staying at Siurana Camping
After a lot of research for the best spot for my family to stay, Siurana Camping won the prize. I did find tons of good hotels but you don’t come to this side of the world to be locked up in a typical hotel room. Instead you want to become part of nature.
Because we stayed in a mobile home before I thought it we would be in a reduced space. So, much to my amazement, it was so spacious. It had two bedrooms, one with a queen size bed and the kid’s room with a bunk bed and two side beds. Each room had closet space.
In the middle there was a living/dining room area with a full kitchen. The kitchen had everything we needed including dishes, pots and pans. It included more supplies than most of the apartments we stayed at during our trip to Spain.
At first I dreaded the size of the shower but it was actually quite spacey and with great water pressure.
However the best part was the heater. We were in Siurana in December and temperatures can get as low as zero Celsius at night.
The owner of this camping, Antonio Arbones, arrived to Siurana around 30 years ago. During that time there was nothing here at all. He was the responsible one for the majority of the major routes, projects as climbers call them, for all levels. He is also the main author of the climbing guide for this area.
He opened up the camping twelve years ago with his parents. They are still fully involved in it. They manage to make it into much more than a camping with mobile homes, bungalows, dorm rooms and a restaurant.
It hardly ever rains or snows here but when it does climbers still want to stay active so for some extra fun he built an indoor climbing wall. But it is far from being your typical climbing wall, he built it along with his buddies Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra – literally the best climbers in the entire world.
One of the days were in the area there was a bit of a mist, which is dangerous for climbing due to slippage, so my husband and kids got a chance to enjoy that unique wall.
Climbing in Siurana
In my 20’s I was a skier, almost a pro. During that time I visited and lived in many ski towns. Everyone was a skier and everything was about skiing.
As soon as we arrived at Cornudella (the closest town to Siurana) I noticed that it was all about climbing. All we saw were people with their magnesium baggies and climbing shoes and ropes. My husband said that he finally feels like he fits in.
It was a town from the middle-ages with cobblestones and beautiful stoned buildings and fully occupied by climbers. Because climbing seasons are almost yearlong in this area, there are tons of climbers at all time.
There are over 900 routes in the area to be tried here. It can take anything between one day and three years to do a full route, depending on the level of it.
Another thing I learned is that climbers are also really into slacklining. It happened before we got to Siurana, when my husband as getting ready to come here. He was showing the boys videos day and night about climbing and slacklining, which is used to practice the mind. As we hiked to one of the climbing spots, we discovered where the videos are done. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have seen in a while.
My husband decided to do the moderate routes, ones that could challenge him but really push our kids forward. This resulted in my five year old climbing walls over 120 feet high.
Siurana, The Town
About a ten minute walk from the camping site where we stayed was the small medieval stone town, Siurana. The whole town is about three blocks squared. Locals managed to preserve it almost perfectly from the days when the Arabs and Christians stayed here over ten centuries ago.
Anyone would fall in love with this quaint, gorgeous place.
But be careful if you visit the original fort. You can literally fall to your death here.
Fun Facts About Siurana
- It was used as an Arab fortress in the 11th century.
- The castle was once the center of a wide territory.
- It was conquered in 1153 by Christians.
- The most important building of Siurana is the church, Romanesque style.
- From the town you get amazing views of Serra de Montsant.