About 4 km away from Ermioni there is a great hiking opportunity in Katafyki Gorge. This route is suitable for all the family due to the easy trail of only 2,5 kilometres. The wild beauty of this gorge will astonish you. Of course, this route can be extended up to 7 kilometres if one wants to hike from Katafyki Gorge up to the village of Fournoi.
Katafyki gorge is a beautiful natural landscape, located between the villages of Fournoi and Ermioni. It consists of a protected area of outstanding beauty and a wild life refuge that attracts the most demanding visitors. Hikers can leave their car in Ermioni and take the path that passes through the dense vegetation of pines, laurels, myrtles, shrubs and other endemic plants. The sound of the running water and the presence of rare animals and wild birds give the impression of an earthly paradise. The imposing rough rocks host mysterious caves, one of which is said to consist of the entrance to the underworld, the point from where Hercules found Cerberus. The locals narrate stories of various offenders that used the caves as refuge.
Climbing activities in Katafyki
Katafyki means refuge in Greek, the villagers used to hide there from the Turks/pirates. A ravine about 3,5km from the coastal town of Ermioni with a main face about 130m high, I have explored the cliffs further up and on the other side but as yet no routes there. Parking directly under the cliff so no walk in! All year climbing as the main wall is shaded after midday. 45 routes here of which 7 are single pitch adventure routes,12 are multi pitch adventure up to 5 pitches 123m, 23 are single pitch sport routes and 3 are multi-pitch bolt routes up to 6 pitches 150m. All adventure routes have bolted belays and abseil pistes are equipped. Walk off o.k. in rockboots. Grades 4c to 7c+
Easy access, parking by the cliff, over 100m high, super rock, quality routes, monster holds, slabs, overhangs, roofs, nice place and all year climbing. What more do you want?
A narrow ravine with a good dirt road running up to the water pumping station for Ermioni, (the bridge was built for a mining railway). A pleasant walk up the wooded valley brings you to a lot more rock.
A good area for young children to play in the dry river bed.
Access: From the main road below Kranidi take the road towards Ermioni.At the end of a long straight which is slowly being widened (obvious) turn left at a new building.Follow the tarred road to a T junction.Turn left here,drive to the end of the tarred section and then for 500m good dirt road to the ravine.OR drive into Ermioni,turn left and take the coast road to Thermisia. At the end of Ermioni take a left turn signposted Katafyki Ravine.
By Boat: Good harbour in Ermioni, the cliff is ca 4 km walk or get a taxi.
Note: If you are coming from the Didyma area you can save a long drive by taking the small road left just before you come to the village of Fourni, follow this past a church to its end where there is a parking place. From here it is a pleasant 10 min stroll to the main cliff.
From some great climbs the outstanding line here is The Red Empire which uncompromisingly goes straight up the midlle of the cliff with a large roof at half height. The first ascent was an onsight trad effort with the roof being an aid section. Now fully bolted (52 bolts) this is a great roof climb 60m off the ground if you can push 7c+ or more.
Covering a lot of spectacular ground at a moderate grade Zorro has all the makings of a modern classic, plenty of bolts, 6 pitches and 150m long. This one zigzags improbably up the cliff at 6b (5c+ obl.). Before you leave, climb Heroes, 2x30m pitches, solid 6a and probably one of the best routes in Argolis.
The Welcome sector is the first sector as one arrives to Katafyki from Ermioni. It is the most accessible sector and there is plenty of space to even camp overnight. The routes on this sector are very nice and they go from 4b but to 6C. The first routes were intended to be for trad climbing (first ascents by J. Titt), but on a later stage have been bolted by Hans Wenigner. Therefore these routes have big run outs, and especially the first 5 routes.
Most of the belays are closed type belay, thus the climber needs to perform the whole rope operation once on belay. Furthermore, the first 4 routes, is advisable to come down from the rock with abseil, so the ropes will not be damaged from the rocks.
Sector Red Empire
For further information feel free to check the following websites:
If you liked this post, feel free to check other rock climb activities on the links bellow:
- Climbing in Nafplio
- Climbing in Leonidio
- Trad Climbing on Artemisio Mountain
- Climbing in Fragchti Caves
- Climbing in the Pillars of the Winds