Varasova, climbing in Greece

an extremely important rock climbing area

Not far away from the estuary of river Evinos, the dominating Varasova rocks emerge right where the peaceful valley of Etoliko meets the sea. Plain beauty of the scenery, exceptional solidity of the rock, easy access and sea joys were the obvious advantages which have established Varasova, as one of the most important climbing areas in Greece.

Varasova is a limestone massif near the sea, just opposite of Patra and has a height of 917 m. There are three summits of almost the same altitude. Varasova flanks, drop abruptly into the sea on the south and Southwest and this is the location of the most important walls, just between Vasiliki and Galatas villages.

The limestone rocks of Varasova have earned a good reputation due to their Spupolitidy. "Hidden" holds and secure nut placements, make climbing in Varasova particularly enjoyable.

Varasova: Rock climbing guidebook
"Varasova Rock climbing guide" by Aris Theodoropoulos available from ALPINE CLUB OF AHARNES, 126 Filadelfias St., AHARNES, GREECE, tel. 2461528, Fax: 2469777

Rocks and climbing
Routes in Varasova can be divided, more or less, into the following three categories:
  • a) Sport Climbing routes
    These are the routes of high technical difficulty, which have been established during the last few years. You need, mostly, only quickdraws in order to repeat these bolted routes. Most of these climbs have seen their first ascent by means of abseiling from the top of the routes and placing the in situ belays.
  • b) Adventure routes
    The majority of the routes belongs in this category. They practically offer sparse in situ belays. In order to repeat these climbs, you need a full set of nuts and Friends but no pitons or hammer. On most of them, there are not even anchors at the belay points, so you must fix your own belay points. Please note that the possibly rusty and old pitons that you may encounter are of dubious safety.
  • c) Instructive routes
    There are some routes, which have been bolt, protected every three or four metres, so that they can offer safety to young climbers. For the time being, these climbs are very few.
Many of the adventure routes should become training ones, in our opinion, in order to create training possibilities along the whole range of technical difficulty.

Equipment general (for repeating the trad routes)
Your rack should have the following pieces of gear:
  • a) A full set of nuts (stoppers).
  • b) A full set of hexentric nuts or a set of Friends (no 1 to no 3,5)
  • c) 5 to 6 slings
  • d) 10 to 12 quickdraws
  • e) Two 50 m ropes, or a single (10,5 or 11 mm) rope, for the Sport Climbing routes, combined with a 9 mm rope for the purposes of abseiling.
Varasova is 240 km away from Athens. The location is 30 km away from Antirio. Turn left, before the bridge of Evinos river exactly on the junction for Galatas and Krioneri. Varasova, just above Krioneri village, is 6 km away from the junction. You can use the bus, departing from the Athens station, on Kifisos river and going to Mesolongi or Agrinio. Get off this bus at Evinohori and catch a taxi or a local bus to Varasova, for the 10 km ride.

When to climb
Climbing in Varasova is possible all year long, except of course when it's raining. Ideal seasons are spring (April to May) and fall (September to October).

Although climbers have been visited Varasova for more than 40 years, there aren't any accommodation facilities. Free camping is the usual way: the road leads in a small plateau with a layer of thick meadow, just between the rocks and the sea.

Avoid camping close to the rocks for the fear of the, occasionally, falling rocks. Be also aware of the strong winds, which often sweep the crags. Many times we've been personally disappointed by the performance of our tentage.

If you are looking for more luxury during your stay, you can rent a room in Krioneri or you can use a hotel in the town of Mesolongi.

The newly built vacation buildings of Krioneri on the west, as well as a small but powerful small river, are easily obvious. Then, there is the small harbour with the fishing boats, Bratsos' tavern and two or three others shops which operate mostly during summer. If you venture a little further afield you will discover the old railway station, a faded image in poplar-trees. Galatas, the nearest village, is only 3 km away. There's a small store, a gas station and some interesting tavernas. The historical Mesolongi is only 10 km away and a visit there is a good idea.

Upon your departure, don't forget to take away your garbage!

Useful telephone numbers
  • GREECE: ++ 30 +
  • Bratsos Tavern (Krioneri) 0631/41225,41125
  • Rooms to let (Krioneri) 0631/
  • MOURKOS MOTEL 41216, 39214
  • Mesologi Hospital 0631-22268
  • ALPINE CLUB OF AHARNES 01 2461528/Fax: 01 2469777
  • E.O.O.A. (Greek Mountaineering Federation) 01 3645904 -Fax: 01 3644687
  • ARIS THEODOROPOYLOS 01 6826195 - 0944 505279

© Copyright Aris Theodoropoulos 1997-2017 - All rights reserved