There might be a conspiracy among climbers to keep this secret: A lot of the world’s best sport-climbing crags happen to be in warm, gorgeous, vacation-worthy locales that might also appeal to the masses. Last year, Alex Honnold pilgrimaged through the Mediterranean on a training trip and fell in love with Geyikbayiri, the Turkish climbing grounds on the sea.
“Turkey is a little more off the radar,” says Honnold. “Geyikbayiri is off the hook. There’s beaches for rest days, deep-water soloing, a bunch of different climbing areas. It’s a pretty nice vacation spot.” The main crag is a mile-long shelf of limestone with some 600 diverse routes, ranging from beginner routes with big holds to faces riddled with tiny crimpers and long sweeping roofs. In the evening, climbers hit the beach and congregate at the Climber’s Garden, a guide service and collection of bungalows mere minutes from the crag, to trade beta over raki, the Turkish libation of choice.
The Climber’s Garden offers simple bungalows for 11 euros and campsites for 5 euros in a pomegranate orchard near the crags. Their guiding service costs 70 euros per day.