Varazze is one of the most popular Italian boulder climbing crag and compared to northern crags, it is a really good option to climb in winter season. The town itself is located at the seaside between Finale Ligure and Genoa. You can easily reach the boulder crag in the surrounding mountains by car (15-20 minutes drive), 400-600 meters above the sea level.
Hills are facing south, offering a beautiful view of the seaside and the town. There is a main area inside the crag, called Potala, encompassed by the 6 most popular sectors. Here you can find the famous and worldwide known boulder called Gioia, the first 8c+ boulder in the world, Christian Core did the first ascent in 2008.
The rock type in Varazze is something special, not so common type, it is called metamorphic rock. Compact rock with very good friction because of the hard-grained surface. You have to be careful with dynamic moves to protect your skin, if you would like to climb several days in a row. Maybe the hard-grained andesite is the closest rock type. Locals say that the climbing season starts at the end of September and lasts until May. Because the closeness of the sea, the crag is ideal for climbing in winter time also when the sun is shining across the sparse trees.
At the hillside, more sectors are available by 5-10 minutes drive. In certain sectors you can find many easy routes, for example in Lilliput; and there are some sectors with a few scattered and nice boulders. If you have our climbing guide app, you can easily find the the boulders with the gps-controlled compass tool. If you travel there for a few days, you should start in Potala, where you can find hundreds of routes concentrated. Parking places are located nearby (2 minutes walk from the first blocks). There are a lot of difficult boulders also, 7b and harder, offering good and enjoyable climbs at high blocks. The landing is flat and easy, for most of the boulders 1-2 crashpad is enough to climb, so you can even climb alone.
La Cava is another must-visit sector, located higher at the road, after the village called Alpicella. You can park your car next to the blocks and start climbing. This is a small, but beautiful sector with a lot of boulders and sunshine – a perfect choice in winter.
If you need a quiet and private climbing day, Lilliput is your place. Accessible by 10-15 minutes walking on an easy forest road. Here you need a good climbing guide to find the boulders. In this sector, there are boulders between 5a and 6c. You can see some old ruined houses, those are the curiosities of the place and give you insights about living and farming in terraced hills.
Where to stay in Varazze
Edoardo’s Bed&Breakfast is our Nr. 1 tip for you in Le Faie. He is sharing his own house with the guests, offering his homemade breakfast. He is also very good in English. Anyway, the city is at the seaside, so you can find a lot of hotels in Varazze.