Climbing in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has a strong climbing tradition and many people here are spending their free time on the rocks or in the huge indoor climbing areas. No wonder that some of the best climbers in the world come from this small central European country!

Before I came here, I had no idea that climbing is so popular in the Czech Republic. After all, the country's highest peak is 1603m... But there is something really particular about this country, that makes it a top climbing destination in Europe, with over 130 000 climbing routes across the territory: the sandstone rocks.


While climbing is so present in the country's sport scene, there are also strong rules about when and how it can be practiced outdoors:

  • There is little or no use of bold rings - that means that you need to master the use of additional climbing equipment such as nuts or slings. But that is not all: because the sandstone is a very fragile rock, you can use additional equipment only if it is not made of metal. That means that you will need to use devices like these:


  • Complete ban on chalk - Czechs take protection of the environment very seriously, therefore chalk is not allowed on the routes. It is even considered "cheating" by some of the most enthusiastic climbers here...

  • Rebuilding routes under strict supervision - in the Czech Rep. you need a special approval if you want to re-build a route, and the rumors say it is very hard to get it. That is why you can still find some of the oldest routes, exactly in the form they were once climbed by the people who contributed to the foundations of climbing... and Czechs like this very much.

  • Building new routes from down to up - in many countries, setting a new route is made while rappelling down the wall.. As you can guess, it is not the case of Czech Republic!

  • Birds, eggs and other living creatures - climbing is forbbiden in the spring, in some areas.

  • Another interesting tradition in Czechia, is that on many routes, you can find an old book in a metal case on the top of the sandstone towers, where you can add your name and date. There is even a pen inside.

1. Labek

Labek area is situated in the northern part of the country, at the border with Germany (CHKO Labske piskovce) and it is cruised by the Elbe river ("Labe" in czech).

Sandstone rocks near Ostrov, Labek region


There are many places there, with good atmosphere, where you can sleep very cheap and gather with other climbers. One of them is in Dolni Zleb (50.5031528N 14.132251E), a small village where you cannot even enter by car.

Another nice place to have your "base camp" is in Ostrov (50.4810025N 14.247038E - coordinates of the camping). There is even a highline festival going on there, in the summer!

If you want to climb in early spring or autumn, one good location is in Labska Stran (50.85158N 14.23696E). You park the car on the top, and you descend on the path, to find the base of the rocks (here is the path - 50.5052096N 14.1325226E).

From those places, the climbing routes are accesible by foot.

Camping in Dolni Zleb, near some ruins.


Climbing a horn, Ostrov, Labek and Conquering a roof, near Dolni Zleb

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Sandstone, Dolni Zleb


Old route to Kacha, near Ostrov, Labek and impressive walls in Dolni Zleb

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Sunset above Ostrov


Forest, Dolni Zleb


A cold bath at the end of a hot climbing day


In march, near Labska Stran


2. Marenka

If you are looking for something other than sandstone, there are a few places you can choose from: Marenka - a granite cliff - is one of them. Aim for this spot: 49.5010583N 14.277835E.



It is very close to Prague, perfect for a one day trip. It has a beautiful view on the Vltava river and it is oriented towards the South, which makes it perfect for spring or autumn adventures.

The area is pretty quiet, with small houses spread over the hills, making it a nice place for a walk after the climb.

Rappelling in Marenka


Marenka area


Tip: A very good app for outdoor maps, hiking paths, climbing spots.. is!