Beal Athlete Anne Struble recently returned from a climbing trip to Chulilla, Spain, a small town near the eastern coast of the country. Here are her tips and suggestions for planning your own trip to Chulilla and getting the most out of your time there.
Probably the easiest and most direct way to get to Chulilla is to fly to Valencia. It is about 40 min from Chulilla to the Valencia airport. It is also possible to fly into either Madrid or Barcelona and drive from those cities, both of which are under 4 hours away.
If you are staying in the village of Chulilla itself, one important thing to note is that while cars are “allowed” on the side streets, most of them are extremely narrow, steep and winding and you may end up in a dead end forcing you to go uphill in reverse in the dark. To get to most locations in town, visitors leave their cars in the large public lot on the North end of town.
It is also possible to leave your car for short periods of time in the main plaza for loading/unloading/ purposes.
I usually just use Kayak to find my rental cars and go with whatever is cheapest. Gold Car is usually a good cheap option. They have a super coverage that will theoretically make your life easy if you have any sort of damage to the car or need any roadside assistance. However, you will have to pay quite a bit more for it. Additionally, if you don’t get the super coverage, when you arrive to pick up your car they might give you a really hard upsale.
Airbnb is probably your best bet for finding lodging. Chulilla is pretty touristy and there are many options. There are a couple of B&Bs that you might also be able to get dinner at and there are a large number of apartments with full kitchens (and often a washing machine as well). Chulilla is very cute, scenic and convenient but it also works to stay in La Ermita (very close only around 1-2km), Losa del Obispo (only a 5-10 min drive to the climbing parking), or Villar del Arzobispo (a bit further, but it is bigger with a full grocery store and some restaurants).
The little stores in Chulilla actually have an impressively wide selection given their size, so it’s not actually necessary to go to a bigger grocery store, but depending upon how much cooking you plan to do you still might want to visit one. Paniza which is right on Chulilla’s center square has daily fresh bread, empanadas and other treats. The woman who works there is very friendly and you can also get a wide variety of other items. If you venture a bit further from the town center there is another bakery and other stores which offer meats and cheeses. There is also a weekly market on Sundays which has a larger range of fresh produce and some snack items.
Goscanos - the climber’s hangout and offers breakfast and dinner, but is often closed in the middle of the day. They are very friendly and offer reasonable prices and good food.
Restaurante Hoces Del Turia - A nice little restaurant right on the main drag through town. You can also just get a drink or coffee.
There are also other restaurants around town, but I didn’t sample any of them. The best restaurants that I experienced were in Valencia on rest days (see the rest days section).
The guidebook can be picked up at the Bar El Canton, or the tobacco shop just next door to it, both are located right on the center square. It’s also likely that Goscano’s sells them. For gear, you could probably get away with a 70m rope, but I’d recommend bringing a longer one. There are a few routes that an 80m is necessary for, but in general it will just make your life easier. For draws, I’d recommend bringing 25, or 40 if you want to leave draws on anything for more than a day. Most routes are between 12 and 16 bolts (plus anchors), but there are the occasional longer (and less run out) ones that might need 20 or 22.
The best areas to climb at will really be dependent on the temps and what grades you are looking for.
For shady climbing I’d hit these areas first:
5.11s: Oasis, Chorreras and Master
5.12s: Chorreras, Oasis, Algarrobo (but stay away from the one star 7b+s at Algarabbo)
5.13s: Balconcito, Algarrobo, Pared Blanca, El Balcon, Chorreras
For sunny climbing:
Pared De Enfrente
For the 5.13s check out the El Ramellar sector for sure. It also goes into the shade in the afternoon and is good enough that it is worth checking out even if it’s a bit warmer.
There is also a climbing gear shop in Chulilla, where there was a decent selection of gear and chalk available.
For rest days, visiting Valencia and eating Paella was our favorite activity. If you just want Paella, I’d recommend Yuso. It’s right in the old town area which is great to explore after a huge satisfying meal. Our favorite restaurant, which also had fantastic paella, but other dishes as well, was Navarro, wonderful food and service. It’s an especially good place to go if you don’t speak much Spanish as they will explain their menu in English and make recommendations. They really want you to enjoy your visit.
We just enjoyed wandering around the old town and seeing the sites, but the Valencia Cathedral is definitely worth a visit. In addition to seeing the interior of the cathedral and walking through the small museum inside, I’d recommend climbing to the top of tower, which on a clear day will give you a great view of the area.
The beach on the northside of Valencia is also quite scenic with a long boardwalk with restaurants, cafes and ice cream.
There are also many great trails around Chulilla for hiking or trail running.
Like what you read? Share it with a friend.