The Ultimate Guide of Trad Climbing in Nafplio – Karathona & Asini (Greece)

Nafplio is a charming coastal town located in the Peloponnese region of Greece, surrounded by the Argolic gulg and stunning cliffs that offer a variety of rock climbing opportunities. Whether you’re an experienced climber or a beginner, Nafplio has something for everyone.

One of the most popular climbing areas in Nafplio is the Palamidi fortress, a massive Venetian castle that overlooks the town. The fortress is known for its challenging routes, that range from easy to difficult. The limestone cliffs offer a mix of technical face climbing and steep overhangs, and the views from the top are absolutely breathtaking.

Another great climbing spot in Nafplio is at Karathona beach, located just outside the town. This area features cliffs that offer a mix of sport and trad climbing. The routes here are generally shorter than those at Palamidi, but they offer a more diverse range of climbing styles, including slab, face, and crack climbing.


One more great location for trad climbing, is the Profitis Elias of Asini, in a small village located about 10 minutes from the centre of Nafplio.

The rock climbing around Argolis region is all on excellent solid grey limestone. The majority of the routes are single pitch sport climbing routes, though there are some trad climbing routes as well. The Argolis area claims to receive over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and is a popular holiday destination.  It also means that it is possible to rock climb virtually all year round in the Argolis region.

About Nafplio and Karathona Beach

According to mythology, the town was founded by Nafplios, the son of god Poseidon and the daughter of Danaus (Danaida) Anymone. The town’s history traces back to the prehistoric era when local soldiers participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War alike. 

The town recessed during the Roman times and flourished again during the Byzantine times.

In the summer, take an invigorating swim on the beaches of Arvanitia, Karathonas, Nea Kios, Miloi and Kiveri.


The route is located in Karathona beach, in Nafplio, Argolis – Greece.  Its orientation is south. Approaching R0 requires 10 minutes of hiking on a goat trail.

Established Trad Routes

Karathona Beach, located in Nafplio, is known for its picturesque views and crystal-clear waters. However, it is also a hidden gem for rock climbers, as it offers a variety of climbing routes suitable for both beginners and advanced climbers. For the time being, there are two established routes:


Epsipetis V UIAA 100 m. | Climbing in Karathona beach

Epsipetis” (V, 100 m.) first ascent was made on 19/02/2020 by K. Tsoukleidis and C. Rigas.

The route is in the rock formation which is located on Karathona beach, in Nafplio. 

The route can be described as an adventurous traditional multi-pitch climbing with variety in the climbing style, mainly slab, dihedral and ridge climbing.

On 19/03/2022, a first repeat of the route was accomplished by C. Rigas, Olympus Mountaineering and G. Boras. The three, equipped the route with one bolt on R1 and one bolt on R2, though without altering the route’s character.

Topo of the route

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Ek Tou Anasfalous VI UIAA 90 m. | Trad Climbing in Karathona beach

Ek Tou Anasfalous” (VI, 90 m.) (Εκ του Ανασφαλούς in Greek) was first ascended on December 26th, 2020 by C. Rigas and A. Georgopoulos. The route is situated on the rock formation at Karathona beach in Nafplio and offers a challenging traditional multi-pitch climb with diverse climbing styles, including slab, ridge, and crack climbing.

On April 23rd, 2022, the first repeat ascent of the route was achieved by C. Rigas and Olympus Mountaineering.

Ek Tou Anasfalous – Topo

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About Profitis Elias of Asini

The rock that soars upwards in the beautiful scenery of Asini is called Profitis Elias. The little church that is build on top is dedicated to Prophet Elias, and thus the name of the hill.

The view at the top is panoramic (360º) offering a pretty good idea of the surrounding area and its morphology. It is on the way to the coast of Tolo, if you are coming from Nafplio. There is a road that takes you from the village of Ag. Paraskevi to foot of the hill. From there it is a 15-20 minutes uphill walk, following the path designated by white crosses, that will take you to the top.


Established Trad Routes & Projects

Although the rock of Profitis Elias looks very attractive for trad climbing, it has not been climbed often and therefore for the time being, in this area there are four established routes and one project (route to be climbed soon).

For the time being, the established routes are the following:


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O Kipos Tou Profiti UIAA V+, 110 m.

O Kipos Tou Profiti” (V+, 110 m.) first ascent was made on 22/01/2012 by Kostas Tsoukleidis and Nadine Strobl.

The route is located on the north face of Profitis Elias Rock/hill and follows the obvious crack/dihedral that is clearly visible from the base of the rock. The route can be described as a “demanding route” with plenty of variety in the climbing style, from slab to dihedral and some scrambling too.


Diaberis Pothos UIAA VI, 100 m.

Diaberis Pothos” (VI, 100 m.) first ascent was made on 14/07/2020 by Christos Rigas and Olympus Mountaineering.

The route follows the north-east couloir which is located on the north face of Profitis Elias Rock/hill. The route can be  described as a “demanding route” with plenty of variety in the climbing style, from slab to dihedral and some scrambling.


Violontselou UIAA VI-, 100 m.

Violontselou” (VI-, 100 m.) first ascent was made on 14/07/2020 by Kostas Tsoukleidis and Aris Georgopoulos.

The route follows the north-east couloir which is located on the north face of Profitis Elias Rock/hill. Violontselou and Diaberis Pothos share the same first pitch and the first belay is shared too. Violontselou can be  described as a demanding route” with plenty of variety in the climbing style, from slab to dihedral and some scrambling.


Dirty Friday IV+ 95 m.

Dirty Friday” (IV+, 95 m.) first ascent was made on 03/06/2022 by C. Rigas and Olympus Mountaineering.

The route is located on the north face of Profitis Elias Rock/hill and follows the obvious ridgeline east from the route “O Kipos tou Profiti”. The route can be described as an “adventure route” that moves within a couloir, slab and ends on the west ridge-line with some scrambling.

Dirty Friday Topo Sketch


From Nafplio city centre, head east towards Aria. As soon as you reach the roundabout of Agia Eleousa, take the 2nd exit and  follow E O70, the road which connects Nafplio and Asini.

About 2.5 km on this way, reaching a characteristic fork, continue right, onto the road “Nafpliou – Tolou”. Not long after, take heed of a small road-sign to your right, pointing towards Agia Paraskevi, as soon as you reach the village of Agia Paraskevi, continue towards the Rock of Asini. 

Approaching R0 requires 15 minutes of hiking of hiking on a non-obvious trail. Best advice is to follow a large tube that is providing electricity to huge projector lights.

Download for free the complete Trad Climbing Guidebook

Should you wish to receive this complete Climbing Guide for Profitis Elias of Asini, then feel free to download the guide in PDF . In case you are interested to receive printed copies, the you can can in touch via the contact form.

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About Asini

In Ancient Asini / Kastraki you’ll find the remains of a city fortified in the 2nd and 3rd century B.C. (main photo), and an old Mycenaean cemetery on a nearby hill. Swedish archaeologists explored the area 80-90 years ago. They found, among other artifacts, 25 tombs, including nine vaulted dome graves. 

Personal items of the deceased were placed in the tombs to follow the dead to Hades, including the famous “King of Asini” who, surprisingly, is represented by a female figure. She, along with other finds from the area, is on display at the Archaeological Museum in Nafplio.

There are not that many remains from the former residents here, but Ancient Asini is situated on a small promontory that’s excellent for a stroll. In recent years the Kastraki site has been upgraded, and is now far more easily accessible. 


Before you leave this blog check out the following map

Below: This map marks all the mountaineering adventures that have been featured on Olympus Mountaineering so far, including several Sport climbing crags – Select full screen to expand, zoom in for more detail, or click on a marker for a link to the post.

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