Climbing the Eifel is single pitch climbing. The main climbing possibilities can be found in the following places:

  • Mayen/Ettringen/Kottenheim
  • Gerolstein
  • Teufelsley
  • Nideggen

In total there are more than 1.500 routes with up to 30 meter pitches. Most are well protected or it is no big deal to place sound gear by yourself.

Details about climbing in the Eifel

As stated above, there is a bunch of hotspots where all the climbing takes place. First to mention is Mayen, Ettringen, and Kottenheim. Around these villages, you encounter a bigger number of abandoned quarries. The climbing itself is dominated by crack climbing in basalt. Most people find the climbing pretty special. As well, you will find yourself with black hands after climbing and belaying.

Gerolstein is a somewhat smaller, south-facing dolomite spot. In summer, it can get pretty hot here so spring and autumn are ideal times for its 80 routes.

A good alternative, especially in summer months, might be the Teufelsley. It is surrounded by trees and has faces in all directions. However, it is a small spot with only a handful of routes.

If you look for more choice and variety, then you should try the Rurtal around Niedeggen. Here, many well-known climbing spots like the Hirtzley, Effels, Hinkelsteine and the Krefelder Hüttenfelsen are situated and offer hundreds of routes for you. The rock is sandstone and conglomerate/pebble. Being beautifully situated in the forest, climbing is often possible even in the summer months.

Access issues and protection

Generally speaking, the whole area is plagued with access issues. Many former climbing spots were closed down by the local authorities, sometimes for vague reasons. In the spots that still remain, you sometimes have to follow a rulebook thicker than the Encyclopedia Britannica. Pretty often, this includes as well the obligatory purchase of climbing tickets. Please stick to the rules but also speak to passing hikers and so on to inform them about this often senseless regulation.

A word about protection has to be said as well. Most of the routes are bolted. But first bolts can be pretty high (at the Teufelsley or in Mayen for example) or distances are wide. A trad rack will make you feel better!

Getting there

Getting to the Eifel is pretty easy. If you fly in, the nearest airport is Cologne/Bonn. From there, the motorways A61, A1 and A4 will bring you close to the climbing spots. Due to the big size of the area and the rural character, it is advisable to use a car instead of public transport.


The best season is from April till September. However, even in winter times, you may be lucky to catch a sunny and mild day on which you can climb. Because there are many access issues to protect nesting birds, you should not only check the weather forecast but also local information on the birds, e.g. here. In 2018/2019, some climbing spots in Ettringen were closed from November till March due to a nesting eagle owl.

Schwarze Säulen: Kletterführer Mayen

Schwarze Säulen: Kletterführer Mayen

German guidebook especially for the spots around Mayen

Buy online here
Die Besten im Westen

Die Besten im Westen

German guidebook for the Eifel, the Ruhr area and Cologne

Buy online here



we are a local climbing and bouldering school that offer day trips into the Eifel, the Sauerland, and the Ruhrgebiet. Depending on your needs, we will teach you the basics or give you advanced technical input. Our goal is to bring you outdoors and spent a relaxed day in nature climbing and bouldering. Let us take care of all the organization and safety, you just enjoy the crags. Visit our homepage below for more information…

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