This page contains information about Arco, where to stay, where to climb and not least how to get there.
From Sweden you can go by car, which takes about 24 hours (+ 6h by ferry). The best is probably to take the ferry from Trelleborg to Rostock (Scandlines or TT-Line). From Rostock you drive through eastern Germany via Berlin-Leipzig-Nürnberg-München-Innsbruck-Brennero-Bolzano-Trento-Rovereto,where you leave the highway and go via Mori-Loppio-Nago to Arco. If you choose to fly you can go to Milan from where you take a train to Peschiera situated by the southern shore of lake Garda. From Peschiera you go by bus along the lake all the way to Riva del Garda. The train takes around 1,5h and the bus 1h, which means that if you leave Sweden in the morning, you'll be in Riva in late afternoon. From Riva you can take the bus to Arco (4km) in case your buddies are to drunk to pick you up. You can also fly to Verona, only 70km from Arco. From Verona you can go by bus directly to Arco. Once you are in Arco you'll need a car or some other means of transportation to reach most of the crags.
Since the area around Lake Garda is one huge tourist area there are plenty of hotels and apartments for hire. If you really want to you can stay at the (expensive) camping in Arco, but since there's virtually no price difference it's better to get an apartment through for example Sembo or why not contact the famous German climber Hans Martin Götz, who runs a hotel in Arco. The price for an apartment (3 - 5 pers) with all facilities (kitchen, satellite TV, stereo etc.) is somewhere between 120.000 and 160.000 lire/night. As a comparison a small bungalow at the camping costs around 100.000. If you're climbers you want to live in Arco and if you're windsurfers (you're on the wrong site) you want to stay in Torbole. The filthy rich people stays in Riva. Because everything is so close anyway it really doesn't matter where you live as long as you have a car.
The climbing shops in the Arco area are concentrated to (surprise) Arco.
There are three shops in Arco itself. The best one is definitely "Vertical
World Sport", which probably is the best climbing shop you can find
anywhere. You can't miss it since it is on the one and only main street in
"Vertical World Sport" you can also find in Pietramurata where the original
shop is situated.
The shop is owned by local climber Fabio Leoni and the staff are all
climbers. Needless to say they are the ones to ask about new routes,
recommended routes etc.
There are no climbing shops elsewhere in the valley.
Arco is situated in Italy and hence the fast-food is called pizza and the
standard dish is some kind of pasta. Restaurants and cafés you find
everywhere. In the Piazza 3 Novembre, the Arco main square, there are two
"climbing cafés", where you can drink good coffee and cheap Pastis or
There's at least one ice-cream stand every 50 meters, so if you want some
you don't have to suffer long. And YES the ice-cream IS as good as it will
Good wine you can buy for SEK 6/liter (tetra pack). Otherwise the price of groceries are about the same as in Sweden. The supermarkets are often open also during the siesta.
KLAAN recommends "Risotto frutti di mare" at the restaurant "Alla Pergola" about 2 km north of Arco.
The KLAAN usually goes to Arco in June which means it can be pretty hot during the day. Our advice is to take it easy and relax on the beach, work the tan and have some ice-cream until you go to the crag around four o'clock in the afternoon, when it gets cooler. There are crags facing every thinkable direction (although it's for some reason easier to think of crags facing east or southeast) so all you have to do is to pick the one best suited to the conditions.
There are several guidebooks. The two best are La Sportiva's and the "other one". Both can be purchased almost everywhere in Arco. The guides covers both short sport routes and long trad routes and are pretty fat since the number of routes in the Sarca valley probably outnumbers the total number of routes in Sweden... Apart from commercial guidebooks there are smaller guides put together by the local "route openers". "Vertical World Sports" has a small guide covering crags developed by the local organization "Sisyphos". The smaller guides is best used as a complement since the larger ones sometimes have errors, especially in new areas and are not updated as often. Because the money from selling the Sisyphos guide goes directly into developing new crags, KLAAN urge you all to buy it a.s.a.p..
The Arco area is huge an offers every thinkable kind of climbing, depending on which crag you go to. The largest crags often offers everything in one place. Easy or hard, overhanging or vertical, jugs, edges, pockets and pinches. The dominating character however is slightly overhanging with nice holds. The sport routes are often exceptionally well bolted, also the easy routes. Some crags are very popular (lots of Germans go there) and hence the easier routes (up to 6b+) can be a bit polished. The routes are, most of the time, shorter than 30 meters, so all you need to spend a summer here are a 60 m rope and a dozen quickdraws.
Because so many people are in the area thefts and car brake-ins are very common. You should therefore never keep any valuables in the car. Also by the crags thefts occur so keep your things close by at all times. If it happens you contact the Carabinieri to which the crag "belongs", often the closest one.
Below are some routes, both recomended and not recomended that Klaan has been on.
Muro di Sisyphos: