Leonidio, a rural greek town on the east coast of the Peloponnese peninsula has been recently emerging as an international rock climbing destination. So what makes climbing in Leonidio worth the visit besides the warm sun and the salty greek breeze?
We drive south from Athens eager to provide you with the answer, passing by the cities of Corinth and Nafplio, following the curves of Peloponnese through scenic seaside villages and rewarding coastal views. After 4 hours on a route that feels lost in time, the imposing “Red Rock” or Kokkinovrachos reveals itself 250m above the town. Strategically located a couple of kilometers from the sea, Leonidio has access to the Argolic Gulf and Myrtoan Sea to the west, while protected by Mount Parnon in the east. We smile as soon as we see ‘Kaour Ekokiate’, the welcoming sign in the local Tsakonian dialect.
The climbing crags are spread out all over the surrounding hills and gorges of Leonidio offering more than 800 climbing routes. The potential is endless, with tufas, jugs, slabs, crimps and pockets in all grades and style. Mars, Elona and Nifada, are just some of the stellar crags we will be climbing in. After a day’s climbing, the beautiful and serene beach in Poulithra is a perfect spot to refresh and relax.
We will choose a day to make our way up to the Red Rock and enjoy the panorama overlooking the area’s opulent plain filled with eggplants, olive trees and citrus trees. We will indulge in hearty dinners made with the best products of the greek countryside.
When feeling adventurous, we will cruise on the eastern shores towards the isolated village of Kyparissi, another top climbing destination with myriad routes on perfect grey limestone.
The region of Arcadia abounds in local tales, unique cultural elements like the Tsakonian weaving and magnificent traditional architecture. On a rest day, the winding roads could lead us having lunch in Monemvasia, a single-entrance mediaeval fortified town with characteristic stone houses.
A wide range of accommodation is available in Leonidio, Poulithra and Kosmas, with beautiful mansions, guesthouses and hotels.
The easy, open-hearted lifestyle has embraced climbers from around the world.
Red rocks, blue sea and big smiles.
Life is sweet in Leonidio, come rock climb and taste it with us.