Leonidio is a relatively new area, with lots of potential. Situated half way down the first finger of the Greek Peloppenese, there are currently about 20 crags varying from one pitch sport routes (the majority) to long 250m big walls. The rock is usually excellent and there are routes in all grades. The Greek climate, the hills and proximity of the sea are sure to ensure its popularity. Leonidio itself is a quiet, historic town (at least out of the summer tourist season), and the area has a couple of monasteries tucked away in the huge rock faces. Some of the crags are within walking distance of the village, but most are a few kilometres drive, either up hairpin bends or along the valley towards the impressive Elona monastery. Perhaps the only drawback of Leonidio is that most of the mid grade crags are in the sun all day, so that except in the winter months, an early start is necessary. The crags need to be chosen carefully according to the sun, time of day and time of year.
Photos (click for full view)
In this area:
|Leonidio Berlin Wall||
Lots of mid grade walls, with a couple of steeper climbs. Mostly on good rough rock. Gets the sun until about 2pm. The routes have the name written at the bottom.
|Leonidio Cave of Panagia||
The slabs and tufas of Panagia offer a variety of climbing. Easy climbing on the slabs, mid grade walls to the left and steep tufas above the ledge. All are well bolted, and can be hot on all but the coldest of winter days.
A small slab of excellent rock, with a few mid grade routes on it. Gets the sun in the morning, and the shade in the afternoon. Route names written at the bottom of the climbs.
|Leonidio Grand Cuckoo||
A beautiful wall of grey limestone, with a handful of excellent mid grade routes. The rock is very solid, and the protection very good. Not much shade from the sun on hot days. Route names are mostly written at the bottom of the climbs.
An excellent overhanging crag protected by big roofs in a large gorge. The steep scramble to the bottom of the routes (not suitable for small children) give the climbs that extra bit of exposure. The rock is red limestone, mostly solid on the routes, but there is still lots of loose rock around, so it is advisable to wear helmets at the bottom.
|Leonidio Hot Rock||
A popular spot due to the many mid grade slab and wall climbs. It has beautiful views over the surrounding area, solid rock and is well bolted. Not so good for kids at the base of the crag, and if the sun is shining, it will quickly be too hot, except on cold winter days.
|Leonidio La maison des chèvres||
Mostly steep and hard, this big cave does have an interesting shelter for the goats, and some easier routes on the flanks. However, it is the hard routes that attract, and they are excellent. The crag faces South and so can get hot. It is set amidst lovely rocky mountain scenery.
|Leonidio Mad & Yellow walls||
A bit of a sun trap with excellent well bolted lines on very good grey limestone. Mad Wall is slabby, Yellow Wall a bit steeper. Most of the routes have the names written at the bottom.
A tufa ridden crag of beautiful red limestone, Mars is a paradise for those who like strenuous stalactites and walls. The walk in is a little exposed, involving two roped sections, but the ledge under the crag is comfortable.
Developed in 2015 by Austrian climbers Angela Eiter and Bernie Ruech, Nifada is a steep tufa ridden crag on the road between Elona and Kosmas, a few kilometres away from the main Leonidio sites. At 800m it can be cold in winter.
|Leonidio St. Nicholas||
Located just above the monastery of St. Nicholas, are some very impressive cliffs, that reach a height of over 100m. The climbs on the (true) right bank, are long and difficult, and sometimes require a backup rack of trad gear. Those on the (true) left bank are shorter, mostly single pitch. It is often a lot cooler here than in the valley itself, and shade or sunshine can be found according to the time of day. The right bank is in the shade until about 2pm, and the left bank after 3pm. The monastery is worth a visit in its own right.
|Leonidio Twin caves||
A crag of two halves. On the left hand side mid grade slabs and cracks, full on in the sun. On the right hand side the big cave, which at its steepest part, although south facing stays in the shade. The routes here are not mid grade!