The distance from Athens to Leonidio is 210km. It will take about three hours by car on the Athens-Tripoli highway. Look out for signs for Argos and then follow the signs towards Astros and Leonidio.
It will take a little bit longer by bus: The journey takes about four hours. There are daily departures from Kifissos (8:15am and 4:00pm). One way tickets cost 20.30€ (return tickets cost 39.00€). When planning the trip, you should know that Kifissos is not by the airport. You will have to take a bus from the airport to Kifissos and then get your connection to Leonidio.
Leonidio, the capital of Tsakonia has a unique position. Surrounded by mountains and next to the sea it enjoys a cool breeze from the Myrtoon Sea and is blessed with the beautiful nature of the Parnonas mountains.
The final turn that takes you away from the long and winding coastal road towards the town of Leonidio is already impressing. A large and fertile plain extends from the sea to the town, with an abundance of vegetables, olives, citrus fruits and other fruit trees. Leonidio is famous for the Tsakonian eggplant, which is smaller than the ordinary eggplant and has a light purple colour with white stripes. It tastes sweeter and its flesh is more tender.
The inscription “”Kaur Ekoquate”” welcomes us in the Tsakonian dialect on the way towards the centre. The Tsakonian dialect has roots in the Doric language and is still spoken in this part of Greece.
The town itself lies about 4km away from the sea, nested between the mountains. Leonidio is characterized as a traditional settlement with historically preserved monuments, mansions and towers measuring several centuries of life.
However, the most characteristic image is the reddish rock (Kokkinovrachos), which rises above the settlement and is more than 250m high.
The sea and the mountains
Even though Leonidio is a coastal settlement, it is not exactly next to the sea. Plaka, the port of Leonidio is 4km away from the centre. 9km from Leonidio you will find Poulithra, a beautiful coastal village, which invites you for a stroll on the fine pebbled beach or through the upper neighbourhood, with its mansions and a breath-taking view over the Myrtoon Sea.
In recent years, Leonidio has welcomed not only its traditional visitors, who arrive during Easter, or the summer months, but also a different audience.
Look carefully at Kokkinovrachos during the cooler months of the year and you will immediately understand what we mean. You will spot many climbers who have discovered Leonidio in recent years and who, with much commitment to their work, are constantly opening tracks of all degrees of difficulty. Leonidio is the hot spot in Greece right now, attracting not only many foreign visitors, but also many climbing fans from Greece.
Leonidio has established itself as a rising climbing destination, especially during the winter months. The characteristics of the Leonidio Climbing Park, in addition to favourable climatic conditions, lie in the variety of routes in terms of: the degree of difficulty, the incline of the climbing rock, the length of the routes, brightness and variety.
Leonidio’s heart beats for the climbers. The infrastructure is set to have all amenities in a town. Bakeries, restaurants, camp grounds, rental homes and rooms, wonderful beaches, gasoline station and ATMs makes sure you don’t want to leave this town. The locals are friendly and kind, they appreciate the climbers who are the more off-season tourist in the area which provides an extra source of income in winter.
Our climber friend Coco, can help you with the perfect gift for a rock climber made in sterling silver. See more here: http://cococlimbingjewelry.com/
“”Walk4fun”” organizes tours for everyone: you can choose between shorter, longer hikes or crossings of the Parnonas. You will find the program for each month on www.walk4fun.gr.
Where to eat?
THE BEST BREAD IN THE VILLAGE is at Vlamis Bakery – https://www.facebook.com/Vlamis-Wood-Bakery-1748116372138692/
Climber or not – pass by the Panjika Cooperative for coffee, beer, delicious homemade food and sweets. This is one of the places in Leonidio where you can connect with fellow climbers, exchange experience and relax.
The Monastery of Elona
A gigantic steep cliff of the imposing Mount Parnon, with a reddish color, extremely difficult to access, with the shape of a pair of jaws. with the Monastery of Elona in the place of the rows of teeth. Yes, that is the scene before which the visitor or pilgrim will be amazed, that is, how people managed not only to arrive there, but even to build and live there for years that are far – very far – from our time!
It is said, then, by testimony from 1873 and 1901, the “”Pilgrimage Site of the Holy Monastery of Elona”” and “”The History of the Holy Monastery of Elona”” respectively, that the inhabitants of Kosmas at that time saw the icon shining brightly on the cliff. Two anonymous monks climbed and behold the miracle today! It is an icon “”sent by God””, that depicts the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus!
To reach the monastery form Leonidio it will take about 17 km. The visitor, without any further danger, will find himself at the “”hanging balcony”” between the earth and the sky!
Nafplio (Modern Greek: Ναύπλιο) is a seaport town in the Peloponnese in Greece that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. The town was an important seaport held under a succession of royal houses in the Middle Ages as part of the lordship of Argos and Nauplia, held initially by the de la Roche following the Fourth Crusade before coming under the Republic of Venice and, lastly, the Ottoman Empire. The town was the capital of the First Hellenic Republic and of the Kingdom of Greece, from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834. Nafplio is now the capital of the regional unit of Argolis.
Monemvasiá, founded by the Byzantines in the sixth century, is a breathtaking medieval tower town located on the south-eastern coast of the Peloponnese.
Take the opportunity to explore this mystical stone-built settlement, nestled at the edge of a big rock by the sea, and immerse yourself in a unique medieval atmosphere!
Day trip to Spetes and Hydra
Spetses, an island boasting a long naval tradition, is famous for its significant contribution to the 1821 War of Independence. It was here that the revolution flag was raised on 3rd April 1821. The island has managed to retain its individual traditional character thanks to its well-preserved grand captain mansions, still bearing eloquent witness to the island’s glorious past. The picturesque old harbour and Dápia, a tourist and commercial centre where the heart of the island’s entertainment beats, are the trademarks of the town of Spetses.
Hydra, built in the shape of an amphitheatre on a slope overlooking the Argosaronic gulf, is one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Traditional stone mansions, narrow cobblestoned streets, secluded squares and above all the banning of cars and the use of around 500 donkeys as means of public transportation, explain the reason why Hydra preserved its distinctive atmosphere through the passage of time. “[:]