Blue sea, whitewashed houses with blue covers, red rocks, oranges and eternal summer – this is our idea of Greece. But when you go in December, it is possible only to dream about it and is well that the downjacket and the gloves are a permanent part of your backpack.
Our destination was Leonidio – small village at the sea coast, at 1000 km from Sofia, for which we wouldn’t know anything if it wasn’t surrounded by a spectacular red-orange rocks with numerous tufas. A group of Greek and German climbers begin to develop the site in 2012. Light upon in paradise untouched rocks, with enormous potential, they work hard and many sectors and routes appear soon. They organized climbing meeting, make a site and guidebook. “The drillers” find new and new sectors, clean, drill, work hard and in 2016 there is over 950 route, divided into 50 sectors. Like any large and well-known crag, and here you can find a “climbing” bar – a place for a beer after climbing, for meetings, for talking, for listening music. The bar is very well combined with a shop where you can find the basics of the equipment – chalk, quickdraw, harnesses… You can eat, looking the guidebook and seeking for a suitable sector for the next day. The bar owners – cooperative Panjika, have tried to make a very nice and detailed guidebook with good explanations of how to get to the sectors and with nice pics.
Climbing… The climbing is lovely – bright red rock, like on Mars, “tufas”, pockets, 50-meter routes… The sectors are all facing – clean south for not so warm Greece, southwest, southeast, and when it is really hot, you will find the coolness of the northern cliffs. You can find routes have for every taste – long, short, with tufas, with pockets, slabs, overhangs. After a hard climbing day, the cold seawater in December is very good for recovery (or so it says in the books).
There are various options for accomcdation in the area. You can choose between a house with all – bed, kitchen, bathroom, Wi-Fi, tent in a camping or just on the beach. In the village you’ll find a supermarket, with everything you need. From small shops you can find homemade wine, olive oil and olives, and the bakery offer several kinds of bread. You’ll be addicted to the local oranges and tangerines. In case you get tired of the landscape around Leonidio, a beautiful mountain road after 60 kilometers, will lead you to Kiparissi. The road is brand new and passes through the mountains, revealing beautiful sea views. Kiparissi is small, incredibly beautiful village with white houses on the beach. The routes around it are divided into several sectors. The area began to be developed in October 2016 and there are many more not found and not developed rocks. Undoubtedly, the most impressive of all is the sector Babala – quality rock with amazing steep tufas… The only problem is if you missed the training – it is better that you send the 8a’s fast. But even the routes of this sector are hard for you, you can find many other places for climbing here. Small and well done guidebook, you can download from here. The area is not as big as Leonidio, but definitely worth seeing.