Climbing in Leonidio, Greece
9 May-9 June 2019
A month is not enough to discover all the amazing crags in Leonidio. And the are still has amazing potential for the future. Every time we went to a new crag, we thought it was the best one, day after day...
Famous for winter climbing, it is still very enjoyable in May, while in June the climbers rapidly disappear to leave space to the sea-lovers and the mosquitoes.
The locals were very friendly and incredibly welcoming to our little boy, the place felt safe everywhere and at any time.
We rented an apartment in Leonidio, in this way I had my freedom to move around even when I choose not to join my husband climbing: the street were vibrant with life, the men sitting outside at the bars waving at Rascal, the women chatting in the shops.
Other friends stayed at the camping ground in Plaka. probably the best place to meet other fellow climbers.
Every monday there is a vegetable/fish market in the big parking lot next to the river (bring your own bags! Also for the vegetables! Here they use plastic bags like popcorn at the cinema!).
Here the crags we visited, in my opinion on the feasibility with a no-moving baby.
A "baby friendly" place has enough flat area to lay comfortable your baby down and to have some freedom of movement. It also needs to have shade or places where shade can be created. Wild goats were present everywhere (as we could tell from the numerous stools we saw) and they kick loose rocks. We bought a XS bicycle helmet for Rascal...
Baby friendly: 5 stars
We visited this crag different times. It is within a short driving time from Leonidio, the crag is literally less then 5 minutes walk from the parking, is has plenty of flat areas to lay down your baby and there is a nice shade underneath the olive trees.
And the view over the sea is magnificent.
There are climbs for everybody.
If you want to reach the upper sector without climbing on the rock walls, there is a longer path you can follow just to the right of it.
King of thrones
Baby friendly: 1 star.
Cool climbing for harder route, but no fun here with your baby. The hike is long and steep and strenuous in the sun.
There is very little flat area that, even if the climbs are in the shade, is in the sun.
If you really want to come here with your baby, bring something to create some shade. With toddlers it could be a nightmare...
Great views over Leonidio, and a visit to the windmill on the way out is very interesting!
Baby friendly: 3 stars
A short drive from Leonidio, but a longer hike on loose rocks to reach the crag. Carry your baby with a front-carrier would be safer in case you fall on your back, especially on the way out.
The crag is in the sun and there are only few bushes for the shade. On the right of the crag it is a bit better for flat area. Still bring something to create shade just in case.
There were plenty of little red spiders. Beautiful to look and peaceful, but I had to make sure constantly that my baby wouldn't touch them.
I would recommend to use the baby tent here, if you baby likes it....
Easy climbs, not too exciting. Some loose rocks.
Baby friendly: 4 stars
Another great crag, on its right there is a nice big and comfy flat area (good even for toddlers), which although, doesn't have much shade, until mid-afternoon.
The hike to reach the crag is long but easy. Pay attention that the shrubs growing on the side of the path won't scratch your baby's leg, and not to lose the backpack sun-cover!
La maison des chèvres
Baby friendly: 4 stars
Also a long but easy hike.
There is a nice flat and shaded area close to the climbs on the left, but we choose to make our baby camp further down to be sure we won't have any risk of falling rocks. If you opt for this option as well, bring something to make shade.
There was a small creek (the only fresh water we saw during this whole holiday!!!) to cross at the start of the hike, but nothing complicated. The little creek would actually be a great place for kids to play and look for natural treasures...
Baby friendly: 1 to 5 stars.
This crag gets 5 starts only if you stay low just before reaching the crag. You can find shade undearneth the rocks too, if you are willing to move. We stayed on a slab on the upper section of the left sector, which is absolutely a No-no for a toddler!
Very close to the crag there is the Elias Monastery, worth the visit. Also very appreciated the market with local produces its parking lot, everything tasted divine! ;-)
We found a big dead scorpion on the crag, but never saw one during our stay...
Sant Nicolas Monastery
Baby friendly: 5 stars
At first the sound of falling rocks froze my blood and I did not want to enter in this tight canyon, but on a second look, there were many safe places for Rascal to play or rest, especially toward the end of the crag.
I visited the monastery, occupied by an old woman that lived there since she was 16. She said "my door is open, my heart is open". Also worth the visit.
It is cooler and sometime windy here, so make sure you bring some warmer cloths for your little one.
Great climbing, especially on the lower section in front of the monastery (photo bottom right)... we came here a few times...
As soon as we arrived, I knew I had to spend the night! Considering the long drive from Leonidio and the beauty of the area, there was no way I was going to get into the car any time soon. So plan to spend your night here (at the beach).
We were fortunate enough that some friends hosted us in their van... We drove to the close by town for a truly excellent dinner (the restaurant in the main parking lot, 15 minutes drive from the beach) and drove back to touch the stars with our fingers!
Crystal clear blue water for a refreshing swim, most people went in naked.
The nicest 6a+ was here, long and constant, although I left some skin on the rock... ;-)
Next day we visited Cyparisi, a lovely white and blue village along the coast.