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Leonidio – the best sports climbing venue in Europe?

Authors Jan and Phil Morris.

Leonidio is a small Greek town (pop 4000 ish) surrounded by market gardens and close to numerous beaches. In summer the area is popular for sailing but in winter it is visited by climbers. There are numerous crags within walking distance and within easy driving distance. We were climbing there this November, for 4 weeks, and on most days we went to a different crag.

We were climbing low 6s sports climbing and there were literally hundreds of starred and whistling routes. There are also crags with numerous bolted grade 7 and 8 climbs. The limestone faces have amazing features; caves, tufas, and broccoli rock. The bolting is excellent. We never needed to use a clip stick and we were pushing our grades because the hardest moves were so well protected.

Flights to Athens are cheap , car hire is half the price of Alicante and the fruit and vegetables are abundant. The town welcomes the climbing community but retains its authentic Greek identity. In November the weather is still hot and a swim in the sea at the end of the day is a must. In all likelihood you will have the cove / beach to yourself.

As sports climbing venues go Leonidio would be hard to beat and a repeat visit is definitely on our list for 2023 (As is Antalya which some of the other climbers seemed to think might be comparable).

Jan Morris Dec 2022

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