Leonidio was one of the places I’ve wanted to visit for a long time, but never did because it felt way too far. All I ever heard about the journey to get there from Innsbruck was by plane or by a crazy long car ride (which I didn’t want to do). This year, we had a month offin February and since we are all into bikepacking, we decided to make it an ecopoint trip. First, we took the train to Venice . Then, we took the ferry from Venice to Patras, which is a 30 h trip, but since the ferries are huge and there’s a lot of space outside on the decks to move, do yoga and chill in the sun in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it felt like a holiday. Then we rode our bikes from Patras to Leonidio, which was a 3 day bike journey through the beautiful Peloponnese. Leonidio is a dream for climbers. There are so many crags that are accesible straight from the village, sport climbing and multipitches and all on beautiful orange limestone with tufas, holes, crimps,….
How to get there
From Innsbruck (or Munich) there is a train going directly to Venice (EC 85). If you start from Munich, there is also a direct night train to Venice. If you have your bike with you, it will be easy to go from the train station in Venice to the ferry port in about 20 minutes. If you didn’t bring your bike, you might have to take a taxi. The Ferry leaves from Venezia Mestre twice a week (in February it was Wednesday and Saturday). In our case, we had two nights and one whole day on the ferry and arrived in Patras in the early morning, so we started our bike ride straight afterwards. If you arrive in the evening, you can easily find accommodation in Patras and continue the trip in the morning. We took three days, finding spots for camping along the way by asking farmer for help or sleeping on public beaches. The locals we met were very friendly and helpful, please be respectful and don’t just set up camp on private property.
If you don’t want to take your bike or prefer to take it with you but don’t do the bikepacking part of the trip, there is a train going from Patras to Corinth, and a bus going from Athens via Corinth to Leonidio (twice a day).
If you want to do the bikepacking part, this is the route we took:
Where to stay
In Leonidio, there is a campsite next to the beach or you can stay at one of many holiday flats (e.g via AirBnB). The village is small, so it is easy to get around for shopping etc. by bike or even walking (takes longer though).
How to reach the crag(s)
From the campsite, it takes around 10 minutes by bike to get to the closest crags and there are many more crags spread around the village, that are also not far.
There is a supermarket at the entrance of the village of Leonidio that you can reach in 10 minutes by bike from the campground (35 minutes walking). In the center of the village, there are very nice fruit and vegetable stores and there is a weekly market with local farmers selling their high-quality goods for cheap prices (it was on Mondays in February).
There is a bar and climbing store in the village center called Panjika that are taking care of updating the guidebooks and can be very helpful for any questions about crags, topos, bolting, etc.
How to book the trip
You can book both trains to reach Venice (Venezia Mestre) on the ÖBB website, where you can also book and reserve a spot for your bike.
You can book the ferry here and do not have to pay extra for the bikes.
We only booked bus tickets from Leonidio to Patras for the journey back for one friend and booked that directly in the ticket office at the Leonidio bus station. The websites are very messy, so I would recommend to go to the bus or train stations in Greece, the people are usually very friendly and transportation is cheap. It was 7€ from Leonidio to Corinth for my friend and his bike (it is possible to take the bike on the bus).
About the author