Climbing in Peloponnese

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Trip Highlights
Tour details
Itinerary
What's included
Itinerary Changes
Grade & Terrain
Condition Grading
Starting point and getting there
Food, Weather
Gear checklist
Currency & Banking
Passports, Visas

There are some corners of Greece where the locals used to say, “When God was distributing the gifts to the world, some spots like ours must have been cursed because instead of fertile earth he delivered to us only rocks”. Today in the era of sport climbing, they’ve changed their mind and instead of a curse they see the rocks as a blessing! Crags became lively, and climbers come and enjoy! Greece is one of the rockiest countries on earth, but what is unique about the climbing crags, are the settings. You can experience rock climbing right on the coast on the islands, or high in the mountains in the mainland. In the small country of Greece, mountains and sea are never really separated.
Our trip starts from Athens, heading south-west, and by passing the bridge of the Corinth canal, we enter the peninsula of Peloponnese. Peloponnese is indisputably the queen of sport climbing in the country. It combines everything, superb rocks, endless beaches, high mountains and plenty of cultural events. On this journey we will taste all of it!
First stop is Nafplio, once the capital city of Greece, which intrigues travelers with its beauty and friendliness at the first glance. From the town of Nafplio in the heart of Argolis Gulf, it takes only a short drive to reach the limestone cliffs and to enjoy the climbing.
The region of Sparta is our next stop. Someone may think that Sparta, is just a fictional place from the film “300”, but this city, and the sacrifice of Leonidas and his 300 companions is actually real. Mt. Taygetos with 2407m. altitude, overlooking the Spartan valley is our target, and in its heart, we will discover the next climbing crag of Lagada, the ghost town of Mystras, and mountain paths which criss-cross the mountain. Next, driving eastwards, we will reach the ever-growing rock-climbing star venue of Leonidio. With around 1000 routes, Leonidio has plenty to offer to every climbing enthusiast.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Squeeze the limestone holds of Leonidio, the sport climbing capital of Peloponnese
  • Meander through the magical Mystras, a World Heritage listed site
  • Enjoy the coolness and the imposing scenery of Mt. Taygetos
  • Soak the past and present of Nafplio

TOUR DETAILS

  • Days/Nights: 9 days / 8 nights
  • Single supplement: Cost based on request. Availability limited.
  • Condition grading: Moderate to strenuous

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Arrival in Athens and welcome dinner

Your trip begins in Athens. Ancient and modern, with equal measures of grunge and grace, bustling Athens is a heavy mix of history and edginess. The historic center is an open-air museum, yet the city’s cultural and social life takes place amid these ancient landmarks, merging past and present. The magnificent Acropolis rises above the sprawling metropolis and has stood witness to the city’s transformation. In the afternoon we will meet at our hotel and after a brief orientation meeting, we’ll set off to explore the old part of this lively city. To conclude the night, we will have our first dinner together in a traditional Greek restaurant while getting to know each other in eager anticipation of our adventure.

Overnight in Athens in a 4* hotel
Dinner included

DAY 2

Transfer to Nafplio and visit Mycenae and Epidaurus Archaeological site on the way. Climb in Nafplio in the afternoon

Peloponnese is called a peninsula although it is separated from the mainland by the man-made Corinth Canal. The two sides are connected with a 45 meters high bridge, which serves as a passage to the peninsula. Once in Peloponnese we cannot miss the opportunity to visit the archeological sites of Mycenae and Epidaurus which are of prime importance in the Ancient Greek history timeline. The town of Nafplio will be our last stop for today. In the afternoon when the sun lowers, we will visit the shaded climbing crag of Anatoli, just above the sea at the West side of Karathona bay.

Overnight in Nafplio in a boutique hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Driving distance:
Athens center to Mycenae 120 km / 2 hr
Mycenae to Epidaurus 40 km / 1 hr
Epidaurus to Nafplio 23 km / 40 min

DAY 3

Full climbing day in Nafplio

Today is all about climbing! Karathona Bay is an excellent place to climb even in the hot summer months. In the corner of the bay there are two climbing crags, one facing west, the other east. Our choice for this morning, is the Karathonas crag, with shade until midday. As the sun approaches, we retreat to the beach for a refreshing bath, a lunch or a nap. In the afternoon, back to the rocks, this time to Anatoli or Neraki crags which provide enough routes and difficulties for all tastes. In the evening we will visit the old Venetian style, center of the city for dinner and a walk through its picturesque lanes. In the afternoon stroll in Nafplio, the town where Greece meets Italy. Built with stepped streets overhung with balconies dripping bougainvillea, handsome neoclassical buildings and enticing shops and restaurants, it is the most charming town in the Peloponnese.

Overnight in Nafplio in a boutique hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 4

Transfer to Sparta - Lagada. Lagada climbing day

Early in the morning we will head towards Sparta. After passing through the city, the curved road ascents the slopes of Mt. Taygetus, up to the altitude of 800 meters. Arriving to Lagada, the fresh mountain air, and the cold spring water fills you up with energy, necessary for a full day of climbing. We will climb on “solid, well-featured limestone with holes, tufas and small edges in a stunning alpine meadow setting”, as it is described in the “Best of sport climbing in Greece”, guidebook. Whether climbing on the easier gray vertical pocketed limestone walls, or in the super challenging overhanging caves with tufas and stalactites, Lagada has plenty to offer for every enthusiast.

Overnight in Pikouliana in a boutique hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Driving distance:
Nafplio to Lagada 140 km / 2 hr

DAY 5

Rest day. Visit Mystras Archaeological site and Hiking in Mt.Taygetos

Climbing is demanding especially on hot days, and after some time spent in the crags, body and mind needs a good rest. What better way to rest than with the light activity, on the mountain range of Taygetos? Mt. Taygetos is the highest mountain in the Peloponnese peninsula, with an ultra-prominent peak, named "Prophet Elias". Legend says that Spartans used to abandon there the newborns, if deemed unfit after examination for vitality. In Medieval times, the citadel and monastery of Mystras, was built on the steep slopes and became a center of Byzantine civilization. We will visit the remarkably well preserved but not occupied anymore citadel, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For those of us still energetic enough, Taygetos offers a great network of paths on the mountain where we can choose our hiking itinerary.

Overnight in Pikouliana in a boutique hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 6

Transfer to Leonidio. Half day climbing in Leonidio

Leonidio is a small town at the East coast of Peloponnese, hidden behind the Parnonas mountain range, which we have to pass in order to get there. Due to its difficult accessibility, Leonidio preserved its old traditions, as well as its own “Tsakonian” dialect, an alteration of the ancient Doric dialect, which is regarded as the most ancient dialect of the world. Descending Mt. Parnonas and entering the Dafnon stream gorge where at its bottom lies Leonidio, one is overwhelmed by the amount and the heights of the rocks surrounding the area. After quick check-in, in our hotel we will get out there and try some of the superb quality rock routes.

Overnight in Leonidion in a boutique hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Driving distance:
Lagada to Leonidion 90 km / 2 hr

DAY 7

Full climbing day in Leonidio

Although the first trad multi-pitch routes opened here as early as the 80’s, with the growing popularity of sport climbing, Leonidio was rediscovered. In a very short time, it has established its place as one of the most exciting new sport climbing areas worldwide. There are hundreds of routes to choose from, and plenty of new ones are being opened every year. For us, the whole day is devoted to climbing! Early morning start gives us the opportunity to climb in the cool environment, and thus maintain our strength to do even more as the day progresses. However, in the afternoon, if we have enough of climbing we can dip our sore muscles in the clear and refreshing waters of the Aegean Sea, before we gather for the dinner in the fish tavern, at the docks of the picturesque harbor of Plaka.

Overnight in Leonidion in a boutique hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 8

Climbing in Leonidio and transfer back to Athens for farewell dinner

Today is the last day of our trip but there is still time for climbing in the morning. Unless you have some unfinished project from the previous days, “Micro Canyon” sector is the most suitable, as it gets morning shade, and is located at the exit of Leonidio towards Athens. After pulling the ropes from our last routes, we’ll return to Athens where we will have our farewell dinner.

Overnight in Athens in a 4* hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Driving distance:
Leonidio to Athens 200 km / 3 hr

DAY 9

Say farewell to Greece or continue on your own

Breakfast is at your leisure at the hotel and following that, your Tripin Adventures trip in Greece concludes. Transfer independently from our accommodation in Athens to the airport for return flights home or continue exploring one of Europe’s oldest cities.

Breakfast included

WHATS INCLUDED

Price includes:
All accommodations based on double occupancy
Hotel taxes and service charges
All transportation during the trip
All activities mentioned in the program
Entrance fees to the Mycenae, Epidaurus, and Mystras archaeological sites
Tourist guide for the archaeological sites of Mycenae, Epidaurus and Mystras
Services of a Mountain guide(s) throughout the tour
All the necessary climbing equipment, except the climbing shoes
Transport and handling of one reasonably sized suitcase and one carry-on per person
Third party liability insurance

Included meals:
Breakfast, lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary

Not Included:
Domestic and/or international air fare
Medical expenses
Travel or emergency evacuation insurance
Gratuities for leader/guide or driver
Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary
Visas if needed
Transfer to and from the airport/port
Other items of a personal nature
Anything not mentioned in above program

ITINERARY CHANGES

We are constantly updating our unique itineraries based on new information and experiences available. The walks, accommodations, and visits listed may be adjusted. The itineraries presented are subject to modification and change by Tripin Adventures. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants, anything not mentioned in above program.

GRADE & TERRAIN

This trip level is Moderate/Strenuous and is suitable for most people that are in fairly good physical condition. It is not recommended for individuals who suffer from acrophobia. Basic rock climbing and belaying techniques are necessary, but there is no need for high experience, as there will be easy routes, top rope routes, and supervised tutorials available. The approaches to the crags are short and vary from 1 min. to maximum ½ hour. Although the paths are quite well-kept, the terrain often tends to be very stony and rocky, during the approach. The difficulty grading varies through the whole range available, but the majority of routes we will encounter will be in the range from 5.8 to 5.11a US grading, (5a-6c French grading). The type of rock is mostly limestone. The crags are organized, and the routes are well climbed. All the routes are bolted, with established belay stations. Rock climbing includes a certain degree of risk, and this is why it is always important to follow the proper techniques and the right use of technical gear such us ropes, carabiners, harness, helmets, etc. Our team of certified guides is always available to supervise and help the climbers in any situation.

CONDITION GRADING

Moderate / Strenuous
Trips designated Moderate/Strenuous are active and require a certain degree of endurance. Hikes and treks include occasional steep ascents. Technical climbs require basic knowledge of climbing and belaying techniques. Trip members should be in good physical condition, capable of spending 4-6 hours in the climbing crags. Although there is a broad selection of difficulties available, still any level of climbing, requires a full body workout and great amount of mental and psychical stamina.

STARTING POINT AND GETTING THERE

Starting point is: Athens

Getting There & Away: Athens airport Eleftherios Venizelos, is about 27km east of Athens. Athens is connected with direct flights with various cities in Europe, North America and Asia. Getting around: We can arrange for a transfer from the airport to your hotel. If you want to come by yourself, the metro and the suburban rail provide quick connections to central Athens (1 hour / 10 euro’ ticket). The bus option is cheaper though it takes longer (1h 30 min / 5 euro’ ticket). You can also take a taxi (1 hour / 35-50 euro’).

Getting around: We can arrange for a transfer from the airport or the port to your hotel. If you want to come by yourself there is a bus line connecting the airport to the center of the town and there is also the option of the taxi. From the port you could take a busor a taxi to your hotel

FOOD

Simple, nutritious and flavorsome, the food is one of the pleasures of travel through Greece. Rustic Greek Cuisine reflects the history and bounty of its diverse regions and relies in the fresh, seasonal home-grown produce and generally simple, unfussy cooking that brings out the rich flavors of the Mediterranean.
Greece's relaxed and hospitable dinning culture makes it easy to get into the local spirit. Greeks love to eat out and share impossibly big meals family style. Given the long summers and mild winters, alfresco dining is central to the dining experience. Service could be slow by Western standards, but why being in rush either way.
As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. Note that alcohol and soda are not included.

WEATHER

Spring, summer and fall in Greece are sunny and warm. The daytime temperatures average 25-30 ° C, though temperatures in the 35s are possible in the summer months. Nighttime temperatures cool off slightly to 20° C. Rain showers are possible, but in spring and summer, these are mainly a refreshing and short phenomenon, rather than an activity prohibiting weather pattern.

GEAR CHECKLIST

Greece has a temperate climate. Base your clothing on the “layering system”, if it is hot you can “peel off” layers quickly, if it is cooler and windy you can quickly “dress up”. The lighter you travel, the easier you travel. Use your best judgement and pack as lightly as possible. You will appreciate light luggage towards the end of your trip.
Please consider taking along the following items on your trip.

OFFICIAL PAPERS

  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets

LUGGAGE

  • Duffel bag or rolling luggage
  • Daypack to carry camera, water bottle and snacks etc.
  • Luggage locks and tags

OUTERWEAR

  • Midweight polar fleece sweater
  • Light rain proof jacket

CLOTHING

  • Climbing/Hiking shorts
  • Casual clothing made of light-weight fabrics
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Hiking pants, loose and easy to move in
  • Underwear
  • Swimsuit

CLOTHING ACCESSORIES

  • Sun hat or baseball cap

FOOTWEAR

  • Climbing shoes
  • Lightweight and supportive hiking boots, broken-in with good ankle support
  • Beach sandals
  • Casual, comfortable shoes for evening

ACCESSORIES

  • Sunscreen and lip protection
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Beach towel

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES

  • Security pouch or money belt
  • Camera, memory and batteries
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Watch with alarm or travel alarm
  • Travel pillow
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Insect repellent (lowrisk)
  • Electric adapter plug/converter

This is not a fixed list, but more of a guideline, so feel free to add and remove items as you see fit.

CURRENCY & BANKING

Greece has adopted the Euro as its currency. The easiest way to obtain local cash is from an ATM. Greek ATMs accept cards bearing the Cirrus, EC, Euro card, Visa and Plus symbols. If you take cash, US or Canadian Dollars can be easily exchanged at banks. Most major credit cards, Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted. It is advisable to have some Euros with you upon arrival to be used for a taxi if necessary. You may want to check the website www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

PASSPORTS

You must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the conclusion of your trip. Please make sure that you have blank pages in your passport for your visa (if required), entry and exit stamps (one for each). Please make a copy to take with you in the event yours is lost or stolen and keep it separate from your actual passport.

VISAS

Currently a Greek Tourist Visa is not required for citizens of Canada, United States, Britain and Australia. If you hold another passport, please check online http://visacentral.com/visas.php

Receive our latest travel offers straight to your inbox.

FOLLOW US

CONTACT

ADRIANOU 3, 14341
ATHENS, GREECE
info@tripin.gr
+30 6973 989 552
+30 6946 526 542

SUPPORTED BY

POLO CENTER

AMBASSADOR OF

HIKERS FRIENDLY

LICENSED BY

GREEK NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANISATION
AUTHORIZED LICENSE NUMBER:
0206 E 60000520201

MEMBER OF

HELLENIC ASSOCIATION OF TOURISM
ENTERPRISES IN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

OUR GUIDES ARE CERTIFIED BY

IFMGA/UIAGM
MOUNTAIN GUIDE

HFMC
MOUNTAIN GUIDE

TOP