Climbing in Peloponnese

GENERAL INFO

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.

DAILY ITINERARY

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, Be my guest (D)

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, Leto Nuevo (B,L,D)
Driving distance:

Athens center to Mycenae 120km / 2 hours
Mycenae to Epidaurus 40km / 1 hour
Epidaurus to Nafplio 23km / 40min

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, Leto Nuevo (B,L,D)

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, Xenonas Mazaraki (B,L,D)
Driving distance:

Nafplio to Lagada 140km / 2 hours

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, Xenonas Mazaraki (B,L,D)

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, Archontiko Xatzipanagioti (B,L,D)
Driving distance:

Lagada to Leonidion 90km / 2 hours

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, Archontiko Xatzipanagioti (B,L,D)

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, Be my guest (D)
Driving distance:

Leonidio to Athens 200km / 3 hours

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.

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WHAT'S INCLUDED

PRICE INCLUDES

  • All accommodations as listed (or similar) 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

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

INCLUDED MEALS

  • Breakfast
  • Lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary
  • Snacks during activities

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.

TRIP NOTES

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