Leonidio - The #1 European future winter destination?
Leonidio, with some 900 routes put up since 2013, is #1 in the 8a trend ranking and probably already one of the best winter destinations in Europe. The limestone is colorful and of great quality with all possible features. Route grades vary between 3a and 9a. There is a potential for at least 1 000 more lines.
The Panjika cooperative consisting of Germans and local people was the most active at the beginning. Later the Municipality found fundings for several hundreds lines to be opened and the Remy brothers have put up some 300 routes. The Municipality is working hard to set Leonidio at the climbing map especially for the winter, "ghost-town" season and just recently they organized a climbing festival.
In January the average temperature is 12 degrees. Most sectors face south, almost always with a nice view. For the rest days, there is not so much to do but of course you can enjoy some historical places and monasteries high up in the mountains.
In a direct comparison with Kalymnos, this is a much better winter destination as it is not as windy and it rains much less in Leonidio. The city is also much bigger than Massouri so you will find a wider range of restaurants, shops, etc. Climbing-wise it is on the same level even if it is not as spectacular.
Leonidio's advantage over Kalymnos is also that the approach is generally shorter and the multipitches are clearly better. You can go climbing up to 1 000 meter above see level, too.
Next spring, Aris Theodoropoulos aka Mr Kalymnos, will present a new Best of Greece guide including the best and latest also from Leonidio and he will correct some of the old-school gradings in the Panjika topo. All the profit from the current topo goes to bolting.