Leonidio is a small town in Arcadia region, East Peloponnese. It is located approximately 3 km from the sea, at the foot of Parnonas mountain and surrounded by high ridges. Leonidio is a perfect place for combining sea and mountain holiday among unspoilt nature and authentic atmosphere.
Leonidio is a listed as a traditional settlement with preserved architecture and historical value. In the past the area around Leonidio was known as Tsakonia, and its residents, the Tsakonians were considered successors of ancient Dorians. Even today the Tsakonian language is still in use in this part of Peloponnese, along with some specific folklore traditions, including the Tsakonios dance. Walking in the narrow alleys of the village you will stumble upon old stone mansion (which remind of the stone houses of Mani Region), white-washed buildings, churches, original stone tower from 18 century and a small square with cafeterias. There are also enough small shops and a pharmacy. Inside the village there are hotels but more accommodation options can be found by the sea.
The space between Leonidio and the sea is filled with orange tress and many greenhouse where locals grow vegetables and a special sort of eggplant. The seaside has a small marina and beach, known as Plaka or Plaka Leonidiou, and it has developed as a separate small resort with a couple of beach tavernas, cafe-bars, guesthouses, hotels and campsite. The beach is long but divided into two by the marina. It has smooth round pebbles and transparent water, like all the beaches in this part of Peloponnese. In the summer the cafes operate as beach bars and offer sunbeds and parasol, some water sports are also available.
Although isolated, a holiday in Leonidio would not let you get bored. Except for the lazy days at the beach, you can fill your time with visit to the mountainous villages nearby and the Monastery of Elona (Moni Elonis) built inside a huge rock, hiking in the numerous trails around and even climbing - the vertical rocks behind Leonidio are perfect for this. Kosmas village is one of the highest village on the slopes of Parnon mountain and it has spectacular view and a nice square with old houses and local tavernas. About 8 km south is the village of Poulithra with narrow but very calm beach and a few tavernas by the sea, and north of Leonidio the seaside village of Sampatiko offers more long and pebbly beaches.
highlights: traditional settlement with old mansions and preserved architecture, village in Arcadia Region, Peloponnese, Greece