When in Greece, do as the Greeks would do. And that can only mean one thing; pack your trackies, folks, because you’re gonna need that extra girth around your waist. I mean in all honesty you’ll probably be doing a fair bit of drinking too, so you know, err maybe detox before visiting? Unless you’re British in which case pay no attention. So, eating and drinking your way through Greece? Many great holidays have started on premises of lesser appeal, so you’re doing something right. And if you plan on getting ahead on that coronary you may as well receive the kiss of death in Greece. And during Easter preferably, for Easter is the great big Greek holiday. Folks gather round to eat copious amounts of delectable entrails and meats and cheeses all while dancing and drinking wine, ouzo and whatever else happens to be close at the time. Easter in Greece is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and what’s real special is that every region in Greece has its own quirky traditions. In Leonidio, just a small sleeping coastal town in the Peloponnese that’s exactly what happens.
Leonidio may not be a household name, even among Greeks, but in a way that should be your first clue as to how off the beaten path it is. Nestled between MT. Parnonas and the Argolic Gulf, Leonidio is all about the outdoors. Whether that’s hiking up to take in the views 2,000 meters above sea level (you don’t really have to climb up that far) or enjoying the majestic sprawl of the beach (and it is extensive) you’d be hard pressed to find a reason not to feel good.
Easter then can serve its purpose of fulfilling your spiritual needs and culinary peccadillos while safeguarding your circumference from any further tasty assaults. That’s right, go to town on that kokoretsi and saganaki. Indulge in that portokalopita. For tomorrow you’ll be putting your resolve to test climbing up that mountain. Or swimming in the sea.
Leonidio is a hoot during Easter. It’s probably the only place In Greece that boasts of a tradition as leftfield (all the way to Asia) as letting go of a few hundred hot air balloons during easter Saturday. Apparently this does indeed go back to some Asian thing as sailors coming from those places at the turn of the 19th century brought with them new ideas. This tradition can be traced back to the 1910’s and we’re just glad to be living on planet Leonidio.