Kyparissi – sector Watermill

We decided to take a side trip to Kyparissi, about 15km further down the coast. That’s 15km as the crow flies, but about 40km by road (and that’s a huge improvement with the opening of a new section of coast road earlier this year). Even so, it’s about 1:15hrs drive, but what a spectacular trip! First you head south down the coast for a few km before zigzagging over 800m up to a high plateau with awesome views over the sea to Nafplio and the surrounding islands.

Then you drop down to the coast again at Folkiano, a gorgeous beach

This is where the new coast road kicks in, and whilst it’s taken 50mins to cover the first 30km the last 20km fly past on the fresh black-top.

If Leonidio is “the next Kalymnos” then Kyparissi might well be “the next Leonidio”. It’s a tiny village (I guess a few hundred people, a couple of tavernas and no petrol station for over an hour’s drive in any direction – in living memory it was only accessible by boat), but with more than half a dozen crags and a couple of hundred routes, it’s fast catching up its more famous neighbour. 

Sector Watermill is, as you might guess, next to a disused Watermill, and only 5 minutes from the road (in fact there are 3 routes you could climb off the bonnet!

… But the really good stuff at least requires flip-flops to be donned. 

There are only 34 routes but it’s wall-to-wall quality with a 3* 6a and “musical note” routes at 6b+, 6c+, 7a, 7b, 7c+, 8a and 8b. That’s pretty remarkable quality and variety in one crag, and the routes we did (just the first 4!) certainly lived up to the hype. 

Here’s a strong American seconding Kyparissi, the 6c+

… And a Spanish lad leading it

And here’s me on the “no-hands rest” on the neighboring 7a, Thanks George 

… which has to be one of the best tufa routes at this grade anywhere. I did the 3* 6a Skourkos, as a warm down when I was pretty shattered, and Helen made a far better job of it. 

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