Leonidio is a town of Arcadia prefecture with approximately 3,600 residents, built near the coast of Argolikos gulf, below the Mount Parnonas, 93 km from Tripoli and 210km from Athens. It is situated at an altitude of 60m. It is designated as “heritage village and it is first mentioned in 1407.
Leonidio started developing in 1826, when residents from Prastos, the capital of Kynouria in that period, came to settle in the area after being driven away by Ibrahim, who burned Prastos down, during the Greek Revolution. Its main product is the tsakonian eggplant.
In Leonidio, visitors have the chance to climb Kokkinovraho hill (Redrock), with a height of 260m.
Leonidio was named after the old church of Agios Leonidas (St. Leonidas), built in 1293. Here, during the Holy Week of Easter, revive the customs of the 19th century. More specifically, on the eve of Good Friday, the five parishes of the village meet at the square of Iroou ton Pesonton (Hero of the Fallen Soldiers). During the Resurrection, on Holy Saturday, the village burns the effigy of Judas (a Greek Orthodox custom), while balloons fly in the sky to the sound of fireworks. In Easter Sunday, the Tsakonians –descendants of Dorians– roast lambs on a spit and offer red-dyed eggs, wine and local dishes to the visitors. In front of the Town Hall the village organizes many events that include local tsakonian dances. In the last days of August, they organize in Plaka the Feast of the Eggplant with traditional dances, cooking competitions etc.
The tsakonian eggplant is only produced in Leonidio and is certified by the European Union, as it is also used in pastry.