Cycling in Greece
Our week of guided cycling is a journey through fascinating classical history and a superb variety of landscapes, from the azure blue of the sea to the green olive trees and vineyards of the heart of Greece.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
When it comes to history, archeology and mythology, the Peloponnese is arguably the most interesting part of Greece. Our week of guided cycling is a journey through fascinating classical history and a superb variety of landscapes, from the azure blue of the sea to the green olive trees and vineyards of the heart of Greece.
Starting and finishing in the buzzing city of Athens, the ride offers plenty of opportunities to discover some of Greece’s treasures, such as Poros Island or the beautiful town of Nafplio. Each day gives us the chance to sample excellent local food in various restaurants and tavernas and immerse ourselves in the Greek culture and lifestyle.
Eating and Drinking
Breakfasts are generally buffet style Greek breakfast with bread/toast, butter, jam, fresh juice, milk, local yoghurt, honey and coffee or tea. We have not included any evening meals in the price of the trip to allow you more freedom over where and what you eat. There are some fantastic restaurants along the route and your guide will be able to recommend his favourite places based on your personal tastes and budget. Greek food has strong influences from Italy and Turkey, expect lots of vegetables, olive oil, bread and meats like lamb, chicken and pork.
The Peloponnese is blessed with a pleasant Mediterranean climate. Clear blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures can be enjoyed for most of the year as the winters are quite short. During the summer (July and August) the temperatures can go up to around around 40C. May: pleasant daytime temperatures 17-28C night time 8-13C with a chance of some rain; spring flowers can be seen. June, September and October: daytime temperatures 20-32C, night time 14-19C; very dry, but a chance of showers in October.
Day 1 Arrive Athens
Fly to Athens and transfer to our start hotel upon arrival. Today there is time to walk around Exarhia, the lively area of downtown Athens before dinner with the group and a tour briefing from the guide.
Day 2 Athens and Poros Island 55km/34mi
In the morning, we explore some of the main sights in Athens by bike and cycle down one of the major bike lanes of Athens. Athens is built on the slopes of a number of hills and valleys and although the distances are not huge on this tour there are a number of ups and downs before our final descent to Piraeus harbour through a busy road. Here we catch the ferry across the Argosaronic Gulf to Poros Island (approximately 2.5hrs). In Poros, we cycle around town and ascend to the temple of Poseidon, from where we enjoy amazing views of the island. We then head down to one of the many beautiful bays where we can enjoy a refreshing swim. Please note that the ferry timetable is modified frequently at very short notice. On occasion, we may have to take an early ferry.
Day 3 Galatas and Epidaurus 40km/25mi
In the morning we take a boat to the Peloponnese mainland and, after cycling through olive groves and quiet hamlets, we start our ascent along one of the most dramatic coastlines in Greece, boasting breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. Our tour takes us through Ancient Trizina, birthplace of Theseus, the mythical hero that slayed the Minotaur. Here we can have a short break and take in the magnificent scenery. The views throughout today’s ride are fantastic and are our reward for the number of short steep ascents along the way, which eventually lead to a 5km long descent to the ancient town of Epidaurus. Palia Epidaurus (or ‘Old Epidaurus’), to give it its full name, is built around a natural harbour and is our base for the night.
Day 4 Epidaurus to Tolo 39km/24mi
After a short uphill ride of approximately 10km, there is an optional visit to the ancient site of Epidaurus (this visit is optional, you can relax at the shaded gardens or cafeterias outside the site, while the group finishes their visit). Epidaurus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is famous for its amphitheatre that was built in honour of Asklepius, the God of Medicine and son of Apollo and Coronis. The huge theatre, renowned for its size, symmetry and acoustics held up to 15,000 spectators in its peak. From Epidaurus we head inland and ride along quiet, undulating mountain roads and descend to the seaside town of Tolo.
Day 5 Nafplio to Mycenae 37km/22mi
Leaving Tolo, we make our way to Nafplio, one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in Greece and capital of Modern Greece in the early 1800’s. Situated on the hillsides at the northern end of the Argolic Gulf, the town contains numerous neoclassical buildings and the Palamidi Castle. Riding to the heart of the Peloponnese, we leave the coast behind and make our way to the world famous site of Mycenae. The imposing Lion Gate, dating back to 1350-1200 BC awaits us on our arrival. Outside the walls we can see many of the wonders Mycenae is known for: the vault-shaped tombs of Lions, Aegisthus and Clytemnestra, and the Treasury of Atreus. An optional visit of the site is highly recommended.
Day 6 Nemea and Loutraki 62km/38mi
A challenging start to today’s ride sees us climb on a quite road through vineyards to the Ancient Nemea where we visit the archaeological site and ancient stadium before a long descent to Namea. The town is famous for its exceptional wine and we get the opportunity to visit one of the wineries, see the process and perhaps taste (a little!) before we continue on quiet country roads to Corinth and then on to Loutraki, where we spend the night.
Day 7 Athens and the Acropolis
From Loutraki, we take the bus to Athens city and a metro to Plaka, the picturesque historic downtown. Here we enjoy a guided tour of Acropolis before a walking tour of the city centre. Our route around the city takes us at a relaxed pace to some of the must-see sites: Monastiraki square and the Ancient Library, the Roman Forum and Tower of the Winds, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch the Ancient Panathenaic Stadium, the Greek Parliament and the National Gardens, and the monumental 19th century buildings of the oldest Greek University. Free evening to sample some more delicious Greek food.
Day 8 Leave Athens
Transfer to Athens airport. This tour is classified Road: Activity level 3 (Moderate) 5 days cycling with an average distance of 47km (29 miles) per day. There are no transfers to or from hotels on this trip, all the rides are designed to be door-to-door. Road conditions are usually good, but in places the tarmac will be pot-holed and the conditions not quite as good. We aim to use quiet roads where possible, but sometimes we need to pass busy sections in order to reach the quiet roads on the other side. On Day 2 we will be cycling through Athens, where traffic can be intense but the leader will keep the group together and pre warn of any areas they know to be busy.