Cycling holidays in Southern Greece. A two week adventure

Pel 3a CyclingCultural DelfiOlympiaMycenaeEpidaurusMystrasNafplioNemeaMonemvasiaAncient MessiniMethoniSpetsesAthensFinikountaManiGithio
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15 DAYS
LEVEL 2

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Delphi: The Navel of the world
  • Olympia: The cradle of the Olympic Games
  • Bassae: The temple of Epikourios Apollo
  • Methoni: The huge Venetian fortress
  • Mani: The tower houses in the rugged landscape
  • Mystras: Byzantine ruins, with frescoed churches
  • Mycenae: The citadel of Atrides
  • The theater of Epidaurus: A marvel of acoustics and harmony
  • Nafplio: The picturesque old capital
  • Spetses: A beautiful island close to the mainland coast
During this two-week cycling adventure, we go over mountains and seas, exploring the main cultural, historical and archeological highlights of southern Greece, and discovering unspoiled hidden treasures of the country. We will visit Delphi, the Peloponnese and we will enjoy two days on the island of Spetses; always accompanied by our bus. A guided holiday.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome!

Arrival to Athens. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Athens.

Day 2: The Mountain of the Nymphs and a Byzantine convent

Transfer to Agia Anna at Boeotia. Biking (R1) through the fir forest of the Nymphs, on the slopes of Helicon Mountain, till the byzantine convent of Osios Loukas with its beautiful gold mosaic. Opportunity for further biking (R2) with panoramic view on the Corinthian gulf till Delphi. Overnight at Delphi.
R1. 27km; +440m; paved; moderate
R2. 23km; +160m; paved; simple to moderate

Day 3: The navel of the world

Delphi is built on the slopes of Mount Parnassos, over the plain of Amphissa and the Corinthian Gulf. Known for Apollo’s oracle and Pythia’s prophecies, Delphi was the “navel of the world”, where Greeks and foreigners were coming seeking the will of gods for their destiny. We will visit the archeological site and the museum with the famous bronze Charioteer, sculptures of Siphnos treasure, colossal statues of kouroi from Argos and the remains of three gold and ivory statues. We go cycling from Delphi, through the sacred olive grove, to Itea (R3). Transfer to the Peloponnese and Olympia. 2 nights in Olympia.

R3. 20km; half downhill pretty steeply, half flat; paved / small parts dirt; simple to moderate

Day 4: The cradle of the Olympic Games

In Olympia had taken place the first Olympic Games in 776 b. J.-C. For over a millennium, the games had been organized there every four years until the day when the Byzantine Christian Emperors had decided to ban them because of their pagan character. It took 1500 years for the organization of the first modern Olympic Games, in 1896. We will visit Zeus’s sanctuary with its temples, its stadium and the palestra. In the museum we will discover the sculptures from Zeus’s temple, the victory (Nike) of Paionios and Hermes of Praxiteles. Today we go cycling (R4) in the countryside, on the cradle of the Olympic Games.
R4. 36km; mainly flat; 2/3 paved - 1/3 gravel; moderate

Day 5: Wonderland Arcadia

Transfer over Andritsaena to Bassae (67km), where into the mountainous solitude we will visit the temple of Apollo. We go cycling through the Arcadian landscapes to Tholo (R5). Transfer to the western coastline via Pylos to Methoni (83km). 2 overnights.
R5. 42km, + 470m, terrain: asphalt, difficulty: moderate

Day 6: The exotic SW coast

First we walk through the imposing medieval fortress of Methoni, once an important Venetians’ stronghold; then we take our bicycles towards Foinikounda, on a peaceful cove with a sandy beach. By the coastal road we return to Methoni (R6). Opportunity for an afternoon boat trip to the island of Sapienza.
R6. 21km, + 250m, paved, moderate

Day 7: Ancient Messene

Transfer to Ancient Messene, where the capital of the city-state of Messenia, was excavated. We visit the archeological site with the majestic temple of Asclepius in the Agora and the ancient city walls with its towers and imposing gates. We take our bicycles from the monumental Arcadian gate and through the Laconian gate we leave the area of the ancient city entering the Messenian plain. Cycling among olive groves we finally arrive to Kalamata (R7). Transfer to Gythion in Mani peninsula. 3 overnights.
R7. 30km, -150m, paved, simple

Day 8: Wild Mani

Day tour to the peninsula of Mani with its rocky landscape and austere architecture. Transfer to Areopolis. Cycling through traditional villages towards Gerolimenas (R8). Transfer to the tower-village of Vathia and further on to Kokkinogia. Opportunity for a beautiful walk to Cape Taenaron  the southernmost point of Greek mainland with its lighthouse and the cave which once thought of as the entrance to Hades [1h 30’ back n forth].
R8. 30km, +300m, paved, simple-moderate

Day 9: Monemvasia: The Gibraltar of Greece

Day trip to the south-east. Cycling along the Laconian gulf and across the fertile delta of Evrotas river, through orange and olive groves (R9). Today we visit Monemvasia, the «Gibraltar of Greece». A steep rock in the sea crowned by a castle, the city at its feet. We stroll through the medieval fortress-island and climb to Agia Sofia, the church on the top (180 m). Transfer to Gythion (135km).
R9. 40km, +100m, paved, simple

Day 10: Mystras: The Pompeii of Greece

Transfer to Mystras (50km). We visit the byzantine citadel with the despot palace, the castle and the frescoed churches. We go cycling trough olive and orange groves towards Apollo’s sanctuary in Amycles (R10). Lunch stop in Sparta. Today we leave the Laconian land heading to the north-east of the Peloponnese. Opportunity for further cycling, with stunning view on the gulf of Argos, towards Nafplion (R11). Transfer to Tolo, a seaside resort on the gulf of Argos (11km). 2 overnights.
R10. 17km, paved and small sections of dirt, simple
R11. 32km, half downhill - half flat, paved, moderate

Day 11: The wine territory of Nemea. Argolis, land of legends

Today we go cycling through the vineyards of Nemea, in the territory, where Hercules performed one of his labors killing the lion and where Greeks were celebrating the Nemean Games at Zeus’ sanctuary (R12). Transfer to Mycenae homeland of Agamemnon, where we visit the Citadel of Atrides with the “Lion Gate” and the Dome Tombs  and the Treasury of Atreus. Opportunity for an afternoon sightseeing walk in Nafplion, the picturesque old capital of Greece.
R12. 33km, paved, simple-moderate

Day 12: A world-famous theatre

After our cycling tour in the the plain of Argolide,  along the coastal road (R13), we visit Epidaurus with the sanctuary of Asclepius where Greeks and foreigners prayed to the healling god for a miraculous cure or even expecting to receive medical treatment; and also the world renown theatre of Epidaurus. Transfer via Porto Cheli to Costa. By boat we pass to the island of Spetses. 2 overnights.
R13. 25km, +100m, paved, simple

Day 13: A noble island

The old captains’ houses, evidence of the flowering past of shipping and trade, during the 18th and 19th centuries and the contemporary luxurious villas of people with genteel taste for the beauties of the island of Spetses. The traditional settlement is ideal for walks. For swimming several beaches to choose. Cycling along picturesque bays around the island (R14). Possible for mor cycling in the beautiful inland of Spetses.
R14. 26km, +215m, paved / optional dirt, moderate

Day 14: Over the Canal of Corinth back to the capital

Departure from Spetses. Last cycling for this holiday, along the coastline to Ermioni and Galatas (R15). Transfer to Athens. Farewell dinner and overnight.
R15. 20-60 km, paved, simple-moderate

Day 15: Goodbye!

Today this beautiful cycling adventure ends. Farewell

CYCLING

15 generally ease to moderate bicycle tours between 17 and 42km on low traffic asphalt roads, with small dirt sections.
Not intended for professional athletes but for cyclists in fairly good shape.
At noon a light meal or a picnic are previewed

SERVICES

- Transportation and excursions, as described in the program
- 13 overnight stays in rooms with WC and bath or shower into middle class hotels
- 1 night in Athens - BB (on the arrival day)
- Dinner in the hotel or in a tavern
- A well-maintained Trekking Bike
- Boat or ferry to/from Spetses
- Greek tour leader for the whole tour and the cycling
- Professional liability insurance
- VAT 24% and all taxes (except overnight city tax, paid directly on the hotel reception)

OPTIONAL SERVICES

- Picnic for lunch
- Dinner in a tavern
- Single room
- Cultural guide for the archeological sites and museums

NOT INCLUDED

- Flights to/from Greece
- Entry fees to museums and excavation sites
- Transfer from/to the airport
- Personal travel insurance
- Overnight city tax

 

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  • Delfi
  • Olympia
  • Mycenae
  • Epidaurus
  • Mystras
  • Nafplio
  • Nemea
  • Monemvasia
  • Ancient Messini
  • Methoni
  • Spetses
  • Athens
  • Finikounta
  • Mani
  • Githio
 
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