An intense cycling adventure in the Peloponnese. Following Hercules

Pel14 CyclingCultureThematic toursEco-tours OlympiaMycenaeAncient EpidaurusAthensNafplio
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8 DAYS
LEVEL 5

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Olympia: The cradle of the Olympic Games
  • Cycling through the solitary Arcadian landscape
  • The countryside around Stymphalia lake
  • Nemea: The temple of Zeus surrounded by vineyards
  • Mycenae: The citadel the Atrides
  • The theater of Epidaurus: A marvel of acoustics and harmony
  • Nafplion: The picturesque old capital
Hercules, the legendary terrestrial son of the Olympian Zeus, who had organized the first Olympic Games in honor of his father, performed in the historical land of the Peloponnese six of the twelve famous Labors: the Nemean lion, the Lernaean Hydra, the Ceryneian Hind, the Erymanthian Boar, tha Augean stables and the Stymphalian birds. During this adventure holiday, we go cycling to the beautiful countrysite of the Peloponnese, crossing it from west to east, folowing the steps of the hero, whilst we are visiting the main cultural highlights of Southern Greece.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome

Arrival to Athens. Transfer to the hotel.

Day 2: The land of Elis. Augean’s stables

Today we get transfered to the region of Elis, where, according to the legend, Hercules diverted Peneios river and flowed through the stables of the king Augean, to have them clean. After his victory against Augeas, he organized the first Olympic Games to honor his father, Zeus. The territory of ancient Elis had been partially flooded by the artificial lake of Peneios river and little remains to see of the ancient city. We go cycling through the fertile hilly countryside towards Olympia (1).
(1) 60km, +400m

Day 3: Ancient Olympia. The Erymanthian boar

Today we visit the impresive archeological site of Olympia, where since 776 B.C. the Olympic Games where organized every four years, until they were banned by the Byzantine Emperors, due to their pagan character. We visit the sanctuary of Zeus with its temples, the stadium and the palaestra, and also the museum whith the sculptures from the temple of Zeus, including the “Nike” (Victory) of Paeonios and Hermes of Praxiteles. We go cycling through the mountains of Pholoe, named after the kind and hospitable centaur Pholus, dear friend of Hercules, who from here started the long chase of the giant Erymanthian boar. (2).
(2) 40km, +800m

Day 4: Arcadia. The hind of Kerynia

Today we go cycling through the serene Arcadian landscape towards the springs of Ladon river. While crossing this river, Hercules was finally able to reach the sacred hind of Artemis, with the bronze hooves, and managed to catch the animal, without causing any harm. We continue to the highlands of Pheneos and Karteri pass, near Stymphalia lake(3). 
(3) 85km, +1200m

Day 5: The Stymphalian hens and the Lion of Nemea. The Golden kingdom of Mycenae

Today we go cycling along Stymphalia lake, where Hercules killed, with his arrows, the man-eating birds on bronze beaks. We continue through the vineyards of Nemea. There, the hero strangled the invincible Lion of Nemea and, in the sanctuary of Zeus, the Greeks were celebrating the Nemean Games. We arrive to Mycenae, where king Euristheus, had assigned to Hercules The Labors in first place and from where Agamemnon, the military leader of Greeks, with his troops launched the expedition to Troy. Through the monumental Lion Gate we access the Bronze Age citadel and then we scroll to the dome grave of Atreus. Afterwards, through orange groves we reach Nafplion, the picturesque former capital of Greece (4).
(4) 80km, +400m

Day 6: The old capital. The Lernaean Hydra. Ancient Epidaurus

After a sightseeing walk in the city of Nafplion, we go cycling towards Lerna, where Hercules eliminated the multi-head undying monster. We also visit the mysterious pyramid of Ellinicon and the city of Argos with its ancient theater, one the greatest in ancient Greece. We continue till the sanctuary of Asclepius in Epidaurus, where Greeks and foreigners praying to the healing god expected either miraculous cure or even medical treatment. We also visit the world famous ancient theater. (5)
(5) 72km, +800m

Day 7: Arrival in Athens

Today we go cycling among low hills and along the sea towards the volcanic peninsula of Methana (6), from where we take the ferry, that via Aegina will take us to Piraeus. Farewell dinner and last overnight.
(6) 50 km, +500m

Day 8: Goodbye!

This cycling adventure is over. Transfer to the airport or holidays extension.

CYCLING

Total cycling during this tour: about 390km in 6 activity days with about 40-85 km per day, mostly on low traffic asphalt roads with small dirt sections.
This trip is not for professional athletes but for experienced and well-trained cyclists.
We will be accompanied by a service car, which will also carry our baggage.
Well maintained trekking bicycles at our disposal.

SERVICES

- Transportation and tours as specified in the program
- 6 overnight in rooms with private WC and shower in simple hotels or guesthouses
- 1 overnight in Athens in a hotel, on the arrival day
- Dinners in the hotel or in a tavern, picnic or light meal for lunch, breakfast at the hotel
- Trekking bike
- Professional tour guide
- Professional liability insurance
- VAT 24% and all taxes

NOT INCLUDED

- Flights to/from Greece
- Entry fees to museums and excavation sites
- Transfer from/to the airport
- Travel insurance
- Drinks / beverages / tips

RATES

From 780€/person (in double room)
Single room supplement: 105 €
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  • Olympia
  • Mycenae
  • Ancient Epidaurus
  • Athens
  • Nafplio
 
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