The Peloponnese Peninsula has been inhabited for millennium and is the source of many of Greece’s most beloved mythological figures and real life heroes, from Jason and his Argonauts to King Leonidis of Sparta. You will visit the region’s most legendary sites as you ascend mountain roads, hug gorges, follow winding seacoast roads and overnight in memorable accommodations where the hosts make you feel proud to have arrived by bike.
Day 1: Epidavros
Arriving into Poros harbor, you linger just long enough to enjoy an espresso at a seaside cafe, then take a small boat to the mainland. The ride takes you up over 700 feet on a ridge following the coast with magnificent sea views. Overnight in a traditional stone house about three minutes walk to the beach.
Day 2: Nafplio
The best leg is climbing a cliff on a road devoid of villages or cars that overlooks the dazzling blue sea. The highlight of the day is a stopat Ancient Epidavros, the 3rd century BC outdoor theatre seating 12,000 spectators with impeccable acoustics. Heading towards Nafplion, just off the side of the road, don’t miss the ancient Mycenae bridge,
Day 3: Nafplio
Elegant Nafplio has superb food and local wine, arts and custom-made jewelry and wondrous antiquities. Ancient Mycenae, only an hour’s ride away, holds the tomb of King Agamemnon who launched the Trojan War. In Nafplio be sure to visit Bourtzi island for a picturesque view of Nafplio.
Day 4: Stemnitsa
Today is all about climbing. The first mountain is "bald", no trees, which permits a panoramic view of a series of distant mountains reminiscent of sea waves (2297 ft). After lunch in Tripoli, you climb into the heart of Arcadia where the landscape is more verdant, especially in cute little Stemnitsa overlooking the Lousios Gorge.
Day 5: Olympia
Most of today's route is downhill which makes you think it will be a short ride. But there is a detour in Dimitsana to visit the truly fascinating live-action water power museum which brings alive what pre-industrial life was like in in Arcadia. The ride ends cycling past the Olympia stadium, the ruins lying within a discus throw of your bike route.
Day 6: Lampei
Spend the morning touring Ancient Olympia, home of the original Olympics. Its Temple of Zeus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The modern Olympics, resurrected in 1896, are given prominence in a museum exhibiting quirky memorabilia from past games. After lunch, a 3 hour ride brings you to sleepy Lampei.
Day 7: Kalavrita
You're in the middle of the Peloponnese, up in the mountains, but riding a ridge so it is basically flat almost the entire ride, except for the last ten miles when you face a steep ascent for about ten miles. Before tackling that climb, best to stop at the natural phenomena known as Cave of the Lakes, a series of underwater lakes inside a cave.
Day 8: Kalavrita
A hilly route surrounded by imposing mountains. Your destination is a little village church whose interior will amaze you. We'll keep it a secret until then.
Day 9: Athens Airport Sofitel hotel or central Athens
Your mileage today is very long but it is almost all downhill then flat as you follow the Peloponnese' northern sea coast all the way to Corinth. You can either overnight in the region, or get a transfer to either central Athens or if you have a very early morning flight, transfer to Athens Airport Sofitel hotel.
Day 10: Departure.
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Europe Greece Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Archeology/History