Today’s highlight is biking to Ancient Epidavros, Greece largest ancient theatre. This 3rd century BC outdoor wonder seats 15,000 and its acoustics are still so impeccable spectators atop the last tier can hear whisperings from the stage. From here we coast down to elegant Nafplio, modern Greece’s first capital. You've probably never heard of it, but Nafplio will most likely rate as your favorite Greek town.
Day 2: Nafplio.
An easy one hour ride through orange grove to Mycenae (a/k/a Mykines), a World Heritage Site. You will marvel at the unusual beehive tomb built for the mighty King Agamemnon who launched the Trojan War. Evening boat ride to Bourtzi island for a panoramic view of Nafplio, the Palamidi fortress and the expansive bay.
Day 3: Stemnitsa.
The highest and most ascents of the tour. A “bald” tree-less mountain allowing panoramic views of distant mountains misleadingly resembling sea waves (2297 ft). After lunch the terrain turns forest-y, a bit steeper, climbing 4265 ft in the heart of Arcadia to Stemnitsa, a precious mountain village with stone houses and red tiled roofs overlooking the Lousios Gorge.
Day 4: Olympia.
Most of today's route is downhill with detours en route, including to a monastery built into a cliff from where you can see the "secret school" from the days of the Greek Revolution. A pit stop in Langada to buy homemade “sun liqueurs” or hand carved canes with goat antlers. The ride cycles past the Olympia stadium, the ruins lying within a discus throw of our bike route.
Day 5: Lampei.
In the morning tour Ancient Olympia, the actual grounds where the world's original athletes competed as early as 796 B.C. The modern Olympics were resurrected in 1896. After lunch, it takes roughly three hours to reach a traditional mountain village called Lampei where the loudest noise is simply the clanging orchestra of goat and sheep bells.
Day 6: Kalavrita.
We are cycling deep in mountain territory, mostly following a ridge, but a fair amount of rolling ascents and descents make the ride entertaining. The day’s highlight is Cave of the Lakes, a series of subterranean lakes inside a huge cave. Thereafter an hour’s climbing until reaching Kalavrita, a charming mountain village popular for skiing, paragliding and homemade products.
Day 7: Athens Airport Sofitel or central Athens.
The last cycling day has lots of mileage but it is most is down hill and flat hugging the Corinth Gulf coast. Lunch in Xylokastro where the pine trees border the beach. Ambitious cyclists can rendezvous with the vehicle at Ancient Corinth and Akrokorinthos Fortress whose strategic height offers panoramic views of surrounding seas. Dinner at a sea side taverna before transfers to Athens Airport Sofitel Hotel or central Athens.
Day 8: Departures.
- Short route has vehicle transfers to start points.
- Long Route is all by bike. Support vehicle available for lifts. Additional mileage available for road warriors.
- Long Route 358 miles
- Short Route 237 miles.
Average Daily Mileage:
- Long Route 51 miles
- Short Route 30 miles
- Long 62 miles, series of climbs and a gradual ascent to 1300 feet
- Short 25 miles with a moderate gradual climb to 1300 feet and remainder all down hill.
- Long & Short 34 miles roundtrip, 1 hour each way, flat until end with 3 km climb.
- Long 65 miles crossing several mountains, 7 hours.
- Short 30 miles climbing mountains, about 3 to 3.5 hours.
- Long 50 miles, about 3 moderate climbs, long descent.
- Short 36 miles 1 slight hill, long descent.
- Long & Short 26 miles, about 3 hours, first part is somewhat steep, then flattens out.
- Long 46 miles hugging a mountain ridge, final hour one long climb.
- Short 36 miles hugging a mountain ridge, fairly flat.
- Long 75 miles downhill and flat hugging the coast all the way to hotel. Takes about 5 hours.
- Short 47 miles downhill and flat until lunch stop on coast. Optional 10 miles add-on to Ancient Corinth and Acrokorinthos.
Single Supplement: 300 euros.
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