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Lesvos and Chios - Self Guided Bicycle Tour, Greece (12 Days)

offered by supplier M15482 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 12 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 16 people
Destination(s): Greece  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Cultural Journey  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1500 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2660 Euro (EUR)

The Northern Aegean is an area neglected by foreign visitors. In Lesvos and Chios islands you will find an authentic local culture where the plateia (town square) dominates village life, elders still ride donkeys side saddle and the menfolk sit all day at the kafeneion (café) playing tavli (backgammon) and drinking dark Greek coffee (mavro) in doll-sized cups.

As Greece’s third largest island, Lesvos has almost 400 kilometers of paved road with minimal traffic outside the capital Mytilini. It is the home of ouzo, that Greek spirit with a licorice flavor. You could easily spend the entire tour cycling here. Yet, you absolutely do not want to miss Chios, an island that has a retro-1950s feels to it from the moment you get off the boat and face the old Rex Theatre. Unique in the world to Chios is mastic, a resin cultivated since medieval days and now enjoying an eco-cachet as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory all-purpose product.

Day 1: Molyvos
Heading north the road hugs the eastern seacoast with views of Turkey always in the distance. En route there are several important churches and monasteries that attract Greeks from all over. Don’t tarry because you will want to maximize your time in lovely Molyvos, visiting the seaside hammam Eftolou and exploring the Genovese castle. 62 km, 38 miles

Day 2: Molyvos
Five kilometers south is Petra alluring with its expansive sandy beach. Today you make a loop that takes you to little mountain villages and eventually back to the sea at Skala Sikaminia, a charming fishing hamlet whose Gorgona Church is called such because the Virgin Mary is portrayed as a mermaid (“gorgona” in Greek”). 48 km, 30 miles

Day 3: Skala Eressos
Riding westward, the terrain dramatically changes from lively green to desert-y dry. One stretch looks like a moonscape. Low key and hip, Skala Eresso is a very alternative place in Greece with vegan restaurants, reflexologists and white kids with dreadlocks. In September there is a women’s music festival. 56 km, 35 miles

Day 4: Skala Eressos
You can hang out in Skala Eressos for the day or cycle west to Sigri. The town feels like the end of the world with its unobstructed western horizon. Sigri has a Turkish era fortress that’s intriguing to roam around. The ride’s big highlight is the fascinating Petrified Forest, with “trees’ millennia years old. 58 km, 36 miles to Petrified Forest only. 72 km, 45 miles includes biking to Sigri

Day 5: Skala Kalloni
Bike through quiet villages stopping for frappés and spinach pies hot from the fournos (bakery). The Kalloni Gulf is known for water sports, birdwatching – migrations from Africa – and sardines (“sardelles”) with high mineral content. The town has sandy beaches and water sports like windsurfing. 45 km, 28 miles

Day 6: Plomari
Cycle up to Agiasos, a cute mountain town boasting traditional arts and crafts. Next stop en route at refreshing Karini Springs where artist Theophilos lived inside a tree. Yes, you can enter the tree and see where he slept! If Lesvos is home to ouzo, Plomari is its headquarters and you can visit various distilleries for tastings. 70 km, 43.50 miles (with 22 km detour to Agiasos).

Day 7: Mytilini
Take time in the early morning to bike to Melinda a sea town with about six houses and an amazingly romantic beach. No need to return to Mytilini early because you have all tomorrow to explore it. Heading back to Mytilini, at Perama port hop a little boat to cross the bay and bike to the capital city, arriving from the rear entrance. You will be enchanted by the Victorian houses reminiscent of San Francisco. 37 km, 23 miles

Day 8: Chios
Free day to roam Mytilini. Explore the ancient theatre, the fortress from the Byzantine era, the shops and stalls. There’s time for a quick optional loop south of Mytilini hugging the coast before the three hour ferry departs for Chios. Luggage transfer drivers meet you at the ports in Lesvos and Chios.

Note: Ferries from Lesvos to Chios run weekdays in the evening 20:00 depart, 22:30 arrive. The hotels are close to both ports. On Friday, Saturday, Sunday there is a morning boat departing 8:45, arriving 11:00.

Day 9: Mesta
Chios town is chaotic and funky with its own spirit that will win you over. Depart for the countryside when you’ve had your fill of city life. You are now headed to the intriguing mastica villages (mastikachoria) whose mastica was once as valuable as silver. Pirate raids forced villagers to convert their medieval homes into fortifications 36 km 22 miles

Day 10: Mesta
Spend the day cycling or hiking from one mastic village to the next. Olympi has a cave to explore. The most curious town is Pyrgi with homes, churches and buildings painted a black and white design so dazzling you will get dizzy walking through the town. Pygri is the reputed homeland of Christopher Columbus who islanders claim was from Chios! Short route 22.80 km, 14 miles Long route 68 km, 42 miles.

Day 11: Kambos
Kambos is a neighborhood of 18th and 19th century Genoese mansions, pastel pink and red horizontal stripes with arched portals, Arabesque doors and grand courtyards filled with orchards and water-spouting cisterns. Despite destruction of many mansions during the 1821 massacre and 1881 earthquake, enough survive to enchant you. 39 km 18 miles plus additional optional Karfas Loop 10.60 km, 6.50 miles

Day 12: Departure
Take overnight ferry to Athens, or daily flights from Chios to Athens.

Supplemental Tour Information:
The standard 12 day version of this tour includes Lesvos and Chios, but you can opt to do Lesvos alone for 8 days. The standard version starts in Lesvos and ends in Chios, but it’s also possible to start in Chios and end in Lesvos.

If you take the overnight ferry to Lesvos (or Chios) from Athens, you will arrive early in the morning and can start biking directly from the port to your first overnight destination. There are also daily flights from Athens to Lesvos and Chios.

Leave your luggage in the hotel and it will be transferred to your next destination. On Day 1 the luggage transfer driver meets you at the port.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Single Supplement 570 Euros
Total Mileage 474 km, 294 miles based on standard 12 day itinerary
Highest Elevation 451 meters, 1479 feet

About This Supplier
Location: USA
Joined InfoHub: Dec 2006

We are the only tour operator in Greece providing multi-day cycling tours through all regions of Greece. It is our mission to show you an authentic Greece while you cycle through the rural countryside or around the Greek isles. We introduce you to delicious Mediterranean cuisine, local produce and handicrafts,...

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