ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL BIKING TOUR (SELF-GUIDED TOUR)

735.00

Excluding flights

  • Difficulty: easy/ moderate
  • Daily Distance: 30 – 50 km
  • Daily Climb: 700 m

Available bikes:

  • Trekking Bike
  • Road Bike
  • E-Bike
  • Tandem bike

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WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU

Description

About this holiday
This is a fascinating bike trip for the admirers of Greek Archaeology and cultural experiences. It is unique as you start biking high in the mountains and you end up cycling next to the sea for a couple of days. It combines the magnificent fir trees of Mainalon mountain with the marvelous endless beaches lying along the Argolic Gulf. You will visit some of the most important archaeological sites in Peloponnese such as Epidaurus with the famous theatre, Mycenae that conquered during the Bronze Age, ancient Mantinea, ancient Tegea, Argos, ancient Lerna with the homonymous lake where Hercules killed the mythic beast, and the walls of ancient Tiryns. Your destination is the Central-Eastern Peloponnese where the mythical perpetual mountains meet the fantastic blue sea.

Your start point is Vytina, a small traditional village in the mountains, among the trees where you have the chance to breathe the fresh air and listen to the sound of the birds. The next day you will cycle from Vytina through the mountains, most of it uphillpassing through picturesque villages and then downhill to Tripoli, a small purely Greek town still unaffected by mass tourism, located in the heart of the Peloponnese peninsula. Passing by the small picturesque fish village of Paralio Astros you end up to the dreamy seaside town of Nafplio situated in the eastern part of Peloponnese where you spend 3 amazing days. You will experience not only modern Greece but also the Classical one. A trip that is suitable for anyone fitness wise, since the daily routes are easy enough to be made. So pack your bags and get ready for this unforgettable tour!

Self-guided tour

During this trip, you will cycle on your own without the presence of a guide. We will provide to you all necessary equipment, maps (in printed form or gps) and information about the routes and points of interest so you can easily take the tour. In addition, we will take care of the transportation of your luggage so you will find them in the next hotel when you arrive. In this way, you will be totally independent and free to cycle any time you wish (morning or afternoon), make a stop anywhere you want (beaches, archaeological sites, taverns etc) and spend there as much time you prefer. At the same time, we provide 24h hotline in case of emergency. Just give us a call and we will find the best way to help if anything occurs!

Responsible travel holiday

Responsible travel is a new way of travelling for all those who prefer authenticity of experiences, life and culture instead of mass tourism. It’s about respecting and benefiting local people and the environment – but it’s about far more than that. Responsible travel is about bringing you closer to local cultures and environments by involving local people in tourism. It’s about doing this in a fair way that helps ensure that they will give you an even warmer welcome. For example, a local guide from the destination will open your eyes to their cultures and ways of life far better than an expat guide could ever do.

The responsible travelers want to get a little bit more out of their travels, and to give a little bit back to the special places and people that they encounter. They want deeper and more real travel experiences. The responsible traveler values authenticity – experiences integral to local people’s traditions, cultures and rituals – rather than those created for tourism, or those whose existing meanings and uses have become lost as they have been packaged up for tourism.

Choosing our holidays, you choose responsible holidays. One of our biggest concerns is to secure that tourism will not affect negatively our area in ecological and also socio-cultural way, and also that the locals will mostly benefit from your travel. Our company which is the organizer and operator of this package is local-based, all our employees are locals and the overwhelming majority of the hotels that we cooperate with are owned by locals too. In this trip, you will be given printed material about how to apply maximum responsibility during your holidays. We also, as a company, offer €5 per person for the environment, for offsetting the carbon emissions caused by this trip. This money are going to be used, in cooperation with the local Forestry Office, the Greek Climbing Club of Tripoli and the Tripoli Ecologist Club, for reforestation in our mountains, that have been hit by great fires in the summer of 2007.

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVAL-VYTINA

Transfer under request from the Athens airport to Vytina, which is a beautiful traditional settlement, that palyed an important role during during the Greek Independence War in 1821. The village is located at the foot of the mountain range Mainaloat an altitude of 1.033 meters and thanks to its excellent nature, is considered one of the most famous tourist resorts of Peloponnese and one of the best in Greece. In the winter time, it is often covered with snow and offers a unique insight to the visitors. When you arrive, you will get your bikes and equipment at the hotel. Overnight in Vytina.

DAY 2: VYTINA- ALONISTAINA- PIANA- TRIPOLI (37.9Km/+552m.)

In the morning, you will begin your trip to Tripoli. The route uphill at the beginning, will take you through mountain Mainalo, a magnificent cycling route among fir trees to the village of Alonistaina 6 Km. southeast of Vytina. Alonistaina is situated at about 1200m. elevation, making it one of the highest villages in the Peloponnese and is considered to be a traditional settlement. After a small stop to enjoy the beautiful landscape, you continue to Piana, another tradional and historical settlement, at 1090m elevation. In the center of the village built on a big rock, you will find the big church of Saint Georgios. The body of the church is made of stone and it was a fort in 1821 during the Greek War of Independence. It is worth walking round the church to admire the view of the plain downhill. Next to the church you will find a traditional ‘kafeneio’ (café) that we recommend, and have a rest, drink coffee or have a snack. In the historical village of Piana, TheodorosKolokotronis, the Greek general and the pre-eminent leader of the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829) against the Ottoman Empire, organised the Greek troops that supported the Battle at Valtetsi, and later dominated the town of Tripoli. After visiting Piana you continue cycling downhill to Tripoli. Tripoli, the capital of Arcadia in central Peloponnese, built in an altitude of 650m in the plateau of Mantinea. It is a modern town that nowadays manages to maintain the pure Greek way of living away from mass-tourism! It used to be the capital of Peloponnese during the Ottoman Empire due to its strategic geographical location in the centre of the peninsula with a significant role during the Greek Independence War (1821-1828). You will have the chance to walk around the promenade center of the town, before you return to the hotel and get ready for the following 5-day exciting ride. Overnight Tripoli.

DAY 3:TRIPOLI ROUND TRIP (ANCIENT MANTINEA-KAPSIA CAVE 46.9Km/ +270m.)

In the morning you will begin the trip around the plateau of Tripoli. You will cycle through scattered vineyards and apple trees until you discover the excavations of the ancient city of Mantineia, one of the most important ancient Greek cities regarding its size and conservation. You can walk around the preserved archaeological site and admire the sanctuaries in the center of the city and the ancient Greek theater which could hold up to 6.200 spectators. On the opposite side of the site you shouldn’t miss a visit to the extravagant surreal church of Saint Fotini which combines several architectural elements (Classical, Byzantine, and Minoan) and was built in 1972. The flat ride continues through small fruit crops, before your arrival at Kapsia settlement. There, a true underground marvel of nature is situated, the Kapsia cave which is registered among the ten most notable Caves of Greece. Multi-colored stalactites and stalagmites created gradually through millions of years, bright red, yellow and sky blue bring out masterpieces of unequal beautifulness made by Mother Nature. Then return to Tripoli passing through the narrow provincial roads! Overnight Tripoli.

DAY 4: TRIPOLI- ANCIENT TEGEA – PARALIO ASTROS (54.6Km/ + 700m.)

Today you leave Tripoli, and pretty soon you arrive through the meadows at Tegea settlement, another very important city-state of ancient Greece. What is unique here is the fact that you can see history in layers! The Byzantine church of Madonna Dormition built in the mid-10th c. AC is constructed exactly over the ruins of the ancient theatre dated the Hellenistic era and using parts of it! You can also see the Agora and on the south the temple of Athena Alea, one of the most celebrated temples of the Classical period and the second larger ancient temple after the one of Zeus in ancient Olympia! You continue the descend towards the sea cycling through Parnonas Mountain among olive groves, passing by picturesque small villages and visit olive oil factories if you wish. On your way you will also meet the ancient city of Eva where lays the recently excavated ruins of Herodes Atticus mansion with dozens of sculptures and partially colorful mosaics to see. Soon, you arrive in Paralio Astros, a beautiful small fishing village with no more than 900 inhabitants built almost artistically along the so called «Island» peninsula. You can spend the rest of your day swimming or sunbathing on the sandy beach, wandering around the streets, visit the castle on the top of the hill or walk by the picturesque harbor which accommodates small boats. Don’t forget to relax at the cafes and taverns where you can always find fresh fish and other homemade local specialties. Overnight Paralio Astros.

DAY 5:PARALIO ASTROS – NAFPLIO (45Km/+457m.)

Today get ready for an amazing coastal ride towards Nafplio. Fascinating images of deep blue sea expect you today while cycling along the Argolic Gulf coastline with slight ups and downs. Soon you reach Mili, a small seaside resort where you can relax enjoying a beverage or a meal facing the sparkling sea. In addition you can visit the archaeological site of Ancient Lerna with exhibitions of prehistoric and Bronze Age. The lake of ancient Lerna where Hercules killed the mythical beast with the many heads, Lernea Hydra lies just in the entrance of Mili. The ride continues through the vast plains before you arrive in Argos, one of the oldest Greek cities, hometown of Hercules. There, up on Larissa Mountain, the imposing fortress stands with the Cyclopean walls while at the foot of the mountain you can visit the ancient theater of Argos, one of the biggest in Greece. You continue for the last kilometers to Nafplio, the famous and incomparable seaside town where natural beauty, history and modern way of living are all combined harmonically; narrow old streets, the marbled main square, neo classic buildings, modern cafes, the vivid night life and of course the dominating castle “Palamidi” and the Bourtzi fort in the sea! The beautiful promenade right along the characteristic harbor is full most of the day with small fishing boats and luxurious yachts. Overnight Nafplio.

DAY 6: ROUND TRIP TO MYCENAE (51Km/ +358m.)

Today, riding through the beautiful countryside you are going to explore the great city of the Bronze Age, Mycenae, over 3500 years old! On your way, you can make a stop at the huge castle remains at Tiryns, which was considered to be one of the most important centers in the Eastern Mediterranean. Then you cycle through orange and lemon groves, till you reach Mycenae, the kingdom of mythical King Agamemnon, which was for a long time the center of Greek civilization. The Acropolis of Mycenae-fortress with the old Cyclopean walls was built 3360 years ago in an altitude of 280m. The uphill part at the edge of the mountainside is quickly forgotten as you marvel at impressive excavations and important findings. The world-famous Lions Gate at the main entrance of the Acropolis which constitutes the first example of monumental sculpture in Europe and the shaft graves such as the well preserved vaulted Atreus Grave, Agamemnon’s father, are among the major cultural and historical attractions of Greece. Return to Nafplio and overnight there.

DAY 7: ROUND TRIP TO EPIDAURUS (41.8Km/ +331m.)

The last biking day of your journey begins with a transfer to Epidaurus, which counts to the historical highlights of every trip to Greece. You will quickly understand why. You will be impressed by the huge and well-preserved, over 2300 year ancient theater, which could hold up to 14000 viewers in its time and in which nowadays during summer time hosts theatrical plays! Epidaurus is considered to be the birthplace of medicine as it was the most important healing center of antiquity with a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, the god of healing. A visit through the archaeological site indicates the view that ancient Greeks had about medicine and healing which concentrates on the principal: “healthy mind in healthy body”. Watching theatre plays was an important part of that process. You will also discover the remains of the ancient city with temples, porticoes, houses, shops and spas. After having met Epidaurus you cycle mostly downhill through mountainous landscape and through the vast pistachio growing region to the coast. Enjoy again a dip in the crystal clear sea water and look forward to another night in Nafplion. Overnight in Nafplion.

DAY 8: Departure

After a good breakfast, you will take you luggage and get ready for your way back to the airport. If you wish, you can add some more in this trip, like a guided tour to the Acropolis of Athens or just staying a couple of days more in Athens. In addition, you can check the rest of our programs and combine another one if you are interested such as our Archaeology Tour of Greece, Multi-Activity Holidays or just spend some days relaxing in a sea-side destination.

 

ACCOMMODATION

During this tour you will stay in 3* Hotels or Apartments. All accommodations have been selected by us and are checked in person by our crew. They fulfill a minimum level of standards set like cleanness, stuff behavior, breakfast, comfort and more. In terms of our Responsible Travel Policy, all accommodations are owned by locals, they mainly employee locals and do care about the environment. Most probably you will meet the owners themselves, have a cup of coffee with them or taste the breakfast made by their hands! For the most demanding there is also the possibility of upgrade in for 4* Hotels but only in some places. Contact us for more details.

PRICING

Price: 735€ p.p.

Includes

  • Accommodation for 7 nights with breakfast
  • Luggage transfer between hotels
  • Gps and Maps with routes (1 piece for 2 participants)
  • Complete information about the area
  • 24h telephone support
  • Transfer for riders and bikes from Nafplio to Epidaurus on day 7

Single supplement: 140 €

Bike rental

  • Trekking bike 80 €/week
  • Road bike 120 €/week
  • E-bike 230 €/week
  • Tandem 240€/week
  • Helmet 10 €/week

*TRANSPORTATION FROM/TO ATHENS AIRPORT*

  • Transfer by public Bus (National Transportation) or on your own.
  • Transfer Athens Airport – Vytina: 200€ (up to 4 persons)
  • Transfer Nafplio-Athens Airport: 160€ (up to 4 persons)

*TRANSFER FROM/TO KALAMATA AIRPORT*

  • Transfer Kalamata Airport – Vytina: 120€ (up to 4 persons)
  • Transfer Nafplio – Kalamata Airport: 160€ (up to 4 persons)

Bike transfer 10 € (one way, in case you bring your own bike)

MAP

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