F A Q s

Bikes & Gear for All Tours

Yes, the cost of the guided tour includes the use of one of our bicycles. There is no discount for bringing your own bike.

We do not rent any of our bikes.

For adults there are road bikes with drop or flat bars, hybrid bikes and electric bikes.

For children 6 years old and under there are Burley trailers.  For children aged 6-9 years old there are Trek tag alongs.  For kids over 9 years old, there are fat tire bikes with multiple gears.

For full descriptions of our bicycle fleet, see Our Bikes & Gear

E-bikes level the playing field.  They allow different ability riders to keep pace with a group’s lead riders.   Ladies can pedal along side their husbands who are usually (though not always!) the faster cyclist.  Riders with leg or knee injuries have an easier time on hills.  Elders can tackle routes that age may deprive them without an electric boost.  Overweight riders can even lead the pack!

You will get a work-out on the e-bike because the Tria 9 is a pedelec.  This means you must pedal or the motor will not run.  So you are always pedaling whether the motor is on or off.

Yes, an e-bike is much heavier than a regular bike, but if you don’t have to lift it, the extra weight doesn’t matter because it is trumped by the power of the motor.  It’s hard to think of a time when you’d have to lift the e-bike because bike parking at the hotels is on the ground level and our routes don’t have instances where you need to pick up the bike.  Our e-bike model, Sinus Tria 9, allows you to ride 56 miles before the battery runs out.  Very few of our rides have this much mileage. But in any event, carry the lightweight charger and re-charge during lunch at a taverna.

For guided tours, the bike includes helmet, odometer, one water bottle and handlebar bag.

For self-guided tours, the bike includes helmet, odometer, two water bottles, handlebar bag, multi-tool, patch kit with tire irons, spare tube, hand pump, lock, rear rack on request,

We do not provide saddlebags but our rear rack fits most saddlebags sizes if you bring your own.

For hygiene purposes we recommend bringing your own helmet.

Before your arrival, we send you a form to fill out with your bicycle size specifications.   The bike mechanics use this information to prepare the bicycle to approximate those specifications.  On arrival, there is a bike fitting session where the bike mechanic makes any necessary adjustment.  You test ride the bike to make sure it meets your comfort level. Be aware that no bike will fit you as perfectly as your own bike.

Certainly you may bring your own bike but doing so does not reduce the cost of the tour. We will, however, store your bike box during the tour at no extra charge.  There is a charge to deliver your bike from the airport on arrival.  Departure delivery depends on time and place.  You should bring all spare parts and tools necessary for your bike.

Most airlines require bicycles be boxed. Click here for airline baggage policies for international flights. You can have your local bike shop pack your bike for a fee. Sometimes bike stores give away empty bike boxes and you can pack the bike yourself. There are also hard suitcases made for bicycles, which run upward of $400 or more. An affordable alternative is a corrugated cardboard bike box available from Crateworks. Another option, especially if you travel with your bike frequently or intend to do so, is to purchase a BikeFriday, a foldable bike that packs into a suitcase on wheels.

This question is pertinent to a self-guided tour and the answer is No.  CycleGreece is not a bike rental company.  We do not “un-bundle” our self-guided tour packages.  The “bundle” includes luggage transfers, accommodations, cue sheets, maps, GPS device, mobile phone and other elements necessary for a successful self-guided tour.

Our operations are rooted in a conscientious view of responsibility towards our clients’ safety, satisfaction and comfort.   We achieve this best in one full tour package.   

Our bikes have regular pedals.  Toe clips can be added suitable for tennis or walking shoes or Teva-like sandals. Bikers wishing to use clipless pedals may bring their own pedals and shoes, and we’ll supply the pedal wrench.  If the clipless pedals use an allen key, tell us the size.

Cyclists on guided tours receive maps of the region, cue sheets indicating turn-by-turn route directions and distance/elevation profiles of each day’s ride. 

Self-guided cyclists receive the same materials as cyclists on a guided tour, in addition to  a Garmin GPS device with programmed routes.

Guided Tours

Minimum participants are eight riders.  However, depending on the tour, time of year and other factors, it might be possible to have a guided tour with five riders.  Maximum participants per tour are sixteen riders.

A guided tour is a “go” when there are either sixteen booked riders or there are a minimum eight riders ninety days prior to departure.

Tours are based on double occupancy. Single travelers must pay the single supplement fee for a single non-shared room.  Alternatively, if there is someone of your gender who seeks a roommate, you have the option of sharing a double room with that person.

Before your arrival you fill out a Profile form that includes a section on your food preferences.   During dinners we make sure everyone is well fed.  If you don’t eat meat or drink wine or you have a fish aversion or a food allergy, all this is taken into consideration when we make the dinner menu arrangements with the taverna cooks.  Greece has a wide variety of cuisine to satisfy all eaters.

Children under the age of 18 are not allowed on CycleGreece’s scheduled guided tours, as posted with itineraries listed on the Guided Tours page..  However, groups and families of eight or more persons can make their own private guided tour at the same cost and with all the inclusions of these specific tours.

Family tours generally take place with a driver/guide and vehicle.  We customize the itinerary to suit your family’s preferences.   You choose the dates.  We help you choose the best itinerary.  

 

Yes.  On all family tours children age twelve and under receive a discount of 20% off the tour price.

Self Guided Tours

Self-guided tours are designed for experienced riders.  For your own comfort and safety, at least one person in a party of two to four riders should have a modicum of mechanic skills, such as, knowing how to change a flat tire.

Solo travelers can take a self-guided tour.  The tour will be costlier, however, because you must pay a single supplement for a single room in the hotels.  Also, single individuals do not have the benefit of sharing the cost of luggage transfers with other riders.   

Guided tours have one to two guides depending on the number of riders.  The guides lead the ride and act as tour director handling day-to-day logistics, trouble shooting, interfacing with service providers and offering fun activities off the bike.  All guided tours have a support vehicle with driver who doubles as a bike mechanic attending to bike needs and repairs, such as flat tires.  The dates and itinerary are fixed.

On self-guided tours, you are given the tools to navigate your own way through the itinerary on your own:  cue sheets with point-by-point turns, maps and a GPS device with programmed routes.  You are also given actual tools in case repairs, like flat tires, are needed::  hand pump, tire irons, patch kit, spare tubes, a multi-tool,  Unlike a guided tour, you can travel at your own pace.  Unlike a guided tour you choose your own dates.

 

Leave your luggage in the hotel lobby and our driver will pick it up and transfer it to your evening destination before you arrive.  Drivers usually come after 10:00 am but other arrangements can be made.  The exception is ferry travel in which the driver will meet you at the port when you disembark with your bike and luggage.  The driver will spot you because not many people walk off the boat on bicycles.

Although there is no luggage limit, it is best to have no more than one main piece per person and a backpack or tote.  CycleGreece luggage tags are put on each bag to ensure the driver gets the correct luggage.

Luggage transfers are included in your tour cost.  No need to tip the driver.

In our effort to provide riders with the utmost reliable services, we maintain a network of company local agents who can provide road assistance during self-guided biking tours.

The road assistance program enables riders to be “rescued” where ever they are for whatever reason that they no longer want to or are able to ride. Such reasons may include inclement weather, flat tire or other mechanical failures, fatigue, medical conditions, or “just because.”

The cost of the service depends on your location relative to the nearest agent.

 

If you have a flat tire,  you are expected to repair it on  your own.   Our bike mechanics work diligently to ensure that your bike is in top shape when it is turned over to you   You have the opportunity to test ride it and assess its viability.  Yet, we all know anything can happen during a bike ride.  If a part is needed or there’s something you cannot fix, we provide you a list of bike shops in the cities and towns on your itinerary and it is up to you to arrange with the bike shop to resolve the issue — that is what a self-guided tour is all about.   If there is something more serious involved, we are available 24/7 to handle matters.  We give self-guided cyclists a mobile phone for emergency purposes.

Yes   Groups of four or more riders can have vehicle support with our company driver.   The driver is also a bike mechanic who takes care of the bikes.  The driver accompanies the group all through the ride at a discrete distance.  The driver works a basic eight hour day and assists you in various ways, including translations, hotel interface, menu questions.  The vehicle carries the luggage, your day packs, tools, fully pumped spare wheel, spare parts first aid kit, water cooler, water, snacks and gives you a lift if you need a break.

Drive & Bike Tours

For one to three riders, a vehicle akin to a four-door Nissan Note is provided with a rear bike rack that holds three bikes..  The car has air conditioning, GPS navigation and manual stick shift.  Automatic steering requires an upgrade.  Luggage fits in the trunk.

For four to six riders, the vehicle is akin to a Nissan Prima Star van with the back seat removed to hold the bikes and luggage.    The car has air conditioning, GPS navigation and manual stick shift.  Automatic steering requires an upgrade

The vehicles used on a Drive & Bike tour are not our company vehicles.  We arrange for you to lease a vehicle with a rental car company with whom we cooperate.  The cost of the rental is part of your tour inclusions.  However, the rental contract is signed between you and the rental company for purposes of liability.   Like any car rental company you must give them your credit card details to hold until the car is returned.  You are responsible for any additional charges in the event of accidents or damage to the vehicle.  The company allows you to increase insurance coverage if you wish.

To rent a vehicle with a car company in Greece you need an international driver’s permit.  It is also good to have your state driver’s license with you.  For U.S. citizens you can obtain the international drivers permit at any AAA office.   Fill out the application form, provide two passport photos and $20 payment and you should receive the permit within fifteen minutes.

Yes, it is as safe to drive in Greece as in other countries.  You do need to be aware of the quirks of Greek drivers.  For example, they often stop in the middle of the street to ask for directions regardless of how many cars are behind them.   They tend to park on sidewalk curbs or where ever is immediately feasible.  You almost never see a traffic cop on the road so there’s little to inhibit the occasional speeder.  There’s not much road rage because there’s not a lot of traffic getting from one town to the next, but inside small cities like Hania and Herakleion in Crete they do have a version of grid lock during rush hours.  In towns, drivers tend to obey traffic rules and yell out expletives to those who don’t.  Generally, everyone is polite and helpful to a foreign driver, and they can always tell you are a foreign driver.

The euro, the same currency used throughout Western Europe. With the exception of the 400 years of Ottoman occupation, the Greek drachma circulated in the world’s money market since ancient days, making it the oldest currency in the world. That is, until January 1, 2002. On this date Greece joined the rest of the Europe Union members in converting to the euro. For daily exchange rates, click here.

Greeks drive on the right side of the road.

Yes, most gas stations take credit cards.  But Greece is primarily a cash based society so do not be surprised if credit cards are not accepted.  Always ask first if you don’t intend to pay with cash.   Note that you will never pump your own gas becasue Greece does not have self-service gas stations.

Sail & Cycle Tours

We do not offer tours with individual cabin space.

Sail & Cycle tours are for charter only at a set price which is shared by the number of persons in your party.  If your group has ten participants, the cost will be lower than if there are eight in  your group.

Children twelve and older are accepted as passengers.

The traditional wooden yacht we own and operate, the Apollon, holds up to sixteen passengers in seven cabins.   Four cabins have double beds with an upper twin berth, while the master cabin has a double bed with two upper twin berths.

We also manage other traditional wooden yachts.  So if there are more persons in your group, we can provide you another yacht and your group would sail together as in a regatta.

Yes, your non-rider family and friends can be part of the cruise.  While cyclists are spinning in the interior, non-riders have plenty of leisure activities to occupy their time.  There is sight seeing at ruins, cooking classes, wine tasting, shopping in cute harbor stores, hanging out at the beach — things they’d do on any cruise vacation.

The bikes are kept on the upper deck in a specially made bike rack that holds at least sixteen bikes.  The crew takes them on and off the boat when ever you want to ride.

On a Sail & Cycle cruise you also have fishing rods and snorkeling gear.

For additional charges, one -man or two-man sea kayaks are available.

For additional charges, scuba diving is also available.

None of the boats that we own or manage are suitable for bare boat yachting . However, since we have extensive contacts in the sailing community in Greece, for a fee we can locate a boat for you to charter with one skipper or no crew.

Travel & Booking Needs

Since you are going on an active vacation, travel insurance is required for all tours, especially family tours.  Be aware that during any kind of travel, domestic or foreign, unforeseen circumstances, such as the weather, can alter even the most meticulously planned vacation. Travel insurance can recompense you in the event of trip cancellations, trip interruptions, trip delays, baggage delay or loss, or unexpected medical emergencies. 

For U.S. residents we are a registered agent of Travel Guard and can book your insurance policy or provide a policy quote.

Nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and the USA can stay in Greece for up to three months without a visa. Citizens of EU member countries may live in Greece for an unlimited period of time. Greek embassies have a list of other nationalities allowed in without a visa. Those not on the list, such as South Africans, need a visa. For an updated list of these nationalities, contact your nearest Greek embassy. Your passport must be valid for at least three additional months from the date of departure from Greece. Click here for all Embassies/Consulates located in Greece. Click here for all Greece Embassies/Consulates located abroad.

No shots are required for entry to Greece. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, USA maintains an up-to-date website for each region of the world. Click here to review the page regarding Greece.

The best bet are ATM machines and they are everywhere even in villages.  The fees are actually minimal.  There are foreign currency exchange shops in the Athens Airport and big cities.  If you have foreign currency to change at the bank you will need to present your passport.   Domestic Greek banks do accept credit cards as a means to get euros in cash.   Greece is mostly a cash based society. See daily exchange rates. 

We are a full service tour organization.  We can book all your pre and post tour travel arrangements, including mini vacation packages, ferries, domestic flights, hotel accommodations and rental cars.  Our travel agent colleagues can book your international flight but you will most likely find better options online.  We are Greece experts and can make the best vacation recommendations based on your budget and preferences.

Yes, you must sign the Booking Agreement that has the terms and conditions of your tour, including cancellation and refund policies.  

You must also sign a Waiver & Release of Liability

FROM THE BOOKING AGREEMENT

TOUR CANCELLATION BY CLIENT
If the Client cancels all or part of a tour for any reason, cancellation must be in writing to info@cyclegreece.com     The date of the cancellation email is the date the email is received by the Company.   Upon the Company’s receipt of Client’s cancellation notice, Company will email Client an acknowledgement within 48 hours of receipt of said cancellation notice.

Unless otherwise stated in writing, the Company refund policies are as follows:

From booking date to 90 days prior to starting date of tour:  50% refund of the deposit.

Between 90 days and 60 days prior to starting date of tour:  30% refund of total amount of tour.

Between 60 days and starting date of tour:  no refund

If Client opts not to participate in activities or services included in Client’s tour itinerary and cost for which Company booked or is responsible for booking, no refunds are available.  Such activities and services include but are not limited to professional guides at archaeology sites, cooking classes, ferry tickets, hotels, private vehicle, etc.

No refund for voluntarily departure from a tour at any time once the tour commences for any reason.   Clients are required to purchase travel insurance as a condition to take a Company tour. The Company urges Clients to procure a travel insurance policy that covers tour changes made by the tour operator due to unforeseen events, such as, a policy that includes “cancel for any reason.”

In the event of involuntary departure from a tour upon demand by the Company for inappropriate behavior, it is in the Company’s discretion to provide a refund and the amount.

FROM THE BOOKING AGREEMENT:

TOUR CANCELLATION BY THE COMPANY

The Company reserves the right to cancel a tour at any time, including a confirmed tour.   The Company confirms a tour 90 days prior to departure.   If a booking is made within the 90 day period, the Company confirms the tour upon full payment by the Client.

The Company reserves the right to cancel a guided tour with a set date 90 days prior to departure if the tour has less than the minimum eight participants. It is in the Company’s discretion to proceed with a guided tour with less than eight participants.  If the Company decides not to proceed with the guided tour, Clients who have paid a deposit or full payment have four options.  1)  Pay an increased price based on the number of paid participants who wish to proceed with the tour as scheduled, or 2) proceed with the tour on a self-guided basis at an adjusted price with adjusted itinerary, or 3) transfer to another tour that is running that season or within a year, or 4) receive a full refund.

Cancellation of activities or services by Company or third parties including in the tour’s itinerary and cost are non-refundable but Company will make diligent and best efforts to substitute with comparable activities or services.  Such activities and services include but are not limited to professional guides at archaeology sites, cooking classes, ferry tickets, hotels, private vehicle, etc.

The Company may cancel all or part of a guided, self-guided, family or customized tour due to due to weather, Acts of God, labor strikes or any events outside its control which make it impossible or infeasible for the Company to continue any or all of its obligations within the tour, and in such event the Company is not obliged to provide the Client a refund.  The Company is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a trip such as air tickets, or pre and post hotels booked by the Client, etc.   Clients are required to purchase travel insurance as a condition to take a Company tour, and the Company urges Clients to procure a travel insurance policy that covers tour changes made by the tour operator due to unforeseen events, such as, a policy that includes “cancel for any reason.”

Life in Greece

Many Greeks speak English, especially those connected to the travel and tourism market. In small villages you will encounter less English spoken, but usually someone is around who knows enough English to assist you. In previous decades Greeks emigrated in droves to English-speaking countries—America, England, Australia and South Africa—and that is one reason English is so pervasive in Greece.  Most of the time road signs are in Greek and English.

By the way, if you are able to manage just a few Greek phrases, you will truly endear yourself to the locals.  See our Greek Language section for starters.

The euro, the same currency used throughout Western Europe. With the exception of the 400 years of Ottoman occupation, the Greek drachma circulated in the world’s money market since ancient days, making it the oldest currency in the world. That is, until January 1, 2002. On this date Greece joined the rest of the Europe Union members in converting to the euro.  See daily exchange rates

For up-to-the-hour weather conditions throughout Greece, click here.

Month
Celsius Low
Celsius High
Rainfall in mm
Fahrenheit Low
Fahrenheit High
Rainfall in inches
January
7
13
45.7
44
56
1.80
February
7
14
48.3
45
57
1.90
March
8
16
43.2
47
60
1.70
April
12
19
25.4
53
66
1.00
May
16
24
15.2
60
75
0.60
June
20
28
5.1
68
83
0.20
July
23
31
5.1
73
88
0.20
August
22
31
7.6
72
88
0.30
September
19
28
10.2
67
82
0.40
October
15
23
48.3
59
73
1.90
November
12
19
50.8
53
66
2.00
December
9
15
66.0
48
59
2.60

The electricity supply in Greece is alternating current, 220 volts, 50 (Hz) cycles. Appliances for 110 or 120 volts may be operated by using stepdown transformers of 220/110 volts connected to each outlet, provided these transformers have two separate windings to eliminate any danger of electric shock.

All Greece territory lies in the same time zone. Greece is two hours ahead of Greenwich Meridian Time and three hours ahead of daylight savings time.

Greece’s international country code is +30. If calling from the United States, first dial 011, then 30, then the number.

For time zones in other countries click here

Greece uses the metric system. For conversions, click here

• Post Office: Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 2 pm
Banks: Monday to Thursday, 7:30 am to 2:00 pm, on Friday till 2:00 pm
• Government offices: Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 2:00 pm.
• Shops: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays 9:00 am to 2:30 or 3:00 pm
• Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: 9:00 am to 2:30 pm and 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm
• Big stores and supermarkets: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, including Saturday.
• Sundays, everything closed with exceptions for tourist operations, tavernas and cafes and designated pharmacies.

• January 1 – New Year’s Day
• January 6 — Epiphany
• February First Sunday in Lent
• March 25 Greek Independence Day
• March/April (changes yearly) — Good Friday
• March/April (changes yearly) — Orthodox Easter Sunday
• May 1 — Labor Day, Spring Rites
• August 15 — Feast of the Assumption
• October 28 –Oxi Day
• December 25 –Christmas
• December 26 – St. Stephen’s Day

For restaurants, the tip is generally included in the bill, but it is still customary to leave a 5-10% tip. In hotels or boat cabins, it is customary to tip up to 1 euro per baggage carried to your room. Tipping for taxis is not expected, but drivers appreciate being told, “Keep the change.”

According to Eurostat, in January, 2002 Greece’s estimated population was 10,998,000, while in January, 2003, the estimate rose to 11,018,000 with 9.0 births per thousand people and 9.4 deaths per thousand people recorded. This means that Greece has recorded a natural biological decrease in its birth rate of -0.4%. The increase in Greece’s population is due to the massive influx of immigrants.