CYCLE CYCLADES
ferry hopping 5 gorgeous islands
guided with vehicle support

Cycle  Mykonos, Syros,  Delos, Paros, Antiparos, Naxos and Santorini Hiking add-on  

When travelers fantasize about Greece they usually conjure up stark whitewashed island villages surrounded by a blinding blue sea. That’s the Cyclades. Blue and White, just like the Greek flag. Our bike tour uses ferries to hop from island to island.  

Read a day by day account of the Cycle Cyclades tour in Odyssey magazine.

The 4 night Santorini Hiking add-on offers Cyclades in all its glory with cultural activities and land and sea excursions. You hike along the volcano’s caldera ridge to witness the watery horizon 360 degrees. Sail into the caldera and ascend a volcanic peak.  In a Cyclades cooking class, discover the unique local foods.  We introduce you to Santorini’s marvelous wines grown in volcanic soil.

Read about the fabulous meals on the Cycle Cyclades tour as described in the Food 411 blog, an award winning food directory.

Before or after your bike tour, while in Athens see the city and surrounding region from a bike. Check out Athens Day Tours

Details

2018 Dates May 20-27 and September 3-10 
Duration 7 nights, 8 days
Add-ons
Santorini Hiking -see Add-On tab
Arrival City Athens, at least one night before tour departure
Arrival transfer see Extras tab
Tour Start Point Pireaus port to Syros island
Tour End Point Naxos island
Minimum Age
18
Minimum Pax
8
Maximum Pax
14
Total Mileage 346 km, 215 miles for standard route.  Possible to vary most daily routes to add mileage, or lessen miles with vehicle transfer.
Highest Elevation
496 meters, 1627 feet
Rating Active.   See Rating System

Itinerary

Due to morning departure on Day 1 prepare to arrive at least one day early to Athens to test ride the bikes.

Bike mileage listed for each day is that day’s standard bike route.  Depending however on the cycling level of the participants, routes may vary by adding mileage or minimizing mileage with vehicle transfers.

Day 1:   Syros

Early morning departure on a ferry to Syros, the capital of the Cyclades islands.  Syros is known for its many beaches and elegant capital, Ermoupoli which means “trading city.”   A warm-up short Kambos ride ends at the entrance to the car-free medieval neighborhood Ano Mera.  scenic warm up ride 12 km, 7.5 miles

Day 2:   Syros

Today’s ride makes a big loop in the southern half of Syros starting with a 204 meter ascent (670 feet), the highest point of the day.  The route goes from one beautiful beach to the next finally stopping at Vari Beach for lunch and swimming in the protected bay.  36 km, 22 miles

Day 3:   Mykonos

Mykonos is famous for its party scene, its high end shopping, its cool vibe.   It offers a stark contrast to the other low key simple elegance of the other Cyclades islands.  Biking is minimal on Mykonos — a ride to Elia Beach for swimming at a fine sandy beach and a classy Mediterranean lunch.  24 km, 15 miles

Day 4:   Paros

A morning local boat takes us to the ancient sanctuary of Delos island, a World Heritage Site to its explore its extensive grounds.  Lunch in Mykonos harbor, then catch a ferry to Paros.  We bike to the hotel in Naoussa, check in, then bike and hike the dirt path to the 1887 Korakas Lighthouse.    12 km, 7 miles, 45 minutes hike

Day 5:   Paros

Our main destination is adorable Antiparos island, a 10 minute ferry hop from Paros.  Depending on the season, there could be a pit stop at the unique Valley of the Butterflies.  In Antiparos, we bike ride to the famous cave and descend by foot to its bottom,  Back on Paros, bike the southern coast. 58 km, 36 miles

Day 6:   Naxos

Morning ride to Lefkes, the highest village on Paros.  Take a ferry to Naxos, arriving in time for lunch and to walk to the Portara.  There are a number of biking options in Naxos, including to an olive oil museum, a 6th century BC “kouros,” or the protected Alyki juniper forest.  23 km, 14 miles in Paros, 23 km, 14 miles in Naxos

Day 7:   Naxos

Today is the tour’s highest cycling day, up to 1633 feet.  En route there’s a stop at a marble kouros (ancient Greek male statue) left unfinished in its quarry.  At cute little Halki, sample the “kitron,” shop at an olive wood store, visit the art gallery.   Cycle to Aria Springs and hike up to Za Cave.   48.55 km, 30 miles

Day 8:  Departures 

take ferry or flight to Athens or 2 hour ferry to Santorini for hiking add-on tour

Four Night Santorini Add-On
view from Areopagos

After biking the Cyclades islands, cap it off with by visitng the famous cliffs of Santorini, and its lesser known island, Therasia.  May 27-31 or September 10-14.   Highlights include:

  • Wine tastings & traditional Greek cooking class
  • Caldera sailing to hot springs with warm mud
  • Hikes to Ancient Thira & Oia atop the caldera ridge
  • Swimming at Red Beach & sunset harbor dining.

Day 8: Santorini
Leaving Naxos we take a two hour high speed ferry to Santorini.  Your first glimpse of the volcanic caldera cliffs from the ferry are enchanting, looking like vanilla icing on a long cake.  We take a late afternoon 2 hour hike on the caldera ridge, arriving in Oia to catch an incomparable sunset.

Day 9: Santorini
The day is consumed by a Cyclades cooking class in Pyrgos where you are introduced to the unique foods of the region, including white eggplants and tiny tomatoes.  Learn to make four different appetizers, an entree and dessert. The class includes wine tasting and a sumptuous lunch.

Day 10: Santorini
A day full of culture:  an hour hike up to the 7th century BC ruins of Ancient Thira, a tour of a renovated winery that is now a contemporary art gallery, a visit in an underground wine museum with Santorini’s oldest wine press and a walk-through of the local museum with finely preserved Minoan frescos.

Day 11: Santorini
Take a “party boat” (other passengers)  to the center of the caldera where you walk the 20 minute path up the volcano and see the emitting smoke, smell the sulphur.  The boat stops for a swim in thermal healing waters and lather yourself with warm sea mud.  Lunch on Therasia island.

Day 12 Departure 
daily flights to Athens

COST

2400 euros per person based on double occupancy.  600 euros single supplement

INCLUSIONS

Accommodations  4 nights accommodations 4 star hotel on the caldera with daily breakfast, view of caldera.

Meals   2 dinners with fresh, local house wine and 1 lunch (cooking class).

Ferries   transfer from Naxos, boats to/from Therasia

Flight    flight from Santorini to Athens

Transfers on arrival from port to hotel and on departure from hotel to airport

Cooking class  traditional Cyclades cooking class includes gourmet lunch and wine tasting

Wine tasting   two sessions at local wineries

Land excursion    Full day.  Private vehicle, destinations include Ancient Thira, wine museum, folk museum, art gallery, entry fees

Sea Excursion     Full day.   “Party boat” (meaning other passengers).  Includes entry fees and lunch.

EXCLUSIONS

2 dinners, all lunches except cooking class lunch

Cost in euros based on double occupancy

Cycle Cyclades Tour Cost
2650 euros per person
Cyclades Single Supplement 700 euros
Santorini Hiking Add-on
2400 euros per person
Santorini Single Supplement
500 euros

See daily exchange rates

TOUR INCLUSIONS

Accommodations: 3-4 star hotels, primarily family owned and operated, ranging from boutique hotels to seaside upscale hotels. Tasteful, clean, air-conditioned, private bath, abundant hospitality, comfort. All accommodations are standard doubles with option for upgrade.  All accommodations serve breakfast, usually buffet style. Tour prices are based on double occupancy.  See Accommodations tab to request more info about tour’s accommodations

Ferry transfers:  4 one-way tickets:  Piraeus to Syros to Mykonos to Paros to Naxos.  2 round trip tickets: Delos and Antiparos.

Bikes:   Specialized road bike or hybrid bike.  Triple chain ring, 27 gears. Road bike has carbon fiber fork. Hybrids have front suspension. E-bike available as an upgrade on request.  Regular pedals or toe clips on request.  You are welcome to bring your own clip-in pedals and shoes.  See Our Bikes and Gear

Bike gear:  helmet, water bottles, handlebar pouch, odometer

Support vehicle: (“sag wagon”) with bilingual driver who is also a bike mechanic. Vehicle carries spare parts, floor pump, ice cooler, water, nutritious snacks, bike tools, first aid kit, day packs, luggage and gives you a lift if you get tired.

Tour Leader / Bike Guide:  the Tour Leader handles all the tour logistics and rides with the group.

MealsBreakfasts are included at each hotel.  Dinners are generally at trusted establishments within walking distance of the hotel.  Dinner consists of 2-3 appetizers and salad chosen by us and shared by the group.   You are offered an entrée choice, usually a meat, fish or vegetarian dish.  Dessert, house wine, water or beverage for those who don’t drink wine.

Cue sheets   turn by turn directions

Maps of the region

Trip packet useful and interesting information about the region

Entrance fees:  Delos island, Valley of the Butterflies, Antiparos Cave, Naxos Venetian Museum

CycleGreece jersey:  short sleeved, rear pockets, locally made

Gratuities, tips and VAT taxes

TOUR EXCLUSIONS

• International airfare to/from Greece

• Transfers from Athens Airport to Athens – see Extras tab

• All lunches

• Departure transfer at end of tour from Naxos

• Alcoholic beverages (other than house wine)

• Travel insurance – see Extras tab

TAKE NOTE
Travel Insurance is required as a condition for participation in a CycleGreece tour.

Electric Bike

  • E-bikes for an 8 day tour cost 300 euros.   See Our Bikes & Gear for more info

Travel Insurance

  • For travel insurance for U.S citizens, we are official agents of Travel Guard.   Contact us to receive a policy quote.   Cost of coverage depends on various factors including your state or residence, your age, dates of travel.   Travel insurance is not provided for flights booked using frequent flyer mileage.  Some policies require booking within 15 days of paying your trip deposit, such as, cancel for any reason or coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.

Airport Transfer On Arrival

  • Private transfer from Athens Airport to Athens hotel. You are met at the arrivals exit by one of our team holding a sign with your name on it. We wait for you regardless of how late your plane may arrive.  No waiting in taxi or bus lines. 170 euros per transfer for up to 8 persons.

Athens Hotels

  • If you stay in Athens pre or post tour, we can recommend a hotel and book your room.   We patronize a range of Athenian hotels  in different neighborhoods and different budgets.

hotelAccommodations

An indicative hotel for Cycle Cyclades tour is St. Andrea in Naoussa on Paros island. We select the accommodations for guided tours based on quality, comfort, cleanliness, hospitality, location and charm.

Most of the hotels on this tour are family owned and operated.  They all have wi-fi and all but one has a swimming pool.  They are all near the sea and within walking or biking distance to a beach.

Hotels are included in the tour cost based on double occupancy.  A single room entails an additional cost.  Standard double rooms are provided but upgrade options are available.

All hotels are dependent on availability.   In the event of no occupancy, we patronize comparable accommodations in the same location.

Click to open in Google Maps

Overnight destinations and points of interest

Guided tours require a deposit of 400 euros per person with the balance due 90 days prior to departure.

To make payment, click on the Book Now link which takes you to the secure Aegea Booking page to input your credit card information via PayPal.  You may pay with a major credit card or Visa or Mastercard debit card or a PayPal account if you have one.   You have the option to pay in euros other currencies.  We pay all bank service fees although your credit card company may charge you a foreign transaction fee.

Alternatively, if you are reluctant to pay online, we can take your credit card information by phone. Please contact us to arrange a mutually convenient date and time for us to call you.   We can also give you our bank account details if you opt to pay by bank wire transfer which usually has lower fees than those charged by a credit card company .

See details in the Booking Agreement which you must agree as a condition to participation in a CycleGreece tour.  Participants are also required to sign a Waiver & Release of Liability.

Cyclades Photo Gallery

Pre & Post Tour Add-Ons

2018 Tour Dates

Spring: May 20-27
Santorini Hiking add-on May 27-31

Autumn: Sept 3- 10
Santorini Hiking add-on Sept 10-14

Groups of 8+ riders, choose your own date for a guided tour.

Tour Highlights

Syros, ringed by picturesque sandy beaches

Mykonos, the departure port for Sanctuary of Delos island

Paros, eat at whitewashed tavernas on the waterfront

Antiparos, descend the steps into the deep cave

Naxos, visit an Apollo temple and marble “kouros” in their quarry

Cycling on Syros Island

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