SACRED SITES 
cycle directly to legendary ruins in the Peloponnese
guided, vehicle support

Nafplio. Dimitsana. Olympia.  Lampei.  Kalavrita.   And Athens Add-on.

Lonely Planet named the Peloponnese peninsula the #1 European destination in 2016.  No one comes to Greece without paying homage to at least one ancient ruin, and some of Greece’s most legendary sacred sites lie right in the Peloponnese.  Outside magazine named our Sacred Sites  tour one of the 6 Best Cycling Tours in Europe.

Extensive biking enables you to visit a series of archaeology sites.  You bike to the 3rd century BC Epidavros Theatre which once was the largest healing center in the ancient world.  You also bike to Mycenae where King Agamemnon ruled who launched the Trojan War.   It’s a thrill for the inner athlete in every cyclist to bike to Olympia home of the original Olympic Games.

Nature predominates on this tour that crosses the Arcadian Mountains where traditional villages steeped in local culture abound.  Many say the Peloponnese is the true Greece. Come judge for yourself!

We recommend you take the Athens Add-On which precedes the tour.  You will immerse yourself in the culture of Athens and Attica region with exciting activities:  Historic Central Athens bike tour (90% traffic free), Acropolis & Acropolis Museum with professional guide, Temple of Poseidon coastal cycling, ,Attica wine tasting, Temple of Artemis.

If you only have one day in Athens and want to see the Attica region by bike, check out Athens Day Tours.

Details

2017 Dates June 3-10 and September 2-9
Duration 7 days, 8 nights
Add-ons
Athens 4 nights, see Add-on tab
Arrival City Athens
Arrival transfer see Extras tab
Tour Start Point Athens
Tour End Point Athens or Athens Airport
Minimum Age
 18
Minimum Pax
 8
Maximum Pax
14
Total Mileage 546 km, 340 miles for standard route. Possible to vary most daily routes to add mileage, or lessen miles with vehicle transfer.
Highest Elevation
 1103 m, 3618 feet
Rating Active to Advanced  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:  Nafplio

A World Heritage Site on  your first cycling day in Greece!  Bike to 3rd century BC Epidavros Theatre, Greece largest ancient theater seating 15,000 with impeccable acoustics.  Coast down to elegant Nafplio, modern Greece’s first capita and the prettiest city in the Peloponnese.   89.70 km, 55.40 miles

Day 2:   Nafplio

Your second biking day in Greece takes you to a second sacred site.  Bike directly to Ancient Mycenae, home of King Agamemnon who launched the Trojan War.   In Nafplio, experience the famous Nemean wine varieties, climbing 999 steps to Palamidi Fortress, visit local artisan shops.   43 km, 26 miles

Day 3:   Dimitsana

Nafplio to Dimitsana is the hardest cycling route of the entire tour.  It is also the most rewarding as you climb into the Arcadia Mountains and experience traditional local mountain villages, such as, in the little town of Dimitsana with its red tiled roofs seated along the Lousios Gorge.  103 km, 64.50 miles

Day 4:   Olympia

From Dimitsana to Olympia there’s a thrilling descent hugging the Lousios Gorge.  You are now leaving the Arcadia Mountains to lower elevations.   The biking route is flatter but with several hills too.  At the end, before you know it, you are cycling past the ancient Olympic Stadium.   76 km, 50 miles

Day 5:   Lampei

Morning tour of ancient Olympic.   A professional guide makes the site come alive.  Its Temple of Zeus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  Afternoon biking returns to the mountains, traditional villages, goat herds, gushing water sources.  42.25 km, 26 miles

Day 6:   Kalavrita

Deep cycling in mountain territory, mostly following a ridge with 1-2 steep ascents and descents to make the ride entertaining. The day’s highlight is Cave of the Lakes, a series of subterranean lakes inside a huge cave.  Enjoy Kalavrita, a charming mountain village full of tradition.  74.50 km, 46 miles

Day 7:   Athens

The last cycling day has many miles, but the route is mostly downhill and flat hugging the Corinth Gulf coast.  We end up at Loutraki Bay at the sea for swimming and a farewell dinner at fresh fish taverna.   Vehicle transfer to Athens or Athens Airport Sofitel Hotel for those with flights early next morning.  118 km, 73 miles

Day 8:   Departure

Athens Add-On, 4 Nights
For Spring and Autumn 2017 the Athens add-on occurs before the Sacred Sites tour starts.  May 30 – June 3 or August 29 – September 2

Day 1:   Athens  (May 30 or August 29)

Arrival to Athens from abroad.   No activities.   Evening meet and greet.

Day 2:   Athens  (May 31 or August 30)

Start the morning with a three hour Athens Bike Tour that is 90% traffic free and stops at 25 points of interest, including famous sites like the changing of the guard at Parliament and unheralded sites like Socrates’ prison and the Pnyx where democracy was born.   Bike tour is 11 kilometers.  After lunch in an outdoor taverna at Plaka, you now visit the incomparable Acropolis with a professional archaeology guide and the Acropolis Museum holding the monument’s treasures.  Acropolis + Museum Tour lasts three hours.

Day 3:   Athens (June 1 or August 31)

We take an excursion to the magnificent Temple of Poseidon in Sounion at the southern tip of Attica Peninsula. Lord Byron carved his name in the marble but the graffiti cannot mar the temple’s geometric precision nor its stupendous views.  Bring your swimsuit for a dip in the sea before returning to the city. Includes lunch at a seaside taverna.  Option to bike from the Acropolis to Poseidon Temple, 60 km or vehicle transfer to Vari and bike from there,  42 km.

Day 4:   Athens  (June 2 or September 1)

Taste of Athens. This is a walking tour that immerses you into Greek food, wine, local products, spirits. All things that stimulate the palate. Greek cuisine is one of the healthiest diets on the planet. Includes a visit to the Greek Gastronomy Museum.   Four hours.  Leisurely tour.

Day 5:   Athens Add-On ends.  Day 1 of Sacred Sites tour.   (June 3 or September 2) 

COST
1250 euros per person based on double occupancy.   440 euros for single supplement

INCLUSIONS
Accommodations:   4 nights in 4 star hotel within walking distance of Acropolis with daily breakfast

Athens Bike Tour:   3 hour guided tour, includes hybrid bike, helmet, water bottle, front handlebar bag for cellphone, wallet, camera

Lunch after bike tour, before Acropolis tour

Acropolis & Acropolis Museum:  3 hour private tour with professional guide, includes entry fees

Temple of Poseidon:  Full day excursion, includes road bike, helmet, water bottle, odometer, handlebar bag, vehicle support, entry fee to Temple, lunch at seaside taverna, transfers to/from hotel

Taste of Athens:  4 hour walking tour, includes all tastings, plus lunch

Gratuities, tips and VAT taxes

EXCLUSIONS

  • All dinners
  • Airport transfer: on arrival or departure, requires minimum 4 persons, maximum 8 persons.  See Extras tab
  • Travel Insurance.  See Extras tab

Cost in euros based on double occupancy

Sacred Sites Tour Cost
2350 euros per person
Sacred Sites Single Supplement
500 euros
Athens 4 Night Add-On
1250 euros per person
Athens Single Supplement
440 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

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.

Meals:  Breakfasts 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.

Archaeology Guide:  Private tour with professional guide at Epidavros Theatre, Mycenae and Olympia

Entrance fees:  Epidavros Theatre, Mycenae, Olympia, Cave of the Lakes

Wine Tasting:  Nemea wine tasting with local expert

Cue sheets

Trip packet:  useful and interesting information about the regions

CycleGreece jersey: short sleeved, rear pockets, locally made

Gratuities, tips and VAT taxes

TOUR EXCLUSIONS

  • Airfare to/from Greece
  • Transfers to/from airport  – see Extras tab
  • All lunches
  • 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

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.

Accommodations

An indicative hotel for the Peloponnese Self-Guided is the family run Kynaitha Hotel in Kalavrita with balconies overlooking the town plaza.

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.

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

BLUE Sacred Sites overnight destinations

PURPLE Points of interest

RED Athens Add-on destinations

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.

Sacred Sites Photo Gallery

Pre & Post Tour Add-Ons

2017 Tour Dates

Spring: June 3-10
Athens May 30 – June 3

Autumn: Sept 2-9
Athens add-on Aug 29 – Sept 2

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

Tour Highlights

Stand on the last tier at Epidavros Theatre and hear a stage whisper

Stare upward at the marvel of the “beehive” tomb of Atreus at Mycenae

Fill up your water bottles from the pristine clear water of the Lousios River

Take a run in the Olympic Stadium as if it were 766 BC

Put on a jacket to enter the underground Cave of the Lakes

Peloponnese Cycling Scenes

Other Guided Tours

TOUR RATING SYSTEM

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