CYCLADES SELF-GUIDED
one stunning island after another

view from AreopagosThe most romantic and even swashbuckling destination for an adventure cyclist is the Cyclades, hopping by boat from one island to the next. Like a family with look-alike siblings, the islands share a blue and white appearance: impeccably white-washed houses surrounded by blinding azure waters. But, also like family members, each island has its own personality, attractions and individual quirks.

On the eight-day tour, you can acquaint yourself with four to five islands – Syros, Mykonos, Paros, Antiparos, Naxos all for cycling, while the sacred ancient sanctuary of Delos island is car-free, bike-free.  Or you can opt to become more intimate with two to three islands, such as, Paros and Naxos which have the most cycling routes to choose from.

No matter which Cyclades islands you choose to spend most of your time, they are are all winners, each and every one a romantic destination.  We guarantee you will return home with fond memories of sublime beauty, an easy-going lifestyle and the region’s incomparable light which the British novelist Lawrence Durrell once likened to “the naked eyeball of God.”

Before or after your self-guided tour, we recommend booking the Athens Add-on  that immerses you in the culture of Athens and the 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, check out the one-day bike rides available at Athens Day Tours

Details

2017 Dates choose your dates
Duration 7 nights, 8 days standard tour — opt for more days or less days (minimum 5)
Add-ons
Athens – see Add-on tab
Arrival City Athens, at least one day before tour departure
Arrival transfer see Extras tab
Tour Start Point Pireaus port to Syros island (standard tour)
Tour End Point Naxos island
Minimum Age
18
Total Mileage 280 km, 174 miles for standard tour.  Ride options offer additional mileage or less mileage.
Highest Elevation
496 meters, 1627 feet
Rating Active.   See Rating System

Itinerary

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 on your party’s cycling level, most daily routes can vary by adding mileage or minimizing mileage.

The itinerary below is standard, but you can opt to spend more overnights on certain islands if your vacation is cycle oriented, such as Paros and Naxos which have numerous bike route choices.  Or you can opt for more overnights on other islands, such as Mykonos or Syros, if you’re more inclined to sight see.   The best thing about the Cyclades islands is that each one is an absolutely winning destination.

An important factor to remember about ferry hopping is that the Boats Rule.  Your itinerary is dependent on ferry schedules which do not, as some foreigners may think, run at all hours nor between all islands.  Because ferry schedules dictate your arrival and departure time to each island, this affects your cycling schedule.  Bikers are limited to ferries since most high speed boats tend not to accommodate bicycles because they lack hulls for vehicles.

Day 1:  Syros  

Depart from Piraeus an early morning ferry to Ermoupoli, the picturesque capital of the Cyclades.  Admire the neoclassical buildings, an opera house and the casino adjacent to a church.   Choice to walk up to Ano Syro, the charming medieval, carfree neighborhood or take a quick warm-up ride to Kambos in the barely populated north end of the island.   20 km, 12 miles

Day 2: Syros

The cycling route takes you counterclockwise on a loop of the southern portion of the island.  A half dozen or beaches beckon you to stop en route but wait till Vari Beach which is the best spot for lunch and swimming.  36 km, 22 miles

Day 2:   Mykonos

Mykonos is a dazzling mecca for beaches, parties and shopping.  Minimal cycling routes, but many desire a peek of this famous island with its truly beautiful whitewashed harbor town.  Cycle to the relatively quiet Elia Beach.   24.20 km, 15 miles

Day 3:   Paros  

Take the morning boat to ancient Delos island, a World Heritage Site sanctuary with no cars or roads. A mid-afternoon ferry lands you in Paros at Parikia port with its charming windmill roundabout.  Bike the back road to your seaside accommodations in Naoussa. 10.50 km, 6.50 miles  After hotel check-in, bike to the isolated tip of the island to take a forty minute hike on a raw beauty dirt path to Korakas Lighthouse built in 1887.  4.47 km, 2.7 miles

Day 4:  Paros

Lots of cycling options. Make a loop around Paros, stopping at the delightful Valley of the Butterflies atop a hill in a surprisingly woody area.  56 km, 35 miles.   Or take a short ferry to Antiparos island to bike to the famous Antiparos Cave and get another work-out walking up and down its 400 steps.   61 km, 38 miles (long version)

Day 5:  Naxos

A morning ride to Lefkes, the highest town in Paros and perhaps its prettiest with colorful homes and shops. 21.60 km, 13.40 miles.  A short 45 minute ferry transfer brings you to Naxos, the greenest of the Cycladic islands.  Afternoon biking options:   Agia Anna Beach 11 km, 6.80 miles or  the olive oil museum in Eggares 18 km, 11 miles or Alyki pine forest 45 km, 28 miles

Day 6:  Naxos

A morning ride inland to see an impressive kouros unfinished in its quarry.  Continue to Halki an adorable little village famous for its kitron liqueur made from lemon leaves.  Bike further to Aria springs and hike to Za Cave.   48.60 km, 30 miles  For ambitious cyclists, challenge yourself to circle the island 82 km, 51 miles

Day 7:  Departure

Whether you are leaving Naxos by boat or air, you have time for a morning ride to Dimitra Sanctuary to see the restored pagan temple and Byzantine church.  Start the ride by 8:30 am and there’s time enough to shower before check-out at noon and head to the port or airport.   35 km, 21.80 miles

Athens Add-On, 4 Nights

Day 1: Athens

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

Day 2: Athens

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 the Pynx where democracy was born and Socrates’ prison. 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. Tour lasts three hours.

Day 3: Athens

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 Sounion, 60 km or vehicle transfer to Vari and bike from there, 42 km.

Day 4: Athens

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. Six hour tour, total leisure pace.

Day 5: Athens Add-on ends.

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 Athens bike 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 to Acropolis and Acropolis Museum

Temple of Poseidon Ride: 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

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

1-2 riders
2240 euros per person
3 riders
2050 euros
4 riders
1990 euros per person
Single Supplement
600 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

Luggage transfers:  4 luggage transfers on each overnight island to and from the ports

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: 2 water bottles, helmet, handlebar pouch, odometer, lock, rear rack on request For hygienic purposes we encourage you to bring your own helmet.

Bike tools: hand pump, patch kit, tire irons, spare tube, multi-tool. One set per group.

GPS device:  Oregon 450 with programmed routes.

Cue sheets   turn by turn directions plus distance/elevation profiles

Maps of the region

MealsBreakfasts are included at each hotel.

Trip packet useful and interesting information about the region

Mobile phone: one per couple with 10 euros phone card.  One phone per group.

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 meals except breakfast

• Departure flight or boat from Naxos to Athens or to other destinations at tour’s end

• Excursion to Delos island (about 40 euros)

• Additional GPS device, 50 euros per device

• 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.

Nissaki_Beach_HotelAccommodations

An indicative hotel for Cyclades tour is Nissaki Beach Hotel located directly on the beach in Naxos main town.

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

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

To make payment, we must first set up your online account. Once your itinerary and cost are finalized, go to 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

Tour Highlights

Enter the car-free and bike-free medieval neighborhood of Ano Syros

Cycle to the Antiparos Cave and descend into its depths

Lunch at seaside taverna at Vari Beach, Syros and swim in the sea.

Pedal to ancient quarries in Naxos to see 6th century BC “kouros”

Marvel at Mykonos’ signature chapel, the white Paraportiani Church

Cycling on Antiparos Island

Other Self-Guided Tours

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