SARONIC JEWELS
3 islands, legendary Peloponnese sites
guided with vehicle support

Tour overnight destinations: Athens, Spetses, Poros, Epidavros, Nafplio

Duration: choose 6 Days, 9 Days or 13 Days 

The Argo Saronic region in the southeast corner of the Peloponnese Peninsula is where everything encourages you to pedal at a gradual pace, or siga-siga (slow, slow) as the Greeks say. We bicycle, swim, smell the lemons, shop for quality souvenirs and take enlightening archaeology tours of legendary antiquities.

The tour introduces you to three islands, two World Heritage Sites, the incredibly lovely city of Nafplio which you will rate your favorite. The region is known for its Nemean wines where wine-making from ancient days continues to inspire and delight visitors.

During the tour you will also get in the kitchen to learn how to make a traditional Greek meal, and then you will get to eat it.  There will also be a Greek spirits night of liqueur flavors you’ve probably never tried before and whose tastes are unique to Greece.   Learn a few handy phrases during a one hour Greek language lesson, and then you can greet the locals.

We recommend you take the Athens Add-on which precedes the Saronic Jewels 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.

Details

2019 Dates May 11-19 The Tour
May 14-19 Mini-Tour
May 11-23 Tour + Athens
Aug 27 – Sept 4 the Tour
Aug 30 – Sept 4 Mini-Tour
Aug 27 – Sept 8 Tour + Athens
Duration Choose 6, 9 or 13 days
Add-ons
Athens, see Add-on tab
Arrival City Athens
Arrival transfer See Extras tab
Tour Start Point Athens
Tour End Point Athens
Minimum Age
18
Minimum Pax
8
Maximum Pax
14
Total Mileage 247 km or 154 miles  for standard route
Highest Elevation
767 feet 234 m
Rating Moderate – see Rating System

Itinerary

Duration: Choose 6 Days, 9 Days or 13 Days

May 11-19  The Saronic Jewels Tour  

May 14-19  Mini version of the Tour

May 11-23   The Tour plus Athens add-on

Aug 31 – Sept 8   The Saronic Jewels Tour

Sept 3-8  Mini version of the Tour

Aug 27 – Sept 8    The Tour + Athens add-on

Day 1 Athens

Welcome to Historic Central Athens for the first day of the tour.   The meeting point of the tour is Athens Gate Hotel.   Today is for relaxing, adjusting to jet lag, meeting fellow cyclists on the tour and getting fitted for your road bike and test riding it on the Acropolis walkway.

Day 2 Hydra island & Spetses island

Everyone is transferred to Piraeus port for the two-hour hydrofoil transfer to car-free Hydra, an elegant island attracting high-end artists whose paintings, jewelry and clothes fill the local shops. As Hydra is also bike-free, the day’s activity is a hike up to a monastery offering tremendous views. Late afternoon sea transfer to adorable Spetses island hike 6 km, 3.7 miles, from sea level to 1561 feet, 476 meters

Day 3 Spetses island

Spetses is so small you can circumnavigate the island by bike in a couple of hours. At a half-way point enjoy swimming at a beach with a marvelous sea cave accessible where pirates hid out. In the evening, you’re treated to a private tour of the Laskarina Bouboulinas Museum, the national heroine who commanded her own fleet during the Greek Revolution 24 km, 15 miles

Day 4 Poros island

This is Day 1 for riders choosing 6 Days Mini-Tour option. Depart from Piraeus port on a morning or afternoon boat to Poros to rendezvous with the group in time for the dinner cooking class.

Return to the Peloponnese mainland by water taxi and hug the coast eastward on mostly flat terrain to reach Galatas, the port opposite Poros, from where you take a ten minute ferry to the island. Put on your aprons for dinner to prepare your meal in a traditional Greek cooking class. 57 km, 35 miles

Day 5 Epidavros

Hop on the ferry again back to the Peloponnese mainland to bike to the serene coastal town of Epidavros. The route has spectacular views overlooking the Aegean Sea. 39.30 km, 24.40 miles

Day 6 Nafplio

A gradual climb brings us to Ancient Epidavros, the 3rd century BC outdoor theatre seating 13,000 spectators with impeccable acoustics. Epidavros was the most famous healing center in ancient Greece, focusing on mind, body and spirit. Continue biking to Napflio, the first capital of modern Greece, and the prettiest city in the Peloponnese. 48.50 km, 29.80 miles

Day 7 Nafplio

Bike Napflio to Ancient Mycenae on mostly flat back road. Tour Mycenae with a professional guide. After lunch cycle back to Nafplio. Pre-dinner wine tasting of famous Nemean wines. 46.60 km, 30 miles

Day 8 Athens

One hour vehicle transfer to Ancient Nemea, one of the four sites where athletic games were held (the most famous being Olympia), and the one with the finest stadium entrance. From Nemea cycle to Ancient Corinth, the Roman ruins where St. Paul preached. Farewell dinner in Athens 31.50km, 19.50 miles

Day 9 Departures for the Tour and Mini-Tour Day 9 is Day 1 of the Athens Add-onron

Athens Add-On, 4 Nights

Day 1: Athens Historic Central Athens & Acropolis & Acropolis Museum

Start the morning with a three hour Athens Bike Tour that is 90% traffic free stopping 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 km, 6.8 miles. After lunch in an outdoor taverna at Plaka visit the incomparable Acropolis with a professional archaeology guide and the Acropolis Museum holding the monument’s treasures.

Day 2: AthensTemple of Poseidon

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, 37 miles or vehicle transfer to Vari and bike from there, 42 km, 26 miles

Day 3: AthensAttica Wineries

The roads are primarily rural in this agricultural region full of grape vineyards, fig farms and pistachio orchards. The tour visits five wineries including an organic winery which won Greece’s first award for its bio-climatic system. At these wineries you have the opportunity to taste several varieties of local wine, such as, Savatiano, Attica’s indigenous wine, a white grape that withstands the summer temperatures with an aroma of citrus fruit and flowers. 45 km, 28 miles A special detour is made to the Temple of Artemis in Vravrona (a/k/a Brauron). This was an ancient sanctuary dedicated to the goddess of hunting, Artemis, that was a female-only place of worship.

 

Day 4: Athens –Athens Food Tour

Take 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. The gastronomic guide takes you to places you would never know as a foreigner. 4 ½ hours 10:00 – 14:00.

Day 5: depart

COST

1430 euros per person for 4 persons based on double occupancy

1690 euros per person for 2 persons 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 hours, hybrid bike, helmet, water bottle, front handlebar bag for cellphone, wallet, camera

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

Temple of Poseidon: full day excursion, road bike, biking guide, vehicle support, entry fees to Temple of Poseidon, helmet, water bottle, front handlebar bag,

Attica Wineries: full day excursion, road bike, biking guide, vehicle support, wine tasting at 3-4 wineries, entry fees to Temple of Artemis

Athens Food Tour: 4½ hour walking tour, over 25 tastings at 11 food spots

Meals:

* Breakfasts are included at the Athens hotel.

* Four lunches

* No dinners

 

EXCLUSIONS

* All dinners

* Airport transfer on departure, requires minimum 4 persons, maximum 8 persons. See Extras tab

* Travel Insurance. See Extras tab

Cost in euros based on double occupancy

 

9 day Tour
2850 euros per person
6 day Mini-Tour
1770 euros per person
13 day Tour + Athens add-on
4540 euros pp 2 pax, 4280 pp 4 pax
Single supplement 9 days
850 euros
Single supplement 6 days
480 euros
Single supplement 13 days
1330 euros

See daily exchange rates

TOUR INCLUSIONS

8 nights 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. Check single supplement price for a single room.

6 DAY TOUR: 5 nights accommodations

5 sea transfers: Piraeus to Hydra (hydrofoil), Hydra to Spetses (hydrofoil), Spetses to Kosta port on mainland (water taxi), Galatas port on mainland to Poros (ferry or water taxi), Poros to Galatas (ferry or water taxi).

6 DAY TOUR: 2 sea transfers – Piraeus to Poros (hydrofoil), Poros to Galatas (ferry or water taxi).

Bikes: Specialized road bike. Triple chain ring, 27 gears, carbon fiber fork. Carbon Tarmac bikes are available as an upgrade for 400 euros. Electric bikes are available as an upgrade for 300 euros. Regular pedals or toe clips on request. You are welcome to bring your own clip-in pedals and shoes.  See Our Bikes and Our 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, spare fully pumped wheels, 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 bikes with the group.

All Meals:

* Breakfasts are included at each hotel.

* 7 lunches — you choose from the menu.

* 8 dinners consisting 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 or beer, water or beverage.

6 DAY TOUR: All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinner

Cue sheets

GPX tracks for those bringing their own Garmin device

Maps of the region

Trip packet: useful and interesting information about the regions, packing tips, general travel info for Greece

Archaeology tours: Private one hour archaeology tour with professional licensed guides at Epidavros and Mycenae.

Entrance fees: Entrance fees to Epidavros, Mycenae, Nemea, Corinth.

Wine Tasting: Nemea wine tasting with local expert

Traditional Greek Cooking Class: takes place in Poros, led by local cook

CycleGreece jersey: short sleeved, rear pockets, locally made

CycleGreece lite backpack: 17” x 13”, 43cm x 33cm

Gratuities & 13% VAT taxes

TOUR EXCLUSIONS

* Airfare to/from Greece

* Transfers between Athens Airport and Athens — see Extras tab

* Travel insurance — see Extras tab

6 DAY TOUR additional exclusion: transfer from Athens airport or central Athens to Piraeus port (for boat to Poros island)

TAKE NOTE

  • Participants are required to sign our Waiver
  • Participants are required to agree to the Booking Agreement
  • Travel Insurance is required as a condition for participation in a CycleGreece tour

Electric Bike

Carbon Road Bike

  • Upgrade to a Specialized Tarmac Sport, carbon fiber frame and fork. Cost is 400 euros for an 8 day tour. See Our Bikes and Our 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.

Accommodations

An indicative hotel for the Saronic Jewel tour is the elegant Grande Bretagne Hotel in Nafplio

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 Saronic Jewels 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.

Saronic Jewels Photo Gallery

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Pre & Post Tour Add-Ons

2019 Tour Dates

Duration: choose 6, 9 or 13 days

Spring:

May 11-19  Saronic Jewels Tour

May 14-19   Mini version of Tour

May 11-23    Full Tour + Athens add-on

Autumn:

Aug 27 – Sept 4    Saronic Jewels Tour

Aug 30 – Sept 4   Mini-Tour

Aug 27 – Sept 8   Tour + Athens

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

Tour Highlights

Circumnavigate the entire island of Spetses with a pit stop at a pirate’s sea cave

Climb the 999 steps to Palamidi, a 17th century Venetian fortress in Napflio

Attend a wine tasting session of the famous Nemean wines led by a local expert

Enter King Agamemnon’s remarkable beehive tomb at Ancient Mycenae

Listen to a stage whisper from the highest tier at 3rd century BC Epidavros Theater

Epidavros Theatre

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