ARGO SARONIC SELF-GUIDED
islands, antiquities, rural roads
The Argo Saronic region lies in the southeastern “finger” of the Peloponnese Peninsula, a stimulating region to cycle which Lonely Planet named the #1 European destination in 2016.
In this predominantly rural region you bike directly to two four historical sites, Ancient Corinth, Ancient Nemea, the Epidavros Theatre and the beehive tombs at Ancient Mycenae. Enjoy healthy Mediterranean food and local hospitality. You immerse yourself in slow-moving Greece where most of the route is on back roads with negligible traffic.
Your favorite mainland town will be Nafplio, modern Greece’s first capital, with elegant neo-Classical Venetian homes and a towering 17th century fortress, the Palamidi. You will also be endeared to the little islands of Spetses and Poros, both of which are low key and easy to discover on two wheels.
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.
|Dates||choose your dates
|Duration||7 nights, 8 days standard tour — opt for more days or less days (minimum 5 days)
||yes, Athens – see Add-on tab
|Arrival transfer||see Extras tab
|Tour Start Point||Piraeus port
|Tour End Point||Poros island to Piraeus port
|Total Mileage||394 km, 245 miles for standard 8 day tour|
||608 m 1994 feet (or 496 meters, 1627 feet with transfer)|
|Rating||Active to Moderate – see Rating System
Arrive at least one day early to Athens to test ride the bikes.
During the tour leave your luggage in the hotel and it will be transferred to your next destination.
The itinerary below is standard, but it can be changed to add days or delete destinations. For example, we encourage you to consider staying 3 nights on Spetses so that you can take the day boat to Hydra island lovely.
Day 1 Сorinth
We meet you in the morning at Piraeus port to give you the bikes and take your luggage. Take the 40 minute ferry to Salamina island, the site where in 480 BC the Greeks trounced the Persians in the famous Battle of Salamis. Cycle across the island (13 km, 8 miles) to a second 10 minute ferry to get back on the mainland. Follow the old National highway along the coast to the Corinth Canal and then to your seaside hotel on Kalamaki Beach in Isthmia. 49km, 30 miles
Day 2 Nemea
On today’s ride bike from your hotel to Ancient Corinth where St. Paul preached the Corinthians. Option to ascend the archaic Akrokorinthos Fortress with magnificent 360 degree views of two gulfs. Final destination is Ancient Nemea, one of the four sites in ancient Greece where Games were held (also Olympia, Isthmia and Delphi ). Enjoy a picnic lunch at a Nemean winery. 50.40 km, 31.30 miles
Day 3 Nafplio
Leaving Nemean region, bike to Ancient Mycenae, home of King Agamemnon who launched the Trojan War. His beehive tomb will astound you. Take time to visit the Lion’s Gate and cistern. Bike to Nafplio, the prettiest city in the Peloponnese and modern Greece’s first capital 43.30 km, 27 miles
Day 4 Nafplio
Cycle to 3rd century BC Epidavros Theatre, a World Heritage Site with impeccable acoustics. Stand on the last tier to hear a whisper from center stage. Stop to explore an unheralded ancient Mycenae Bridge. On the way back stop at Vivari beach for swimming and lunch at a seaside taverna. 72.55 km, 44.50 miles
Day 5 Spetses island
The route from Nafplio to Spetses (via Kosta port) is the most challenging of the tour but also exhilarating to reach the top of the climb at 608 m, 1994 feet, total biking 83 km, 51 miles. Or our luggage transfer driver can meet you at Karnezeika village for a vehicle transfer to the summit and then bike the rest of the way to Kosta port to catch a 10 minute water taxi to Spetses. With transfer 60 km, 37 miles
Day 6 Spetses island
Bike the only loop road around adorable little Spetses island which is basically car-free. Half-way around the island stop to swim inside a pirate’s sea cave. Perhaps you’ll opt for a romantic jaunt in a horse-drawn carriage, so popular on the island. 24 km, 15 miles
Hydra Option: Stay 3 nights on Spetses and with the extra day take the morning 30 minute boat to elegant Hydra island and return that evening. Lots to do, including a four hour roundtrip hike up to a monastery.
Day 7 Poros island
Take the short water taxi from Spetses back to the mainland to hug the southern coast to Galatas port for the short 10 minute ferry to Poros, an island with several great beaches. The route is flat until the last 13 km and then there’s a steep 4 km climb. Visit a traditional weaver on Poros. 59 km, 37 miles
Day 8 depart
Leave the bikes and bike gear on Poros and take a 1 hour Flying Dolphin hydrofoil to Piraeus port in Athens. Daily departures with morning, afternoon and evening choices.
Athens Add-On, 4 Nights
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
* Breakfasts are included at the Athens hotel.
* Four lunches
* No dinners
* 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
||2350 euros per person
||2120 euros per person
7 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.
5 luggage transfers: Piraeus to Corinth > Corinth to Nemea > Nemea to Nafplio > Nafplio to Spetses > Spetses to Poros
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 350 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: 2 water bottles, helmet, handlebar pouch, odometer, lock, rear rack on request.
Bike tools: hand pump, patch kit, tire irons, spare tube, multi-tool. One set per group.
GPS device: Oregon 450 with programmed routes, arrow indicating route and turns. Bike mount for GPS. One device/mount per group.
Cue sheets turn by turn directions plus distance/elevation profiles
GPX tracks for those bringing their own Garmin device
Meals: Breakfasts are included at each hotel. Picnic lunch on Day 2. Buffet dinner at hotel on Day 1. Home cooked gourmet meal with organic ingredients from garden and wine tasting at hotel on Day 2
Map of the region
Mobile phone: one per couple with 10 euros phone card.
Trip packet: useful and interesting information about the region
CycleGreece jersey: short sleeved, rear pockets, locally made
CycleGreece lightweight backpack: 17” x 13”, 43cm x 33cm
Gratuities, tips and 13% VAT taxes
- International airfare to/from Greece
- Transfer from Athens Airport to Athens on arrival
- Transfer from Piraeus port to your next destination on Day 8
- Athens hotel – we can assist with recommendations and/or bookings
- All meals except daily breakfast, 1 picnic lunch, two dinners
- Ferry from Piraeus to Salamina island on Day 1 — 3 euros
- Ferry from Salamina to mainland on Day 1 — 70 cents
- Water taxi between Spetses and mainland — 20 euros one way
- Water taxi or ferry between Poros and mainland — 3 euros one way
- Private licensed guides at archaeology sites – we can arrange professional guides on request at 120 euros per group for one hour tour, excluding entry fees of 12 euros per person per site
- Additional GPS device — 50 euros per device
- Travel insurance – required or proof that your medical insurance applies in Greece. We are official agents of Travel Guard and can book your policy or provide a quote.
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
- 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, your age, your days 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.
- 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.
Private Archaeology Guides
- Visiting famous ancient ruins without a professional guide is like watching a movie with the sound turned off! The guides we work with make the archaic stones and temples come alive. Costs below do not include entry fees.
- Epidavros Theatre: 1 hour, 120 euros per group
- Mycenae: 1 hour, 120 euros per group
Wine Tasting in Nafplio
- A professional certified oenologist enlightens your taste buds at a one hour wine tasting session in his “cava” (wine store). The focus is on the famous Nemean wines of the region, including the incomparable agioritiko, affectionally known as “Blood of Hercules.” Cost is 20 euros per person. Includes tasting of 3 reds, 3 whites. Rusk & cheese served.
Greek Cooking Class on Poros
- With a big smile and lots of pizazz, Katerina will teach you how to make remarkable dishes of traditional island cuisine. Learn prep tips and special recipes from this local master, and then eat the fruits of your labor. 100 euros per person for 2-3 persons, 80 euros per person for 4-6 persons. 70 euros per person for 7-8 persons.
Weaving Class on Poros Island
- Meet Eleni, the only traditional weaver on the island, and perhaps in the Argo Saronic region. She has several looms and teaches you techniques traditional weavers still use as well as types of local wool and yarn. 20 euros per person for one hour session.
An indicative hotel for the self-guided Argo Saronic tour is the Kalamaki Beach Hotel with swimming pool, private beach and terrific views of the sea.
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.
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 .
Argo Saronic Photo Gallery
Pre & Post Tour Add-Ons
TOUR RATING SYSTEM
FAQ’s FOR SELF-GUIDED TOURS