PELOPONNESE SELF-GUIDED
epicenter of Greek myths and legends

Inhabited for millennia, the Peloponnese is the source of many of Greece’s most beloved mythological figures and real life heroes, from Jason and his Argonauts to King Leonidis of Sparta.   No wonder Lonely Planet named the Peloponnese the #1 European destination in 2016.

You will visit the region’s most legendary sites as you ascend mountain roads, hug gorges, follow seacoast roads and overnight in memorable accommodations where the hosts make you feel proud to have arrived by bike.  Most of the route consists of rural back roads.

Like Crete, the Peloponnese terrain beckons the seasoned cyclist.  The highest elevation is 2985 feet 909 meters, on a long cycling day, 107 km 66 miles, from Nafplio to Dimitsana.  If those numbers are within your ability,  you will love pedaling across the Peloponnese.

Before or after your self-guided  biking tour, we recommend booking the four day, four night 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.

Details

Dates choose your dates
Duration 7 nights, 8 days standard tour — opt for more days or less days (minimum 6 days)
Add-ons
yes,  Athens – see Add-on tab
Arrival City Athens
Arrival transfer see Extras tab
Tour Start Point Piraeus port
Tour End Point Loutraki or Xylokastro
 Minimum Age
18
Total Mileage 578 km, 360 miles for standard 8 Day tour
Highest Elevation
1328 m, 4356 feet
Rating Advanced – see Rating System

Itinerary

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, Vytina or Kalavrita are precious places where we encourage you to consider staying two nights.

Day 1: Corinth

Meet in the morning at Piraeus port. We give you the bikes and take your luggage. Start with a 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 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 in Isthmia. 49km, 30 miles

Day 2: Nafplio

Today’s cycling takes you to three remarkable ancient sites: Corinth, Nemea and Mycenae. The ruins seen today in Corinth date from the Roman era where St. Paul preached. You will look forward to stopping at Nemea as it is one of the four cities in the ancient world that held athletic games (also Olympia, Isthmia and Delphi). The highlight is Mycenae, a World Heritage Site, home of King Agamemnon who launched the Trojan War. End the day at Nafplio, the prettiest city in the Peloponnese. 82.70 km, 51 miles

Day 3: Nafplio

Today’s highlight is cycling to the 3rd century BC Epidavros Theatre, a World Heritage Site with impeccable acoustics. Stand on the last tier to hear a whisper from the stage. Back in Nafplio don’t fail to climb the 999 steps to the Palamidi, the formidable 17th century Venetian fortress. 58.50 km, 36.30 miles

Day 4: Vytina

Today is all about climbing. The first mountain is “bald,” no trees, which permits a panoramic view of a series of distant mountains reminiscent of sea waves. After lunch in Tripoli, you climb into the heart of Arcadia where the landscape is more verdant and the villages so charming. Vytina is a vibrant little town known for its fine local cheese and honey. 93 km, 57.70 miles

Day 5: Olympia

The exciting feature of today’s ride is a long descent hugging the Lousios Gorge. From a high of 4356 feet, 1328 meters in Vytina you descend to Olympia at 125 feet 38 meters. The ride ends cycling past the Ancient Olympia stadium, the ruins lying within a discus throw of your bike route. Tour the grounds and its stellar museum. 52.80 km, 32.80 miles

Day 6: Lampeia

If you didn’t have time to tour Ancient Olympia yesterday you can do so this morning because Lampei is less than a four hour ride. Lampeia is a true mountain village with no bank, no post office, no pharmacy, but it does have a guesthouse and the residents hang out at several cafes and the Balcony taverna. No tourists! 42.25 km, 26 miles Add 8 km, 5 miles for a side detour to the marvelous Foloi Oak Forest.

Day 7: Kalavrita

You’re in the middle of the Peloponnese, up in the mountains, but riding a ridge so it is basically flat almost the entire ride, except for the last ten miles when you face a steep ascent for about ten miles. Before tackling that climb, best to stop at the natural phenomena known as Cave of the Lakes, a series of underwater lakes inside a cave. 74.50 km, 46 miles

Day 8: Departure to central Athens or Athens Airport

The longest cycling day is the last day of the tour, from Kalavrita to Loutraki. But don’t fret, it is mostly downhill and all flat hugging the Corinth Gulf sea coast biking eastward towards Athens. End the ride at the glorious Loutraki Bay with its expansive beach and seaside fish tavernas. From here we pick you up and transfer you to central Athens. 112.50 km, 70 miles

Day 8 Logistics    We meet you in Loutraki for a transfer back to central Athens as part of your tour price. Alternatively, for an extra 80 euros, we can meet you in Xylokastro which shaves some mileage off your ride so you bike only 72.50, 45 miles If you have an early morning flight the next day, for an extra 80 euros, we can transfer you from Loutraki to Athens Airport to overnight either at the Holiday Inn (20 minutes shuttle to airport) or the Sofitel (walk across the street to terminals).

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.

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

1-2 riders
2380 euros per person
3-4 riders
2160 euros per person
Single Supplement
650 euros

See daily exchange rates

TOUR INCLUSIONS

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.  See Accommodations tab to request more info about tour’s accommodations

7 Luggage Transfers:  Piraeus to Corinth > Corinth to Nafplio > Nafplio to Vytina > Vytina to Olympia > Olympia to Lampeia > Lampeia to Kalavrita > Kalavrita to Athens

Day 8 transfer:  from Loutraki beach to your central Athens hotel, with bikes and luggage

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.  Buffet dinner on Day 1 at Corinth Hotel

Map of the region

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

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

TOUR EXCLUSIONS

  • International airfare to/from Greece
  • Transfers to/from airport before and after the tour – see Extras tab
  • All meals except breakfast and buffet dinner on Day 1
  • Private licensed guides at archaeology sites – see Extras tab
  • Additional GPS device, 50 euros per device
  • Travel insurance – see Extras tab

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 tour6

Electric Bike

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

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 of residence, 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.

Athens Hotel

  • 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.

Optional Transfer on Day 8:

  • Private transfer from Xylokastro to central Athens.  80 euros per group
  • Private transfer form Xylokastro to Athens Airport   160 euros per group
  • Private transfer from Loutraki to Athens Airport.   80 euros per group

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
  • Ancient Olympia:  2 hours, 160 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.

Accommodations

An indicative hotel for the Peloponnese self-guided tour is in Vytina, the Art Mainalon Hotel with beautiful art on the walls, restaurant-bar and swimming pool.

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

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.

Peloponnese Photo Gallery

  • Monastery
  • Cyclist
  • Monastery
  • Cyclist

Pre & Post Tour Add-Ons

Tour Highlights

Cycle directly to Ancient Olympia and run the length of the stadium

Ascend up to the traditional villages in the Arcadia Mountains

Visit the underground Cave of the Lakes near Kalavrita

Indulge in the famous Nemean wine while in Nafplio

Stand in the last tier at Epidavros Theatre and hear whispers from the stage

Arcadian Bells

Other Self-Guided Tours

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