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. In 2022 the Boston Globe published “The Peloponnese peninsula is Greece’s best-kept secret.”
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.
|Dates||choose your dates
|Duration||7 nights, 8 days standard tour — opt for more days or less days (minimum 6 days)
||yes, Athens – see Add-on tab
|Arrival transfer||see Extras tab
|Tour Start Point||Piraeus port
|Tour End Point||Loutraki or Xylokastro
| Minimum Age
|Total Mileage||578 km, 360 miles for standard 8 Day tour|
||1328 m, 4356 feet|
|Rating||Advanced – 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, 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 — arrive and Welcome drink
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
Aegina is only an hour by boat from Athens’ port, Piraeus, which makes it a quick, easy island to escape to for a day’s cycling excursion. Pistachios are Aegina’s primary product so you will ride by many pistachio orchards. Explore ancient Aphaia whose temple is one of the best preserved in Greece. At Paleochora you’ll get off the bikes to walk amidst an abandoned village whose hillside is sprinkled with Byzantine chapels. The cycling is moderate, the highest hill only 515 feet, 157 meters with 36 km, 22 miles of cycling. Lunch at a seaside taverna.
Day 4: Option #2 Athens Secret Walking 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 passionate gastronomic guide takes you to places you would never know as a foreigner. More than 20 tastings of food, coffee & wine, equivalent to brunch and a full lunch. 4 hours. Casual walking. Choice to start at 08:00, 09:00 or 10:00.
Day 5: depart
1420 euros per person for 4 persons based on double occupancy
1680 euros per person for 2 persons based on double occupancy
450 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,
Day 4, Option #1 Aegina island: full day excursion, road bike, biking guide, vehicle support, entry fees to Aphaia, seaside lunch
Day 4, Option #2 Athens Food Tour: 4 hour walking tour, over 20 tastings at 11 food spots
* Welcome drink
* Breakfasts are included at the Athens hotel.
* Three 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
||2380 euros per person
||2160 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. 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 70 euros a day. Electric bikes are available as an upgrade for 50 euros a day. 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.
Cue sheets turn by turn directions plus distance/elevation profiles
Bike Routes Options (1) RideWithGPS tour routes to upload to your iphone or Android with voice narration – bike mount available on request (2) GPX tracks to download to your device – bring your own bike mount (3) we provide you a Garmin Oregon 450 GPS device with programmed routes, no narration, plus bike mount.
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 24% VAT taxes
- 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
Carbon Road Bike
- Upgrade to a Specialized Tarmac Sport, carbon fiber frame and fork at a cost of 70 euros a day. See Our Bikes and Our Gear for more info
- Travel insurance is required to participate in a CycleGreece tour. For comparative rates see Insure My Trip. 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.
- 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 15 euros per person. Includes tasting of 3 reds, 3 whites. Rusk & cheese served.
Honey Tasting in Olympia
- A family run honey farm is the site where you learn about bees and the craft of honey making. You are treated to honey tasting with “diples” (a local treat) and have the opportunity to buy homemade honey related products, such as, a balm that is a mosquito repellent. The original owner’s granddaughter is the delightful, fascinating host. Cost is 15 euros per person.
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.
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 .
Peloponnese Photo Gallery
Pre & Post Tour Add-Ons
TOUR RATING SYSTEM
FAQ’s FOR SELF-GUIDED TOURS