Welcome to Hooked on Cycling and our self-guided cycling holidays exploring the east Peloponnese region of Greece. On this bike vacation not only will you come across some of Greece’s top archaeological sites but also have the chase to pedal the coastline. This provides a wonderful tour of contrasts, the coastal scenery of the Argolic Gulf and ancient history and culture. The famous historic sites you shall explore are the Epidaurus with the famous theatre, Mycenae that conquered during the Bronze Age, ancient Mantinea, ancient Tegea, Argos, ancient Lerna with the homonymous lake where Hercules killed the mythic beast, and the walls of ancient Tiryns.
You will head out by bike and pass by the small picturesque fish village of Paralio Astros where you end up to the dreamy seaside town of Nafplio where you shall do some loop rides.
Vytina (around 1 hour from Tripoli)
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Fly into Athens airport and either make your way by public transport to Vytina or book a private transfer. Vytina is a mountain village located at around 1000m. A short distance from Vytina is the village of Magouliana where one can find the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon. It is surrounded by the impressive fir forest of Mainalon, This forest creates a fresh climate which up until the 1940s was thought to have healing powers!
Today you leave the mountain village and cycle mostly downhill to Tripoli passing many wonderful traditional Greek villages. You shall be cycling part through the Mainalon forest where you shall smell the fresh fragrances. Soo you shall arrive at Tripoli. Tripoli is the capital of Arcadia in central Peloponnese, built at 650m in the plateau of Mantinea. It is a modern town that nowadays manages to maintain the pure Greek way of living away from mass tourism! It used to be the capital of Peloponnese during the Ottoman Empire due to its strategic geographical location in the centre of the peninsula with a significant role during the Greek Independence War (1821-1828). You will have the chance to walk around the centre of the town.
Today your cycle tour takes you around the plateau of Tripoli. Cycling through vineyards and apple trees until you discover the excavations of the ancient city of Mantinea, one of the most important ancient Greek cities regarding its size and conservation. You can walk around the preserved archaeological site and admire the sanctuaries in the centre of the city and the ancient Greek theatre which could hold up to 6.200 spectators. On the opposite side of the site, you shouldn’t miss a visit to the extravagant surreal church of Saint Fotini which combines several architectural elements (Classical, Byzantine, and Minoan)
Viniculture in Mantinea has a long history so if you are a wine lover do not forget to make a stop at two traditional local wineries and have some wine tasting if you wish. You may taste our local wines including one of the world’s finest wine selection: “Moshofilero” produced in the blessed land of Mantinea even from ancient times! The flat ride continues through small fruit crops, before your arrival at Kapsia settlement. There, a true underground marvel of nature is situated, the Kapsia cave which is registered among the ten most notable Caves of Greece.
Today you cycle away from Tripoli, and pretty soon you arrive through the meadows at Tegea settlement, another very important city-state of ancient Greece. What is unique here is the fact that you can see history in layers! The Byzantine church of Madonna Dormition built in the mid-10th century is constructed exactly over the ruins of the ancient theatre dated the Hellenistic era and using parts of it! You can also see the Agora and on the south the temple of Athena Alea, one of the most celebrated temples of the Classical period and the second largest ancient temple after the one of Zeus in ancient Olympia!
You continue the descent towards the sea cycling through Parnonas Mountain among olive groves, passing by picturesque small villages and visit olive oil factories if you wish. On your way, you will also meet the ancient city of Eva where lays the recently excavated ruins of Herodes Atticus mansion with dozens of sculptures and partially colourful mosaics to see.
Soon you arrive in Paralio Astros, a beautiful small fishing village. You can spend the rest of your day swimming or sunbathing on the sandy beach, wandering around the streets, visit the castle on the top of the hill or walk by the picturesque harbour.
Today get ready for an amazing coastal ride towards Nafplio. Fascinating images of the deep blue sea as you cycle along the Argolic Gulf coastline. Soon you reach Mili, a small seaside resort where you can relax enjoying a beverage or a meal facing the sparkling sea. In addition, you can visit the archaeological site of Ancient Lernea with exhibitions of prehistoric and Bronze Age. The lake of ancient Lernea where Hercules killed the mythical beast with the many heads, Lernea Hydra lies just in the entrance of Mili. The ride continues through the vast plains before you arrive in Argos, one of the oldest Greek cities and the hometown of Hercules. There, upon Larissa Mountain, the imposing fortress stands with the Cyclopean walls while at the foot of the mountain you can visit the ancient theatre of Argos, one of the biggest in Greece.
You continue for the last kilometres to Nafplio, the famous and incomparable seaside town where natural beauty, history and modern way of living are all combined harmonically; narrow old streets, the marbled main square, neoclassic buildings, modern cafes, the vivid nightlife and of course the dominating castle “Palamidi” and the Bourtzi fort in the sea! The beautiful promenade right along the characteristic harbour is full most of the day with small fishing boats and luxurious yachts.
Today, riding through the beautiful countryside you are going to explore the great city of the Bronze Age, Mycenae over 3500 years old! On your way, you can make a stop at the huge castle remains at Tiryns, which was considered to be one of the most important centres in the Eastern Mediterranean. Then you cycle through orange and lemon groves until you reach Mycenae, the kingdom of mythical King Agamemnon, which was for a long time the centre of Greek civilization. The Acropolis of Mycenae fortress with the old Cyclopean walls was built 3360 years ago in an altitude of 280m. The uphill part at the edge of the mountainside is quickly forgotten as you marvel at impressive excavations and important findings. The world-famous Lions Gate at the main entrance of the Acropolis which constitutes the first example of monumental sculpture in Europe and the shaft graves such as the well preserved vaulted Atreus Grave, Agamemnon’s father, are among the major cultural and historical attractions of Greece.
The last biking day of your journey begins with a transfer to Epidaurus, which counts to the historical highlights of every trip to Greece. You will quickly understand why. You will be impressed by the huge and well-preserved, over 2300 year ancient theatre, which could hold up to 14000 viewers in its time and in which nowadays during summertime hosts theatrical plays! Epidaurus is considered to be the birthplace of medicine as it was the most important healing centre of antiquity with a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, the god of healing. A visit to the archaeological site indicates the view that ancient Greeks had about medicine and healing which concentrates on the principal, “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. Watching theatre plays was an important part of that process.
You will also discover the remains of the ancient city with temples, porticoes, houses, shops, and spas. After having met Epidaurus you cycle mostly downhill through a mountainous landscape and through the vast pistachio growing region to the coast.
Depart after breakfast.
By plane to Athens airport and the by bus to Tripoli and onto Vytina – approx 3.5 hours or you can request a private transfer ( maximum 4 persons).
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
|Tour Code||Prices From (per person)||Book Now|
|GSeaarch (7 Nights)||from £790||Book Now|
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