This tour will be accompanied by Chuck & Judy Nichols
Join Chuck and Judy Nichols on an exciting bike tour on the Peloponnese Peninsula of Greece. This scenic 8-day cycling adventure is filled with fun riding, gorgeous views, ancient ruins and fabulous food! The tour is fully supported with a local guide and van driver.
The Peloponnese is a region the Greeks call “the real Greece.” Here, you will find a relaxed local culture, small hill towns, charming seaside villages and a Mediterranean landscape filled with vineyards, olive orchards and archaeological sites. Traditional Greek food is plentiful with fresh seafood, Souvlaki served with tzatziki, moussaka and Greek yogurt served with local honey.
Greek culture, amazing archeology, great riding, comfortable accommodations and a chance to see the real Greece from the seat of a bicycle!
2017 Tour Price: €2,000 Euros/pp double occupancy
Single Supplement: €250 Euros
Hybrid bike Rental: €70 Euros
Road bike Rental: €100 Euros
E-bike Rental: €250 Euros
Helmet Rental: €20 Euros
International flights, beverages, tipping for local guides
This is a moderate tour with some hills. Daily distances will be between 35 – 60 km. We will have the support vehicle that will be available to give riders a lift.
This scenic 9-day bike tour will be filled with fun riding, gorgeous views, ancient ruins and fabulous food! The tour is fully supported with a local guide and van driver. Last year Chuck and Judy explored the Peloponnese and were amazed by what they found. Rather than the posh resorts everyone envisions, this region is what the Greeks call “the real Greece” with small hill towns and sea side villages, a relaxed local culture and quiet coastal and forest roads perfect for cycling. There were no steep coastal cliffs to climb; rather the landscape was a pleasant blend of mountain scenery, rolling hills and coast roads decorated with vineyards, olive orchards and archaeological sites. Traditional Greek food was plentiful with fresh sea food, skewers of grilled pork called Souvlakia which is served with Tzatziki, and Mousaka, made from layers of fried egg plant, potatoes and spicy minced meat. And to treat your taste buds, there is Greek yogurt, scrumptious local honey and feta cheese.
Greek culture, amazing archaeology, great riding, comfortable accommodations and a chance to see the real Greece from the seat of a bicycle; this will be a memorable NEW BIKE TOUR and one we hope to share with you this coming May!
While we strive to create the most accurate itinerary possible, the nature of international travel demands that participants remain flexible to any changes. We will do our best to substitute activities and services of equal quality for those listed.
Arrival in Athens, settle into the hotel, late afternoon group meeting followed by a welcome dinner. Let us know if you would like us to make additional hotel reservations in Athens. Our hotel is conveniently located to enjoy the sites in Athens.
We transfer from Athens to Vytina by van, do a bike fitting and enjoy our first ride near town. Vytina is one of the 44 traditional settlements of Arcadia in the heart of Peloponnese, and its architecture features the local black limestone. This village played a significant role during the Greek war for independence against the Ottomans. Hotel in Vytina.
This route passes through the forest on the western side of Maenalon Mountain as we head south to Tripoli. According to mythology, Maenalon Mountain is the home of the god Pan, a half goat and half man figure who was worshiped in ancient times. Along the way, we will pass through the beautiful villages of Alonistena, Piana and Davia where there is a chance to stop in one of the traditional taverns to enjoy the locally produced meat, cheese and wine. Our destination is Tripoli, the capital of Arcadia in central Peloponnese. This modern town still manages to maintain the relaxed Greek way of living away from mass-tourism. Hotel in Tripoli for 2 nights.
(Ancient Mantinea-Wine Tasting-Kapsia Cave) Today we will be riding through vineyards and apple orchards en route to the ancient city of Mantinea, an archaeological site with an ancient Greek theater, which could hold up to 6,200 spectators. Nearby is the surreal church of Saint Fotini, which was built using an eclectic combination of Classical, Byzantine and Minoan architectural styles. Mantinea has a long history of wine making and here we can taste Moshofilero, an intensely aromatic white wine. Next, we ride to Kapsia to visit an amazing cave with multi-colored stalactites and stalagmites before returning to our hotel in Tripoli.
We depart from Tripoli and pass through Tegea, a small village with a 10th century Byzantine church and an ancient ruin from the Hellenistic era. Continuing on our descent to the sea, we pass through the Parnonas Mountains in a river gorge dotted with olive orchards and charming small villages. Our destination is Paralio Astros, a small fishing village with a picturesque harbor, hilltop castle and taverns where you can always find fresh fish and other homemade local specialties. Hotel in Paralio Astros
This amazing coastal ride follows the Argolic Gulf to Mili, a small seaside resort town where you will find the archaeological site of the ancient Lerna ruins dating back to the Bronze Age. This is also the location of the ancient lake of Lerna where Hercules killed Lernea Hydra, the mythical beast with many heads. The ride turns inland and continues through fruit orchards before we arrive in Argos, the hometown of Hercules. There, up on Larissa Mountain, stands an imposing fortress with Cyclopean walls. At the foot of the mountain, you can visit the ancient theater of Argos, one of the biggest in Greece. We finish the day in Nafplio where we will spend three nights. Nafplio is a beautiful seaside town with narrow old streets, a marbled main square, neo-classic buildings, sidewalk cafes and the Palamidi, an immense fortress that overlooks the town. Hotel in Nafplio.
Our ride heads northward to Tiryns where we will see the remains of a huge castle. From there we cycle through orange and lemon groves to the ruins of the Bronze Age citadel of Mycenae. Long ago, Mycenae was one of the major centers of Greek civilization. The Acropolis of Mycenae is built from Cyclopean-size stones, and the world renown Lion’s Gate is a massive structure along with other impressive excavations. We return to Nafplio for the night
The last day of biking begins with a transfer to the ruins of Epidaurus, a true historical gem! In addition to its impressive and wonderfully restored amphitheater, said to hold 14,000, Epidaurus is thought to be the birthplace of medicine. This was one of the most important healing centers of antiquity, and it has a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, the god of healing. After leaving Epidaurus, the route is mostly downhill through a mountainous landscape that passes through a pistachio growing region. We finally reach the coast and make our way back to our hotel in Nafplion for our last dinner together.
After breakfast, we will transfer you back to Athens. Please let us know if you would like our help arranging hotels and tours in Athens or reservations at any of the wonderful seaside destinations located throughout Greece.
You can expect a spirited mix of singles and couples in their 20′s to 80′s from all corners of the US and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. Most folks are recreational riders and all seem to share the common bond of an active lifestyle, an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for fun. We will gladly supply references and the make-up of any trip that you are interested in joining.
Yes! You bring the people and we will take care of all the details! This tour can be chartered as either a Guided Tour or Self Guided Tour. Call us for details and availability, 800-648-8488.
This is a moderate tour with some hills. Daily distances will be between 20 – 35 miles. We will have the support vehicle that will be available to give riders a lift.
THIS TOUR BEGINS IN AND ENDS IN ATHENS, GREECE. Let us know if you need assistance with extra hotel reservations in Athens or any of the seaside locations.
All of the accommodations will be in 3 star hotels with private bathrooms. All breakfasts and dinners are included. We will have a nice variety of fresh seafood, meats, fruits and vegetables with enough variety to please everyone. Special dietary restrictions can usually be accommodated with advanced notice.
Weather can be changeable, so be prepared for riding in both sun and showers. Daytime temperatures are 70º to 85º F. and nights are 60º to 70º F. There is always the chance of rain, so to ensure your personal comfort please make sure you have a good quality rain jacket with a hood and rain pants, too. For the sunny days, we recommend using SPF 30 sunscreen and lip screen. If you are really sun sensitive, we suggest sun-blocking clothing.
We have hybrid, road and electric bikes for rent. If you ride clipless pedals, bring your own. If you want toe clips and straps, please bring your own pedals with the toe clips and straps. If you have a comfortable bike seat, we encourage you to bring your own. The bike seats on the hybrid bikes are quite wide and might not be comfortable for everyone.
Whether you shoot a digital or film camera, bring more media storage cards or film than you think you need! A portable hard drive may be the answer for digital storage. Other useful items are plenty of extra batteries, lens cleaner, lens tissue, lens brush, a mini tabletop tripod and a clean toothbrush to remove grit from your camera.
Equipment used for screening checked and carry-on baggage WILL DAMAGE UNDEVELOPED FILM. Make sure to REMOVE IT AND HAVE IT HAND INSPECTED. To expedite the screening process, carry all film in clear canisters or take the film out of solid colored canisters and put it in a clear plastic ziploc bag. DIGITAL CAMERAS AND DIGITAL MEDIA ARE NOT AFFECTED. See the TSA website for complete details – http://www.tsa.gov
Local Currency: Euro
We suggest a tip of around 200 euros for our local staff.
US CASH: bring only NEW bills with NO tears. You can exchange money at the airport and in major towns. Most transactions in Greece are done on a strictly cash only basis using the Lek. ATM Availability: Most larger towns. Credit Card Acceptance: Credit cards are not widely accepted in Greece. Travelers’ Checks: Travelers’ Checks are not widely accepted in Greece.
You must have a current Passport that will not expire within 6 months of the completion of your trip. No Visas are required for US citizens.
We recommend making 2 photocopies of your passport’s photo page and any other valuable documents you might carry with you on the tour. Travel with one copy stored separately from your passport. Leave the other copy at home with a relative or friend (ideally the same person you gave as your emergency contact). In the event that any of your documents are lost or stolen, this will greatly assist the process of replacement.
For all travelers, we suggest keeping your tetanus immunization up to date (every 10 years), and we suggest a Hepatitis A immunization, too. You can check your state health department, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the online traveler’s data base http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/ for the most current information.
You will receive a Pre-trip Letter listing all of the hotels and telephone numbers where you will be staying. Leave a copy of this phone list with your emergency contact person. If you bring your cell phone, it must be tri-band with international service. Be sure to activate the international service at least 1 week prior to your trip & check its operation. When you arrive in Europe, you can purchase an international calling card which is quite economical for making calls oversees.
Let us know if you would like us to make additional hotel reservations for you in Athens at the beginning or end of the tour. We can also assist with seaside hotels on the islands.
Nichols Expeditions is not responsible for any costs you may incur due to delays with transportation (airline or other), weather, road conditions, government intervention, sickness or other contingencies we are unable to control. For international flights, arrive at least 2-3 hours prior to departure (check with your air carrier for their requirements) and allow ample time between connecting flights. If you miss your flight and you need a special shuttle to meet up with the group, you will be responsible for the cost.
To protect yourself against life’s uncertainties, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy!
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic and known since ancient times as Hellas, is a country located in southeastern Europe. According to the 2011 census, Greece's population is around 10.8 million. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki, which is commonly referred to as the co-capital. ~ Wikipedia