GREECE CYCLING HOLIDAYS GUIDE
Greece has much to recommend it as a destination for cycling vacations. Beautiful weather, for one thing, especially in spring and autumn, when it’s dry and warm but not uncomfortably hot. Outside the main cities, there are great swathes of countryside so sparsely populated that you’re as likely to encounter a herd of goats as you are another person, but you’ll still find well maintained roads. Greece has one of the longest coastlines in the world, strung with countless beaches, coves and fishing villages ideal for rewarding your exertions with a cooling dip in the sea.
It may be hot, it may be hilly, but when you can picture a cool jug of retsina and a leap into the Mediterranean as your reward, it's a lot easier to keep pedalling on.
You can settle down for a picnic in the shade of a vineyard, an orchard or a patch of olive trees, and of course you’re never more than a short pedal from an interesting ruin. Then there’s that mouth-watering Mediterranean cuisine.
Find out more in our Greece cycling vacations guide.
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WHAT DO GREECE CYCLING HOLIDAYS ENTAIL?
Self guided cycling is a fantastic way to explore Greece at your own tempo, stopping off now and again to wander around the ruins of an ancient amphitheatre, or picnic on a secluded beach. A pre-programmed GPS unit directs you smoothly along established routes, and itineraries can be tailor made according to your own interests. Luggage transfers are provided for added convenience, and you’ll have vehicle support all the way for peace of mind. Another option is to join a small group tour on a structured itinerary, led by a local guide. There’s no need to get saddle sore either, as Greece cycling vacations can also be combined with hiking, or island hopping with private boat transfers for you and your trusty bike.
What can I expect?
On arrival you’ll be equipped with a high quality mountain or road bike, adjusted to your size. You’ll want to bring your own helmet, water bottle and gel seal, but everything else you’ll need is provided, including puncture repair kits and panniers. And whatever else happens, don’t forget your swimsuit!
Daily distances range from 40 to 65km every day, but routes can be extended if you want to spend longer in the saddle. Most small group itineraries will involve at least one stop every day at an archaeological site, where professional guides will be waiting. On self guided tours, suggestions are made but where you pull over is entirely up to you.
While you don’t need to be very experienced, a decent level of fitness is advisable, as Greece is mountainous and there are some strenuous hill climbs involved, especially in Athens. You’ll be riding on sealed roads for the most part, sometimes on new coastal paths, sometimes in dedicated cycle lanes. Outside of the cities, Greek roads are usually light in traffic except during peak season.
Most trips are point-to-point, so you’ll be staying somewhere different every night, and often the only time you’ll be in a car is during the airport transfers. Accommodation is normally in family-run guesthouses. These tend to be comfortable rather than luxurious, but well located and sure to put on a good spread at mealtimes.
BEST TIME TO GO CYCLING IN GREECE
Cycling in Greece in summer can be pretty exhausting, even with regular breaks in the shade or the surf. Spring and autumn are far more agreeable.
Tailor made trips can be arranged all year round, but not every month is suitable for exploring on two wheels. The best time for a Greece cycling vacation is either spring to early summer, before temperatures shoot up and the crowds arrive – or the autumn. Avoid Crete in Aug, to skip the crowds and the baking heat; other regions can still be pleasant. Festivals and public vacations take place all year-round, so there’s a good chance your trip will coincide with a religious celebration, and if you’re really lucky, a feast day.
Cycling in Greece, month by month
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