Fly to Athens; transfer to hotel. After meeting with our leader, there is time to walk around the Plaka, arguably the most picturesque part of Athens.
In the morning, we explore some of the main sights in Athens by bike. Our route around the city takes us at a relaxed pace to some of the must-see sites: the Temple of Olympian Zeus & Hadrian's Arch, the Roman Forum & Tower of the Winds, the Ancient Agora, Kerameikos, the Ancient Theatre of Dionysus and towering Acropolis. Athens is built on the slopes of a number of hills and valleys, and although the distances are not huge on this tour there are a number of ups and downs before our final descent to Piraeus harbour through a busy road. Here we catch the ferry across the Argosaronic Gulf (approximately 2h15min) to Poros Island.
In Poros, we cycle around town and ascend to the temple of Poseidon, from where we enjoy amazing views of the island. We then head down to one of the many beautiful bays where we can enjoy a refreshing swim.
Cycling distances: 18kms around Athens, 20 to 30kms in Poros. Climb: +515m
In the morning we take a boat to the Peloponnese mainland and, after cycling through olive groves and quiet hamlets, we start our ascent along one of the most dramatic coastlines in Greece, boasting breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. The views are just reward for the number of short steep ascents along the way, which eventually lead to a 5km long descent to the ancient town of Epidaurus. Palia Epidaurus (or 'Old Epidaurus'), to give it its full name, is built around a natural harbour and is our base for the night.
Cycling distance: 40kms. Climb: +825m
After a short uphill ride of approx. 10km, there is an optional visit to the ancient site of Epidaurus. If you don't want to visit the site, you can relax at the hotel before riding to join the group as they finish their visit. From Epidaurus we head inland and ride along quiet, undulating mountain roads and descend to the seaside town of Tolo. Epidaurus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for its amphitheatre that was built in honour of Asklepius, the God of Medicine and son of Apollo and Coronis. The huge theatre, renowned for its size, symmetry and acoustics held up to 15,000 spectators in its peak. Cycling distance: 49kms. Climb: +962m (including the optional ride to Epidaurus)
Leaving Tolo, we make our way to Nafplio, one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in Greece and capital of Modern Greece in the early 1800s. Situated on the hillsides at the northern end of the Argolic Gulf, the town contains numerous neoclassical buildings as well as the Palamidi Castle. Riding to the heart of the Peloponnese, we leave the coast behind and make our way to the world famous site of Mycenae. The imposing Lion Gate, dating back to 1350-1200 BC awaits us on our arrival. Outside the walls we can see many of the wonders Mycenae is known for: the vault-shaped tombs of Lions, Aegisthus and Clytemnestra, and the Treasury of Atreus. An optional visit of the site is highly recommended (2km ascent from our hotel). Cycling distance: 42kms. Climb: +525m
A challenging start to today's ride see us climb to the village of Nemea. The town is nowadays famous for its exceptional wine and we get the opportunity to visit one of the wineries, see the process and perhaps taste (a little!) before we continue on quiet country roads to Corinth and then on to Loutraki, where we spend the night. For those who wish to do some extra riding, it is possible to cycle to the Acrocorinth site for an optional visit. This route however is very steep in places and will add an extra 20kms to the days ride. Cycling distance: 62kms (82kms including optional ride to Acrocorinth site). Climb: +729
In the morning there is a 45kms optional ride to Lake Vouliagmeni. It is a fabulous route, but challenging due to a long steep climb as well as time contraints for the ride back to Corinth, so this is probably one only for stronger cyclists. After some time to swim in the lake, you cycle back to Loutraki. From here the whole group will do a short 10kms ride back to Corinth from where we catch the suburban railway back to Athens. Back in Athens we enjoy a free evening to sample some more delicious Greek food and maybe have a last walk in the city centre. Cycling distance: 10kms (or 55kms and +656m climb if you choose to do the optional ride).
Transfer to Athens airport; fly to London.