Cycling in Greece Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Greece
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
MWH
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

When it comes to history, archeology and mythology, the Peloponnese is arguably the most interesting part of Greece. Our week of cycling is a journey through fascinating classical history and a superb variety of landscapes, from the azure blue of the sea to the green olive trees and vineyards of the heart of Greece. Starting and finishing in the buzzing city of Athens, the ride offers plenty of opportunities to discover some of Greece’s treasures, such as Poros Island or the beautiful town of Nafplio. Each day gives us the chance to sample excellent local food in various restaurants and tavernas and immerse ourselves in the Greek culture and lifestyle.

At a Glance

  • 5 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • 95% tarmac, 5% dirt roads
  • Group normally 6 to 16 plus leader. Min age 16 years
  • 7 nights hotels
  • E-bikes available on request

Trip Highlights

  • Cycle along idyllic coastlines 
  • Visit historic sights of ancient Greece
  • Discover Athens and its archaeological treasures

Is This Trip for You?

This tour is classified Road: Activity level 3 (Moderate)

5 days cycling with an average distance of 47km (29 miles) per day. 

Partial vehicle support (limited seats).

There are no transfers to or from hotels on this trip, all the rides are designed to be door-to-door.

Road conditions are usually good, but in places the tarmac will be pot-holed and the conditions not quite as good. We aim to use quiet roads where possible, but sometimes we need to pass busy sections in order to reach the quiet roads on the other side. On Day 2 we will be cycling through Athens, where traffic can be intense but the leader will keep the group together and pre warn of any areas they know to be busy. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

Normally 4 to 16, plus leader and support driver

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Athens.

    Start Athens. After meeting with our leader, there is time to walk around Exarhia, the lively area of downtown Athens.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Explore Athens by bike; ferry to Poros Island; cycle to the beach for a swim.

    In the morning, we explore some of the main sights in Athens by bike and cycle down one of the major bike lanes of Athens, before our final descent to Piraeus harbour through a busy road.

    Here we catch the ferry across the Argosaronic Gulf to Poros Island (approximately 2.5hrs). 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.

    Please note that the ferry timetable is modified frequently at very short notice. On occasion, we may have to take an early ferry.

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 32 km / 20 miles
  • Day 3

    Boat to Galatas and scenic coastal ride to the ancient site of Epidaurus.

    In the morning, after a walking tour of the town of Poros, we take a boat to the Peloponnese mainland. 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. Our tour takes us through Ancient Trizina, the birthplace of Theseus, the mythical hero that slayed the Minotaur. Here we can have a short break and take in the magnificent scenery.

    The views throughout today's ride are fantastic and are our 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.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 42 km / 26 miles
  • Day 4

    Optional visit to the theatre of Epidaurus, cycle to Tolo.

    After a short uphill ride of approximately 10km, there is an optional visit to the ancient site of Epidaurus (this visit is optional, you can relax at the shaded gardens or cafeterias outside the site, while the group finishes their visit). Epidaurus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and 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. From Epidaurus we head inland and ride along quiet, undulating mountain roads and descend to the seaside town of Tolo. 



    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 50 km / 31 miles
  • Day 5

    After visiting Nafplio, today's ride takes us into the heart of the Peloponnese to Mycenae.

    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 1800's. 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.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 47 km / 29 miles
  • Day 6

    Explore Nemea, famous for its wine; visit a vineyard; continue to Loutraki.

    A challenging start to today's ride sees us climb on a road through vineyards to the Ancient Nemea; here we visit the archaeological site and ancient stadium before a long descent to Namea. The town is nowadays famous for its exceptional wine and we get the opportunity to visit one of the wineries, see the process and taste (a little!) before we continue on quiet country roads to Corinth and then on to Loutraki, where we spend the night.


    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 63 km / 39 miles
  • Day 7

    Bus to Athens; guided tour of the Acropolis.

    From Loutraki, we take the bus to Athens city and a metro to Plaka, the picturesque historic downtown. Here we enjoy a guided tour of Acropolis before a walking tour of the city centre. Our route around the city takes us at a relaxed pace to some of the must-see sites:
    Monastiraki square and the Ancient Library, the Roman Forum and Tower of the Winds, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch the Ancient Panathenaic Stadium, the Greek Parliament and the National Gardens, and the monumental 19th century buildings of the oldest Greek University.
    Free evening to sample some more delicious Greek food.

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Athens.

    After breakfast the trip ends in Athens.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels & Pensions

You will spend 7 nights in 2 and 3 star hotels and pensions, often located near interesting sights or by the Aegean. All rooms have en suite facilities.

Several of the hotels are a short walk from the beach, there are several opportunities to finish the day with a swim in the sea. One hotel has a pool. 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £290.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts included.

Breakfasts are generally buffet style Greek breakfast with bread/toast, butter, jam, fresh juice, milk, local yoghurt, honey and coffee or tea. We have not included any evening meals in the price of the trip to allow you more freedom over where and what you eat. There are some fantastic restaurants along the route and your guide will be able to recommend his favourite places based on your personal tastes and budget. Greek food has strong influences from Italy and Turkey, expect lots of vegetables, olive oil, bread and meats like lamb, chicken and pork.

Transportation

Transfers to and from the airport will be by private vehicle (normally minibus). All the rides are designed to be door-to-door, however we take boats on certain days. On Day 2 we take a ferry to cross over to Poros Island. Please note that the ferry timetable is modified frequently at very short notice. On occasion we may have to take an early ferry in which case the visit of Athens will be done at the end of the trip (on the last day before the flight). On Day 7 we usually take a bus from Loutraki to Athens. Whilst cycling the vehicle will carry your baggage and be on hand with assistance or if you choose to 'sit out' a section of the ride (limited seats available).

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The Peloponnese is blessed with a pleasant Mediterranean climate. Clear blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures can be enjoyed for most of the year as the winters are quite short. During the summer (July and August) the temperatures can go up to around around 40c. May: pleasant daytime temperatures 17-28c night time 8-13c with a chance of some rain; spring flowers can be seen. June, September and October: daytime temperatures 20-32c, night time 14-19c; very dry, but a chance of showers in October.

Weather Charts

MWH

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed
until approximately two weeks before departure.

UK Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please visit www.exodus.co.uk/regionaldepartures for a useful overview of the options available, and contact our sales team for expert advice.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1½ hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Athens 

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Athens in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

 

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

In the unlikely event of any of your luggage being misplaced or damaged, a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) must be filed with the appropriate airline if you subsequently wish to make a claim against the airline or on your travel insurance. This must be done at the airport where your baggage arrived, or should have arrived.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

 

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Location start:
Athens
Location end:
Athens

What to Take

Essential Equipment

We recommend packing the following items:

Normal daily clothes

Cycling helmet (compulsory on this tour)

Padded cycling shorts and gloves

Breathable top or cycling jersey

Sunglasses/eye protection

Stiff-soled shoes suitable for cycling

Waterproofs and long cycling trousers

For the earlier departures you may need some warmer layers

Sun cream

Water bottle

 

Optional Equipment

Swimwear

Equipment Hire

Local Bike Details: IDEAL Crossmo trekking bikes.

Discount for bringing your own bike: £90.

A quality local hire bike is now included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.

2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.

3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment

4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may, of course, bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount off the price of the holiday, as specified above. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees. You will also be responsible for assembling and disassembling your bike as well as bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. Our cycling team only carry the relevant spares for the hire fleet. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

E-Bikes Available

Electric bikes offer all the thrills and healthy exercise of a regular bike, but with one crucial difference - power! A tiny electric motor (capped at 25mph) assists your pedalling, allowing you to make molehills out of mountains. Cycle further, see more, have more fun. They are just perfect if you want to try a trip with companions of differing fitness level - or a trip at a slightly harder grade - and want to know there’s a bit of motor power available if you need it.

Practical Information

Passport

Greece

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

UK passport holders do not need visas for this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassies.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

Greece's Timezone:
Europe/Athens EEST (GMT +03:00)

Electricity

Greece's Electricity:

230 Volts. Plug types C & F; establishments take European, two round pin, plugs.

Money

Greece's Currency

The national currency of Greece is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (September 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP, 0.8 to the USD, 0.7 to the CAD, 0.7 to the AUD and 0.6 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

Cash points are available in Athens and all major towns visited. Major credit cards are accepted in most places, however cash is usually easier for smaller purchases.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

For lunches, you should budget approx. €5‐10 according to whether we buy a picnic lunch or sit in a café. Approximately €20‐30 should be enough for an evening meal including drinks.

Optional Excursions (approximate costs, depending on group sizes)
Epidaurus Ancient site: entrance fee €12
Mycenae Ancient site: entrance fee €12

Tourist tax, €11 per room for the week to be paid locally (subject to change). 

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus, however most of our clients wish to give a tip to their guides and in appreciation of their help and friendliness. This, of course, is in no way compulsory and depends on the service received. If you feel you would like to leave a tip, as a guide we would suggest a total of approximately €30 per person in total on this itinerary to be broken down as follows:
€20 for the leader
€10 for the driver

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. Swimming results in more tourists deaths than any other activity. All customers should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim, and are requested to treat the sea with extreme caution if they choose to enter the water. Details on how to keep yourself safe while swimming are shown here.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.