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Laconia to South Peloponnese 8-day Self-guided Cycling Tour Level 2
Explore the beautiful South-East part of Peloponnese, Laconia, with a bike trip that combines the golden Greek beaches, with the Greek history and culture. Beginning from the famous military city-state of ancient world, Sparta, you will head south and pass by Elafonisos, with one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean Sea, you will end up to the unique Castle-town of Monemvassia. Suitable for anyone with an intermediate level of fitness, the tour is easy enough with mostly flat roads and everyday distances no more than 50Km. Idyllic landscapes, turquoise water, endless beaches and history will keep you company in every step of this exciting ride.
Please book your bikes when you book the tour: [email protected]
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Arrival in Sparta
Arrival in Athens National Airport and transfer upon request to Sparta, the capital of Laconia. It is well known as the kingdom of King Leonidas whose statue stands imposing in front of the stadium of the town, and for the 300 brave Spartans who fought against the numerous Persian armies in Thermopylae back in 480 BC. Sparta is built on foot of mount Taygetos in an altitude of 216 meters next to Evrotas River and a valley full of orange, olive, lemon and other trees extends around the city. You will have the chance to walk around and explore the night life of the city. You can visit the ancient Greek theatre of the Spartans, which has a capacity of 16.000 spectators and the temple of the Chalkoikos Athena together with the other ancient Greek and Byzantine remains in the Acropolis of the city. For the lovers of gastronomy and food and also of the tradition and culture, the olive oil museum is another interesting choice! There you can see exhibits that narrate the evolution and development of the production of olive oil and olive harvest, two products that are so connected to Greek culture. In case you arrive late in Sparta and you will not have time to visit any of the above, you can do it probably in the next morning before your departure. Overnight Sparta.
Sparta – Myestras– Gytheio 67Km | +830m -1026m
In the morning, we will deliver to you the bikes with your equipment at the hotel. Making sure that everything is ready and you are comfortable with your bike, you will leave the capital of Laconia and head to the great Byzantine city of Mystras, the “Wonder of Morea” as it is said. Mystras which is the second Castle town of Laconia after Monemvassia that stands in a beautiful total green landscape on the top of a 260m hill overlooking Sparta just 6km northwest. The settlement was formed during the times of crusaders’ invasion to the Byzantine land of Peloponnese and just the year 1962 it came under the Byzantine control. Breathtaking medieval ruins, Byzantine churches, partially preserved mosaics, monasteries and palaces while wandering through the narrow streets will surely impress you. Bear in mind that if you wish to explore completely this corner of magnificent Laconia you will need 2 to 3 hours.
You continue cycling southern among orangeries and olive groves before you arrive to Gythio, a small seaside fish town with a picturesque port full of traditional fish taverns. The inhabitants who are in majority fishermen provide on daily basis these taverns with fresh fish so you can taste it straight from the sea, by the dock. North of the town, on the foot of the cliff, the ancient theatre stands where cultural events take place while south in Kranai island you can face the endless deep blue sea from the marble octagon lighthouse built in 1872. According to Homer and Pausanias, Paris and Helen spent the night in Kranai Island before their journey to Troy. Small fishing boats and threestorey neo-classic buildings dominate the place giving a multicultural and Aegean glamour to it. Overnight at Gythio.
Beach tour– Gythio 39.1 km | +590m -590m
This day is dedicated to the marvellous beaches that surround Gythio. You roll southerly to Mavrovouni, Vathi, Kamares and Skoutari beach and do not hesitate to dive in the crystal water of the Laconian Bay or just sunbathe on virgin pebbly beaches. Just pick the beach that you like the most and make a stop! Alternatively, if you prefer not to cycle a lot, you can spend the whole day on the beautiful beach of Mavrovouni where you can find taverns, beach bars, water sports etc. and relax by the sea. Overnight at Gytheio.
Gytheio - Elia 38.4km | +287m
Today you leave Gythio and cycle by the sea while heading east to Elia, passing by traditional settlements such as Asteri and wandering through the fertile Laconian land which is filled with orangeries and olive groves. Elia is a small fish village known for the deep blue coasts, the incomparable natural beauty and the unique sunset for the romantic at heart. At the small picturesque port you can see scattered fish boats and the local fishermen returning from a fishing day. A visit to the Byzantine tower located on top of the cliff is suggested as the view from up there is ecstatic! Overnight in Elia.
Elia - Neapoli
After a good breakfast you step on your bike and keep cycle on the south to Neapoli. On your way along the country road, you roll through villages and diverse crops experiencing a unique tour. For those who are more fit, alternatively they can choose to ride along an almost undiscovered part of a unique coastal beauty for 10 km! It is a demanding route with an average difficulty but you will be fully satisfied by the result as you will roll right by the amazing deep blue of Laconian Bay feeling the smooth touch of Greek sun on your face. Neapoli or Vatica is the extreme of continental Europe. It is a town with great nautical tradition and an island aura as white traditional buildings dominate the place. Its long tree-lined strip of land at the seafront is full of taverns, cafes and bars where you can stop and take a break after the long biking. Apart from that, Neapoli is the base for sightseeing in the vicinity. Maybe one of the most impressive monuments is the Petrified Forest of Agia Marina, approximately 15 km east of Neapoli, between Agios Nikolaos and Cape Malea. Right by the sea you can explore literally a forest of palm trees turned to stone due to a rather rare natural process and numerous fossilized seashells. If you would like to visit it you could either ride to there or go by taxi. Overnight in Neapoli..
Neapoli - Elafonisis Isl. – Neapoli 57.3km | +304 m -304 m
Today you will bike up to the small port of Pounta from where you take the ferry and after a few minutes you arrive in Elafonisos, a small island of 19sqm and total perimeter 31km with few inhabitants situated just opposite Neapoli. A top destination in Peloponnese, a real gem of South Greece, with the most beautiful sandy beach (Simos Beach) in the Mediterranean Sea as many people believe! On arriving at the port of Elafonisos, the first thing you see is the picturesque church of Saint Spyridon and you can smell the freshly made traditional food in the taverns nearby where you can always find fresh sea food thanks to local fish boats. You can cycle through the island, swim, or relax on the lace sandy beach. It is a real heaven on Earth! Opposite Elafonisos on the bottom of the sea, the ancient submerged settlement of Pavlopetri, the oldest sunken city of the world, lays.The most courageous people dive to see the ruins of the proto-Hellenic civilization discovered in 1968. Return back and overnight Neapoli.
Neapoli – Momenvassia 27.3km | +427m -392m
You will take the new coastal road from Neapoli to Monemvassia which is a wonderful route through dense vegetation and amazing view along your way before you reach the highlight of this trip, the Castle-town of Monemvassia.
Optionally, if you are fit and confident enough you could try riding your bike to reach to the top of Kryovrisi, at an altitude of 600m., although this might be demanding for most. From Kryovrisi, you start a wonderful downhill route through beautiful vegetation and breathtaking view along your way before you reach the unique Castle-town of Monemvassia. It is time to explore the final touch on the portrait of Laconia, the cross-road of civilizations through centuries, as Byzantines, Franks, Venetians and Ottomans have left marks of their domination on the rock. Even though cars and bikes are not allowed inside the castle-town, a tour on foot is absolutely necessary. Once you enter the castle through the unique entrance, you will be impressed by the walls, the old mansions, the narrow cobblestone alleys, the churches, old short arches and marble imperial thrones. An image of the setting sun while almost kissing the endless blue sea will ideally close your day. Overnight at Monemvassia.
After a good breakfast, you will take you luggage, and get ready for the transfer back to the airport. If you wish, you can add some more activities in this trip, like a guided tour to the Acropolis of Athens or just stay a couple of days in Athens. In addition, you can check the rest of our programs and combine another one if you are interested such as our Archaeology Tour of Greece or spend some days relaxing at a sea-side destination.
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