Are you looking for a weekend break away to destress and explore fascinating traditional villages on a mountain bike? Greece’s best kept secret is Peloponnese and the mountain Helmos. There you will find Kalavryta, a traditional picturesque village. Over the weekend you will have the chance to explore this island, Athens, and many hidden trails.
Known as one of the most intriguing destinations in Greece, resting on the slopes of Mt. Helmos in an area of exquisite natural beauty, Kalavryta is home to a selection of scenic mountain biking trails and asphalt back-roads. White during winter, multicoloured during the rest of the year, Kalavryta is the ideal destination for an authentic mountain biking adventure.
With this weekend mountain biking break away, you will pass the first night in Athens to enjoy the great cuisine. On the second day you will leave early in the morning and arrive in Kalavryta. Get on the bike and explore the trails for 2 days! Accommodation included and lunches.
The scheduled mountain bike trips have guaranteed departures.
Departure dates :
Saturday: Total distance covered 25km, Elevation +100m -1000m. Terrain: forest dirt roads, single trail, asphalt back roads.
Sunday: Total distance covered 20km, Elevation +250 -250m Terrain: asphalt back roads.
Welcome to Athens! After your transfer to your hotel, take a leisurely stroll and explore the beating heart of the city. Explore the colourful network of streets in the town centre and in the island-like paths of Anafiotika neighbourhood in Acropolis, and end your day relishing an original Greek dinner at a scenic restaurant overlooking the beautifully-lit Parthenon.
Wake up early in the morning and hop on your private vehicle (van or mini bus), for a 2.30 hour scenic drive to Kalavryta-Peloponnese. Check in to a family run guesthouse, put on your biking clothing and let our driver take you to the first day’s ride starting point, at Mount Helmos at 1700m height.
Follow your expert biking guide in the magnificent fir forest and stop midway at a refuge for photos and refreshments. The first part of the expedition ends at a charming little village. Lunch will be served at a tiny tavern by a local lady.
Continue your ride through a single track trail which is later connected to asphalt back-roads which lead back to Kalavryta village. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and explore Kalavryta further at your own pace.
Today you will ride to Agia Lavra Monastery one of the most important monasteries in Greece. The monastery was built in 961 AD, at an altitude of 961 meters, and can be described as the symbolic birth-place of modern Greece.
It is famously linked with the Greek War of Independence, since it was rhere that the call for “Eleftheria I Thanatos” (freedom or death) was first heard on the 17th of March 1821, launching the revolution against the Ottoman Empire. That day, Bishop Paleon Patron Germanos performed a doxology and administered an oath to the Peloponnesian fighters. The revolutionary flag was supposedly raised by the Bishop under the plane tree just outside the gate of the monastery.
Later on, take a short ride to the hill opposite to the monastery, where lies a monument dedicated to the heroes of the Revolution of 1821. Continue your backroads ride descent to picturesque Skepasto village, where you will have a short break for Greek coffee or herbs tea, before jumping back on your bike for a short remaining ride to Kalavryta. Take a refreshing shower and go for lunch in a traditional tavern serving delicious local food.
Your transfer vehicle will take you back to Athens International airport
On Saturday morning just before you start your adventure you will have a technical and safety briefing by your tour leader. This includes setting up the bikes and discussing basic information such as:
• How to use breaks
• How to use and change gears
• How to ride in a group (The rhythm is always given by the leader)
• How to stay behind the rider in front of you
• What to do if you feel tired during the ride
• What to do if you feel knee or other pain
You must stay behind your biking tour leader at all times. Your leader knows when to accelerate and when to slow down, according to the slope and type of terrain of the route.
In case of heavy rain or snow or in general adverse weather conditions, it is in the biking guide’s judgement to cancel or postpone a biking expedition. In such rare case you will be given alternative options which may or may not include outdoor activities, such as hiking, a cog train day trip, a visit to the famous cave of the lakes etc.
Arrival in Athens
You will arrive in Athens on Friday according to your flight schedule. Your hotel is located at the Athenian historical center will be the ideal starting point for your city exploration. If you have arrived early on Friday morning, there is an optional 3 hour guided biking tour of Athens available (at an additional cost). Group meeting is at 7.00 pm at the lobby of your hotel where we will discuss the details of our weekend expedition.
The biking guides are professional MTB instructors, trail builders and course designers for the Greek National Cycling scene.
Breakfasts are taken in the lodgings and may include tea and coffee, orange juice, marmalade mage of local fruits, cereals, eggs, plus bread with jam, honey or cheese. Lunches are taken either during the biking expedition or in the end of it, in local tavernas, with a choice of homemade food with vegetarian and meat options.