Welcome to Greece, the cradle of western culture! This year's Mystery Tour will be a discovery of this beautiful country. Where exactly are we going? Nobody knows except Rainer, our General Manager, so stay tuned and discover it with us day by day!
The first task today was be to get out of Athens, but fortunately our start hotel is located quite close to the highway, so that wasn't a big issue. Since around one third of the population of the whole country lives in the metropolitan area of Athens, once we got out of it the traffic magically disappeared and we could enjoy a wonderful ride along the northern shore of the gulf of Corinth. Beautiful mountains and great views of the blue sea, a tasty greek lunch and then we visited the Osios Loukas monastery, one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art, listed also on UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. But this wonderful place was not the biggest highlight of the day, because after that we also stopped in Delphi, the second most important archeilogical site in Greece (after the Acropolis of Athens, of course!). In ancient times Delphy was considered the centre of the world and a sacred place for the God Apollo, son of Zeus, a place that attracted ancient pilgrims as it attracts tourists today!
After a visit of the ruins of the ancient city, we quickly reached our final destination for today, the winter resort town of Arachova. A nice walk and dinner in town today!
After the cultural highlights of yesterday, today we went definitely off the "beaten track", countless curves and road conditions "not always" perfect took us from the slopes of Mount Parnassus to the beautiful lake Plastiria, passing of course throug a lot of picturesque towns with their little churces... and not forgetting to enjoy a tasty lunch!
One of Greece's most beautiful places was today's highlight, the famous Meteora monasteries, nested on top of giant rocks... what an incredible landscape! To reach there, there is a very comfortable highway, but of course we used the twisty mountain road, so we could also stop in Pyli and admire its 500 years old arched stone bridge on the river Portaikos, a perfect place for a picture and coffee break! After a tasty picnic lunch in Meteora, we finally headed to the winter resort town of Metsovo, where we are going to spend two nights. What are we going to do tomorrow? Stay tuned
What a great day! We left Metsovo in the morning with a temperature of 4 degrees and when we reached Lefkada it was summer again! Twisty tiny roads kept us busy all day long, leaving the mountain area and heading south we first had to climb one of the highest passes of the country (no cafe on its top!) and then slowly continue going downhill, through woods and almost isolated little towns, and we also visited an incredible little momastery, chieseled in the vertical rocks! Reaching the valley, we had lunch and finally headed to Lefkada, where we did a loop around the island before going to the hotel. Since its owner is a fan of Cuba, we enjoyed a cuban night with live music during dinner!
Quite a long ride today, from the island of Lefkada to the centre of the Peloponnese, so we had to use the highway for some kilometres. A very nice ride along the ionian coast in the morning, and then we crossed the gulf of Corinth on the very modern Rion-Antirion bridge. Once we reached the Peloponnese, twisty tiny roads (the support van driver had a hard time!) took us finally to Vytina, but before that we also visited a rare (or maybe unique?) church built in a tree and another spectacular monastery chiseled in the rocks!
Rest day? Well, not so much, it was a very full day! We rode from the heart of Peloponnese to its west coast, and the highligh todayt was the visit to the ruins of Olympia, a very important city in antiquity as well as the place where the ancient Olympic Games were held. We reached there in time for lunch and then visited the old city and the nearby archeological museum before riding back to Vytina. Do I need to mention that the all the roads today were very very twisty? Stay tuned, tomorrow we are heading to...
A great ride through the southernmost part of the Peloponnese, we rode from one peninsula to another through breathtaking sceneries! We are in one of the southernmost areas of continental Europe, more or less at the same latitude of Tunisia, so you can imagine the nice temperatures even in this season. After a visit at the caves of Diros, we reached the Valtaki beach (also called shipwreck beach) where we also had lunch and then continued to our final destination, where we are spending the following two nights. Stay connected!!!
Time to relax a little bit: a short ride on our motorcycles in the morning, lunch at the hotel and a drive (by taxi!) to the beautiful village of Momemvasia in the afternoon. Back in the hotel, again a wonderful dinner was awaiting us! Enjoy the many pictures for today!
Another long ride today, along the eastern coast of the Peloponnese but also through the mountains, to see the Elona monastery, another monastery incredibly nested through the rocks! A quite strong rain in the morning, until lunch time, but after that the weather got better and we could enjoy the many curves until we reached Nafplio. Tonight dinner in town!
The last day of our tour has arrived, time to ride back to Athens, but there are still a few more things to see and a few more curves to ride! Today's highlights were the ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, that could hold (and still holds) around fourteenthousand spectators, and the Canal of Corinth, that cuts the "narrow" piece of land (6 kilometres) where Peloponnese is attached to mainland Greece. After that, to reach Athens, we used the highway to avoid the traffic of Greece's biggest city. Time to return our bikes and get ready for our last dinner together. What a beautiful trip through Greece, this country really amazed us with its immense cultural heritage, its people, its untouched landscapes and also its delicious food! See you hopefully soon again, and let's keep fingers crossed that our Corona enemy will soon be defeated!