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The Best of Greece

Saturday, May 14, 2022 | Jan Van der Jagt / Markus Hellrigl | Europe

Arrival day in ATHENS

First "meet and greet"
Jan and Markus are passing on a full load of information

Everybody arrived a day earlier, but the first gathering took place today. Ingrid and Dietmar from Germany, Matej and Tatjana from Slovenia and our guests from overseas Al, Jerom, Tom , Terry and April were carefully listening to the explanations of Jan and Markus not to miss an important information. We are all looking forward to a great trip - kalo taxidi - as the greek say! 

First riding day from ATHENS to ARACHOVA

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And there they go! From Athens unto the mountains of Greece
Great lunch in Agia Ana
The Church of Osios Luca
Sun is out!

After leaving Athens in trizzling rain we were cruising through the hills of the backcountry, had a coffee in a dreamy little village and continued along the coast before we headed for the mountain roads of the coastal range. After a delicious lunch in the tiny little town of Agia Ana we went to the monestario of Osios Luca to pray for sun - and we succeded! Dry roads and sunshine for the last stretch of our day!

2nd riding day from ARACHOVA to KALYVIA

The day started of with a sunny sky, visiting Delphi.
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And after that the riding fun really began. Very narrow and steep roads up into the mountains.
And a lot of sheep and goats.

3rd riding day from KALYVIA to METSOVO

The daily brieving, conducted by Markus. He still has it! On the beautiful drawing you can see the highlights of the day, one of them Meteora!
And look, Matej on his hands and knees preparing his map

Leaving the hotel this morning we hit pretty soon dense fog and some rain. It got better and after the stop at Pili Bridge we headed into the mountains and finally the sun came out. 

Heading for Meteora we were looking forward to see the dramatic landscape with its monestaries and historical background. But did you know, that parts of the James Bond Movie "For Your Eyes Only" were taken there too? We did see some of the "bad boys " ....

The Bridge of Pili - an amazing constraction standing there for 500 years already.
On top
Arrival at Meteora
Jan gets well deserved applaus!
Tatjana and Matej
Ingrid and Dietmar
Beautiful Meteora - no, not by night - just tab on it
It is dinner time, "small" portions of Greek cousin - and that were just the starters!

4th riding day: rest day in METSOVO

Relaxed riding on the rest day at the stone bridge of Goura
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And what about this bridge! +500 years old!
And of course Vikos gorge! The deepest gorge in the world, 1600 mtr!
And lake Pamvodita, 7 million years old, making it on of the oldest lakes in the world.

5th riding day: METSOVO to LEFKADA

Reader for take off!
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What a view! In a very remote region of Greece you hardly see any traffic and the scenery is breathtaking
And lunch in the cheapest restaurant, €7,- per person including drinks
The famous floating bridge of lefkada was open for ships passing so we had a chance to look at the guns of Asian Mara Castle
A wonderful of construction, the ferry as well

6th riding day: LEFKADA to VYTHINA

Its gonna be a long day! Heading South from Lefkada we follow the beautiful coastal road until we hit the  motorway to cover some distance. Arriving at the Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge, better known as the Rio - Antirio Bridge, that spans across the entrance of the Corinthian Gulf, we fight crosswind crossing it. With its length of almost 2.800 meters this masterpiece of engeneering is one of the world's longest cable span bridges.

Heading into the mountains of Peleponesos we stoped to visit the Church in the Tree, Agios Plataniotissa and the Memorial of Kalavrita before we enjoyed the twisty roads to our hotel in Vytina.

Leaving Lefkada
Heading South along a beautiful coastline
Aproaching and crossing Rio - Antirio - Bridge
....and heading for the perfect picture stop
A door in a tree? There is a church inside!
At the memorial in Kalavrita
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While we had fun on our motorcycles Jan got almost stucked in Greek traffic

7th day: Restday in VYTINA

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On this rest day we had a relaxed ride to Olympia, the birth place of the Olympic games. Almost 3000 years ago the greeks held games here that could be attended only by free, male greeks. They would exercise and compete on these grounds and conduct their activities naked.
The tempel of Zeus, son of Kronos
Ingrid and Dietmar at the entrance of the Olympic stadium
Al and Jerome in front of the tempel of Philippieon, father of Alexander the Great
Jerome at the start line in the Olympic stadium. He knows that it's about competing, not winning

8th riding day: VYTINA - AREOPOLI

Today we're having a beautiful ride ahead of us along Sparta to the south of the Peloponneses. Markus is cleaning the bikes; True Edelweiss service!
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Start in Vytina
A coffee stop in Sparta!
And after that we were treated with the langada pass with beautiful curvy, carved out roads
After Kalamata, famous for it's olives, we road along the ocean
For views like this you come to Greece

9th riding day: AREOPOLI - MONEMVASIA

Before we start to explore Mani we get some stories and facts told by our tour guide.
First stop at the caves of Pirgos Dirou.
Tatjana and Matej
Mystic Vathia
April and Terry
Best Greek food there is!
Dimitrios - sitting there since 1981!

10th riding day: restday in MONEMVASIA

It's a restday! Allready on the road for ten days we deserve a day to relax, but there are too many things to do. Check it out:

Relaxing at the pool....
...... riding on twisty roads ....
.... or checking out Monemvasia.

11th riding day: MONEMVASIA - NAFPLIO

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Good start into another good day!
Again a long ride ahead, along a beautiful coast line and into the Greek hillside.
Tucked into the mountain we visited Elona monastery. A more then 700 year old place were until this day still monks are living.
The bells of the Chapel can only be rung by the monks, unfortunately...
Picnic in the mountains! Markus found another great spot in an amazing scenery.
Along the scenic coastal road
And there is the blue sea again! With the whole group and big smiles!
The "Ouzo - group" celebrates a good riding day. A lot of fun like every day!

12th riding day: NAFPLIO - ATHENS

This beautiful sunny day starts of with a final daily brieving.
At the theater in Epidaurus
Matej and Tatjana at the Canal of Corinth
Perfect picture for a good bye to Greece heading towards Athens.

Dear "Ouzo - Group",

Thank you all for being such a great group, for a lot of fun and for your friendship. Special thanks to the three ladies for taking great pictures while riding and sharing them with everybody. We both hope to see you soon again, 

Markus and Jan

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Johannes Geiger
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 00:03

Looks like a perfect tour with well trained TG‘s Or Markus? Would like to join in!

PS.: Don‘t forget to buy „some“ olive oil
Helmut Wonisch
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 21:13

Hello Markus and Jan and the wohle group.
I wish you all a perfekt ride.
See you in a few days for dinner and storys.
Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 22:22

Hey Jan and Markus,
I wish you a wonderful time in Greece. And Markus a very warm welcome back to tourguide life
Markus Hellrigl
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 06:39

Thank you Angela, I'm happy to be back - it still feels great to be on the road with a whole punch of riders from all over the world!
Greece as my "first" tour is just perfect !


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