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The Greece experience

Sunday, October 12, 2014 | Albert Knapp | Europe

Day 8 - Nafplio to Athens

It is our last riding day - there is a light presentiment of farewell in the air, and indeed we have to say Goodbye to two of our tourmembers: Santiago and Sabina, who are travelling home early.

Other than this, however, the day should give us one last time all the things that we experienced in the past week.

One last time we rode fascinating roads with even more fascinating views. One last time we smelled wild herbs as we made our way through the countryside. One last time we experienced the rich historical tradition, that makes this place unique. One last time we had lunch next to the sea and the sun shining upon our heads.

We headed up to the impressive Palamidi castle, allowing breathtaking  views on Nafplio and the ocean. From here we took nice little backcountry roads to the ancient theatre of Epidauros.

We ate deliciously in the harbour of Archea Epidauros, before finally going back to Athens.

No damages, no injuries, an amazing vacation and a lot of splendid riding-kilometres - goodbye Greece!

Day 7 - Monemvasia to Nafplio

Again the farewell from a hotel was not easy - Kinsterna is a special place.

However, we eventially made it on the road again and started another nice riding day - this one going north towards Nafplio. We first stopped at Gerakas Port to have a little picture stop. From there we hit beautiful backcountry roads through hills and mountains all the way to Plaka, where we had lunch at the beach.

In the afternoon we rode along the coastline, all the time enjoying curves and views, before arriving to Nafplio early enough to see the historical town.

Day 6 - Restday Monemvasia

Today the group split into several small sections. Martine and Tala went to hike, some stayed in the hotel to enjoy and relax, whereas 2 groups went out with their bikes.

Oliver guided Lemy, Santiago and Sabina to Elafonisos island. After a nice ride and a short ferry trip they enjoyed the cristal-clear waters of the Simos beach.

Meanwhile Yassir went out to ride with Albert - nice lean angles, burnt some rubber and fuel!

In the evening we all went to Monemvasia castle to visit and eat. The place was very charming and food was great.

the amazing Monemvasia

Day 5 - Kalamata to Monemvasia

It's Mani-Day, everybody's expectations were high, yet they should be satisfied today.

We started our riding day down the Mani-peninsula and hit nice coastal roads straight away. After our morning coffee-stop we had our first highlight of the day. Georgios, a local farmer boy, opened the door to Dekoulou-church for us. What we got to see, was amazing: a small church over and over covered inside with miniature frescoes of all kinds of motives.

From there it took us no more than 5 minutes to get to the lunch stop: Takis fish taverna in Limeni. We ordered our fresh fish, and whilst it was prepared, a few brave men and Sophie enjoyed a swimming in the magnificent ocean.

The afternoon ride took us all the way around the Mani, with superb views on Gerolimenas, Vathia, Porto Kagio and many other of the places.

After a last stop an Skoutari beach we made it to the magnificent Kinsterna hotel near Monemvasia.

Mister Davidson's bike, as always, had to be immaculate.

the entrance to Dekoulou church

local traffic

Matthew, the group's shuttle service driver

at Takis fish taverna in Limeni

the weather was just too hot for boots

heavy metal down south Mani

tower-house village Vathia

Coffee-stop at Skoutari-beach

Day 4 - Loutra Killinis to Kalamata

No one wanted to leave the beautiful hotel Mandola Rosa, but the journey had to go on. And the group should not be disappointed on this day.

We quickly made our way into the mountains and perfect weather allowed us once again to enjoy the splendid roads through valleys, across mountains and along picturesque mountain villages. We made it down into the Lousios-canyon, on extremely new tarmac, and continued our way walking - the destination was the amazingly situated monastery of Prodromou. Back on the road, we had only a few kilometres to go to lunch in Stemnitsa. The afternoon ride led us through forrests and very lonesome areas, all the time following excellent roads.

at the morning coffee-break in Lagkadia

Tarek - normally never hungry at all - ate some local sweets

the first view on the Prodromou-monastery

Whilst most of the group walked, Tarek, the reclining buddha, was merely inspiration to this world.

lunch in Stemnitsa

In the eternal battle of mankind against food, today mankind won.

One of the amazing roads, we did today.

yet anther one

Day 3 - Restday Olympia

Most of the group members decided to go to Olympia to see the archeological site. Thanks to the very profound explanations given to us by the local guide Niki, we learnt a lot about the place and the history of the ancient games.

In the afternoon, a part of the group proceeded to ride for two more hours through the foothills north of Olympia, before everybody enjoyed the beautiful sunset at the hotel.

After our visit to Olympia, Oliver borrowed Mohammed's bike, thanks, Mohammed!

Day 2 - Xylocastro to Loutra Killinis

Today we experienced a blend of all kinds of roads, from tiny and twisty to more open and fast, as well as outstanding views all day long. The ride along very small roads in the Aroania mountains kept us busy all morning. Lunch at Spittiko in Kalavrita was superb. In the afternoon riding was good again, the group was getting more tired though, so it was about time to reach the outstanding Hotel Mandola Rosa in Loutra Killinis.

the road up to mount Chelmos

Day 1 - Athens to Xylocastro

After making our way out of the giant city, we soon hit very nice roads and made our way past Fili, Vilia down to the Gulf of Corinth. The ride along the ocean was a nice start of the tour. We had lunch at beautiful Lake Vouliagmini, where Santiago enjoyed the sea, whereas Tarek would have liked to do so.

We continued to the Corinth canal and the group was still hungry for more riding in the afternoon. So we made a loop trough the wine region around Nemea, Psari and Kalliani, before heading down to Xylocastro, enjoying great roads and views all along the way.

Lemy at our first coffee-break

Tarek met locals very easily

our lunch-place at lake Vouliagmini

Corinth canal

Yassir in the wine-region around Nemea

Arrival day in Athens

On Friday, everybody made their way to Athens - and the joy of reunion turned the welcome dinner into a great experience. Lemy, the mentor and organizer of the group welcomed the two new members on this trip: Tala and Mohammed.

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