During September 2018, I took a bike touring route through central Greece. Over a month, I cycled this mountainous part of Greece visiting small villages dotted in between incredible natural wonders.
Cycling in Greece
Having lived in Greece for nearly four years, I've taken every chance I can to explore this country by bicycle. From cycling around the Peloponnese, to bike trips out of Athens I've visited many regions in Greece on two wheels.
One area which had been missing up until now, was what is termed as central Greece. This is the area that borders Albania and FYROM, and is mostly made up of the Greek regions of Epirus and Thessaly.
This three week bike tour aimed to put that matter right, and take me to places in Greece I had yet to visit.
Designing the bike tour in central Greece
As always, my bike tour in Greece was designed to combine several personal interests. This meant that I wanted to stop by archaeological sites, villages, and find out more about Epirus and Thessaly along the way.
In terms of restrictions, the only ones I had were the month in which I could complete this bike tour in Greece (September), and the fact that I had to work from the road as I cycled.
Bike Touring Route
I decided to use the Stanforth Skyelander for the bike tour, and so came up with a route that covered mostly sealed roads. The next question, was where I should start and finish the tour.
Although I toyed with the idea of taking a train from Athens to Kalambaka and beginning there, in the end I came up with a loop route which began and ended on my doorstep in Athens.
The first few days ride out of Athens, although not super-interesting, would act as a gentle warm-up as I was unable to get much pre-tour training in. The rest of the cycling route would be covering mainly new ground for me.
I used Google maps to plan the route on a day by day basis. If you check out the video list toward the end of this article, you'll see where I stopped each night.
Bike Touring Gear
For this bike tour in central Greece, I decided to take camping gear but no cooking gear. I also took a minimal bike tool kit, along with other items of gear I normally take when bike touring.
There's always a matter of hindsight after a bike tour of course. Always something of the ‘Did I really need to take that?'. This trip was no different, but on the whole, I think I made my selection pretty well. The wet weather gear certainly came in handy!
You can read about the bike touring kit I took with me here, and watch the video below.
Related: How to carry a laptop when bike touring
Due to the constraint of having to work as I cycled, I took accommodation in inexpensive hotel rooms for about 70% of the time and camped the remainder. In Greece, a basic hotel room averages around 30 euro a night. I had a little travel hack though to make this even cheaper.
Basically, if you look on Facebook and Twitter, you will find people sharing their ‘refer a friend' codes for Booking. I managed to get 30 Euros back as a rebate, and that's something you can do to!
I also wild camped a couple of times. Never tried it before? Read my guide to wild camping essentials.
And finally, on to my daily vlogs from the bike tour in Epirus and Thessaly!
As you may know, for the last few bike tours I have made, I have committed to making a vlog a day during the tour, which I host on YouTube. It's pretty time consuming to produce and get all these online, but I do it for two reasons.
The first, is to perhaps inspire people to take to bike touring in Greece. The second, is so that I can look back on them and relive the ride myself!
Each vlog combines not only video from the road along with commentary, but also thoughts about bike touring in general. Make yourself a nice cup of tea, and check them out. The list is below!
Bike Touring Vlogs
Here's the bike touring vlogs for cycling in central Greece listed one by one:
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 1- Athens to Thebes
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 2 – Thebes to Kamena Vourla
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 3 – Kamena Vourla to Loutra Ipatis
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 4 – Loutra Ipatis to Lake Plastira
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 5 – Lake Plastira to Meteora
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 6 – Mushroom Museum in Meteora
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 7 – Cycling in Meteora
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 8 – Meteora to Metsovo
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 9 – Cycling from Metsovo to Ioannina
- Cycling Greece Day 10 – Sightseeing in Ioannina
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 11 – Ioannina to Riza
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 12 – A day by the Greek coast!
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 13 – Riza to Amfilochia
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 14 – Amfilochia to Platanos (Wild Camp)
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 15 – Platanos Wild Camp to Limni Evinou
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 16 – River Evinou to Kato Chora
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 17 – Kato Chora to Delphi
- Delphi Greece – The Temple of Apollo at Delphi (Cycle Tour Day 18)
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 19 – Bike Touring Kit Review
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 20 – Delphi to Zemeno Arachovas
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 21 and 22 – Zemeno Arachovas to Thebes
- Cycle Touring Greece Day 23 and 24 – Cycling Thebes to Athens
Planning a bike tour in Greece?
I haven't cycled everywhere in Greece, but am more than happy to share what knowledge I have with anyone planning a bike tour in Greece. Just leave a comment at the bottom of this travel blog post, and I'll do my best to answer it as quickly as I can!
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2 thoughts on “Cycling in Central Greece – Bike Touring in Epirus and Thessaly”
Hi there – have you any recommendations for a 4 day route in Central Greece? I’m writing a travel piece for the Daily Mail but my schedule has failed to materialise and I need to sort something fast.
Nothing specific – I’d say try to get in touch with Trekking Hellas Karpenisi. Trekking Hellas are a nationwide outdoor company, and their Karpenisi branch would probably have some great suggestions for you as they know the area better than myself.
Hope you like cycling uphill a lot!!