I spent 3 weeks cycling in the Peloponnese region of Greece. It's an amazing landscape to cycle through, which I'd love to share with you here.
My bike route through the Peloponnese in Greece took me past ancient sites where King Agamemnon ruled, through olive groves and by coastal roads. If you're planning to explore the Greek Peloponnese by bicycle this guide might be a useful read.
Bike Touring in Greece
I've been living in Greece now for over four years, and during that time, taken a number of bike tours around the country.
Greece is both a fantastic and slightly strange place to cycle. Unlike many other European countries, there is no cycling infrastructure to speak of. So forget any ideas of bike paths and well marked trails you may have!
Instead, picture countless quiet country lanes, amazing hills and mountains to endure and then enjoy, and lots of clean fresh air.
It's a challenging country to cycle for sure – it's a rare day you'll have got away without cycling up and over one hill or mountain. But it's rewarding, whether as a bike touring destination in itself, or as part of a long distance bike tour.
Cycling Peloponnese Region
The Peloponnese peninsula of Greece is, in my opinion, an ideal destination for a bike tour. You can start and end the tour in Athens with its international airport, and you can plan a tour of almost any length of time.
If you are from the UK, you could also consider flying into Kalamata and using that as your start and end point, avoiding the hassle of cycling in Athens.
Whilst I spent around 3 weeks cycling in the Peloponnese, the route I took could be adapted to a shorter two week tour, or a longer one of four weeks.
For people who want to spend even longer cycling in Greece, there's also the option to continue through mainland Greece.
Peloponnese Bike Tour Route
This part of Greece has an abundance of famous ancient ruins such as Mycenae where the mythical King Agamemnon was said to rule, Epiduarus, and of course Ancient Olympia.
The route I chose when cycling around the Peloponnese was based in part on the legend of Hercules and the 12 Labours. This combined my interest with ancient history and bike touring perfectly, whilst taking me around the varied landscape of the region.
There's not just the archaeological sites left to us by the Ancient Greeks. The Peloponnese also has some stunning medieval castles such as Methoni and Koroni which I stopped by at along the way.
You could create your own themed tour as well if you wanted. Some ideas you could consider include a Venetian Castles bike tour, Ancient Greece bike tour, or best beaches bike tour.
During my bike tour of the Peloponnese in Greece, I made a vlog a day. I think this is the best way to show the landscapes I cycled through, as well as describe what I got up to on a day by day basis.
I've included the cycling vlogs below. Each one has a description and you can click through to watch it on YouTube. If you are planning a ride around the Peloponnese it's worth watching so you can get a feel for what to expect.
Cycling in the Peloponnese Videos
During my bike tour, I made a vlog a day whilst cycling in the Peloponnese of Greece.
Day 1 of my bike tour in the Peloponnese of Greece began from Athens. I chose to cycle all the way through to Corinth from Athens. If planning your own tour, you could choose to skip this section and take a train instead. Here's my vlog from the day.
Day 3 of my bike tour in the Peloponnese in Greece. Basing myself in Nafplion, I took the bike out without panniers to visit the sites of Tiryns and Lerna. These two sites were connected with the myth of Hercules and the 12 Labours. It's this myth that I in part based my cycling route of the Peloponnese on.
On Day 5 of the bicycle tour, I cycled on from Lake Stymphalia and headed toward the Greek coastline. Today's destination was Akrata Beach, a place I had previously visited when cycling from Greece to England.
My time cycling along the coastline in the Peloponnese was short lived, as it was to head up into the mountains. In the winter, the area around Kalavrita is known as a ski resort. At this time of year though, it's a great place to cycle!
You could say there was lots of up and down on this long day's cycling! My ultimate destinations was Ancient Olympia, where I aimed to stay for a couple of nights. As such, I could afford to put in the extra effort needed to do the combined distance and elevation required, knowing there was a nice bed ready for me at the end of the night!
Zero cycling today, as I spent the day walking around Ancient Olympia and its museum. This was one of the most important centers in the ancient Greek world, and of course, the place where the Olympic Games was born.
Not many people realise that Greece has some marvellous Venetian castles. During today's section of the Peloponnese bike tour, I stopped by one of them, and also visited a few other places along the way.
Epidaurus is one of the more remarkable sites in Greece. It's a UNESCO World Heritage designated site, and perhaps most famous for the acoustics in the theatre. People sitting far away in the high seats can literally hear a pin being dropped!
With the bike tour in the Peloponnese coming to an end, it was time to complete the loop, and start the route back to Athens. In this episode, I finished the day at a campsite by the sea. This is a campsite I had stayed in a couple of years earlier when cycling from Greece to England.
And finally, the bike tour ended back in Athens. There's always mixed feeling when finishing a tour - Satisfaction that it is complete, happiness for the things seen and achieved, and also that seed of thought that it's time to start planning the next bike tour!
Bikepacking Greece – Planning
While I don't have exact GPS routes from this tour, the videos have a lot of information you need. If you're looking for more information on this bicycle tour in Greece, these other articles may also be of interest.
Introduction – Here, I explain the concept of the bike tour, along with a few other details.
Bike Touring Gear – In this post I review the bike touring gear I took with me. This might be useful when planning your own tour.
The Bicycle – I used a ‘classic' style steel touring bike for this bike tour in Greece.
Are you thinking of cycling in the Peloponnese and have any questions? Please feel free to comment below, and I'll be happy to answer them if I can!