5 days
Duration
214km
Distance
Difficult, Intermediate
Difficulty
Up 5,706m / Down 6,312m
Elevation
MTB 29er, Road, Trekking
Bicycle type

Meteora bicycle tour

Scheduled tour dates of Meteora’s road cruise – short version

Guaranteed departures!

From 18 to 23 July 2018

Other
tour dates upon request

In the heart of mountainous Greece Meteora bicycle tour

The name “Karditsa” seems to derive from the Greek word “καρδιά” [karδjá] that means “heart”. If this logical assumption is true, then it’s not by chance, since this town is actually located in the “heart” of Greece.

Only a few kilometres of uphill trekking separate us from “Tsardaki” the location where a wonderful tour starts in the “heart” of the Greek mountains and their well-hidden beauties.

We will cycle around “Agrafa” the area that never met a “master” nor was ever enslaved, not even by the Ottoman conquerors despite all their efforts, until Suleiman I the Magnificent (the most important sultan of the Ottoman Empire) declared its complete independence. An important ally of the area is the unique relief of the landscape including “alpine” peaks, steep slopes, fast-flowing rivers and deep streams.

Images of unparalleled beauty will accompany us throughout this tour, all the way from the serenity of Lake Plastiras until we face the astonishing rock pillars of Meteora, creations of nature formed millions of years ago.

We will get to know the Greek hospitality of the mountains, we will taste local recipes and wines of local producers, we will wander through the history and tradition that this place offers so generously. We will make our way up to monasteries which are real works of art, examples of world cultural heritage. We will cool off in crystal clear rivers, we will cycle through mountain meadows and on quiet winding paths under the shade of sycamore trees when in low altitude and under the shade of beech trees when in higher altitude. We will have a rest in huts with warm tee or Greek coffee, we will become friends and fill our luggage with so many memories that will urge us to meet again all together someday.

What to bring with you on this tour Meteora bicycle tour

In order to know what necessary things to bring with you on this tour, please check the information at the What to bring” section of our General Information, but especially for this tour bear in mind that the temperatures of this area range in lower levels than on the coastal areas of the country (from 20°C to 30°C). So, it would be wise to bring with you a fleece jacket or whatever suits you best!

How to get there Meteora bicycle tour

Start of the route: from Philippion Hotel in Thessaloniki
Please, find on the website of the hotel information about the location and how to get there: Philippion Hotel.
Nearest airport: “Makedonia” International Airport (SKG, Thessaloniki)

End of the route: at Philippion Hotel in Thessaloniki
Transportation from/to the airport at the start and end of the route is included in the price of the route package.

Additional information

Guided or Self-guidedGuided, Self-guided
1

Day 1:

Distance on bicycle: 37 km
Elevation on bicycle: Up 1,129m / Down 1,100m

“Day of the lakes”  We meet at 9.00 a.m. at Philippion Hotel from where we depart for Lake Plastiras. Those who wish to arrive in Thessaloniki the day before can be transferred from the airport to the hotel (service not included in the tour price – for more information please check the PRICE DETAILS tab of this tour). If you choose to stay at Philippion Hotel, we can make a reservation on your behalf at a special price (please send us an e-mail). At noon we reach Tsardaki area (800 m high) where we can dine at “Hayati” and visit the old stone monastery of Koronis. Afterwards, we get ready for an evening cycling of 37 km along the lake until “Aiolides” guest house in Kalivia Pezoulas, where we can stay overnight. Feature of this first cycling day is the beautiful view of Mount Agrafa peaks and of the calm waters and fjords of Lake Plastiras.

2

Day 2:

Distance on bicycle: 46 km
Elevation on bicycle: Up 1,199m / Down 1,220m

“Day of the mountains” On the second day of our tour we head towards Mount Koziakas and the area of Elati. Leaving the lake behind us, our route very soon goes downhill among thick vegetation until we reach the plain where we meet the Portaikos River; this is the first downhill of our route that is of great length and gradient. Next to the old, stone, arched bridge, that is the natural gate between Epirus and Thessaly regions, we can have a rest before the demanding uphill to our next stop, Elati village. On the slopes of the Pindus mountain range and under Avgo peak (2,146 m) we cycle towards the serene villages of the mountain. We stop to draw breath at the small café  in the central square of Kalogeri village and to enjoy the view of the landscape, the peaks of Mount Koziakas with its distinctive stone, vertical slopes, surrounded by huge fir trees and green meadows. Towards the end of our route we go downhill through the forest in order to reach the village and the traditional guest house that is going to host us: Ligeri Hotel and/or Arhontiko Tsimponi.

3

Day 3:

Distance on bicycle: 53 km
Elevation on bicycle: Up 1,570m / Down 1,566m

“Day of the rivers” Our day starts upwards until we reach after about 30 minutes the plateaus of the mountain and the ski centre. We can take a break here for a while from pedalling our bicycles and then enjoy a peaceful and beautiful route, starting in the fir forest of the area along the playful flow of the Stravorema River, which eventually brings us next to the Acheloos River basin, one of the biggest and most important rivers in the country, which was worshipped as a god in ancient times.  In order to meet this river, we have to descent 700 m altitude. Inhabitant of the river is the indigenous trout which is highly sought-after by fresh-water fishermen, despite the difficulty of finding it. On the opposite slopes, “hooked” villages under the shade of the majestic Tzoumerka mountain range accompany our sight for a while until it gets captivated at the point where two rivers join together in order to feed the Acheloos River, known as Tripotamo. The landscape is different than the one of the previous day and for a few kilometres we cycle next to one of the cleanest rivers in Europe, hidden in thick vegetation and giant sycamore trees. A bit further up we reach our last stop before Meteora, the lovely guest house “Mantania”,  prepare yourself to live a little bit different experiences here, such as wine tasting and traditional way of making traditional local pies.


4

Day 4:

Distance on bicycle: 63 km
Elevation on bicycle: Up 1,221m / Down 1,839m

“Day of the rocks” The hourglass of our trip empties with our arrival at the unique rock pillars of Meteora. Some people consider it a holy place and others a monument of cultural heritage, in any case, it’s a unique place worth visiting and exploring with respect. Our day starts with a smooth uphill along the company of Kraniotiko stream, which can refresh us during the difficult kilometres lying ahead of us; shade, on the other hand, is provided by Gremos peak. Our today’s route might remind to a lot of you the paths of the Alps between Italy and Austria, regarding the formation of the road, the inclinations and the view of the surrounding mountains. One thing is for sure, that in the end it is going to be an unforgettable experience to everybody. From very high above, close to Kastania village we can see for the first time the “giants” of Meteora, but we still need to cycle a lot before we find ourselves right under the rock pillars, where the hospitable staff of “Doupiani” guest house is going to welcome us, taking care of our relaxation, offering unique view to Meteora and great care.



5

Day 5:

Distance on bicycle: 15 km
Elevation on bicycle: Up 587m / Down 587m

On this day we can visit by bicycle the whole area of Meteora and take a tour in some of the monasteries. We just let ourselves into the magic of the landscape and try to carry some of it back in our everyday life, in order to be in good mood and never stop discovering “hidden treasures” with our bicycles. We will gather early in the afternoon at our hotel for a light lunch and from where we will depart to Thessaloniki.



Departure

We wish you a nice trip!

Route specifications table

General route difficulty level: erica-weel-level-3erica-weel-level-4
Intermediate to difficult
*
Rider’s ability level (technical): Not applicable (only for MTB)*
Physical fitness: erica-weel-level-4
Good to very good*
Bicycle type: Road, trekking bike or MTB 29er
Distance of route: 188 km
Elevation: Up 3,750 m
Down 4,250 m

* For a detailed description of our rating scale please refer to the corresponding Levels of Difficulty Tables on our website.

On this tour we cycle on one of the sharpest terrains in Greece, discovering a well-hidden beauty of our small country. The adjective “meteoro” describes something that is located between heaven and earth, a feeling that we very often have along this route.

The total distance (188 km) and especially the cumulative elevation gain (3,750 m) might seem difficult to some people, but we designed the route in such a way that only a few kilometres are added every day, so that you can adjust easily without losing your interest. We assure you that in the end you will feel proud of your achievement. Along with the necessary stops and the support vehicle at your disposal for some rest, you can enjoy the tour on your own rhythm.

The whole tour is on asphalt, quiet roads.

Price and what it includes

The participation fee for “Meteora’s road cruise – short version” is the following for a Guided tour:

Prices and accommodation options
€1,060 single room accommodation*
€925 double room accommodation per person*
€990 triple room accommodation per person*

*Upon availability

The participation fee for “Meteora road cruise – short version” is the following for a Self-guided tour:

Prices and accommodation options
€880 single room accommodation*
€760 double room accommodation per person*
€720 triple room accommodation per person*

*Upon availability

For discounts for big groups, please contact us.

Full payment of the participation amount should be settled two months in advance of the scheduled start of the event.

What is included and what is not in the Guided tour

INCLUDED Accommodations for 4 nights in 34-star hotels or guest houses (check the daily programme in the ITINERARY tab of this tour for links to the chosen hotels)
Breakfast
Snacks, drinks and light lunch (e.g., sandwiches) during the tour
2 attendants (van support driver and bilingual certificated bicycle guide with First-Aid certification)
Transfer on the first day from Thessaloniki (Philippion Hotel) to the starting point of the cycling tour (Lake Plastiras)
Transfer on the last day of the cycling tour from Meteora to Thessaloniki (Philippion Hotel and/or Thessaloniki’s airport)
Support vehicle during cycling tour (equipped with first-aid kit, bicycle repair kit, water and snacks)
Shuttle service during cycling tour (it will transfer luggage from one hotel to the other)
Souvenirs (jersey clothing)
Free photos
Taxes
Bicycle helmet and water flask
Day route maps (directions, distances and elevation profiles)
NOT INCLUDED Meals
Air tickets
Hotel in Thessaloniki before and after the tour
Trip insurance
Bicycle rental (available under request)
Personal purchases and extra expenses than those mentioned above regarding the hotels
Alcoholic drinks
Anything that is not mentioned in the Included items

What is included and what is not in the Self-guided tour

INCLUDED Accommodations for 4 nights in 34-star hotels or guest houses (check the daily programme in the ITINERARY tab of this tour for links to the chosen hotels)
Breakfast
1 attendant (van support driver)
Transfer on the first day from Thessaloniki (Philippion Hotel) to the starting point of the cycling tour (Lake Plastiras)
Transfer on the last day of the cycling tour from Meteora to Thessaloniki (Philippion Hotel and/or Thessaloniki’s airport)
Shuttle service during cycling tour (it will transfer luggage from one hotel to the other)
Souvenirs (jersey clothing)
Free photos
Taxes
Bicycle helmet and water flask
Emergency phone and/or GPS tracking
Day route maps (directions, distances and elevation profiles)
Car rescue in case of emergency
NOT INCLUDED Meals
Air tickets
Hotel in Thessaloniki before and after the tour
Trip insurance
Bicycle rental (available under request)
Personal purchases and extra expenses than those mentioned above regarding the hotels
Alcoholic drinks
Anything that is not mentioned in the Included items
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Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 2 reviews

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26 February, 2018

The bicycle tour we did going from Plastira Lake to Meteora was perfect. The landscape and historical sites impressed us the most. We apressiated the guides care and explanations about each place we whent. I did not expect, but finally Greece is a perfect place for bicycle touring!

26 February, 2018

What an experience was to travel trough Greece by bicycle whit my family! Save, beautiful and with great weather.
Recomended!

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