Scheduled tour dates of Wine Routes
From 8 to 12 September 2018 wine routes
Other tour dates upon request
Highlights wine routes
- Wine tasting in 7 selected wineries from the “Wine Roads of Northern Greece”
- Cycling on the quiet roads of the province
- “Brass Bands of Goumenissa” (bands of Roma musicians)
- Aristotle’s School, place of historical interest where the great philosopher used to teach
- Overnight at the beach of Katerini
- Ampelakia village with houses of Macedonian architecture
- Farewell “symposium” on the last evening accompanied by live music
- Perfectly maintained Byzantine Platamon Castle
A trip through the history and the tradition of grape vine cultivation, as well as the flavours and music that accompany it.
In ancient Greece, wine used to be diluted with water with a ratio of 1 part wine to 3 parts water. Drinking wine without adding water was considered barbarity and was called “akratos oinos”, meaning “undiluted wine”. That was wine not mixed with water in the specially designed for this purpose utensil, called “crater”. People that got drunk were considered of the underworld and reprehensible. The watering down procedure stopped in the Byzantine era, when most of the vineyards of the country were cultivated by monks in monasteries.
Habits might have changed through time, i.e not adding in our wine water, honey or aromatic herbs, but one thing is for sure, that, as long as we live, we will neither stop making wine nor stop celebrating in honour of the god of wine and feasts, Dionysus!
In this tour we’ve chosen to visit 7 wineries and vineyards from the “Wine Roads of Macedonia Hellas”, starting from Epanomi in Thessaloniki and ending up in Rapsani in Larissa, the area that produced the nectar of the gods.
We are going to meet in person amateur and professional winemakers, ask them about their secrets, the varieties they cultivate, how they store and age their wine and, finally, we are going to taste them and buy the best ones for our wine cellar.
We are going to taste flavours and wine pairings of the unparalleled Greek cuisine, and visit historic places and settlements, where the heart of traditions still beats, and the spontaneous Greek hospitality is still alive!
When the weather conditions permit us, we are going to swim and enjoy the coolness of the deep blue Aegean sea, weather permitting, of course!
All these while cycling in mild pace on selected quiet provincial routes that connect the wineries and the historical places that we are going to visit.
What to bring with you on this route
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, we consider the following useful:
- Extra space in your luggage for wine you may wish to acquire on the way!
How to get there
Departure: 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)
Return: at Philippion Hotel in Thessaloniki
Distance on bicycle: 22 km
Elevation on bicycle: Up 355m / Down 492m
We meet at 09.00 in the café area of Philippion hotel, where, after we settle the administrative matters, we are going to have some time to get to know each other and to brief you about the day schedule.
We will depart for the small settlement of Ag. Antoniou, 25 km from Thessaloniki, where we may try the delicious pontian pie “perek” from the local women’s cooperative. There we will give you your bicycles and equipment for the cycling route of this day. Our Destination, an excellent winery, east of Thessaloniki, called “Ktima Gerovassiliou”, which is popular for its exceptional white wines!
After we take a tour guide in the area and taste the exquisite wines of the estate, we head towards Petrokerasa village, where we are going to visit the estate of Dimitrios Milios. A dear friend who has been making wine together with Anastasia for years now, from the small vineyard they cultivate on the slope of the mountain, including “cabernet” and “syrah” grape varieties. In this place you are going to notice that when artistry turns into care and love, it creates “wine‑poems”.
It’s already noon, though, and it would be a nice idea to have lunch in the square of the village, and taste the delicious local delicacies prepared for us by kir‑Michalis.
We are going to end our first day here and return to Philippion hotel by car to rest.
Distance on bicycle: 9 km
Elevation on bicycle: Up 186m / Down 151m
Today’s schedule is very interesting!
We are going to visit our first area that has “Appellation of Origin” for its wines, Goumenissa, where we are going to visit two wineries.
We are going to start from “Chatzivaritis Estate” where the production is carried out according to the standards of organic farming with main varieties Xinomavro and Negoska. From there we get on or bicycles to the second one, Boutaris winery, perhaps the oldest in the area and with a great history in wine making.
In these estates we will have the chance to taste wine of superior quality and with Appellation of Origin “Goumenissa”. We are going to finish our cycling and wine‑tasting day upon our arrival to the guest house that is going to host us.
Do not forget to get some rest, though, because the day doesn’t end here, we are going to entertain ourselves with the amazing “Brass Bands of Goumenissa”, with food and wine, of course, and all these in one night that is going to “fill” our minds with memories!!
Distance on bicycle: 16 km
Elevation on bicycle: Up 406m / Down 394m
With the echo of the brass instruments still in our thoughts, we are going to move south to another area with Appellation of Origin, Naousa, in order to visit two exceptional and with rich history wineries. The first one is “Foundi Estate” and the other one is “Ktima Kir‑Yianni” estate, where we are going to take a guided tour to the old “castle” of kir‑Yiannis that is maintained among his vineyards.
We are going to reach these places by our bicycles following a pleasant route through provincial villages and field crops!
Our two very important visits today are followed by a third one. This time in a very significant archaeological site, School of Aristotle in the forest of the “Nymphs”, where he taught the Platonic philosophy to Alexander the Great and changed the whole western civilisation! All these are going to take place, though, after we enjoy our food in the tavern “Rakokazano” in Rodakinia village. Today we are going to overnight at the beach of Katerini.
Distance on bicycle: 13 km
Elevation on bicycle: Up 178m / Down 855m
Our last destination in this tour is the mountainous village of Rapsani, where the history of wine making is lost in time and legends connect its name with its red wine.
We are going to taste the wines at the balcony of “Ktima Katsarou” with its magnificent view of the Aegean Sea. From here, we will bike to the next village Rapsani, with a stop for lunch under the shade of the old platanus trees.
Afterwards, we are going to cycle downhill until we reach the Pineios river through a very pleasant route. We are going to make one more stop at the beautiful Vale of Tempe before we go to the nearby historic village of Ampelakia, on the slopes of Kissavos mountain, where we are going to spend our night.
In the evening you are all invited to a farewell “symposium”, as it was customary in ancient Greece, with the right to live music and a discussion about our experiences in this 5‑day tour of wine tasting!
Distance on bicycle: no cycling today!
Elevation on bicycle: no cycling today!
After a visit in the museum and a walk on the picturesque alleys around the listed buildings of this settlement, we are going to depart for our return to Thessaloniki. We are also going to take some time and visit the perfectly restored Byzantine Platamon Castle. After our tour in the castle, we will go down to the sea for lunch. In the afternoon and early in the evening (at about 17.00–18.00) we are going to return to Thessaloniki.
Route specifications table
|General route difficulty level:||Easy*|
|Rider’s ability level (technical):||Not applicable (only for MTB)*|
|Physical fitness:|| Average to Good*
|Distance of route:||60 km
* For a detailed description of our rating scale please refer to the corresponding Levels of Difficulty Tables on our website.
It’s an easy cycling tour, where we will ride our bicycles about 1 or 2 hours daily in asphalted and quiet roads in the rural area. Although we are not going to climb mountain, the hilly terrain of this route demands from the participants a minimal physical condition. In any case, a comfortable support vehicle will accompany us the entire trip, ready to offer some rest whenever needed.
Please, consult the detailed tables with the route maps and elevation profiles at the “Itinerary” tab.
Price and what it includes
The participation fee for “Wine routes” is the following for a Guided tour:
|Prices||and accommodation options|
|€1,470||single room accommodation*|
|€1,330||double room accommodation per person*|
|€1,290||triple room accommodation per person*|
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 3–4-star hotels or guest houses (check the daily programme in the ITINERARY tab of this tour for links to the chosen hotels)
4 Breakfast, 4 lunch meals and 2 dinners
Snacks, drinks and light lunch (e.g., sandwiches) during the tour
Wine tasting and accompanying appetizers
The musicians of the “Brass Bands of Goumenissa”
Live music at the farewell “symposium” on the last evening
2 attendants (van support driver and bilingual certificated bicycle guide with First-Aid certification)
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)
Entrance fee into museums
Souvenirs (jersey clothing)
Bicycle helmet and water flask
Day route maps (directions, distances and elevation profiles)
|NOT INCLUDED||3 Meals
Hotel in Thessaloniki before and after the tour
Bicycle rental (available under request)
Personal purchases and extra expenses than those mentioned above regarding the hotels
Anything that is not mentioned in the Included items