Chortiatis Thessaloniki bike tour
Scheduled tour dates
Tour upon request
Unforgettable trails near the big city of Thessaloniki Chortiatis Thessaloniki bike tour
Mountain Chortiatis dominates the east part of Thessaloniki with its two peaks, Kissos at 1189 m and Kolosourtis at 1078 m. Right opposite there is the forest of Kouri and a little bit further the suburban forest of Seich Sou with a complex of pleasant cycling and walking paths and the superb view of the Thermaic Gulf. From there we are going to start our two-day route towards the forested slopes of the mountain.
During the Ottoman occupation a lot of travellers visited the mountain and described its beauties. From these descriptions two stand out:
– the one by Evliya Çelebi in 1630 where he mentions the “lakes” of Chortiatis, the ice with which the residents of the mountain used to refresh the Ayan (Ottoman local notables with administrative control over land) and the khanums of Thessaloniki (Ottoman women of rank), and the “immortal water” (aab-e hayat) with which the mountain supplied the mosques, the hammams and the imarets (Ottoman public soup kitchens) of Thessaloniki…
– and the one by von Lingenthal in 1838 where he describes the route from Seich Sou, next to the Roman aqueduct, and his arrival at Chortiatis village. An incident that impressed him was that of an innkeeper widow who adorned her 13-year-old daughter and placed her at the loom in the front yard of the house so that all the candidate grooms could see her…
To this day the village still attracts nature lovers from the city; not to mention that most of us made our first trips and camps in the marvellous chestnut forest.
Those of us who are mountain bike enthusiasts love rambling through the shady paths, enjoying the variety of technical trails, sometimes going uphill a stone path or downhill the paved with litterfall earth.
More than a few times, depending on the season of course, we find fruit on fruit bearing trees, mainly apples, cherries or chestnuts and then it’s time to make a pleasant stop… Every type of cycling, except for the Road one, can find its suitable terrain giving us unforgettable moments.
And a very useful last piece of advice before coming to the tour: What to bring with you!
We wish you well and hope to see you soon!
Departure and return
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
Transportation from/to the airport at the start and end of the route is included in the price of the route package.
Day 1: Arrival
We are going to pick you up from the airport “Macedonia” and transport you together with your equipment to Philippion Hotel. The hotel is located at the suburban forest of “Seich Sou”, in a lush area with pine trees, with a beautiful view of the city and a lot of amenities. After you settle in your rooms, there will be some free time in order to get to know each other and to set up our bicycles. In the evening before supper there is going to be a briefing about the route of the following day. The group can continue associating in the hospitable areas of the hotel, without forgetting, though, the long uphill on our bicycles that awaits us the following day…
Day 2: Seich Sou–Chortiatis
Distance on bicycle: 23 km
Elevation on bicycle: Up 919m
After breakfast, which we recommend you to enjoy, we are going to meet each other at the parking of the hotel. There we are going to hand in our belongings to the support vehicle and depart for our route that includes 23.1 km and 919 m elevation. The route goes along the old Roman aqueduct which used to bring water to the city, mainly through shady trails and forest roads. When we reach Chortiatis village, water and food is going to wait for us at the chapel of Agia Paraskevi where we are going to “take a breath” before the steep uphill that follows… We continue into the mountain through the ancient paths of the area, along the old ice factories, under the shade of chestnut trees, beeches, wild apple and cherry trees. If we don’t get surrounded by… some flock of sheep from the village, our arrival to the mountain refuge (1000 m altitude) will be expected at noon… We are going to settle in two rooms with bunk beds and enjoy dinner with local dishes and delicacies in order to restore our energy… After that there is going to be plenty of time to rest, take a bath or a walk in the forest. The area “promises” to mesmerise you… While enjoying a cup of mountain tea that George and Suzie are going to prepare for us, there is going to be a briefing about the downhill of the following day. In the night we are going to warm ourselves next to the fireplace of the refuge, “travel” with the stories of the place and enjoy a light supper, sharing our cycling experiences.
Day 3: Chortiatis (Kouri–Seich Sou)
Distance on bicycle: 26 km
Elevation on bicycle: Up 451m
After a filling breakfast that is going to give us strength and once we settle our belongings in the vehicle, our downhill from mountain Chortiatis is going to start, trying to cover as many trails in the area as possible… In this place our tiredness from the previous day is going to be compensated… with a route of 26.7 km, only 451 m elevation and a very downhill trail!! After we pass Chortiatis village, we are going to go across to the forest of Kouri in order to pass through a short but beautiful path among oak trees. Here we are going to have a short stop for water and food. From Asvestochori village we are going to climb through an asphalt road onto the opposite slope until we meet the trails that are going to take us back through Seich Sou to the hotel. We are going to arrive at about noon and our 3-day tour is going to be completed there.
Route specifications table
|General route difficulty level:|
Intermediate to Difficult*
|Rider’s ability level (technical):|
Intermediate experience to Experienced*
|Bicycle type:||MTB (Mountain bike)|
|Distance of route:||47.8 km (4.7 km asphalt road / 7.9 km forest roads / 35.2 km trail)|
|Elevation:||Up 1,751 m|
Down 1,751 m
* For a detailed description of our rating scale please refer to the corresponding Levels of Difficulty Tables on our website.
The climbing on the first day is quite tiring, there are also some points where the less experienced and with mediocre physical fitness will need to carry the bicycles on their shoulder.
The attendant is always going to be on alert, and the presence of two attendants might be necessary, one at the beginning and one at the end of the group, depending on the physical fitness of the participants.
The pace is going to be such that everybody can enjoy the route.
Price and what it includes
The participation fee for Chortiatis trail is the following:
|Prices||and accommodation options|
|€215||single room accommodation*|
|€190||double room accommodation per person*|
|€180||triple room accommodation per person*|
|€165||for those who want to participate in the route but not to overnight on the first day at the hotel|
For discounts for big groups, please contact us.
Minimum number of participants in order for the tour to take place is 4 people.
Full payment of the participation amount should be settled one week in advance of the scheduled start of the event.
What is included and what is not
|INCLUDED|| Overnight in berths in a 10-bed dorm room at the mountain refuge of Thessaloniki’s S.E.O. (Club of Greek Mountaineers)|
Dinner and supper at the refuge
Snacks and drinks during the routes
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)
|NOT INCLUDED||Air tickets|
First night’s evening meal at Philippion Hotel
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