Bicycle Touring Experiences from Greece

Greece

On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who travel to Greece (you can share your experiences here).



Greece Patra Bicycle Rentals

City Bike Rentals to tour the beautiful Peloponnese. Patra is located close to the Araxos Airport

Vangelis Mimos, June 10, 2012

rental europe athens greece

you can take a tour by bike, you can rent a bike and go, as you like, spasious bikes low prices from 7euro per day.

Acropolis Bikes, May 14, 2012

bicycle rental Athens Greece

bicycle rental in Athens down town Acropolis Bikes,
www.acropolisbikes.gr
near Panepistimio metro station, brand new bikes, cool owner, very good tips for cycling in greece, spasious tour with only 30euro

vas, May 14, 2012

EUROPE, RENTAL, bikes

EUROPE, RENTAL, bikes
A good, and as far as i know, unique place to rent bikes in Athens is Acropolis Bikes (www.acropolisbike.gr) , just off the Panepistimio metro station in downtown Athens. The bicycles are new, the guys are friendly, and they've put together a really good leaflet with suggested (safe!) bike routes around town.
Really good fun.

vas, May 14, 2012

BICYCLE RENTALS ATHENS GREECE

THE BEST WAY TO GO TO ALL MUST SEE SIGHTS OF ATHENS IN ONE RIDE

ATHENSBYBIKE.COM, June 07, 2010

Skaithos baggage handlers

I took two brand new Joey Airnimals to Skiathos, carefully packaged and cushioned in their purpose built Delsey hard shell cases. The trip out was hassle free, however the return journey resulted in a broken case lock, a scratched wheel rim and a scratched bike frame, not to mention that the brand new cases now look like they have done 10 years travelling. As usual in such instances it's not possible to tell where the damage was done although I suspect that by the force of the impact it was due to the case falling off the top of the baggage handlers trolley in Skiathos as the load looked very unstable on its way to the plane.

Richard Clarke, June 07, 2007

Greece - Peloponnese

Just returned from a week cycling across the Peloponnese in Greece first week or so of June 2006).

Some pointers for others:

1. Bike rental: Because we were combining pleasure with work and couldn't easily take our own bikes, we rented. We used Pame Volta, based in Athens (www.pamevolta.gr), who seemed to be the only option. They were friendly and efficient at responding to emails (in English), as well as dropping bikes off for us at Piraeus and picking them up again at the train station on our return with no extra charge -- but if at all possible I would advise you to bring your own bikes. Those they supplied were heavy (Turkish) and poorly maintained, so that we had problems with gears jumping, chains coming off etc. Not ideal on steep hills, with a small amount of off road to cover too. But also very cheap -- worked out at 10 euros each a day; and we made it up and down the hills after all.

2. Ferries: no problem putting the bikes on a 'Flying Dolphin' hydrofoil (timetables). Though there's little space in the cabin if crowded, there’s a small platform out the back, on which the bikes fit nicely. No extra charge, and the staff friendly about loading and unloading.

3. Trains. BEWARE! The Greek train website (www.ose.gr) fails to mention (at least in the English version) that the train that runs around the Peloponnese is partially suspended, on the southern half. We had planned to take a train from Mycenae (Fichti) to Tripoli, and only found out the day before that there has been no such service for a year or more as they upgrade the track -- and had to take a taxi, which rather spoiled the aesthetic of the trip... But the alternative was a 80km ride, 15km off road, over the steepest mountains, avoiding a motorway tunnel, not doable in the half day we had after seeing the site at Mycenae. Fortunately our super-helpful hotel in Mycenae (Petite Planete) sorted us out with a local driver very efficiently.

However, we successfully got a train back from Olympia to Athens: first a metro-style shuttle from Olympia to Pyrgos; then an 'intercity' 'express' train from Pyrgos to Corinth (the 'express' bit taken with a pinch of salt -- took 4 hrs, but a pretty route along the sea, & very cheap, so who's complaining); then finally the new suburban train from Corinth to Athens (the intercity trains should run all the way, but the last bit this direction also suspended). There was a bit of a kerfuffle at Pyrgos, where the guy in charge of loading the luggage compartment (at the rear of the train, with a roll-top type of shutter, room for several bikes if you needed) did a bit of shouting at his colleagues about our arrival with two bikes to be loaded, but in the end there was no bother. On the phone, we (or rather a Greek speaking hotel staffer) had been told bikes were not allowed on the suburban train, but when it came to it, the train staff at that point were very helpful (including speaking enough English to communicate with us), and there was no problem loading two bikes into the section with flip up seats designed to fit a wheel chair.

4. Map: the best map we could find was the 1:250 000 map of the Peloponnese by ROAD editions (No.5 in a series). However it's quite out of date (1995) and does not reflect a lot of the pre-Olympics & other road building that has been going on. Plus it isn't always accurate even on older roads, especially in the fine detail, and the lack of a proper system for indicating contours (shaded areas only), means that it is often not possible to tell except in the most general way whether you will be going up or down on any particular stretch of road. Added to the frequent lack of signposts at critical junctions, especially finding your way out of larger towns, and the tendency of Greeks asked for directions to assume that you must want to take the most main road available -- always ask directions to a smaller place you know is on the route you want to take, rather than the main destination -- this can make route finding challenging.

5. Roads: generally good. Once you're on the minor roads, there's hardly anyone to trouble you once you're away from the coast. Tourist buses pretty much restricted to the major sites (esp Olympia).

Some other useful websites:

http://www.helada.org/Greece%20Resources/bicycling_in_greece.htm (general info, including official policies relating to bikes on trains etc)

http://www.cyclegreece.gr/index.htm (organised tours; Colleen McGuire also helpful to us with advance info).

And in addition to the practicalities -- it was a great trip. Thoroughly recommend it!

Bronwen

Bronwen , June 29, 2006

Bike rental -- Athens, Greece

A good, and as far as i know, unique place to rent bikes in Athens is Pame Volta (www.pamevolta.gr) , just off the Acropolis metro station in downtown Athens. The buys are new, the guys are friendly, and they've put together a really good leaflet with suggested (safe!) bike routes around town.

Really good fun.

Ellie, June 27, 2004

Athens, Greece

The new Athens airport is in a very inconvenient location for cyclists. The only route from the airport to the city is about twice the distance of the driving route and clogged with traffic. It took us about 4 hours to get from the airport to Piraeus. You can get an adequate map at the airport.

Wayne Joerding, July 23, 2001

Trains in Greece

Found on: touring@phred.org

I toured Greece this fall; a loop from Athens including Delphi and the Peloponnese peninsula, and did take my bike on several trains. There is a railroad loop from Athens around the Peloponnese with trains going both ways, but you can only take your bike clockwise! (It has to do with which trains have baggage cars.) Bicycles are carried as baggage on the same train that you ride, but are loaded by the baggage handlers. Though I was worried about manhandling, I had absolutely no problem. My recollection is that the charge for a bicycle was 600 GDR, less than $2.

This train passes through Patras, which is the town on the Peloponnese where the ferry from Italy arrives. But from that point I think it would be much more interesting to ride to Athens via Delphi, crossing the Bay or Korinth by ferry at one of two points, or pedal the long way around the Peloponnese visiting Olympia, Mystra, Mycennae, Epidavros and Ancient Korinth, as well as numerous other archaeological wonders.

If you pedal from Patras to Athens, or take the train, you will pass through the town of Diakofto, where you can take one of the most incredible train rides ever, and they allow you to carry your bike as baggage. This narrow gauge train, built 80 years ago, travels up canyons so narrow that you expect to grind to a halt at any second, and traverses ledges where you can look down and see nothing but air. And if you look up instead you find canyon walls towering overhead.

The train runs from Diakofto to Kalavryta, and from there I rode across the mountains to Olympia, though there are many other options.

In addition, I started my loop by taking a train from Athens to Livadia, which continues on to Northern Greece. Like the Peloponnese train, bikes were carried as baggage for a ridiculously low 600 GDR. The reason I took this train, and later the train from Korinth to Athens, was to avoid the Athens traffic. Since I ended my trip by having to ride from the ferry terminal in Piraeus to Athens in the twilight and had no problems, I might note that the danger of Athens area traffic may be overrated.

Have fun!
Bob


Robert Adelman, January 11, 2001

Olympic Airways - Regulations

Found on: touring@phred.org



lo folx,


Following up my posting to the list about the regulations about flying with your bike in and to/from Greece with Olympic Airways (pedals removed, handlebars turned, tyres deflated), I sent Olympic another email and received a *very* prompt reply (within 20 minutes!), as follows:


OLYMPIC AIRWAYS' REPLY:

From: Olympic Airways' Customer Relations Dept.

customer-relations@olympic-airways.gr

Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 10:25:04 +0300


Dear Mr Hollamby,


In answer to your e-mail dated May, 12, we would like to inform you that it is not necessary to enclose the bicycle in a protective cardboard box, but if you wish to do it, there is no problem.


Always at your disposal Lena Pritsas / Customer Relations Representative



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bryan Hollamby, Freelance Teacher and Translator/Interpreter (British), and
Andiopi Sachpazi (my better half - Greek), Chemical Analyst, Kilkis, N. Greece
ICQ# 1444046 - Homepage: http://members.xoom.com/hollamby/index.htm
with links to my cycling and hiking travelogues, my creative writing and
more...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bryan Hollamby, May 11, 2000

Trains in Greece

Found on: touring@phred.org

lo folx,
I asked recently at the local travel agency about the possibility of transporting my bike by train in Greece, from Athens in the south back to Thessaloniki in the north, when I was considering a tour down to Athens from here in Northern Greece. The majority of trains doing this route are the so-called express trains (340 miles in six and a half hours - express, my foot!!!) and these trains do NOT take bikes at all - they resemble the small local trains in other European countries in both facilities (no guard's van) and speed. The even slower non-express trains, which take ten plus hours for 340 miles (believe it or not), do take bikes, I was told. Urban and inter-urban buses do not carry bikes.
Bryan

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Bryan Hollamby, Freelance Teacher and Translator/Interpreter (British),
and Andiopi Sachpazi (my better half - Greek),
Chemical Analyst, Kilkis, N. Greece ICQ# 1444046 -
Homepage: http://members.xoom.com/hollamby/index.htm
with links to my cycling and hiking travelogues, my creative writing and more...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bryan Hollamby, May 10, 2000

Bubblewrap

While planning to carry our bikes (brand new and scratch free!) by flight from Malpensa to Rhodes (Greece) we carefully read throughout the various suggestions in Travel with Bicycles - Boxes, Bags, etc. . I was most convinced by the lightweight approach suggested by Jim Ehle, and supported by various others. Wrapping in plastic bubble and foam not only protects the bicycle but also underlines the fragility of the item and prompts the airline personnel to take care. So we followed literally Jim's instructions. The wrapping operation took about 30 minutes each time incl. pedals removed, handlebars sideways; the wheels were left in place and still rolling. In fact it worked perfectly. We paid 30 US$ (once only) including insurance for each bicycle, not too bad. The bicycles were checked in to a special access for extra sized items, and at arrival we were similarly called to a special exit. No damage at all to be reported, no adjustment needed. So I wish to thank Jim and encourage others to follow his prescriptions. Ugo

Ugo De Riu, May 07, 2000

Rhodes, Greece

Following to my recent bicycle tour of Rhodes island (or Rodos, eastern Greece ) I like to contribute this info.


The international airport is 16 km from Rhodes downtown. The road is nearly flat and lighted all night for the full length, so you can ride safely even at night (which I made twice). The traffic is reasonably low (mostly taxis, some coach) and at least 90% of the flights are charters and operate on the night between Saturday and Sunday for packed tour weeks. There is a public bus from the airport to central Agorà (new market) square, but they refuse to carry bicycles -- unless there is plenty of room and time to discuss the issue. At the airport you find no formal cloak room, but there is a locked deposit and if you ask any Olympic Airways officer they easily accept to store a bag - and usually for free. We left there a bag filled with our kit for bike protection (bubble wrap, foam, straps, tools). The island is very pleasant to tour by bicycle, including the main town. Out of it, the traffic is minimal, and the sights excellent. It is quite easy to find simple accommodations in the villages, or to camp on the several long beaches. Plan 300 to 400 km and some notable slopes - not too hard.


regards Ugo De Riu

-----------redazione Gulliver - Pagaiare----------------

phone: +39-125-45837

//www.koine.de //www.koine.de/koine/

Ugo De Riu, May 06, 2000

Athens, Crete, Mykonos & Santorini, Greece

Touring Greece - especially the islands is not only cheap but interesting. We just came back from a 2 week trip to Athens, Crete, Mykonos & santorini. First, roads are good in Crete & the islands. Paved roads, no glass & wide shoulders. We only toured Crete's Upper coast. If you go south, you may enoounter a few dirt roads. Nothing though I think that a bike with decent width tires can't handle.

From the airport, you can bike to Athens (less than 10 miles of city road). From there, the ferry is again less than an hour of ride. Bikes are carried free on the ferries. Just tie them up where the cars are parked.

By doing it independently, our total cost with airfare was equal or less than the cost of the landcost of some commercial trips. By the way, our lodgings were all hotels/motels & domatias (guest houses), food was either restaurants or picnics

Hope this helps
J. Gaerlan - Gaerlan Inc.
Visit our travel bike & bike travel web site:
http://members.aol.com/Gaerlan123/bike.html Travel bikes, accessories, bike travel books etc.
415-362-3866
415-677-8943 fax

J. Gaerlan, February 10, 1997

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