Day 1: Arrival to Sparta
Arrival to Athens National Airport and transfer to Sparta, the capital of Laconia (transfers available for additional fee). Laconia is well known as the kingdom of King Leonidas, whose imposing statue stands in front of the stadium of the town, and for the 300 brave Spartans who fought against the numerous Persian armies in Thermopylae in 480 BC.
Sparta is built at the foot of Mount Taygetos at an altitude of 216 meters. The city sits next to Evrotas River, and a valley of orange, olive, lemon, and other trees extends around the city. You will have the chance to walk around and explore the nightlife of the city. You can visit the ancient Greek theater of the Spartans, which has the capacity for 16,000 spectators and the temple of the Chalkoikos Athena together with the other ancient Greek and Byzantine remains in the Acropolis of the city.
For the cuisine lovers and also lovers of tradition and culture, the olive oil museum is another interesting choice! There you can see exhibits that narrate the evolution and development of the production of olive oil and olive harvest, two products that are so connected to Greek culture. In case you arrive late in Sparta and you will not have time to visit any of the above, you can do it probably in the next morning before your departure.
Overnight in Sparta
Day 2: Sparta – Mystras – Gythio (42 miles/67km, elevation gain 830m / elevation loss 1026m)
In the morning, we will deliver the bikes to the hotel. After we make sure that everything is ready and you are comfortable with your bike, you will leave the capital of Laconia and head to the great Byzantine city of Mystras, the "Wonder of Morea" as it is said.
Mystras stands in a beautiful green landscape on the top of a 260m hill overlooking Sparta. The settlement was formed during the times of crusaders' invasion to the Byzantine land of Peloponnese, and in 1962 it came under the Byzantine control. Breathtaking medieval ruins, Byzantine churches, partially preserved mosaics, monasteries and palaces, and narrow streets will surely impress you. Bear in mind that if you wish to explore completely this corner of magnificent Laconia you will need 2 to 3 hours.
You continue cycling south among orange and olive groves before you arrive to Gythio, a small seaside town with a picturesque port full of traditional fish taverns. The inhabitants of Gythio, who are in majority fishermen, provide these taverns with fresh fish on a daily basis so you can taste straight from the sea.
While south in Kranai Island you can face the endless deep blue sea from the marble octagon lighthouse, built in 1872. According to Homer and Pausanias, Paris and Helen spent the night in Kranai Island before their journey to Troy. Small fishing boats and three-story neo-classic buildings dominate the place, giving a multicultural and Aegean glamor to it.
Overnight in Gythio
Day 3: Beach tour – Gythio (48 miles/78km, elevation gain 1180m / elevation loss 1177m)
This day is dedicated to the marvelous beaches that surround Gythio. You roll southerly to Mavrovouni, Vathi, Kamares, and Skoutari beaches. Do not hesitate to dive into the crystal water of the Laconian Bay or sunbathe on the pebbly beaches. Just pick the beach that you like the most and make a stop! Alternatively, if you prefer not to cycle a lot, you can spend the whole day on the beautiful beach of Mavrovouniwhere you can find taverns, beach bars, watersports, etc., and relax by the sea.
Overnight in Gythio
Day 4: Gythio – Elia (24 miles/38km, elevation gain 287m)
Today you leave Gythio and cycle by the sea east to Elia, passing by traditional settlements such as Asteri and wandering through the fertile Laconian land which is filled with orange and olive groves. Elia is a small fishing village known for the deep blue coasts, the incomparable natural beauty, and the unique sunsets for the romantic at heart. At the small picturesque port you can see the boats and the local fishermen returning from a day of work. We suggest a visit to the Byzantine tower located on top of the cliff as the views from up there are unparalleled.
Overnight in Elia
Day 5: Elia – Neapoli (32 miles/51km, elevation gain 708m / elevation loss 707m)
After a good breakfast you hop on your bike and cycle south to Neapoli. On your way along the country road, you roll through villages and diverse crops.
Alternatively, for those who are more fit, you can choose to ride along an almost undiscovered part of unique coast for 10km! It is a demanding route, but you will be fully satisfied by the experience as you will roll right by the amazing deep blue of Laconian Bay, feeling the touch of Greek sun on your face.
Neapoli or Vatica is a town with great nautical tradition and an island aura as white traditional buildings dominate the place. Its long, tree-lined seafront is full of taverns, cafes, and bars where you can stop and take a break after biking. Apart from that, Neapoli is the base for sightseeing in the vicinity.
One of the most impressive monuments is the Petrified Forest of Agia Marina, approximately 15km east of Neapoli, between Agios Nikolaos and Cape Malea. Right by the sea, you can explore a forest of fossilized palm trees, turned to stone due to a rare natural process. If you would like to visit it, you could go by either bike or taxi.
Overnight in Neapoli
Day 6: Neapoli – Elafonisos Island – Neapoli (35 miles/57km, elevation gain 304m / elevation loss 304m)
Today you will bike up to the small port of Pounta from where you take the ferry to Elafonisos, a small island with few inhabitants, situated just opposite Neapoli. This is a top destination in Peloponnese, a real gem of South Greece, with the most beautiful sandy beach in the Mediterranean Sea!
Upon arriving at the port of Elafonisos, the first thing you see is the picturesque church of Saint Spyridon, and you can smell the freshly made traditional seafood in the taverns nearby. You can cycle through the island or swim and relax on the lace sandy beach. It is a real heaven on Earth!
Opposite Elafonisos, on the bottom of the sea, lies the ancient submerged settlement of Pavlopetri, the oldest sunken city in the world.
Overnight in Neapoli.
Day 7: Neapoli – Monemvasia (17 miles/27km, elevation gain 427m / elevation loss 392m)
On today's ride, you will take the new coastal road from Neapoli to Monemvasia through dense vegetation and amazing views until you reach the highlight of this trip, the Castle-town of Monemvasia.
Optionally, if you are fit and confident enough, you could try riding your bike to reach to the top of Kryovrisi, at an altitude of 600m., although this might be demanding for most. From Kryovrisi, you start a wonderful downhill route with breathtaking views until you reach the unique Castle-town of Monemvasia.
It is time to explore the final touch on the portrait of Laconia, the cross-road of civilizations through centuries, as Byzantines, Franks, Venetians and Ottomans have left marks of their domination on the rock. Even though cars and bikes are not allowed inside the castle-town, a tour on foot is absolutely necessary. Once you enter the castle through the unique entrance, you will be impressed by the walls, the old mansions, the narrow cobblestone alleys, the churches, old short arches and marble imperial thrones.
Overnight in Monemvasia
Day 8: Departure
After a good breakfast, you will take your luggage, and get ready for the transfer back to the airport. If you wish, you can add some more activities on this trip, like a guided tour to the Acropolis of Athens, or just stay a couple of days in Athens.