Today’s post was written for Beat the Brochure by Ricky Durrance. My experience of Greece so far extends to a brief sailing holiday where I barely saw much other than some beautiful sea, so I welcomed this post, which shares ideas for exploring some of the wonders this country has to offer, by bicycle no less! On with the post…
Most people when on holiday in Greece head to the beach for a few days or weeks of relaxing. Others try and immerse themselves in the culture that is abundant in cities such as Athens and islands like Rhodes.
But the problem with being drawn to the popular places of interest is that often you do not get to see much else, which when in a county as fascinating as Greece is a real shame.
One of the best ways to get to see the real Greece is to explore it by bike – and Greece is one of the best cycling countries in Europe with many different routes to choose from.
Cycling the Cyclade Islands
The Cyclade Islands are a group of 30 islands which offer the best of what Greece is all about. Throughout the islands you will discover some traditional villages and a way of life which has not changed too much over the decades.
Cycling through the islands will allow you plenty of opportunities to get that perfect photo of white-washed towns and blue seas that pop into most people’s minds when Greece is mentioned in conversation.
Many of the towns’ buildings have distinctive blue shutters on the windows which really give off a unique feel and are certainly aesthetically pleasing. Be warned however that the islands are in places hilly, so there will be uphill cycling involved, although these can always be avoided if you prefer a gentle ride to a hardcore cycling session!
Discover the Mythical Ionian Islands
Greece is perhaps as famous for its mythical tales as it is for its attractions, and if Greek myths and legends interest you, you may want to consider a holiday in Greece which incorporate cycling the Ionian Islands.
These islands are located off the west coast of Greece, and each has something a little different to offer.
Hellas for example is green and vibrant whilst Corfu has many undiscovered corners which have managed to avoid the downsides of mass tourism. The island of Ithaca is said to have been the home of Odysseus and is a must for all you myth buffs.
One common recurring theme that runs through these islands though is the food – the diet on these islands is said to be one of the healthiest in the world, so if you combine the food with all the exercise you’ll be doing on your bike, you could come back home healthier than you were before you left!
If you like to cycle rough terrain whilst having plenty of opportunities to take in some fantastic views, explore some of the best beaches and relax in laid back fishing villages, consider a cycling holiday to Crete.
The island is famously mountainous so you also have the option to take on some challenging peaks, with Mountain Gingilos, which stands at 2080 metres, being a particular challenge. The island is full to the brim with ancient sites from Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras, so a popular thing to do is identify the sites which interest you and find the best route to explore them all!
Thanks to Ricky of Beat the Brochure for today’s post! Have you been to Greece? If you’ve got any tips to share, do hit up the comments below!
Today’s photos were sources from flickr users: Wolfgang Staudt, eflon,