The historic city of Sparta lies in a valley between two mountains, Mount Parnonas and Mount Taygetos. Beautiful and imposing, we’ll ride these ancient mountains before hitting the sea roads down into Mani.
When we were looking for our base to ride the Peloponnese, Sparta just stood out as the obvious choice. A city and region synonymous with physical well-being, oozing history and surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges around Mount Parnonas and Taygetos, which runs hundreds of kilometres down to the southern tip of mainland Greece. It helps that our bike guide is from Sparta and one of Pedal Greece’s founders has family history in the mountain villages we’ll ride past. But there is so much more here.
This trip is about the mountains of Greece in their full majesty and brings together the summits and climbs with routes down to the beach – and because there are so many routes we’ve got both 4 and 5 day versions of this trip (and we could do much more). This tour can be adjusted from intermediate to advanced levels, but our preferred routes are around 80-100km days with a good amount of climbing, so we’d recommend intermediate-advanced riders comfortable with climbs.
Day 1 will take us up into the Parnonas massif, through the rolling foothills and up into the alpine peaks and villages. We’ll ride through different landscapes as we climb and weave around the peaks and plateaus. We love the change in scene and landscape and we’re sure it will surprise you if you’re thinking Greece is about white house and blue seas – that’s for later in the trip. Day 2 we’ll enjoy another day in the mountains, either on the switchbacks of Taygetos or a day cruising around the villages and high alpine fields of Parnonas as we build up towards our big sea ride. We have the option to take in the sights of historic Mystras as we end our time in Sparta and prepare to find the coast.
Day 3 we head out early and head up over Mount Taygetos through some excellent gorges and epic switchbacks on #SpartanRoads. We’re here for the views as much as the ride, and we’ll be heading up and over several cols on our way to our first sea view down over Mani towards the Messinian gulf. After an overnight stop by the coast day 3 will take us down the coast road for the first leg of our #Mani200 ride – we’ll end the day with an afternoon swim and some excellent sea food by the beach. Our last day will be an epic one, starting with an early morning as we head south to the end of mainland Greece to complete our #Mani200 ride in the morning with an optional short hike to Tenero lighthouse. After a quick snack we’ll head up the coast to our lunch stop over before making our way back up towards Sparta to wrap up the trip.
Included with the trip:
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