Off Road Biking in Greece

I never biked off road until I came to Greece, and now I’m a zealot. I blame it on Giorgos Altyparmakis,a legendary figure in Greece's biking community. He has probably biked every road in Greece. He bikes for hours and hours without stopping, not fast, just enduring. He taught me night riding in the full moon ("panselinos") when you don't need a bike light. I have had my most wildest biking adventures with Giorgos. I am honored he lets me tag along. Colleen McGuire, CycleGreece co-founder
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NAFPLIO   Behind the city of Nafplio hugging the sea is a stone path that turns into a dirt road with many little small swimming coves.  It runs for about 5 miles to Karathona Beach.

NAFPLIO Behind the city of Nafplio hugging the sea is a stone path that turns into a dirt road with many little small swimming coves. It runs for about 5 miles to Karathona Beach.

IKARIA   Western Ikaria is dry and rocky, unlike the east of the island which is greener.  Ikaria is the "land where people forget to die" due to their healthy lifestyle.

IKARIA Western Ikaria is dry and rocky, unlike the east of the island which is greener. Ikaria is the "land where people forget to die" due to their healthy lifestyle.

CRETE   After Kissamos, the turn off road to Balos Bay is unpaved.  It hugs the sea, then climbs inward.  You have to walk down stone steps to reach Balos Bay on the other side of Gramvousa Peninsula.

CRETE After Kissamos, the turn off road to Balos Bay is unpaved. It hugs the sea, then climbs inward. You have to walk down stone steps to reach Balos Bay on the other side of Gramvousa Peninsula.

MENALOS MOUNTAINS  The Menalos Mountains are in central Peloponnese.  Sparsely populated.  Gorgeous views.  We were here on August 15, perhaps the holiest day of the year, second to Easter Sunday.  Much celebrations.

MENALOS MOUNTAINS The Menalos Mountains are in central Peloponnese. We were here on August perhaps the holiest day of the year, second to Easter Sunday.

CRETE  The road to gorgeous Balos Bay in northwest Crete.  Thankfully it is still unpaved.  You feel dwarfed riding on this route.

CRETE The road to gorgeous Balos Bay in northwest Crete. Thankfully it is still unpaved. You feel dwarfed riding on this route.

EPIRUS  You never run out of drinking water in the Epirus region.  The clean mountain waters are lush and plentiful and such splendid fountains.

EPIRUS You never run out of drinking water in the Epirus region. The clean mountain waters are lush and plentiful and such splendid fountains.

EPIRUS    To look across a spring field with a thousand lavender thistles in bloom is to experience a transcendence Van Gogh must have felt painting Sunflowers.

EPIRUS To look across a spring field with a thousand lavender thistles in bloom is to experience a transcendence Van Gogh must have felt painting Sunflowers.

GRAMMOS  This area is way north in Greece, near Kastoria.  Giorgos seeks out the remotest of spots to bike.  .

GRAMMOS This area is way north in Greece, near Kastoria. Giorgos seeks out the remotest of spots to bike.

PARNONAS  The Parnonas mountains are in central Peleponnese.  We are carrying our gear, camping out in a church near the town of Kastania which means chestnut, and lo and behold, we stumbled on their annual chestnut festival. Fun!

PARNONAS The Parnonas mountains are in central Peleponnese. We are carrying our gear, camping out in a church near the town of Kastania which means chestnut, and lo and behold, we stumbled on their annual chestnut festival.

KARPENISI  This area is in mainland Greece west of Delphi.  This is a river bed with a river in the foreground.  The map indicated a brdige but there was none, so we had to portage the river with our bikes and panniers.  Always an adventure with Giorgos.

KARPENISI This area is in mainland Greece west of Delphi. This is a river bed with a river in the foreground. The map indicated a brdige but there was none, so we had to portage the river with our bikes and panniers. Always an adventure with Giorgos.

EPIRUS   Inviting, photogenic bridges dot this mountainous region. Giorgos and Dionysus pose for me.

EPIRUS Inviting, photogenic bridges dot this mountainous region. Giorgos and Dionysus pose for me.

EPIRUS  It is not possible to bike in rural Greece without hearing the "orchestra" of goat and sheep bells.  They make a heavenly background music as you pedal down the road.

EPIRUS It is not possible to bike in rural Greece without hearing the "orchestra" of goat and sheep bells. They make a heavenly background music as you pedal down the road.

EPIRUS  Very tough cycling here, rocky roads, steep climbs, thin air and unspeakable beauty.

EPIRUS Very tough cycling here, rocky roads, steep climbs, thin air and unspeakable beauty.

EPIRUS  Dionysus and Giorgos going downhill, finally after a long climb up.

EPIRUS Dionysus and Giorgos going downhill, finally after a long climb up.

KONITSA  Far north region of Greece.  There had been some sort of shoot-out with robbers in this area and we ended up staying in the remote village where it happened.

KONITSA Far north region of Greece. There had been some sort of shoot-out with robbers in this area and we ended up staying in the remote village where it happened.

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