Central & Northwest Greece Tour

Discover Greece's wildest landscapes
11 days vacation

Central and Northwest Greece Motorcycle Tour

Tour Summary

The “Central and Northwest Greece Motorcycle Tour” aims to show you some of the country’s less visited places which are, from a rider’s point of view, simply amazing. You have to ask yourself. What are the elements that make a ride in the countryside unforgettable? Stunning landscapes? Check! Roads with consecutive bends & corners that seem to never end? Check! Little to none traffic? Check!

You will see natural wonders, such as the Vikos Gorge which is considered the 2nd deepest in the world. Or the limestone pinnacles of Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will find yourself under thick tree canopy, where the sun never touches the ground. You will ride over the highest paved mountain pass of Greece, where you will think that you have been teleported to the Alps. About one third of this tour runs through regions that are commonly considered as the most wild, rugged and unspoiled of Greece.

Central and northwest Greece motorcycle tou
We have added some elements of popular & historic interest, such as the ancient site of Delphi and the monasteries at the location of Meteora. Last, but not least, you will have a chance to relax by rafting on Europe’s clearest river!

This tour, due to a) the extended diversity of the areas visited, b) the long distances, c) the remoteness of some areas and d) the narrow roads, is considered by most riders as “Advanced“. You will get tired, physically, but mentally and emotionally you will be elevated!

P.S. If you are intrigued by the places and the description but you don’t have 11 days to allocate, look in the Tours section of our website for a shorter version, the “Zagoria” tour. In total of 8 days we included a section of this tour.

Start / Finish

Athens

Duration

11 days in total. 8 riding days, 1 rest/free day and 2 days accounted for your arrival to and departure from Greece.

Distance

Aprox. 1,900 kilometers (~ 1,190 miles). The average daily distance is 210 kilometers. The longest day is 390 klms, the shortest is ~100.

Riding hours

A couple of days with 6-8 hours on the saddle (depends on your experience level). Most days with average of 4-6 hours on the saddle.

Accommodation

Boutique & traditional guesthouses, a mountain resort, and a luxury hotel.

Difficulty

“Advanced” level for most riders. Please read here about how our tours are graded!

Roads

100% paved. A large amount of this tour runs on “challenging” roads: narrow, secondary mountain routes with never-ending corners. Continuous ascending/descending hairpins are often present.

Attractions !

  • The monasteries of Meteora and the imposing limestone towers, a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • The villages of Zagori (also Zagoria or Zagorohoria) in the northwest. Traditional stone built settlements full of character and beautiful architecture.
  • The gorge Vikos, a breathtaking vista. Listed as the 2nd deepest in the world (and in some references, as the absolute deepest, in relation to its width!)
  • The clearest river of Europe, Voidomatis. The colors of the waters will enchant you!
  • The villages of Tzoumerka built by stone in steep gorges and on edges of cliffs.
  • The archeological site of Delfi with the Oracle of Apollo, one more UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • The medieval coastal castle of Nafpaktos.

LET US TEASE YOU !

a TASTE of what you will see :

Roads ! What type of riding should you expect

This tour will take us mostly to mountainous regions and secondary roads, where traffic is often absent. We have included the most scenic routes, with the most amazing vistas, those that are considered by the local riders’ communities as truly the best of Greece in terms of scenery and landscape.

But this comes at a cost! A lot of stages of the tour run through continuous narrow winding roads, with little room to spare. You will ride as much as 100 kilometers of such roads in one single take! Successive ascending or descending switchbacks/ hairpins are often present. There are occasional rough sections, with potholes or scattered stones dropped from cliffs on the surface, especially at the most remote mountainous roads that we pass. Also, on those remote roads, due to extreme weather conditions that might have preceded during the winter period, there might be damaged sections that are in a state of repair. This means we might encounter short stretches (i.e. 10-50 meters long each) with dirt or gravel.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Athens.

We will pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel. Late in the evening the group will have a welcome dinner and we will also do some briefing and discuss the tour.

Day 2: Tour commences, ride in Central Greece

The group assembles and we leave busy Athens. After some riding on the highway we descent to the plains of Lamia but just for a while, as we soon escape the heat and head towards the back-country route of Evritania region. We ride in heavenly green landscape and we reach our destination of the day, the southern shore of idyllic lake Plastira. Enjoy the serene view to the lake with a cold beer.

Day 3: Thessaly & Meteora.

We follow the west bank of the lake and we enter the “enduro” land of Pertouli and Elati. We will not do enduro of-course, but you will enjoy riding amidst lush vegetation, natural springs and rushing rivers, on narrow winding roads. As we will be approaching the town of Kalambaka, the “gateway” to Meteora, you will be stunned by the dominant view of the massive detached stone pinnacles, 400 meters above the ground. We ascend to the top to gaze upon the vistas. The Meteora is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are feeling religious or just want to indulge to Byzantine history, pay a visit to one (or more) of the monasteries that are perched on the summits.

Day 4: Enter Zagoria !

Today we enter the NW territories of Greece. We ascend to the “Katara” Pass and not long after we reach the wider region of Zagoria. The route of the day from that point on, is on endless curves and corners, passing by alpine meadows. The first villages of the Zagoria appear in front of us. We reach our stone-built boutique hotel, at a tranquil site. Time for “meze” and “tsipouro” (local spirit)!

Day 5: Zagoria exploration

Time to explore the wider region. We will present you with 2 options. The primary option is an eastbound loop ride, taking us through the Valia Calda natural reserve, perhaps the most beautiful forrested landscape of Greece paved & passable by motorized vehicle . The eastbound loop is a long one though, the riding will be completed after a whole day! As a “reward” you will have ridden on a route that some riders say is the best in Greece. The secondary option, if you are feeling less energetic, is to do a westbound loop of the Zagoria region, which is shorter and easier, yet still offers beautiful landscapes and riding.

Day 6: Zagoria exploration, part II

After 4 days of intensive riding, today is time to take it easy! Few kilometers are in schedule, just to explore neighbouring villages of Zagoria. You will stand in 2 panorama locations to see the Vikos Gorge, the 2nd deepest in the world and admire nature! You will visit the twin villages of Megalo (Big) and Mikro (Little) Papingo located below the great limestone “Towers of Astraka” on the north side of the Vikos Gorge. There, at the village’s natural swimming pool you might want to have a dip and a break! If you are up to it, it will be time for some easy rafting in Voidomatis river, with the clearest waters in Europe. The activity lasts about 2 hours and is offered by professional rafting instructors who accompany you all the way.

Day 7: enter Tzoumerka !

We leave the region of Zagori and have a stop-over in the city of Ioannina for a coffee on the shore of the lake. We approach Metsovo and then we enter the majestic Tzoumerka mountain region, the wildest and most remote mountainous area in the country that is passable by paved roads. We ascend to the highest paved mountain pass of Greece at 2,000 meters altitude. The descend offers breathtaking views until we reach our hotel, a luxury mountain resort at the heart of Tzoumerka mountain range.

Day 8: crossing Tzoumerka and exiting south

We continue riding through the Tzoumerka region. We go deep in the Kalarytiko gorge where the views are spectacular and the villages are built on top of cliffs. Exiting this beautiful area our ride gets smoother and much easier as we head to the plains of Arta and then on a relaxed easy-going pace we finish our day at Nafpaktos. En route you have the chance to visit the lagoons of Messologgi and Aitoliko, the former being the largest Greek wetland, a natural paradise that includes islets, dunes and forested banks.

Day 9: Evritania or rest!

This is free day. You may choose to rest & spend the whole day at a near-by beach (bring your swim wear!). Or you can do the suggested loop ride of the Evritania region, in which you will pass through gorges & lush landscapes. A stop for a cafe and a snack in Karpenisi, region’s winter destination for skiers and we continue to close the loop. It is a long ride, and it will be a full days “work”, but the scenery and the riding will once again compensate your senses!

Day 10: Delphi & Return to Athens

We follow the coastal road until Itea, from where we ride to Delphi, where you will have a break and a chance (optional) to visit the archeological site, boasting a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Temple of God Apollo, as well as the museum. We end the day by arriving to Athens. We renew our appointment for a few hours later, when we have a farewell diner late in the evening.

Day 11: your flight back home

We suggest that you make arranges for departure on day 11 and not on day 10, so that you will have an easy-going return to the end point of the tour.

2018 Prices

(all prices in euros)Rider, sharing roomPillion passenger
BMW F700GS3,4001,750
BMW R1200GS3,850
Single room supplement450

Booking deposit : 300 euros

Outstanding payment: no later than 45 days prior to tour start.

  • Minimum participation of 4 riders is required. For smaller groups, the tour can be arranged but the cost is higher. Please contact us for a quote.
  • For a self-guided tour price quote, please contact us mentioning possible or required dates.

2018 dates

Guaranteed departure:

June 8 – June 19

What is Included in the price you pay

– 10 nights accommodation (including the day you arrive to Athens and last night again in Athens) and 10 breakfasts
– 10 diners, including 1 welcome diner in Athens and 1 farewell diner.
– Airport transfers to and from Athens on arrival and departure
– Experienced lead guide on a motorcycle, English speaking.
– Driver and support vehicle for luggage (1 per person) and passengers (limited seats)
– Rental of BMW Motorcycle, with side panniers and top case.
– 3rd party liability insurance
– motorcycle damage and theft coverage with insurance excess (varies per model)

– Tour booklet containing information, maps, routes, waypoints, coordinates, contacts etc

– All taxes

– Fuel & tolls
– Lunches & snacks during the riding hours & drinks
– Personal daily expenses & tips
– Fees for local museum/site guides (to archeological sites, museums, outdoors activities)
– Entrance fees to archeological sites and museums
– Cost of optional side-activities (rafting etc.)
– Personal travel insurance
– Visas (if required)
– Anything else not described as “included”.

Tailor this tour to your needs!

Your available days are less than 11? Have you seen our Zagoria Tour? It travels to some of the same locations for a total of 8 days.

We can adjust the tour to fit your preferences. Add or remove days, see more destinations, or ask for different dates! Perhaps you feel that you don’t need the services of a support car and wish to do the tour without one to lower the cost?

For these parameters or anything else you might want to change, contact us!

Go back to our Tours Overview, or read the Tour Terms & Conditions, or check the Frequently Asked Questions.

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