At a glance
This tour is a revelation to many people, who never expected that Greece is such a mountainous country. And with all those mountain ranges, come the continuously changing contours and reliefs of the landscapes. So, you will rarely ride on straight roads !!
Start / Finish
11 riding days with options to extend or to spend some of them relaxing
Daily average: 4-5 hours on the saddle. A couple of days are longer (ca. 6 hours).
1,700 – 2,200 kilometers, depending on your appetite for riding during rest days / 1,060 – 1,380 miles
Some routes of this tour could be rated as of “Moderate” level. But a big part of the tour should be considered suitable for “Advanced” riders because there are many tight and steep hairpins along the routes, on small narrow (single lane) roads. Please read here about how our tours are graded and see the section below!
100% paved. A large amount of this tour runs on narrow, single lane, secondary mountain routes. See below :
Customer’s Review of this Tour:
Matt H. from the USA, did this tour in 2019. Here is an excerpt from his review of his experience, posted on TripAdvisor :
“My first experiences with John and his team were fantastic as I was trying to book a tour from the other side of the globe! John was quick to respond to all of my emails and made it very easy for me to book airfare, select a bike, and schedule the 11-day self-guided tour around northern Greece. When we arrived, the bike was perfect and ready to ride. The trip was incredibly diverse. We enjoyed a variety of foods, sights, riding conditions, and great hotels! My favorite days were seeing the monasteries built into the cliffs in Meteora though scuba diving off Lefkada was also fun. In Tzoumerka, we befriended a local goat herder and had dinner with him and his mother. Truly a set of great memories! Thanks John!”
TYPE OF RIDING
You will be riding mostly on small, country roads.
We are copying here the text from the description of the 10-days tour of the central – northwest, since most of the routes are identical :
“A lot of sections 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, and many of them are very steep and tight.
There are occasional rough sections, with potholes or scattered stones dropped from cliffs on the surface, especially at the most remote mountainous roads that you will ride. Also, on those remote roads, due to extreme weather conditions that might have preceded during the winter period, there will 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.
If you do this tour in mid May, the highest mountain pass will require caution: snow has not melted yet, and the width of the road at that particular pass will be just enough for one bike!“
Have a small taste in the pictures that follow:
The route will bring you to many major cultural sites. The following are indexed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites:
- ancient Delphi (“the navel of the world” according to ancient Greeks)
- the monastery of Hosios Lucas
- the Meteora Monasteries
The idyllic coastal town of Parga (you will feel like being on an island)
The gorge of Vikos, the deepest in the world in relation to its width
The old historical town of Ioannina
Day 1: Athens – Pelion, 2 nights in Pelion (310 kilometers / 195 miles)
Exit Athens on motorway, but only for a while. Soon you will be riding on the island of Evia enjoying yet another favorite route of Greek bikers!
At the north side of the island you will take a ferry. 25 minutes later, you will continue your ride, approaching Volos. The mountains of Pelion are only a few minutes away!
Day 2: Pelion loop ride (100 kilometers / 63 miles)
Don’t let the short distance fool you. Pelion’s routes are narrow, and there is not a single stretch of straight road ahead! Yeap, you read that right!
An overdose of cornering is in the menu, as well as numerous picturesque villages. You should take time off the saddle and walk along their neighborhoods, of at least a couple of them. Discover the very distinct architecture of Pelion, with it’s mansions dominating the views of all residential locations.
The area is lush, mountainous, and offer many options for the visitor. Seaside locations with nice beaches are also there, so perhaps you should keep your bathing wear with you!
Day 3: Pelion – Meteora, (route options, from 130 to 240 kilometers / 80 – 150 miles)
The first stage of this day is easy going, which is a good thing in order to keep you fresh for what lies ahead. You may opt to ride along the coast, by the Aegean sea, passing through small villages.
Hold your breath at the first sight of the Meteora! The impressive limestone pillars with the monasteries built on top is a sight to remember.
Day 4: Meteora – Zagoria, 2 nights* in Zagoria ( 160 – 170 kilometers / ca. 100 miles)
Today you enter the NW territories of Greece. You will cross a part of the eastern Zagoria, where once again the landscape is alpine. But soon you will find yourself riding along endless curves and corners, at this mountainous area. Then, the first villages of the west Zagoria appear in front of you. You reach your stone-built boutique hotel, at a tranquil site. Time for “meze” and “tsipouro” (local spirit)!
Day 5: Zagoria loop (185 kilometers / 115 miles)
Most people who do this loop get blown away by the beauty of the area. Most people say that they would have never thought Greece has such landscapes! It’s hard to put it in to words, but we guarantee you will enjoy the ride! The numerous villages that are along the route offer you many options for road-side stops, and the architecture of the houses, gives a unique character to them.
The wonder of nature, gorge of Vikos, will amaze you.
* This loop will end either in Zagoria again or a little further to the south, in the town of Ioannina, depending on how you would prefer to spend the next day: if you long for the tranquility of the small villages, it will be in Zagoria. If you would rather spend the evening in a beautiful town, with more options for dining, bars, and sightseeing, then it will be Ioannina!
Day 6: rest day in Ioannina or Zagoria, with options to ride
If you choose to stay in Zagoria for one more night, then this day is offered for relaxation away from crowds, or you may opt to do some extra riding (route options are provided).
If you choose to end your loop ride from yesterday in the town of Ioannina, then you will spend the day strolling around the old historic center, enclosed behind the fortifications of previous centuries! There are many interesting things to do and see in Ioannina, and your stay there won’t disappoint ! Our handbook will reveal most of them to you!
Day 7: Zagoria (or Ioannina) – Tzoumerka (130 – 160 kilometers / 80 – 100 miles)
Don’t be fooled by today’s “short” distance. You are entering Tzoumerka!
After a first section of the route that will bring towards the east part of Zagoria, and then to the village of Metsovo , you will turn south. The Tzoumerka area is wild, remote, and – depending on how early in the season you will do the tour – will demand an extra level of caution. Your “adventure” mood must be on, at all times. The scenery though is truly spectacular.
You will ride over the highest paved mountain road of Greece, the Baros pass.
Day 8: Tzoumerka – Lefkada island, 2 nights in Lefkada ( 160 – 170 kilometers / ca. 100 miles)
You start the day with some more of Tzoumerka. The roads are ever winding, the scenery is lush, and the riding is simply fun.
You will go deep in the Kalarytiko gorge where the views are spectacular and the villages are built on top of cliffs. Exiting this beautiful area, the ride gets smoother and much easier as you head to the plains of Arta and then on a relaxed easy-going pace you finish the day at the island of Lefkada, which is accessible by road, so no need to take a ferry here!
Day 9: Lefkada island, rest day
Day 10: Lefkada – Nafpaktos (route options, from 205 to 320 kilometers / 128 – 200 miles)
You have two options, a coastal ride that is scenic and relatively easy going. Or you may opt for the long way round, that will take you though the country side roads of Evritania province. The ride is amazing: gorges & lush scenic landscapes are on your way, this is on of our favorite rides, albeit a long one (6+ hours).
Day 11: Nafpaktos – Athens (route options, 280 kilometers / 175 miles)
Follow the coastal road until Itea, from where your ride continues on secondary country roads all the way until Athens! If you want to visit the ancient site of Delphi, plan to make an early start this day. The views from that location are fantastic, and the site itself is a class of history!
Best experienced during May*, early June, the 2nd half of September and October.
* In May: the highest paved pass of Greece, Baros, usually gets cleared and opens after the 1st week of May. If you do choose to do the trip earlier than that, 99% you will not be able to ride the Baros pass. So the routes (and the itinerary) for the day before and after will have to be altered.
July and August can get hot and crowded. The sea will be at its best though, if you decide to add non-riding days!
In November you are taking your chances with rain, especially in the northwest.
This tour is not recommended during the winter.
|(all prices in euros)||Single Rider, single room||Single Rider, sharing twin room||Rider + Pillion, double room|
|BMW R 1250/1200 GS||3,310||2,675||3,595|
|HONDA Africa Twin 1100 Adv.||3,140||2,500||3,420|
|BMW F 750 GS||2,905||2,270||3,190|
|HONDA NC 750X||2,675||2,040||2,960|
|HONDA CB 500x||2,445||1,810||2,730|
Booking deposit, per person : 750 euros
Remaining amount is paid in 2 parts:
- 50% : 45 days before arrival
- 50% : the day you collect the bike.
Note: prices shown are based on quotes from hotels offered to us for group tours on fixed dates. Depending on the time of your travel, prices may be slightly different (for example during peak season).
What is Included in the price you pay
– 10 nights accommodation with breakfasts, in personally selected hotels, mostly 4-star category.
– Rental of Motorcycle, with side panniers, top case, comprehensive insurance with excess.
– Rental of 1 GPS per 4 people, with routes and POIs pre-loaded for every day
– Paper map with routes marked and a handbook with key information for the trip, suggestions, tips etc.
– 2 helmets, of basic quality, European standards approved. Options available to upgrade to high quality helmets, for an added daily fee.
– Free luggage storage at our premises.
– All taxes
– accommodation in Athens, when you fly in and when you ride back to Athens (we can certainly arrange it if you wish)
– airport transfers (offered as an option)
– Fuel & tolls
– Food, drinks, personal daily expenses & tips
– Fines, tickets
– Entrance fees to local museums, tourist sites
– Ferries, parking
– Personal travel insurance
– Visas (if required)
Also, not included are the costs of any “added” days you may choose to have. Those costs will typically have to include the daily rental rate of the motorcycle plus the accommodation cost, which varies depending on where you choose to spend those added days.
Costs of Extra Options:
|Airport transfers. Prices are per 2-way transfer (to and from the airport), not per person.|
|Up to 3 pax||90|
|4 to 8 pax||150|