Christmas Holiday Tour in Kremaston Lake

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This Christmas holidays me and two friends decided to cycle all the way to the Kremaston lake in the central Greece area. Christmas and Easter holidays are usually the time when we plan out bigger tours in mountainous places around Greece. This route was selected by me because of the nice rural areas, the big lakes and the traditional villages and because it was short enough to fit in our schedule. The route from our base to the lake was pretty hard, with many big mountains and few descents, the way back though was very easy . The rule of thumb in Greece is the harder the route the more beautiful the landscape. This one was full of mountains and traditional villages, big fir forests and amazing view on the brightest moon I have seen . Unfortunately on the way back we rode on some parts of the ugly and dangerous national road of Agrinio – Patra but the rest 80% of the route was incredible. I think it is one of my top 3 bike rides so far.

The thing is Greek Cyclists are complaining (me too) about the lack of cycle paths in Greece, but in reality all mountainous roads around the country are ideal for bicycles. Mimimum to zero car activity, many clean water sources and breathtaking nature. I would say Greece is ideal for bike touring. If you don’t mind climbing some mountains!

You can see the route here.

Here is the love:

Evinos river village

This is a nice little village allong the Evinos River. I have done some bike races in that area and the nature is amazing. Some nice colourful houses and an old beat up rusty bridge as well.

Evinos river bridge break

After the bridge this is the view of the Evinos river. We have some rest here eating Pies and nuts.

I enjoy those moments so much! Real relaxing breaks!

I enjoy those moments so much! Real relaxing breaks!

Big Tree and bicycle

Waiting for Thodoros to take out his sweater. Big ascent ahead!

Big climb

After a huge hill and some hard climbing we are finally in Analipsi village. The sun is setting and the moon is already visible.

Trichonida lake by bicycle


A beautiful view to the famous Trichonida lake. On the edge of the hill at the right, you can see the village where we were planning to spend the night in.

coasting throu the villages

A much needed very rejuvenescent descent through the vilages!

big moon

Beautiful colors from the setting sun as the big bright moon is emerging behind the mountains.

Petrochori village

A small stop in the main square of Petrochori Village (=Stone village) to buy some Tsipouro (Greek strong alcohol) and eat some chocolates.

A sleeping plane

After few hours on the bikes we decided to call it a night on a small plane next to the road. Not the best place to sleep, but the the next morning was very nice!

Beuatiful school in kallithea

An interesting school in Kalithea Village (=good view). As you can see the ceiling is enormously high and the windows on the other side have crazy view on the Trichonida lake. Very cool school!

View to trichonida lake


This is the view to the lake from the Kallithea Village. A small stop there to enjoy the view and eat some pastelis (sesame bars with honey).

Clearing in forest bicycles

After many grueling Kilometers climbing the mountains (the hardest part of the trip – where we had to reach a 1400 m village) we found a clearing inside a beautiful forest. One of the best places I’ve slept on!

Moon looks like the sun

I can’t describe the feeling of looking at a sun during the night. I havent seen the moon that bright in my life. The pic doesn’t do justice to how bright it was!

Morning peace

Thodoros enjoying his morning peace.

sleeping spot in the forest

This is me checking my emails just before I got up. Nice spot or what?

Abbey of Proussou

This is the view to Abbey of Prousou. Seems like a nice place to live.

Beautiful route in Evritania

This was my favorite day of the trip. The road was on the edge of this full of fir trees mountain. It was dead quite with an exception of birds singing in the background.

Fir trees and bicycle

Thodoros is coasting with big fir trees in the background. How magical was that place, I can’t even describe it without sounding like an over the top enthusiastic kid.

Aspropyrgos village

After some amazing kilometers we have reached the Aspropyrgos village. A very interesting little village, with old beautiful houses (at least for me)….

House in aspropyrgos

Like this one…

house in Aspropyrgos

..or this one…

Old coffee place

As you probably know by now, I love old things with big history behind them. Look at this ancient coffee place in The Agalianos village of 12 habitants we stumble upon as we were reaching our final destination. The old lady who owns it saw her kids move to the capital to find work. But she wanted to stay there work this beautiful old shop.

old coffe place inside


Mitsos and Thodoros drink mountain tea. People from the village saw out bikes outfront and came to meet us. We had some really nice time!

Sleeping in a kiosk

We found that little kiosk few kilometres after the Kremaston Lake and we decided to spent the night inside.

View to the kremaston Lake

A nice view to the lake!

Kremaston lake

The whole team with the lake in the background!

Green plane

We found this beautiful green plane and we had a break there to watch a hawk gliding about.

greek countryside


The Greek countryside that I love. Warm light makes simple villages look like fairy lands. Peaceful sheep on the right, olive trees, and smiling faces.

 We are close to Agrinio. The big city close to Patras (home). We are tired, but the route is beautiful and peaceful and makes it very easy for us.


We are close to Agrinio. The big city close to Patras (home). We are tired, but the route is beautiful and peaceful and makes it very easy for us.

Greek village school

An other cool school in a Raina Village.
An other 5-10 kms and we were in Agrinio. I haven’t taken any pictures because it was dark and wasnt anything interesting there except from busy roads! We decided not to spend the night there and to cycle to Patras during the night as the traffic wouldn’t be so thick.

So, after some hours we were to the port across Patras waiting for the ferry to take us to Patas (the ferry never came as it was too late so we had to cycle the bridge).

So, after some hours we were to the port across Patras waiting for the ferry to take us to Patras (the ferry never came as it was too late so we had to cycle the bridge).

That was a great little tour. I am already looking forward until the next :) See you and ride some bikes!

Yvon Chouinard’s very interesting talk

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I have never wore a Patagonia product in my life. I didn’t know know the company until I discover its founder Yvon Chouinard a year ago. His passion about nature and environmental issues are interesting and inspiring. It’s so rare for a businessman to be so sensitive, concerned and active about Enviroment. It’s almost unbelievable until you hear him tell his amazing story. Above, you can watch a very interesting talk he gave in Google. It’s really worth your time.

Bike trip to celebrate graduation (Lamia – Patra)

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on 12th of December I went to the city of Lamia to get my bachelor’s degree. It took me almost 13 years to finish this university (wayy above average), so a degree in my hand after all those anxiety filled years would be be a great way to end a pretty good year. Anyway, the dream was always to take some friends and ride our bikes to my University in Lamia city, take the degree and come back. But due to the limited time I had, I decided to only do the return by bike. And alone, because no one was available. So, I went over there by car, spent some minutes in a boring ceremony, took the degree, have a good nights sleep in a friends house and started fresh in early morning the next day. I was prepared for a very cold sleepover in the mountains and maybe one urban one in the cities close to the sea line. My worry wasn’t the hard route I chose to do -through the beautiful mountains of Fthiotida and Fokida states- but the infamous Shepard dogs of the area around the Vardousia mountains. I have heard stories of enduro moto bikers who were more than 3 and had to turn back and change their route because of those big wolf eaters. I consider myself experienced when it comes to shepherd dogs, but the thought of me being alone in the dark on those mountains with killer dogs around wasn’t very relaxing (instead of a wild killer dog, I’ve met a very different kind of dog with whom I had a very interesting and sad interaction – will tell the story in a photograph bellow).

But I wouldn’t let that ruin my trip, so I made a stick from hard wood to carry it on my bags while I was cycling, and in case of an emergency I would pull it out instantly. Fortunately, I didn’t have to use it , and that was probably because I change the second part of the route after a recommendation of a villager I met in the beautiful Pavliani village. I regret it afterwards because I ended up in a part of a very dangerous national road full of deadly trucks. The next part close to the sea wasn’t that bad though.

You can see both the routes here (the original I had planned and the new one via the national road):

So here is the Trip with pictures:

Leaving Lamia

Leaving the city I spent some of the most carefree, sweet and fun days of my life (in the background)

Spooky doll

What a weird sight that is. On the front gate of a small farm, I spotted this. Spooky!

Small stop for a snack

The sky keeps giving me worrying signs as I stop for a snack before I reach beautiful Koumaritsi village

Bike tour - Fthiotida mountains

The view is always amazing with mountains all around an beautiful autumn colours covering everything

Cycling route in Pavliani

From Koumaritsi tou Pavliani there is this beautiful dirt road that’s splits in half a thick fir tree forest. I call it the most beautiful cycling route in Europe.

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beautiful greek forest

I wish I could have stayed and slept in that magical place. I was walking slowly in awe as I was listening to a quiet bird orchestra singing the ode to mother nature.

cat drawing on the wall

And here is Pavliani. With those very interesting drawings on the doors and walls.

melomakarona on the bike

Here is when I had a small break to eat some traditional Greek Christmas sweet as a celebration of the end of the climb. Unfortunately I realized few minutes later, that I was sadly mistaken. The sweets were great though

me and my bike

Here is the actual spot where a huge descent (around 30km) was starting. Breathtaking panorama!

Panorama after new pavliani

This is the panorama. I can sleep here!

sleep on the beach

After 30 km of descent and some more till I reached Galaxidi (a city by the sea), I decided I should stop and have a sleep on the beach. TIP: sleep on pebbles is amazing because you can shape your ‘matress’ as you like!

Amazing dog

​Here is the interesting and sad story of that dog.

As I was passing a hub on the road, I see two dogs looking at me. After some seconds the dog in the photo above started to chasing me. At the beginning I thought he wanted to scare me off his area, but after awhile I realized that he just wanted the company. He just led the way and wouldn’t allow me to pass him. As he was running ahead of me, he would grab with his mouth garbage from the side of the road and let them drop in front of me. By the way he was looking very healthy and strong. He was well fed it seemed. My first attempts to make him stop following me failed. I would stop and wait till he was some meters away sniffing around and then suddenly go as hard as I could for 2 oe 3 kms. It was impossible to loose him. I gave up for a while and kept cycling until I saw a very big descent ahead. I was afraid that he would lost his way home and wanted to make him loose me as soon as possible. So I stopped before the descent and waited for him to start sniffing around. Then, jumped on the bike and started pedaling as hard as I could for 5-10 kms. I looked behind and he was gone. At that time I saw a hawk gliding above me and took my camera out to take a photograph of it. And then I saw this amazing dog running like crazy towards me. His legs was shaking, foaming at the mouth and breathing heavily as he was looking at me with his emotional eyes. I couldn’t believe it. I have never seen anything like it. How can you leave a dog after that. Unfortunately I couldn’t take him with me. Would have been impossible to carry him for the next 140 kms and my house is very tiny for a big dog like this. I had to try again to loose him. I was heart broken. I was looking at him as he was resting besides me and his eyes were full of love and loyalty. How can you leave a dog like this? I get on the bike again and started pedaling as hard as I could for as long as I could. I even climb some hills full speed. And as I was cycling I was turning my head behind me every few seconds and this dog was still chasing me. But the poor dog was tired and couldn’t run as fast, and as I was gliding down the hills I was getting further and further away. But even after awhile I could see a small white dot at the distance still running like crazy…
This dog still haunts me for some reason. I felt terribly for leaving a special creature like this behind after all his efforts to be in my company. I should have played with him a little more at least. But… you know, the ‘should have’ never solved anything…

Beans soup

After many hard kms, I took out my special recipe for some boosting. Beans!

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The national road although it has some traffic, it has nice scenery

cycle path nafpaktos

Atleast, after so many kms on the national road, a nice and free cycle path!

Old deserted slides....

Old deserted slides….

watchtower

….Something to remind us that this beach used to have people swimming and playing…

I really enjoyed that trip. And if I didn’t choose to follow the route of the villager it would have been even better. Beautiful scenery, not so good weather and sweet memories!