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 Photo Travelogue:
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.
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!
Waiting for Thodoros to take out his sweater. Big ascent ahead!
After a huge hill and some hard climbing we are finally in Analipsi village. The sun is setting and the moon is already visible.
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.
A much needed very rejuvenescent descent through the vilages!
Beautiful colors from the setting sun as the big bright moon is emerging behind the mountains.
A small stop in the main square of Petrochori Village (=Stone village) to buy some Tsipouro (Greek strong alcohol) and eat some chocolates.
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!
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!
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).
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!
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!
Thodoros enjoying his morning peace.
This is me checking my emails just before I got up. Nice spot or what?
This is the view to Abbey of Prousou. Seems like a nice place to live.
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.
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.
After some amazing kilometers we have reached the Aspropyrgos village. A very interesting little village, with old beautiful houses (at least for me)….
Like this one…
..or this one…
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.
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!
We found that little kiosk few kilometres after the Kremaston Lake and we decided to spent the night inside.
A nice view to the lake!
The whole team with the lake in the background!
We found this beautiful green plane and we had a break there to watch a hawk gliding about.
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.
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 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 to the next one:) See you and ride some bikes!