Cycling in Greece wrap up

If two months and two thousand kilometres did not justify being a bicycling expert on Turkey, then a few Greek islands and a couple of hundred kilometres certainly will not ‘cut the mustard’. Here’s a summary anyway! We rode on Rhodes [ no pun intended], Kos, Leros, Santorini and into Athens from Piraeus. Cycling around Rhodes Town is ok, though the crowds, narrow alleys and cobbles in the old town make it difficult. In summer I can imagine the main road up to Lindos is a nightmare, and to cross the island involves serious hill-climbing especially around Butterfly Valley. Kos is a far simpler prospect. It is cycle-friendly for a start and flat around the edges. Most tourists [read Dutch] rent bicycles and meander around in the light traffic. If the hill towns are on your list, the scenery is worth the reward for the effort. Leros is a small place, barely 20km long and 10km wide – so it can easily be seen in a couple of days. The beaches at top and bottom are great, but getting to them from the central ferry points involves some conquering of small hills. Santorini was enjoyable south of Fira. The roads are narrow, and everyone moves fast [especially the tourists on mopeds]. Most bus traffic tends to be mid-morning so be aware of that. And the climb up from the port would be excruciating with traffic and gradient. If you have to do it, wait till all the ferry traffic disperses. From Piraeus, the simplest thing is to catch the Metro into Thissio station, from where you cycle past the Acropolis towards Plaka. There are a couple of carriages with bicycle sections but they may be full depending on the time of day. We came cross other cycle-tourists on the island ferries, but as we did not camp I have no comments on those facilities. Few and far between I imagine. Cycle-tourists being frugal, it is unlikely you would be catching a superfast/hydrofoil ferry anyway, but note the odd one has no room for bikes. Enjoy, and well done to those who venture into mainland Greece and the Peloponnese. Hills and Greek drivers…insane!
Michael

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Filed under 2012, Ankara to Athens, Gallery

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