Cycling Ancient Greece: Sparta to Kardamyli Plus! Pylos

Experience Plus, Cycling Ancient Greece from Sparta to Kardamyli
  • Length 12 days
  • From USD$5350
  • Style/Level Classic 3.0
  • Countries Greece
  • Begin/End Mystras/Pylos
See related tours

Our bicycling tour of the Southern Peloponnese starts in ancient Sparta and covers the regions of Laconia and Messinia focusing on the Mani Peninsula, an area bursting with ancient and mythological history. The Mani Peninsula also has some of the most dramatic and varied scenery in Greece, much of it still wonderfully unexplored. You will bicycle through diverse landscapes including the lush, steep foothills of the Taÿgetos Mountains, pristine coastal coves dotted with tiny villages nestled amid olive groves, and arid landscapes peppered with abandoned stone towers in the south of the peninsula. We begin our cycling adventure in Mystras, home to one of Greece’s most beautiful archaeological sites, and ride along hilly coastal roads, staying in the picturesque villages of Gythio and Areopoli before retreating to the charming village of Kardamyli. From Kardamyli, we extend our journey along the Akrita Peninsula. This peninsula is known for its idyllic coastline and the medieval castles of Koroni, Methoni and Pylos.

***If this sounds great but you’d prefer a shorter tour, check out our 8-day Cycling Ancient Greece: Sparta to Kardamyli, featuring the first 8 days of this tour.

Highlights

  • UNESCO World Heritage site of Mystras, History of the Ancient Spartans, Mysterious tower houses of the Deep Mani, Cycling on quiet roads, Spectacular coastal scenery and views, Experience traditional Greek village life

  • Nestor’s Palace.

Includes

  • 12 days, 11 nights accommodation

  • meals as noted in itinerary

  • Admission to the Archaeological site of Mystras with guided tour

  • Nestor’s Palace admission

  • All Classic tour inclusions


Date Price Private room fee Note
Apr 19-30, 2024 USD$5350 USD$650 Contact us for availability
Oct 11-22, 2024 USD$5350 USD$650 Sold out – wait list available.
DateApr 19-30, 2024
PriceUSD$5350
Private room feeUSD$650
NoteContact us for availability
DateOct 11-22, 2024
PriceUSD$5350
Private room feeUSD$650
NoteSold out – wait list available.

Download Itinerary

We’ll send you a link to a full day by day tour itinerary that can be downloaded and printed so you can review all the details online and offline. This packet also includes details about what to expect on tour and arrival and departure details.
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  • Total distance 488 km (303 miles)
  • Average daily distance 49 km (30 mi)
  • Tour style Classic
  • Tour level 3.0

Highlights: Test ride through olive groves of Sparta, welcome dinner.

Meet this morning in Athens to transfer together to the town of Mystras, or the ‘wonder of the Morea’. Mystras is just down the hillside from a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an ancient fortress considered to be one of the best-preserved medieval walled towns in the region. Built in 1249, the fortress sits on the slopes of the Taygetos Mountains overlooking Sparta and is where the last Byzantine emperor was crowned. Following your bike fitting, take a scenic test ride. This evening we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner together.

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Mazaraki Guest House

Highlights: UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mystras, foothills of Taygetos mountain range

Today we will take a loop ride through traditional villages and the land of the Ancient Spartans. We’ll pedal through the foothills of the Taygetos mountain range, these mountains surround the Evrotas river valley and created a natural defense – one reason Ancient Sparta was never sacked. After our loop ride we will take a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mystras fortress. The fortress was conquered by many including the Byzantines, Turks and the Venetians, and was finally abandoned in 1832.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Mazaraki Guest House

Highlights: Ancient Sparta and Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil

We leave the foothills of the Taygetos this morning and travel south towards the coast to Gytheio. This colorful town features a waterfront promenade with several restaurants and cafés that are buzzing with activity until late into the evening hours. Dinner is together tonight.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Las Hotel and Spa

Highlights: Coastal cycling and the Mani Peninsula

Today’s ride takes you along dramatic coastlines passing several traditional villages on your way to Areopoli, in the heart of the Mani Peninsula. Areopoli’s narrow, winding city streets, restored pyrgi (fortified tower homes), and its delightful village plazas make this traditional settlement a charming place to call home for the next two days.

The April 19, 2024 departure is staying at Areas Polis Boutique Hotel.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Guesthouse Ktima Karageorgou , Areas Polis Boutique hotel

Highlights: Byzantine churches, tower houses, Vatheia

We are in for a special day, as we ride from Areopoli to Gerolimena. As you cycle past Byzantine churches and sleepy fishing coves the quiet roads of the peninsula gives you a taste of peaceful Mediterranean lifestyle. Cyclists looking to add more miles will have the option to take a longer ride back to Areopoli.

The April 19, 2024 departure is staying at Areas Polis Boutique Hotel.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Guesthouse Ktima Karageorgou , Areas Polis Boutique hotel

Highlights: Messinia, olive groves, Old Kardamyli, visit with a local farmer

A beautiful descent leads us to the picturesque fishing village of Limeni. After Limeni we have a challenging climb, but will then be rewarded with a stunning descent into Kardamyli during the second half of the ride.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Diapori Suites Hotel

Highlights: Explore old Kardamyli, olive oil tasting

Today is an ideal day to rest and enjoy the elegant seaside village of Kardamyli. Take in its picturesque neighborhoods of stone built houses and restored medieval towers, or grab a book (our hotel has many) and lounge on the beach. Or if you prefer a ride, we’ll offer a loop option that will stun you with its panoramic views of the sea and views towards Mt. Taygetos. Explore remote villages and find an opportunity to talk to some of the few remaining but very friendly inhabitants before dropping back to the coast and treating yourself to a refreshing and leisurely swim and lunch. This afternoon, learn everything there is to know about Kardamyli’s most famous product during our visit of a local olive-oil producer. Dinner tonight will be a special one.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Diapori Suites Hotel

Highlights: Olive groves, Kalamata (home of the famous olive), beach hotel

We have a challenging climb, but once over our mountain pass, we will be amply rewarded by a seemingly endless downhill all the way to Kalamata. Tonight, you can enjoy Kalamata’s rich culinary traditions and famous local products.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Grand Hotel Kalamata

Highlights: The Peloponnese coastal route, views of the Taygetos mountain range, Beach-front hotel.

We cycle west along a scenic coastal route passing several traditional villages that compete for our attention. The destination today is the small village of Vounaria. Our hotel this evening is perched above a beautiful coastline, and offers fantastic views of Mount Taygetos and the bay of Messinia.

The April 19, 2024 departure is staying at Hotel Theoxenia.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Theoxenia , Colonides Beach Hotel

Highlights: Castles of Koroni, Methoni. Castle of Pylos

We pedal on a fabulous route around the Western side of the peninsula past Koroni, home to one of the last inhabitable castles in Greece. We’ll then cycle past Methoni, another picturesque castle town of the Peloponnese, and finally to Pylos, known for the famous naval battle of Navarino in 1827. This afternoon, we’ll explore Pylos on foot.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Karalis Beach Hotel

Highlights: Nestor’s Palace, Voidokilia beach (one of the most impressive beaches in all of Greece)

Our last ride will connect not only some of Pylos’ most beautiful sites but will also allow you to appreciate the various periods of this region’s history, from the Mycenaean period to the Middle Ages. The Palace of Nestor, home of the king of Pylos, who took part in the Trojan War, is one of Greece’s best-preserved Mycenaean palaces. Towards the end of our ride, we will have a chance to enjoy a swim at one of Greece’s most beautiful beaches. We’ll celebrate the end of our bike ride in style tonight with a special dinner together.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Karalis Beach Hotel

Highlights: Transfer to Athens

Our adventure ends today with a transfer back to Athens.

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.



Pre-trip planning checklist



  • This tour gets full marks in all the things that make a bike tour great. Breathtaking scenery? Check. Interesting/challenging rides? Check. Great food & drinks? Check. Fascinating history? Check.

    Nathan H., Fort Collins, CO – May 2019
  • Spectacular scenery, good food, wonderful beaches. Lots of hills–long but not especially difficult. Be prepared for warm weather–it could be hot, even in late September.

    Susan C., Berkeley, CA – Sept 2019
  • The Peloponnese is a hidden gem with beautiful beaches and sparkling clear water. The weather in October was perfect and the water still warm enough for swimming. Cycling is a great way to see the countryside. The pace of this tour was almost leisurely, with lots of time to enjoy coffee breaks and lunches along the route. There are a couple of longer climbs but most days are not overly challenging.

    Nancy L., Calgary, Canada