Mountain Biking and Cycling in Sithonia Halkidiki
Paradise yourself in Sithonia Halkidiki...
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Sithonia Halkidiki Biking & Cycling

Halkidiki is a large peninsula jutting far out into the Aegean Sea , with the three pongs of Kassandra Sithonia and Athos.With a coastline over 800km long and numerous fine sandy beaches Halkidiki gives you the impression of a destination for clearly beach holidays. Yet a unique combination of mountains and sea along with the temperate climeta all year round comes to overbalance that. Thus Halkidiki offers endless opportunities in order to combine holidays along with activities and cycling all year long .


For your Bicycly tour in Sithonia Halkidiki...

Choice of biking routes

A small tip for the beginners is to start slowly with shorter tours in order to get familiar with the climate and the surroundings. Halkidiki is an amazing destination which gives you the opportunity for more extreme bike tours. Always bear in mind contacting the local bike guides since the routes in the hinterland of the peninsulas go through very isolated areas where other people are very rarely encountered .

Planning tours

Although the tours are generally avoid busy main roads, care should still be taken especially with regard to buses and heavy goods vehicles.

Bicycle type

Mountain bikes have the most offer . These should have a triple crank with a minimum of 18gears , and wide trypes with a rough tread. Apart from the coast roads there are a few asphalt roads on the peninsulas, so the range of trekking bikes is severely limited. You can carry your own bike on payment of a surcharge with all airlines . A hard top case for transportation has much to recommend it.On the other hand you can hire bikes and guided tours are offered on location.

Clothing and equipment

Basic equipment is highly recommended , constisted of a helmet,cycling glasses, gloves, shorts and top. In autum and spring do not forget to bring waterproof windcheater and long trousers. Cycling shoes or well-soled shoes are also recommended . A toolkit consisting of spare inner tube, puncture repair kit, pump and universal spanner is absolutely essential on all trips

Drinking water and food

There are very few springs in the hinterland of Halkidiki and villages are few and far between. This is why it is advisable to carry at least 1,5liters of water per person with you .


http://www.sarti.gr/site/images/arrow_down2.gif Tour No 1: Along the coast to the beekeepers village of Nikiti


Along the coast to the beekeepers in Nikiti

Distance: 55,3km

Road surface: 66% asphalt 34% trail

Difficulty level: Section A to Nikiti easy, Section B difficult

Route Type : The first section to Nikiti is a gentle coastal tour with plenty of opportunities for swimming . The second section is for rather fitter cyclists who are rewarded with lots of wonderful views

Main Points: The Monastery of Vatopediou lying next to the orchards of Ormilia is the prelude to this tour. Opening times differ considerably depending on the time of year

A solid built asphalt road leads to the small hamlet of Vatopedi and on through olive groves down to the coast. The small little used road runs close the coast via Metamorfosi to the beekeeper’s village of Nikiti. The ascent to the small church of Agios Georgios is very steep and strenuous but the unique view from the top makes up for all the effort .

From here a gravel track leads diagonally inland up to the Chapel of Profitis Ilias above the village of Metangitsi .

Next comes a wonderful descent on a new asphalt road down towards Metamorfosi

Just before you get there follow a trail to the Monastery of Agios Ioannis. From there ride a short way down to the village and then back along the coast return to the start point

Tips:

  • Take sufficient food and water with you
  • Always wear a helmet and cycling glasses when riding
  • Fresh Fruit is available from the fruit stands right on the coast road behind Psakoudia
  • There are supermarkets and tavernas in Nikiti and Metamorfosi
  • The old village of Nikii is worth seeing
  • When inland beware of flocks of goats and dogs
  • Dismount and push your way slowly past
  • During and after rainfall soft clay makes tracks impassable. Wait a few days until the clay is dry

At a number of crucial points en route, the right direction is clearly indicated by specially posted bicycle signs


http://www.sarti.gr/site/images/arrow_down2.gif Tour No2: Agios Pavlos springs

Agios Pavlos springs

Distance: 18,8 km

Road surface : 11% asphalt 89% trail

Suitable for: Mountain bike

Brief Description : A short trip around the Agios Pavlos springs with a few steep ascents and descents that call for some degree of fitness and cycling know-how

Main points: Part asphalt part trail the start of this tour takes you at a leisurely pace along the west coast of the Sithonia Peninsula. During the way you will have the opportunity swim and relax in one or many of the numerous small coves.

A little way further on you leave the coast to head up into the inland of the Sithonia Peninsula. The climb may not be more than 300meters but it fulfills all of your expectations.

Note: Be extra careful with the descents Many bends have a deep sand-filed craters in them , and sudden deep ruts are liable crop up.

A while after crossing a few hills in the Sithonia Peninsula a pleasant descent through dense woodland leads down to the springs and chapel of Agios Pavlos. With the sea before you the route runs along a solidly built asphalt road back down to Kalogria Beach on the coast .

Tips :

  • Take sufficient food and water with you
  • Always wear a helmet and cycling glasses when riding
  • Water is only to be had at the Agios Pavlos springs


http://www.sarti.gr/site/images/arrow_down2.gif Tour No 3: Biking to the Highest point on the Sithonia Peninsula

biking to the highest point on the Sithonia Peninsula

Distance : 36,6Km

Road Surface: 41% asphalt 59% trail

Difficulty level: difficult

Suitable for: Mountain bike

Brief description : A demanding tour for fit , experienced cyclists . The ultimate highpoint is the panoramic view from the highest point in Sithonia Peninsula.

Main points : Beginning from Neos Marmaras to the summit of Sithonia you will be riding uphill almost of the way. At the beginning the route starts with a solidly constructed tarmac road up to the mountain village PARTHENONAS and continues on gravel tracks into the untamed hinterland .The ride is a very impressive through vastly differing landscapes.

One of the real treats when it comes to the tour is the return. Its endless downhill fun , back via Parthenonas to Neos Marmaras .

Keep in mind that even on narrow gravel tracks , count on meeting vehicle traffic.

Tips:

  • Always wear helmet and cycling glasses when riding
  • Take sufficient food and water for the trip with you
  • The only supermarkets on this tour are in NEOS MARMARAS
  • Thursday morning is market day in NEOS MARMARAS
  • A few tavernas in the village are open all year round
  • In the hinterland there are large flocks of goats and cattle watched over by dogs . Ride slowly and quietly by, and push for a while if necessary .
  • Ride slowly past beehives, otherwise bees are liable to get trapped under your glasses and helmet and sting you.
  • During and after rainfall soft clay makes tracks impassable especially above. Parthenonas Wait a few days until clay is dry


http://www.sarti.gr/site/images/arrow_down2.gif Tour No 4: Coastal tour in the south of the Sithonia Peninsula

coastal tour in the south of the sithonia peninsula

Distance: 41,10 km

Road surface: 73% asphalt 27% trail

Difficulty level: moderately difficult

Suitable for: Mountain bike & trekking bike

Brief Description: Coves with crystal clear water and wonderful untouched countryside are the absolute highlights of this tour. A swimming tour for pleasure-seekers manageable by all who set a day aside for it.

Main points: The first lengthy ascent through the vineyards of Porto Carras begins right behind Neos Marmaras. As soon as you reach the summit you get rewarded with wonderful views extend out over the vineyards to the sea beyond and there are more kilometers to come.

From Tristinika the gravel track back along by the sea calls for a degree of cycling know-how. Less experienced riders might even be advised to push for a while but the small coves more than make up for the effort.

Tips:

  • Always wear helmet and cycling glasses when riding
  • Take sufficient food and water for the trip with you
  • The only supermarkets on this tour are in Neos Marmaras
  • Thursday morning is market day in Neos Marmaras
  • Pack your swimming things and sunscreen.


http://www.sarti.gr/site/images/arrow_down2.gif Tour No 5: From Toroni into the untamed hinterland of the Sithonia Peninsula

from toroni into the hinterland of the sithonia peninsula

Distance: 24,6km

Road surface: 40% asphalt 60% trail

Difficulty level: difficult (version A) moderately difficult (version B)

Suitable for: Mountain bike( version A) trekking bike & mountain bike (version B)

Brief description: Short by partly very demanding tour with wonderful views

Main points

Version A (difficult) :Porto Koufo is the start point for the tour . The flat coastal road is suggested for warming up before riding on sand and gravel high into the interior peninsula. During the long ascent over the 5 km grab the opportunity to relax for a while following the few flatter stretches you will find on the way. That way you will be able to find some time to let your gaze wander out to the sea or over the barren hinterland.

The east coast and the village of Sikia are visible from the small chapel above. From there it’s downhill towards Sikia outside which there is a choice of two routes to continue the tour.

Version B (moderately difficult) : Though this route is longer it is easier and more approachable for beginners .It leads through the village to the coastal road and back to Porto Koufo .

Tips:

  • Always wear a helmet and cycling glasses when riding
  • Take sufficient food and water for the tri with you
  • The good fish tavernas in Porto Koufo are well worth visiting in October when fresh tuna fish is available.


http://www.sarti.gr/site/images/arrow_down2.gif Tour No 6: Over the ridges of the Sithonia Peninsula

over the ridges ofthe sithonia halkidiki peninsula

Distance: 32,40km

Road surface: 41% asphalt 59% trail

Difficult: moderately difficult

Suitable for: Mountain bike

Brief Description: An impressive trip through the bizarre rocky landscape of the Sithonia Peninsula with breathtaking views

Main points: The first third of this tour is from Vourvourou along the coast, on a lengthy but gentle uphill climb that shouldn’t present any serious difficulty.

The ascent up to the “honey factory” high in the hinterland and the ridge road thereafter call for previous experience on sand and scree. This is the only way to enjoy the highlight and real reason behind the selection of this tour-the breathtaking views. Once on the ridge there are several points affording a full 360o panorama. The descent that follows requires knowledge on steering technique since the stepper parts are heavily sanded in places and deep ruts also crop up. Just behind the start point back in Vourvourou , there is a wide sandy beach where you can round off the day by relaxing for a while in the clear waters of the Aegean Sea.

Note: This stretch should be avoided on weekends when traffic is very heavy.

Tips

  • Always wear a helmet and cycling glasses when riding
  • Don’t forget your sunscreen
  • Take sufficient food and water for the trip with you
  • There is nowhere to stock up on provisions en route
  • The only exception to the above is at Ormos Panaghia towards Nikiti, where you may de able to buy fresh fruit from the farmers on the country roadside, but this is heavily dependent on the season