Top tours for seaside cycling
Spring and summer are the times for renewal and what makes you feel refreshed more than taking a dip in the sea after (or during!) a long day’s ride on the Mediterranean (or the Adriatic, or Ionian!)? Boost your cycling season by exploring the colorful coasts and blossoming countrysides of these top four seaside tours.
Cycling Ancient Greece: Sparta to Kadamyli Plus! Pylos
Tour Leader and Kalamata local, Yogos Paraskevopoulos says spring is one of his favorite times in the Peloponnese. Why so? The month of May is when the sun shines brightly as warm weather starts to settle in. The entire country begins preparations for another busy summer while the number of tourists visiting in May is still small. The weather is mild enough that cycling is at its best, plus the sea is warm so you can reward yourself with a refreshing swim on any of the multiple sea-side stops on tour. There are plenty of fantastic beaches around, but Voidokilia, the last stop of the Sparta to Kalamata Plus! Pylos, is “out of this world” beautiful. Yorgos details several more reasons to travel to the Peloponnese in spring, particularly May, in this blog post.
A few highlights to look forward to: 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.
Grand Cycling Tour of Sicily
This bicycle tour of Sicily explores traditional southern Italy and the heart of ancient Magna Grecia. Beginning in Siracusa (Syracuse), a UNESCO World Heritage Site with over 3,000 years of Mediterranean history you’ll discover the interior towns in the Valle di Noto. You’ll visit four of them, Ragusa, Scicli, Modica and Valle di Noto. All four are listed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and each one is spectacularly beautiful. Your journey will continue to the coastal town of Trapani known for its seaport and tuna fishing. Explore the medieval village of Erice with its narrow stone alleyways, and the hilltop town of Caltabellotta. You’ll also visit Marsala and sample its fortified wines, and discover some of the finest classical Greek temples still in existence at Selinunte and Agrigento.
A few highlights to look forward to: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the valle di Noto, Syracuse, rural countryside accommodations with pools, olive oil tasting, beaches and swimming opportunities, Agrigento, lunch at Caltabellotta, guided walk of Selinunte, Castelvetrano, Marsala wines, Erice, Trapani, archaeological site of Cava d’Ispica.
Bicycling the Islands of Dalmatia Plus! the South Coast
Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast has been a favorite seaside destination among central Europeans for over a century. Join us as we explore this spectacular limestone coastline by bicycle! We begin near Split where you’ll see Diocletian’s 3rd century palace still inhabited by descendants of the Romans who settled this area and where we’ll visit the waterfalls of Krka National Park. On our ride we pedal three of the Mediterranean’s most picturesque islands -Brač, Hvar and Korčula – spending time in the picturesque rural areas, ports, and fishing villages. We’ll explore the Medieval and Renaissance cities that were so important to the Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Austrians, Hungarians, and Croats. We’ll also pedal to the remote interior of coastal Croatia before shuttling you to the beautiful walled city of Dubrovnik, long considered the jewel of the Adriatic.
Highlights: The Dalmatian Coast, Islands of Brac, Hvar and Korčula, Medieval and Renaissance towns and villages of Primosten, Trogir, Split, Skrip, Pučišća, Stari Grad, Ston, Mali Ston and Dubrovnik, Krka National Park, Dubrovnik.
Bicycling Sardinia – Alghero to Cagliari
The Italian island of Sardinia is renowned for its rich history, colorful handcrafts, and endless miles of undisturbed beaches. Our tour gives you a chance to discover this Mediterranean jewel that is often overlooked by American tourists. Spend 11 days exploring breathtaking coastal roads, pedaling ancient forests, and hiking to ruins that predate Roman civilization by more than 1,000 years – all while enjoying traditional Italian meals and wine. Other highlights are a visit to an excavated Roman town, a fabulous shepherds’ barbecue, and swimming in pristine waters.
A few highlights to look forward to: Quiet country roads, spectacular mountain vistas, great food, great coastal bicycle rides, traditions dating back to pre-Roman times, Cabras Archaeological Museum, guided hike, mask museum.