CYCLING HOLIDAY

THE IONIAN ISLANDS

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EUR 630.00

Greece - Island-hopping in the Ionian Islands

The southern Ionian Islands are still relatively unknown and that is truly a shame. This cycling holiday in the Ionian Islands in Greece, offers unspoiled nature, lovely beaches, and a trip in authentic Greece with small charming villages off the beaten track.

Zakynthos is a fertile island with hundreds of small narrow roads and immediately upon arrival you will experience them and ride though olive groves and vinyards.

Kefalonia is more rugged and hilly which means that you will have to handle the occasional climb. We promise that every ascent is worth the effort and promises amazing views over the turquoise seas below.

The small intimate island Ithaka is a true gem and we will virtually guarantee that you will fall in love with the place. It’s covered with forests of tall and thin cypress trees, indigenous mastic- and pine trees. Thanks to the porous limestone soil and wet winters are the islands very green and fertile. Especially during springtime a rainbow of colourful wild flowers dominate the setting.

When you arrive to Zakynthos you will be given a booklet with the day-to-day itinerary and route-notes, which serves as your guide. You luggage is transferred and will be present when you arrive at the hotel of the day. To experience the charm of the islands and to meet locals, you’ll stay in small scale family run accommodations.

 

Free cancellation

Itinerary See all daysClose all days

Day 1 Welcome on Zakynthos

Depending on the arrival time, one could immediately test the bike. You could cycle to the church on top of the Ano Gerakari hill. The route is ideal to get familiarized with the gears and during descend with the breaks. You could also take a dip in the blue waters, at the beach nearby, or just stay around the hotel pool.

Hotel (example): Hotel Zante Garden
Cycling distance: 9km or 12km (optional)

Day 2 Onward to Kefalonia

Before you’ll set off and start the bike Odyssey, the local representatives will tell you all about the coming week. After packing your cases a wonderful route is designed, running over narrow paved roads through olive groves and vineyards. You’ll cycle from village to village; be aware the road may be blocked by crossing sheep and goats. In the quaint village of Macherado you could have lunch before setting of the capitol of the island. Here you’ll be reunited with your luggage while you’re expected to board the ferry. Via the mainland of Greece, the ferry sets its course to the harbor of Poros on the island of Kefalonia. On the pier you’ll be greeted by the hotel owner and here you’ll stay for the night.

Hotel (example): Astir Rooms
Cycling distance: 26km

Day 3 Poros to Argostoli

In the fresh morning mist, just after check-out, a serious climb follows. Your reward will be cool water from the well at a little church on top of the summit. Rolling over a gallery road with amazing views, along the slopes of the majestic Mount Aenos, ends in the capitol of Argostoli. This town of stately avenues with palm trees is well worth a visit. The city has been Venetian for centuries and Italian influences are present everywhere. The central 'piazza' is a place to see and especially to be seen.

Hotel (example): Hotel King Agamemnon
Cycling distance: 40km

Day 4 Rest day Argostoli or cycling

Argostoli is a lovely place to have a break. It offers several beaches, with your bike just a short ride away. Real gems are the popular sandy beaches of Lassi or the remote beaches of Gradakia (which are tucked away by coves and caves). Keen cyslists could cycle to the Mycenean wall of Krani, hidden up in the hills. Or challenge yourself by cycling the tough ride to the monastery of Kipourion, hanging above the cliffs, on westcoast of the peninsula of Pelaki. But, you could also park your bike for a day, shop on the hightstreet Lithostroto. Discover the huge Caretta Caretta sea turtles, which can always be spotted behind the vegetable market of town. Or stroll over the Dam along the Koutavos lagune and rent a small electric boat around the bay.

Hotel (example): Hotel King Agamemnon
Distance:
9km / 11km / 30km

Day 5 Argostoli to Sami

Today it’s going to be a full day, but also one of the best cycling days. The morning starts with a short ferry service to the opposite side of the bay. From the town of Lixouri the route follows north along the tidal of Livadi. Again, the road will descend, but not for very long. Your reward is the spectacular view of Mirtos Beach, with its white pebbled sharply contrasting the azure blue water, it is one of the most photographed beaches of Greece. With a long ascend through the green and fertile valley of Pilaros, you’ll end up in the fishing village of Agia Efimia.

The afternoon ferry to Ithaka will take just half an hour and arrives on the pier of Piso Aetos. Immediately the road will go straight uphill for almost two kilometres, during the descent you have a sudden and fantastic view of the main town of Ithaca. Vathi is stunningly sheltered in a natural bay. Enjoy this charming town, wonder through the many narrow streets or enjoy a cold frappe coffee on one of the outdoor cafes. Visit the small archaeological museum with local ancient finds from early as Mycenaean times. During the evening Vathi very lively village and you can enjoy fresh caught fish in one of the traditional fish tavernas on the quay.

Hotel (example): Vaso Polymnia Apartments
Cycling distance: 56km

Day 6 Rest day in Vathi or cycling

You could have a rest day, chill on your balcony or enjoy beach and pool. Although, you’d miss out on a great cycling day. Today’s optional cycling itinerary will take you to the small fishing port of Frikes. There is a choice between two routes, one via the monastery of Katheron that resides on the top of Mount Neriton. The other is a slightly less challenging route along the coast, with fantastic views of Kefalonia on the other side of the sea. Eventually both routes will meet in the beautiful little village of Stavros. Once upon a time Odysseus, the hero of the epic tale “the Odyssey” by Homer, presumed to have lived here. With a walk of about 4 kilometres, you will get to ruins of a Mycenaean palace deeply hidden in an olive grove, which the
islanders believe to be the Palace of Odysseus. After continuing on bike you will end up in Kioni, this lovely Venetian harbour town is on the nomination list for Unesco heritage for its authentic monumental harbour front.

Hotel (example): Vaso Polymnia Apartments
Cycling distance: 0km / 24km / 34km

Day 7 Ithaca via Kefalonia to Zakynthos

Early morning the ferry will take you back to Kefalonia. From Sami you will follow the last challenging bike route. A climb, with thankful shade of cypress and pine trees, runs over the pass of Digaleto. The strenuous climb is soon forgotten as you zoom down the slopes. An impressive canyon forms the entrance to the port of Poros, where the ferry (via Kilini) departs to Zakynthos. In the late afternoon you’ll arrive in the port of Zakynthos town. Upon arrival, your bicycle will be returned and you could stroll to your hotel. The best way to celebrate your last night is in one of the traditional tavernas where Kantades are sung. These local songs praise the beauty of the Ionian Islands, with everything you’ve seen you could easily sing-along.

Hotel (example): Hotel Strada Marina
Distance: 33km

Day 8 Departure

Unfortunately this is your final day on the tour. You are transferred to the airport in time to catch your flight home.

Price includes

Not included
  • Flight to/from Zakynthos (see
  • Ferry-tickets (approximately € 38,- pr. person in total)
  • All non-mentioned meals
  • Cancellation and Travel Insurance
EUR 630.00

Practical info

General information

The price is based upon two people sharing. It is also possible travel alone in a single room. Simply choose "1 person" in the booking form and it will automatically add the single room surcharge.

On this tour you will be on your own supplied with maps, route descriptions and luggage transfers. That means that your time is your own and you have plenty of time to enjoy the stages in your own pace.

Check the price quickly
You can quickly check the price of your desired trip without having to fill in anything. Here's how:

  1. Choose your desired start date
  2. Click on the green button "See price and reserve your holiday" and go to the booking form
  3. Select number of people, add any optional extras and see the price at the bottom of the page (you don't have to fill in anything on the form).

Get a quote
For example, if you want a flight included or changes to the trip, you can order a quote for this using the "Get a quote" button. Remember to describe in detail what, if anything, you want changed.

The process of your booking
When you book, we will start booking hotels and arranging all the practical details of the trip. This process typically takes 2-5 working days, but some bookings may take longer. If you are arranging your own transport, we recommend that you wait until we have confirmed your booking before arranging this.

Dates
If you can select the date in the tour calendar at the top of this page, this is a possible start date. We continually update the tours with sold-out dates, after which those dates will turn red and cannot be selected.

Bike rental

The bikes are unisex, chosen due to its strong quality combined with maximum comfort. The bikes are equipped with lights, luggage racks, mud guards, 21 Shimano gears, a lock and a comfortable saddle. Furthermore, there is attached a water-repellent bag on the luggage rack and handlebars, and in addition you will receive a small repair kit, with relevant tools, a spare bicycle tube and a pump.
In order to individually adjust the bikes to fit you, it is important that you inform us the body height of all participants in the "comments" box when booking the trip.

Bike rental on Zakynthos

Transportation / Flights

The flights to/from Zakynthos are not included in the price. You can easily find a suitable flight via a flight booking engine such as Momondo or Skyscanner.

Notice: we recommend that you book with us and wait for the confirmation before you book your flights.

It works like this:

  1. You book your chosen holiday with us
  2. We confirm your holiday (usually within 2-5 working days)
  3. You arrange your transportation

Book a quote
If you prefer that we handle your flight, then we would be happy to arrange this for you. You simply book a quote below the map on this page and we will return with a quote as soon as possible (usually within 48 working hours). Please note that we add a handling fee of 45 euro to each flight and this means that the flight will be cheaper if you book it yourself.

Airport transfer
When you arrive to Zakynthos you will be picked up and driven to your hotel. After the tour is over you will be transported back to the airport.

Luggage transfer

Luggage transfer is included on this tour. Upon arrival at the first hotel you will be given luggage tags along with the rest of the welcome package. You fill out the luggage tags and put them on your bags where they will remain for the duration of the tour.

Your luggage is picked up from the hotel lobby around 9am every morning and will arrive at your next hotel at 6pm at the latest (often long before that). If there are any special exceptions to the luggage transfer you will be notified upon arrival.

Luggage transfer includes one bag per guest and the bags can weigh 20kg each.

Accommodation

On this tour you will be accommodated in small family owned hotels with breakfast included.

In the itinerary you can see some examples of the hotels we use on this tour. Notice that the hotels are examples and you may end up staying in different hotels. It depends on availability when you book the tour.

Food & Drink

Breakfast is included every day. It is easy to find lunch in the small villages before the walks and you will have plenty of choices for dinner in the many restaurants.

Route & Difficulty

This tour has difficulty grade 3.

Grade 3
Longer distances in hilly terrain, often with steep climbs. The distance is usually 65 – 80 km or 40 – 50 miles per day. Requires good shape and health. We highly recommend that you practice on some longer rides before you leave home.

Read more about our Grading System

Tour documentation

You will recieve the following documentation

Upon booking
You recieve practical information about the tour in a digital format

One month before arrival
You recieve your hotel list and your voucher (hotel list is often supplied upon booking)

Upon arrival
You recieve the welcome package which contains the printed version of the road book, luggage tags, local specific vouchers and if you have rented bikes then they will also be delivered and fitted at the first hotel.

Climate

It can be hard to plan your trip according to the weather, but to give an idea of the local climate, you can see the data below:
The statistics are from yr.no.

Climate in Zakynthos

The Travel Guarantee Fund

Travel Guarantee Fund

We are members of the Travel Guarantee Fund (nr. 2529) and have all available insurances. This covers you regardless of your nationality. Read more about that here.

Have any questions?

Call our experts on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Phone: +44 20 3936 1208

Or write to us at

[email protected]

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