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MOUNTAINS AND MYTHS: Tour Itinerary

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Riding through the mountains and remote villages of Macedonia makes for a Greek mountain bike adventure like no other. Swooping, flowing singletrack; narrow trails lined with wild mountain herbs; other-worldly rock formations. All punctuated by an abundance of delicious local dishes, and fantastic Greek wines.

You should arrive in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, the day before your tour start date to allow for any travel or baggage delays, and to give yourself time to relax before your adventure.

You’ll also have the chance to soak up the vibrant café culture and social scene of Thessaloniki, which boasts more than 5,000 cafés!

We have a handy guide to spending 24 hours in Thessaloniki to help you navigate all the options.

We recommend staying at the Modernist Hotel before your tour and your guide will meet you here on day 1.

Your guide will meet you at the Modernist Hotel at around 10:00am, then take you on the short walk to our local base where we will build bikes and set up rental bikes with your first iced coffee of the adventure.

Once bikes are ready you’ll walk another few steps to our favourite vegetarian café in Thessaloniki where you’ll have lunch and your guide will go over the pre-trip briefing.

After lunch, we’ll load up the van and trailer and drive about an hour from the city and the first of two warm-up rides today, in the foothills of Mount Chortiatis.

The trails here will build you up gradually, whilst still being a whole lot of fun. Flowing, forested trails with the occasional rocky section will wake you up from your travels, and keep you on your toes until we arrive back at the van and load up for the second mountain, and final warm-up trail of the day.

Starting in the forest, the trail then opens up on a ridgeline high above Thessaloniki, giving spectacular views over the city and Mount Olympus in the distance.  The technical level of the trails goes up a gear here, giving you a taste of the variety of trails you’ll encounter in Greece.

Back in town, it’s time to shower up and prepare to enjoy a feast of Greek food at one of our favourite restaurants in Thessaloniki. Yamas!

Accommodation:
Cool city hotel, Thessaloniki
Meals included:
Lunch, dinner
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Time to say goodbye to the buzz of the city and head into the mountains of rural Macedonia. We’ll drive around 90 minutes to Paiko, where our guide Christos has built the most beautiful singletrack through forests of beech and oak trees.

This will be a day of three amazing descents, mostly fast and flowing with berms and small jumps, but you’ll also find more technical sections with rocks. All three are linked by fire road climbs of between 20 and 45 minutes, but the rewards are definitely worth it.

When we’ve exhausted ourselves on Christos’ trails, we’ll peel off our knee pads and head to a local vineyard for lunch and wine tasting.

Once satisfied that Greece does produce a variety of lovely wines, we will head up the mountain behind the vineyard to our accommodation in rustic cabins in the tiny village of Naousa.

Whilst the accommodation is basic, you won’t be roughing it. The owner of the cabin will look after all of our needs and prepare for us a typical Greek ‘mezze’ meal comprising an array of wonderful dishes for us all to share.

Accommodation:
Rustic mountain lodge, Naousa
Meals included:
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
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From our mountain retreat we have a short drive to the nearby ski resort, where we will start our climb to the trail head of our first ride of the day.

We leave ‘civilisation’ behind and climb for approx 1.5 hours to the mountain top that has been dominating our view for the past 12 hours.

We’ll take a break to have a snack and enjoy the outstanding 360-degree view from the ridge line, then don knee pads and prepare for a 15km descent! We’ll flow through alpine, beech trees, wild garlic, then into the fruit and olive groves that line the trail at the end of this incredible morning ride.

We’ll load the bikes and drive to Velvedos to our bonus ride of the day.

In the van we climb part of the way to the village where we’ll be staying tonight, but pull off to climb for about 25 minutes to ride a beautiful descent in the evening light. This will lead us to one of our favourite evening meals, at a small local restaurant where the owner is the waiter, chef, bar man and cashier.

After dinner, and feeling happy and satisfied, we will drive 45 minutes to our mountain village accommodation for the night.

Accommodation:
Rustic mountain lodge, Pieria
Meals included:
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
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As we roll out of your mountain accommodation, you will be struck by how quiet the village is, despite how beautiful and well-tended it is. The valley is very much off the tourism radar so we’ll enjoy the peace and quiet and our hosts will enjoy having us there.

We’ll pedal out of the village as the sun starts to heat the valley, to discover what kind of trails are hidden in the mountain forests.

Our first descent drops us into thick pine forest on quite rustic singletrack with roots, rocks and pine cones. As we drop onto the fire road we’ll be met by our van and driver to shuttle us up to our next descent!

We can do two or three different trails today with the help of our trusty driver, ending on a little-used, but gorgeous mountain path with spectacular views. This will take us down to a local bar where we’ll have a well-earned drink, lunch and a rest.

The last part of the day will see us driving to Meteora, where we’ll be surrounded by a unique and breathtaking environment, which will be our playground tomorrow.

Accommodation:
Boutique hotel, Meteora
Meals included:
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
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This morning we’ll have breakfast with a very special view, looking out at the edge of the rock formations that form the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora.

As much as the view is great, riding amongst these monoliths is even better, and we’ll head out to get up-close-and-personal with them.

Our trail will start by skirting round the far side of the rocks, before coming in beside them, and then finally right over them! There’s loads of grip on the rocks and we’ll have plenty of opportunities to take photos on our ride today. It’s likely we’ll see more tortoises on the trail too, since the environment around Meteora is perfect for them.

We’ll roll back down to our accommodation, where we will stay for a second night, after a really special day.

Tonight is a free night. You can join your crew in the hotel restaurant or make your way out into the village for dinner, it’s up to you, but your guide will ensure you have the evening that you are looking for.

Accommodation:
Boutique hotel, Meteora
Meals included:
Breakfast, lunch
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As we pull out of the hotel in Meteora we will be feeling like we are leaving an old friend behind, but onwards we must go.

We will drive 2 hours south to the next location, Pelion. It’s an early start, we have a lot to pack in, but it will be worth it. And we’ll stop for an iced coffee on the way to wake you up before you ride!

Today’s ride is different from the rest of the week. It’s a journey from mountain to sea, with lots of pedalling and climbing, but lots of interesting, even quirky, trails and scenery to enjoy.

It’s a real ‘old skool’ adventure ride, with walking trails, forest roads, olive groves, roads, village paths, singletracks and train tracks. Yes, you read that correctly!

All of this takes us on a six hour journey to the sparkling coastline of Northern Greece. We’ll end our ride with our feet in the sea and a beer in hand, enjoying the evening in this small coastal village, having dinner, and watching the sun set over the water.

Accommodation:
Small hotel, Pelion
Meals included:
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
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We’ll enjoy another delicious Greek breakfast on the terrace, overlooking the sea.

As we make our way back to Thessaloniki we’ll enjoy the final ride of our Macedonian adventure – a 20km descent! We’ll shuttle up to the start of our ride in the alpine environment, just a few kilometres away from Mount Olympus. We’ll have a short doubletrack descent before hitting forested singletrack that will deliver us all the way to the beach.

Having successfully completed our last ride, we’ll soak tired bodies in the warm sea, before drying off under the afternoon sun and tucking into a lunch that will cement your memories of eating in the Greek sunshine forever.

Then we will load back up into the van and depart for Thessaloniki and our final night together in the food and drink capital of Greece to celebrate our incredible Greek MTB adventure. Yamas!

Accommodation:
Cool city hotel, Thessaloniki
Meals included:
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
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Sadly, this is the end of our mountain bike adventure in Macedonia. One of the team will return you to Thessaloniki airport for around 10:00am, in time for your flight home.

If you require an earlier (or much later) transfer, we can help you organise that too.

Meals included:
Breakfast
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