Greece and Cyprus riding a two-wheel revolution
Two-wheeled transport has been popular in Greece for many years – usually with a motor attached. But tourists have inspired huge interest in pedal power and now, wherever you stay in Greece, you are likely to find bike hire centres rivalling the traditional car and scooter rental premises.
It’s easy to see why. Cycling provides a green and clean opportunity to experience the best of this magical country. Bikes can work for families seeking a simple and easy way to explore nearby beaches or for enthusiasts excited by the challenge of testing hill-climbs to experience breathtaking mountain top views.
Cycling in Greece
The mainland and islands of Greece now boast well over 11,000 recognised cycle routes, combining a mixture of dirt tracks and quiet country lanes with busier roads. Some hotels have bikes available for guests to use and many more can arrange cycle hire.
One of the many claims of lively Kos is that it is the island of the bicycle. This is partly because Kos Town has dedicated cycle paths – possibly the only ones on the hundreds of Greek islands – that link many features of the attractive main town.
But the island is flat enough for cycling to be popular among locals as well as tourists. There are numerous cycling routes that are gentle on the legs as well as more rugged rides suitable for mountain biking and, of course, interesting combinations of the two.
Cycling in Cyprus
Kos’s cycling claim is likely to be disputed by Cyprus where long distance road races and tough mountain trials have been attracting competitors and tourists from around the world for years.
The annual Cyprus Sunshine Cup has been held in the island’s spectacular Larnaca mountains since 1997 and is said to be one of the most historical mountain bike races in the world. It will be taking advantage of the mild weather for the 2020 event from February 27 to March 1, a time of year when many cyclists and holidaymakers choose sunny Cyprus as an escape from the colder, wetter UK.
However, you don’t have to be a cycling enthusiast to enjoy Cyprus’s amazing attractions from the saddle. The many cycles routes range from easy to difficult, but they all promise spectacular scenery on a lovely historic island.
Which regions of Greece are best for cycling holidays?
Islands such as:
are among the many that attract cyclists, some seeking simple fun others keeping fit. The Greece mainland too, has cycling hotspots.
The flat area of the Saronic Gulf, about 50 kilometres east of Athens, is one; the massive Peloponnese another. The five-star Costa Navarino offers everything from learning how to ride to guided wild rides through the Messinian countryside. Parts of Halkidiki, especially Sithonia, also offer good cycling.
In fact, for a country renowned for mighty mountains as well as fabulous beaches it is surprising that so many holiday destinations now give tourists the chance to saddle up. For those who want some help it’s becoming easier to find E-bikes for hire, the ones with a little electric motor to assist on the hills!