Tour 01 - To one of the southernmost extremes of the Kassandra Peninsula
One of the highpoints of this tour is the chapel of Saint Nikolaos at the natural harbour of the same name. This miniature paradise on the Toroneos Gulf is reached by taking the coast road past the fine natural harbour at PEFKOHORI, followed by a narrow country road. Endless olive groves line the route, fading into evergreen pine forests in the hills. The gravel tracks call for some degree of fitness and cycling know-how, but the continual ascents and descents pale into insignificance compared to the fine views from the hills down to the Thermaic Gulf to the west and the Toroneos Gulf to the east. A snorkelling stop in Agios Nikolaos and a last dip in the crystal clear waters at Golden Beach will add something really special to this day.
Tips: Take sufficient water with you. Always wear a helmet and cycling glasses when riding. Take your swimming things with you. There are supermarkets and tavernas in PALIOURI. During and after rainfall, soft clay makes tracks impassable. Wait a few days until the clay is dry.
Start point: The info kiosk right at the entrance to PEFKOHORI, a village on the east coast of the southern Kassandra Peninsula.
Getting there: From KALLITHEA, head past HANIOTI and on to PEFKOHORI. The info kiosk is on the right at the entrance to the village. Adequate parking space is available.
0.0 km Start at the Pefkohori info kiosk and follow the main road STRAIGHT AHEAD through the village. Leave by the coast road, going past the natural harbour and continuing STRAIGHT AHEAD towards Paliouri. The road there climbs rather more steeply; leave the coast road just before the petrol station at the village entrance.
10.2 km Just before the petrol station, turn LEFT off the coast road, following the asphalt road signposted “Κάνιστρο 2”. After a tough ascent the road leads back down to the sea, and then parallel to the coast through endless olive groves on its way further southwards.
15.8 km The asphalt road turns into a wide dirt road heading straight on down to the sea. Shortly afterwards you will come to the headland on which the chapel of Agios Nikolaos lies.
18.3 km The chapel is one of the southernmost reaches accessible on the Kassandra Peninsula, and marks the turning point of the tour. Go round the small plateau surrounding the church and back along the same road you came. The dirt road winds its way slowly back uphill to the asphalt. Note: Those on trekking bikes are advised to go back to Paliouri on the asphalt road. The section described below is only suitable for mountain bikes. A few metres further on, at
21.5 km there is an important turning to the LEFT. Just before an electricity pylon, a dirt road forks off at a sharp angle to the LEFT. Follow this through the olive groves, staying on the main track and taking care not to bear off left downhill. After a sharp bend, a steep gravel incline leads past a water tank (23.2 km). Go RIGHT at the next intersection at the end of the climb, heading first gently downhill and then steeply back up. As before, stay on the main track and look out for any signs marking the route. 26.6 km Turn and ride STRAIGHT AHEAD along a track coming from the right behind you and leading gently uphill. Keep going straight along this wide track.
27.6 km Here you will come to a fork in the road, with a fenced-in plot of land and concrete pillars to your left. Head gently uphill past this. At the next fork go HALF LEFT on through the fields towards a small white chapel. Continue on gently uphill and head STRAIGHT ON at the next turning. The houses in Paliouri should come into view shortly afterwards.
29.5 km At the next fork turn RIGHT and head towards the village of Paliouri. The dirt track joins the main asphalt road, leading shortly afterwards to the village square.
30.0 km Paliouri village square. Continue in the same direction, and turn RIGHT at the first street after the square, then LEFT again. The coast road is a few hundred metres further on. Turn RIGHT onto the coast road and head towards the sea and PEFKOHORI. A few kilometres further downhill there is a signpost pointing to Golden Beach (a great spot for swimming and snorkelling).
41.0 km You now find yourself back at Pefkohori and the start point at the info kiosk.
At a number of crucial points en route, the right direction is clearly indicated by specially posted bicycle signs.