The first lengthy ascent through the vineyards of PORTO CARRAS begins right behind NEOS MARMARAS. But the reward is not long in coming; as soon as you reach the summit, wonderful views extend out over the vineyards to the sea beyond. Beyond the island of Kelifos, it's even possible to pick out the neighbouring Kassandra Peninsula. This unique and memorable vista accompanies you over several more kilometres to come. From TRISTINIKA, the gravel track back along by the sea calls for a degree of cycling know-how. Less experienced riders might even be advised to push for a while, but the small coves more than make up for the effort. Except in high season (mid-July to late August), everyone can find their own private cove for a swim somewhere along this stretch. A visit to the PORTO CARRAS wine cellars and a nice café on the beach at Marmaras are just the way to round off the day.
Tips: Always wear a helmet and cycling glasses when riding. Take sufficient food and water for the trip with you. Pack your swimming things and sunscreen. The only supermarkets on this tour are in NEOS MARMARAS. Thursday morning is market day in NEOS MARMARAS.
Start point: The kiosk opposite the football pitch in NEOS MARMARAS.
Getting there: NEOS MARMARAS is a fishing village on the west coast of the Sithonia Peninsula, about 20km south of NIKITI. The best way of getting to the football pitch and kiosk is to drive along the coast road from NIKITI a short way past the village of MARMARAS. The coast road goes up over a rise and down to two petrol stations, one on each side of the road. After the petrol stations there is a right hand bend followed by a turnoff to the right signposted “NEOS MARMARAS “. Turn right off the coast road and follow the road up to the football pitch, where there is ample parking space. The KIOSK is opposite the football pitch right on the beach.
0.0 km With your back to the kiosk, ride along the beach out of the village. At the first fork in the road away from the beach, turn HALF LEFT to reach the coast road a short distance further on.
1.3 km Turn RIGHT onto the coast road, which heads south to the fishing harbour at Porto Koufo. Some distance further on you will ride past the Porto Carras hotel complex golf course, after which you have a rather lengthy ascent to deal with, though the higher you get, the better the view of the Porto Carras vineyards.
5.9 km At the end of the ascent there is a car park to your right directly below the Villa Galini. This affords wonderful views of the Toroneos Gulf and the neighbouring Kassandra Peninsula. From here on follow the coast road above the sea. After a long descent you will pass a bridge, and two descents later you will see a sign for TRISTINIKA on your right. Turn RIGHT here at
17.0 km and follow the narrow asphalt road, staying on it as you go through the village of Tristinika. On the way out of the village you will have a view over expansive wetlands to the pinnacles of Porto Koufo, which tower over the coast.
20.0 km At this point the asphalt road becomes a gravel trail; head on STRAIGHT AHEAD, taking care on the extremely rough gravel and sand holes on bends. You will now head north next to the coast, passing past countless small coves. You will face several short climbs, running over the neck of each cove and on to the next one. At the wide sandy beach by the Posseidon hotel complex the trail joins a solidly constructed asphalt road. Tip: there is a phone box at this point.
29.9 km Continue on STRAIGHT AHEAD uphill and then downhill, going STRAIGHT ON at the next left hand turnoff. You now come to two campsites. A small taverna called TONI just behind the second one (STAVROS Camping) offers excellent food only 30 metres from the beach.
Following a further rather longer tough ascent still on asphalt, the most beautiful side of the island of KELIFOS will come into view, looking very like a tortoise from this point. Stay on the asphalt road as it winds its way along the mountains between the Villa Galini and the coves.
Some distance further on, the Port Carras hotel complex and large yacht marina come into view below the road to the left, and slightly further on you will join the coast road once more. Turn LEFT onto the coast road and ride downhill towards Neos Marmaras. The entrance to the Porto Carras winery is on the right a few hundred metres further on.
Tip: You can drop in here for wine tasting, and acquaint yourself with the best wines in Greece. This is well worth it! Further downhill, go back past the Porto Carras golf course and on a little way, then turn LEFT just after the next bridge and ride on towards the centre of Neos Marmaras.
41.0 km You find yourself back at the football pitch which was the start point for this tour.
At a number of crucial points en route, the right direction is clearly indicated by specially posted bicycle signs