Tour 15- Holomondas - MTB

Situated on the east side of Halkidiki, OLYMPIADA is famous for its excavations. The extensive unearthed ruins of ancient STAGIRA are an impressive spectacle. From here, you follow the solidly constructed coastal road towards STRATONI. Letting your gaze wander out over the sea, you will soon pick out the large mussel farms next to the coast. Mussels are a special delicacy in this region, and are sold fresh on the roadside. This seaside stretch undulates slightly, but after a long, rather steeper incline you will leave the coast road to follow a gravel trail high up into the mountains. 27 kilometres of trail in shaded broadleaf woodland come next. Although there are frequent downhill stretches, the route climbs steadily to an altitude of 584m above sea level. Large piles of freshly cut wood line the way, and partly dilapidated woodcutters' huts are dotted here and there. Just before you reach the country road, at the highest point on the tour, there is a small spring. This is your first opportunity to replenish your water and take a brief rest. Once again, you can savour the absolute peace and quiet in the middle of this large uninhabited expanse of woodland. Back on the country road, it's time for pure downhill fun, as you wind your way round numerous bends back down to the east coast of Halkidiki, taking in the magnificent views towards the sea.

Tips: Always wear a helmet and cycling glasses when riding. Take plenty of water and sufficient food for the trip with you. There are hardly any opportunities to stock up on provisions en route Caution! This area is entirely uninhabited. Ride very carefully, as no help will be available in the event of an emergency. Do not ride into the mountains and forests if the weather looks likely to change for the worse. Downpours and thunderstorms can be extremely ferocious, inundating all roads in a matter of minutes.

Start point: The roundabout at the south entrance to the village of OLYMPIADA. Olympiada is on the east coast of Halkidiki.

Getting there: From Holomondas: ARNEA -Stagira (Aristotle monument)- Stratoni - OLYMPIADA.
From the south: IERISSOS - Stratroni - OLYMPIADA.
From the north: STAVROS – OLYMPIADA.
If coming from STRATONI, leave the coast road about 1 kilometre before Olympiada, turn right and follow the signs to OLYMPIADA. The roundabout is at the entrance to the village.
If coming from STAVROS, turn off the coast road shortly before the village and follow the signs to OLYMPIADA. Drive through the village to the roundabout on the other side. Plenty of parking spaces are available.

0.0 km The roundabout is right next to a small chapel. If you stand with your back to the chapel, there are three roads leading off the roundabout: the one to the left leads along the coast to the excavations; the one to the right leads back into the village. Opposite you, a third road heads gently uphill towards Stratoni. Follow this to the coast road a short distance beyond. Turn LEFT onto this wide road and ride along by the sea.

7.0 km From here on there is a lengthy climb of about 4 kilometres.
Care: Important turnoff. After the lengthy ascent and before the next descent you will come to a long right-hand bend. To your right is a high rough stone wall with grit loading chutes. At the point where the wall ends, a gravel track coming from the right joins the coast road.

11.1 km Turn right onto this trail and ride on uphill past a large goat pen.

12.5 km Head STRAIGHT ON at the turnoff. The road goes up and downhill, but the overall tendency is uphill on this stretch.

18.3 km At a fork in the road there is a narrow road leading off downhill to the right. Continue on HALF LEFT on the wide trail, and when you come to the next turnoff at

19.5 km bear HALF LEFT again.

20.2 km At the fork in the road head STRAIGHT ON gently downhill, and STRAIGHT ON downhill once more at the next fork, which you will reach at

20.6 km Here there are huge piles of freshly felled wood on either side of the road.

21.8 km You will come to a green wooden hut used by woodcutters as an emergency shelter. Turn LEFT directly opposite the hut onto a track leading further on UPHILL.

33.0 km The trail becomes a tarmac road. Keep on this.

37.0 km Spring with drinking water.

38.6 km You will now reach the B-road linking VARVARA to OLYMPIADA. Turn right onto this and continue on downhill towards Olympiada. Tip: Some while later you will come to 6 springs gushing excellent drinking water. The next stretch is a wonderful descent with several interesting viewpoints. Once you are back down, head STRAIGHT OVER the next crossroads to reach the coast road a short while beyond.

48.3 km Cross STRAIGHT OVER the coast road. The next intersecting road is a B-road leading off to the right over a bridge to Olympiada. Turn RIGHT and follow the B-road into Olympiada.

50.2 km At the village exit you will arrive back at the roundabout.

At a number of crucial points en route, the right direction is clearly indicated by specially posted bicycle signs