Tour 16 - Athos - MTB

A ferry runs from the small harbour at TRIPITI to the island of AMOULIANI. Starting out from the harbour, the route leads mainly over gravel trails and tracks straight along the coast in a northwesterly direction. For the whole of this stretch the shoreline of AMOULIANI is visible to the left, a short distance from the mainland. The numerous isolated beaches are ideal swimming spots, with the profuse olive trees providing shade almost everywhere.
A gravel trail leads from here to the country road high above. This is the only steep part of the entire tour. Next comes a pleasant descent on a solidly constructed asphalt road down to IERISSOS. This more sizeable town even boasts a bank and several shops. On reaching the promenade, follow this to the left heading south. Even from a distance, the boatyards that are the hallmark of IERISSOS are immediately recognisable. Wooden boats of all sizes are hand built here in the traditional way.
From here, take the coast road over the hill back to NEA RODA, and round off your trip in one of the beach cafés. The start point at TRIPITI is easy to reach from here, lying only about 3.5 km further on.

Tips: Always wear a helmet and cycling glasses when riding. Take sufficient water for the trip with you. There are tavernas and supermarkets in IERISSOS and NEA RODA. Be sure to visit the boatyards. During and after rainfall, soft clay makes some tracks impassable. Wait a few days until the clay is dry.

Start point: The ticket kiosk next to the telephone box by the entrance to the port at TRIPITI, where the ferry link to the island of AMOULIANI is.

Getting there: TRIPITI lies between IERISSOS und OURANOUPOLI at the neck of the Athos Peninsula. Follow the signs to the FERRY BOAT

0.0 km Ride up from the telephone box and ferry ticket kiosk to the coast road. Turn LEFT onto this and follow it a short way to the first right-hand bend. On the left hand side of the road a track comes out onto a parking lane. Leave the coast road and turn LEFT onto the track. Starting out on tarmac, follow this road, heading STRAIGHT AHEAD at the next turning and then LEFT at the first fork after it. Go up a short climb to an asphalt road and follow this to the LEFT. It soon becomes a gravel trail leading down to the sea. Continue along by the sea until you come to a hamlet, staying on the main street as you ride through it.

Care: Important point!! In the middle of the hamlet you will come to a covered well. Ride STRAIGHT ON past this well heading for the sea. Once down by the beach turn RIGHT and follow the trail along it.

5.7 km The gravel trail joins the beach at this point. The sand is so deep that you will have to push for a short stretch. Go past a shaded spring until you come to a small landing stage belonging to a private house. Shortly after this there is a wide footpath leading to a track up to the right. Follow this footpath UP TO THE RIGHT and then LEFT onto the track heading further along the coast. Do not turn off at any point. The track then turns away from the coast and heads inland up some very steep inclines. At the end of the climb you will come to the B-road linking GOMATI to IERISSOS. Turn RIGHT onto this and you will be at the top of a pleasant descent to Ierissos.

10.5 km You are now at the sign marking the entrance to Ierissos. Ride on into the village. Cross STRAIGHT OVER the crossroads at the traffic lights and ride past the large village church towards the promenade. Turn RIGHT and follow this along the beach until you get back to the coast road.

Tip: Some distance off you will now be able to see the impressive boatyards at Ierissos, where fishing boats are still hand crafted. A short distance beyond the boatyards, the coast road goes over a rise to the village of Nea Roda. You can either make a brief detour here (there are nice beach cafes), or return to the tour start point via the coast road. To take the detour, turn LEFT just after the petrol station at the village entrance and head towards the sea. Then follow the promenade RIGHT, turning RIGHT again at the end of the village to get back onto the B-road.

18.8 km You are now at the B-road. Turn LEFT onto this and ride out of Nea Roda on towards Ouranoupoli.

20.6 km You find yourself back at the port at Tripiti.

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