Tour 3  - Kassandra - MTB & Trekking Bike

From the small hamlet of POLIHRONO, a sand road runs parallel to the dark blue sea, leading southward to the village square in HANIOTI. Tavernas and kafeneia (Greek coffee houses) are clustered around the square - fortified with a Greek coffee, follow the solidly built asphalt road towards NEA SKIONI. The road winds gently and then more steeply through shady pine forests high up into the mountains until it intersects with a mountain road. This comes from AGIA PARASKEVI to the left, and leads on to KASSANDRINO to the right. This wide sandy track is known as the Camel's Hump, since it goes constantly up and down over the Kassandra mountains. Fast descents alternate with invigorating ascents, with breathtaking views down to the Toroneos Gulf to the right and the Thermaic Gulf to the left. On a clear day, many places on the Camel's Hump afford a view of the small island of Kelifos and beyond to the Sithonia Peninsula, the middle prong of Halkidiki. The route is lined with colourful beehives, and every now and again there are pine trees sapped by resin collectors. The resin collected in small cups is important in the production of the typical local retsina

Here begins the wonderful descent down to KASSANDRINO, one of the most untouched mountain villages in the Kassandra Peninsula. Time to take a good break and replenish water supplies in one of the small tavernas. Once rested, head out to the village exit on a solidly built asphalt road leading at first rather steeply and then onto flatter ground through a verdant valley. Walnut trees and fields set the scene until the road gets somewhat steeper, going up over a last hill before the turquoise waters of the Toroneos Gulf heave into view. Another fast descent through olive groves takes you back to the hamlet of POLIHRONO.

Tips: Always wear a helmet and cycling glasses when riding. Take sufficient food and water with you. There are supermarkets and tavernas in POLIHRONO and HANIOTI. There are also tavernas in KASSANDRINO, though they are mostly closed on weekdays in low season. Ride slowly or push past beehives. After rain, most tracks produce a sticky red mud that can block your gears and brakes in seconds. Care is advised; it's better to push a little.

Start point: The church in POLIHRONO, a small village lying on the east coast of the Kassandra Peninsula.

Getting there: From KALLITHEA head along the east coast road towards HANIOTI. The second village after KRIOPIGI going towards HANIOTI is POLIHRONO. Turn LEFT at the first set of traffic lights and then immediately RIGHT again at the next crossroads. This road leads straight to the church.

0.0 km Ride along the village street from the church heading south towards Hanioti. At the next fork in the road beyond a small chapel, go HALF LEFT and stay on the village road, which soon heads out of the village parallel to the sea towards Hanioti.

4.7 km The village square in Hanioti. Immediately after the kiosk, turn RIGHT and ride uphill to the next intersection with the coast road. Then turn left onto the coast road and follow it until you see a petrol station to your left.

5.2 km Opposite the petrol station follow the sign to Nea Skioni, turning RIGHT and going along the solidly constructed tarmac road.

7.0 km Here there is a spring with drinking water – follow the road further uphill.

9.7 km important crossroads!
A wide sandy track coming from the left leads on further right. Leaving the asphalt, turn RIGHT and go follow the sand trail. To the right there is a Department of Forestry sign with a roadmap of the Kassandra Peninsula.

13.3 km Go straight past a house with a large garden and stay on the rutted mountain road, never turning left or right or riding down to the coast.

21.7 km To the right of the track there is a large water pumping station with a blue door, and a table and benches to the left, offering a view of the west coast and the village of Moles Kalives.
About 200m further on there is an important crossroads at

21.9 km To the left, a gravel path from Moles Kalives leads up past a concrete watering trough for goats. Further on it climbs steeply, and to the right in the angle of the road there is a sign with a map of the Kassandra Peninsula.
Turn SHARP RIGHT at this crossroads, heading along this road DOWNHILL to Kassandrino.

24.7 kmTurn RIGHT in front of the Kassandrino graveyard, ride over a small bridge and then immediately LEFT to a spring and a tree with a light stonewall surround. The road forks here. Follow the stone flagged path into the village of Kassandrino. Once in the village an asphalt road follows.

25.2 km kmAt the fork at the village exit follow the asphalt road HALF RIGHT going STEEPLY UPHILL and stay on it, going briefly downhill and then gradually on up. 30.4 kmGo over the top of a ridge down towards the sea (care, heavy goods vehicle traffic may be encountered).

30.4 km Go over the top of a ridge down towards the sea (care, heavy goods vehicle traffic may be encountered).

32.3 km On reaching the coast road, turn RIGHT and ride up to the traffic lights. Turn LEFT, then RIGHT again at the next crossroads and at

33.5 km you will find yourself back at the start point, at the church in Polihrono.

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