Tour 5  - Kassandra - MTB & Trekking Bike

Coast to coast is the byword for this tour. After a stretch of country road past orchards and vegetable gardens, a hilly track leads through extensive cotton fields to Afitos, one of the oldest villages in Halkidiki. The beautifully restored houses and old streets lined with small shops bring typical rural Greece to mind. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy a Greek coffee together with the locals in such surroundings.

An asphalt road running right along on the coast leads to KALLITHEA and on to KASSANDRIA, the regional capital of the Kassandra Peninsula. Tracks with a few more demanding inclines lead over the hills back to the area near CAPE SANI. One special highlight of this tour is the view to the Thermaic Gulf from the cliffs on the east coast. Care is needed when descending the cliff track down to the sea below. A further long climb on the road linking Kassandria to Sani awaits you on the way back to the start point.

Tips: Take your swimming things with you. Always wear a helmet and cycling glasses when riding. Water and food can be replenished en route in AFITOS, KALLITHEA and KASSANDRIA. Farmer's market on Tuesday morning in KASSANDRIA. During and after rainfall, soft clay makes tracks impassable. Wait a few days until the clay is dry.

Start point: The fork in the road in front of the SANI RESORT

Getting there: Take the 4-lane motorway extension from NEA MOUDANIA, and turn right at the traffic lights where it joins the 2-lane coast road. Follow the large SANI BEACH Holiday Resort sign to a fork in the road. In the angle of the fork there is a taverna with a large car park. This is the start point.

0.0 km START at the large signs marking out this fork in the road (Sani Holiday Resort and Simantro Beach). Follow the B-road back in the direction you came from. The road leads away from the Sani Resort towards the east coast, and traffic is likely to be heavy in July and August. A few kilometres further on you will see a liquor store to the left, and a little further on at

3.4 km there is a turning. A narrow tarmac road leads off at an angle to the right, but you should go SHARP RIGHT onto a wide sandy road heading past a small white bus shelter through the fields. Follow this gently downhill, going STRAIGHT ON UPHILL at the next crossroads.

5.3 km At the next fork in the road continue STRAIGHT AHEAD towards the pine forests. The track now leads you gently uphill. After a short descent and a somewhat steeper climb you will reach a clearly identifiable fork in the road.

7.9 km At the fork there is a small stone wayside cross. Turn LEFT and follow the trail leading gently downhill to the coast road.

10.2 km Cross over the coast road, following a narrow track straight on until you reach the next asphalt road, where you should turn LEFT and head towards the village. The road running through the village centre is paved with flagstones at this point, and arcs round to the right in front of the church. Once you are directly behind the church, take the street leading off to the LEFT and follow the sign for Hotel Afitis. Once down on the cliffs, keep on the tarmac until you get to the hotel.

12.0 km Turn LEFT in front of the hotel and head on next to the beach. A slightly steeper ascent leads you back into the village. Just before the end of the climb, turn LEFT and follow the sign for Thessaloniki. Turn RIGHT at the next street directly behind a bakery and ride up to the next intersecting street.
There is a kiosk to your right. Turn LEFT onto this street, follow it round an S-bend and take the next turning to your LEFT.

13.7 km Follow this road to your LEFT heading for the coast. Round the next right hand bend, follow the road leading directly above the cliffs to KALLITHEA.
At the village entrance this road joins the main coast road, which you should follow towards the village until you get to the next set of traffic lights.

16.3 km At the lights go STRAIGHT ON out of the village. Further downhill, turn RIGHT onto a wide asphalt road immediately after an S-bend. The road becomes a gravel path leading past some discos and on through the fields. At the next intersection turn LEFT and ride on parallel to the B-road linking Kallithea with Kassandria.
A short distance further on when you reach the main road, turn LEFT towards Kassandria.

21.7 km At the first set of traffic lights at the entrance to Kassandria, turn LEFT into an alley leading to the centre of the village. At the kiosk turn RIGHT into the pedestrian precinct and head through this until you get to a crossroads. There is a chemist's on the corner to the right with a kiosk opposite it.
At the kiosk there are three roads ahead of you. The narrow road straight ahead leads gently uphill; the one in the middle goes past a kafeneion (coffee house) out of the village; the road to the right leads to the police station. Take the MIDDLE ROAD past the kafeneion. At the next fork at

22.4 km take a HALF RIGHT and ride out of the village until you get back to the B-road.

23.2 km Cross over the main road. Note: Take care - this is a fast major road with heavy traffic. Keep on the dirt road opposite, going gently uphill and then downhill to a dried up riverbed. Follow the riverbed to the right, turn LEFT at the next intersection and follow the dirt road uphill. The track climbs slightly more steeply and continues for some distance before reaching the asphalt road linking Kassandria with Sani Resort.

26.0 km At the intersection turn LEFT and continue along the tarmac road past the Chapel of Agios Georgios and its nice covered picnic areas.
One hundred metres before the Chapel of Agios Raphael at

26.5 km turn LEFT onto a dirt road and follow it to the cliffs. Do not turn off to the left at any point. The Elani Greek holiday village is in the valley below.

30.4 km At a small hamlet right on the cliff top, turn RIGHT onto the wide dirt road above the cliffs and then ride steeply downhill to the sea.
Down at the sea turn RIGHT and follow an S-bend around a former campsite. At the next dirt road turn RIGHT again and follow the track inland until you come back onto the asphalt road linking Kassandria with Sani Resort.
Turn LEFT here and follow the bends up to the crest and then back down the other side.

37.3 km At the next intersecting asphalt road, turn LEFT and follow the signs to Thessaloniki and Nea Potidea. Turn RIGHT at the next intersection a few hundred metres further on, continuing to follow the signs for Thessaloniki and Nea Potidea.

42.0 km You find yourself back at the tour start point.

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