Tour 8 - Sithonia - MTB

Part asphalt, part trail, the start of this tour takes you at a leisurely pace along the west coast of the Sithonia Peninsula. Enjoy the wonderful views of the deep blue sea, as the numerous small coves entice you to swim and relax. Yet just a little way further on, you leave the coast to head up into the inland of the Sithonia Peninsula. The climb may only be about 300 metres, but it has all you could ask for. Rough gravel alternates with rock and sand, and the gradient on some of the inclines you'll face is easily over 20%, calling for fitness and cycling know-how. Reward comes often, in the form of fabulous views over the rugged landscape, relieved only by the surrounding green pine forests. Note: Take special care on descents. Many bends have deep sand-filled craters in them, and sudden deep ruts are liable to crop up. Having crossed a few hills in the Sithonia Peninsula, a pleasant descent through dense woodland leads down to the springs and chapel of AGIOS PAVLOS. The spring water is excellent; many locals get their drinking water from here. With the sea before you, the route runs along a solidly built asphalt road back down to KALOGRIA Beach on the coast.

Tips: Take sufficient food and water with you. Always wear a helmet and cycling glasses when riding. Water is only to be had at the AGIOS PAVLOS springs.

Start point: An isolated villa on the beach at KALOGRIA.

Getting there: From the traffic lights in NIKITI, drive on along the B-road towards the SITHONIA Peninsula. About 1.5 km further on, follow the sign to NEOS MARMARAS, turning RIGHT onto the SITHONIA coast road. Then another 4.5 km further on, follow the sign to KALOGRIA at the beginning of a right hand bend, turning RIGHT down towards the beach. A few hundred metres further on there is an isolated villa to your right; this is the tour start point.

0.0 km Setting out from the villa, follow the track along the beach heading south. Some distance further on, the track joins the coast road, which you should follow STRAIGHT ON for another few kilometres. A few metres after a solidly constructed S-bend there is a bus stop to the left, and a sign to the Athena Palace Hotel to the right.

2.0 km Follow this sign RIGHT, turning onto a narrow asphalt road which runs along the coast.

3.5 km At this point the road becomes a gravel track. Do not turn off at any point; continue riding PARALLEL to the coast road and the sea. Some distance further on the gravel track joins the coast road once again. Follow this STRAIGHT ON around the next left hand bend, until you see a petrol station to your left.

7.4 km About 50 metres before reaching the petrol station turn LEFT down a narrow asphalt road.

7.8 km Turn RIGHT onto a track, LEFT onto the next track following a riverbed, cross the river and ride on uphill. There are a number of steep ascents on this trail, which starts out on rough gravel and continues on rock and sand with occasional ruts. Stay on the trail.

12.4 km Further on uphill you will come to a wide sand trail. Turn LEFT onto this and stay on the surprisingly wide main trail.

13.1 km At a fork in the road, follow the sign to “Agios Pavlos“ DOWNHILL TO THE LEFT, cross over a narrow tarmac road a few kilometres further on and you will get to the Agios Pavlos springs.
Tip: Replenish your drinking water from the spring, which has excellent water. Ride back up from the springs to the tarmac road, turn LEFT and go down the bends back to the coast road. Go straight on along this, then turn LEFT a few hundred metres further on, onto a track leading straight back to the coast at Kalogria.

18.8 km You find yourself back at the tour start point.
Tip: The beach and rocks in the sea are a mini snorkelling paradise.

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