Explore Ancient Wonders
Your adventure starts with a hop over to Calais on the Eurotunnel and then onto Reims via the disused MotoGP track where the main road is still flanked by the classic grandstands. From here you ride through the exquisite scenery of the Vosges mountains and make your way to Flims in Switzerland.
From Flims you ride over the Alps and along the banks of beautiful Lake Como, then on past Milan to our overnight stop on the central plain. The next day you wind past Bologna and up into the Apennine mountains for some of the best riding Italy has to offer. Your hotel tonight is only 5 mins from the world-famous MotoGP and F1 racetrack at Mugello. Leaving Mugello you ride more great mountain roads, before finally descending to Ancona on the coast for your overnight ferry to Greece.
Once in Greece, you have a day off to explore Meteora, home to the amazing suspended monasteries. This surreal collection of cliff top monasteries offers truly breath-taking views of the rock formations said to represent man’s desire to connect with the divine.
Explore Ancient Wonders
The next morning you’ll ride from Meteora to the coastal town of Volos via Mount Olympus the home of the ancient Gods. The roads are sublime and the scale of the mountain as you approach will explain why the ancient Greeks thought of it as the home of the gods. You then head on to Hercules’ birthplace before riding a bikers favourite, the ‘old national road’ through the mountains to Athens your base for the next two nights. Staying near the beach and on the tram line to the city, you have a day out of the saddle to explore the capital city, drink Ouzo and visit the Acropolis and Hadrian’s library.
From Athens you ride to Nafplion over the mountains and down to the beautiful gulf of Corinth with its famous canal and the superbly preserved 2,000 year old amphitheatre at Epidavrou. From Nafpilon you ride to Kalamata via 80Km of the acclaimed Aegean coast road. Beautiful coastal scenery and clear blue sea is followed by a climb to 1300m over the adjacent mountains to the Spartan plain and the birth-place of Helen of Troy. Then more truly spectacular mountain roads which put many Swiss passes to shame climb to what feels like the top of the world, before dropping down again to the plain and Kalamta on the coast.
You ride to Ancient Olympia via small mountain roads and over another 1300m pass to visit the excavation of the 2500 year old temple of Apollo isolated in the mountains. Then a descent of over 1000m to Ancient Olympia which is almost at sea level again. In Olympia you have a day off the bike to explore the extensive ruins of the site of the original Olympic games, visit the museum of antiquities and the fascinating Archimedes museum.
Next day we ride to Patras to catch the overnight ferry to Ancona and then stay overnight in Italy, the beginning of our return journey proper. From Italy we make our way through Switzerland to France and in true Magellan style there's a bunch of great swiss passes on the way. Finally we cruise back to Eurotunnel and home again. .
Alpine passes : From the ski resort of Flims you ride over the Alps, using some of the lesser known and quieter scenic passes and past a series of lakes, to reach the banks of beautiful Lake Como.
Aegean Coast Road: With views out over the turquoise sea and blessed with long sweeping bends this road takes you through unspoilt little towns on a ride that is truly exceptional.
'They say that Greece is the most mountainous country in Europe and fortunately for us, that is spot on! Many trips offer cultural days out in some form or another but none I have ever been come anywhere near this one to Greece, sensational in every respect. Thanks Magellan for one of the most incredible tours I have done to date.'David B
Suspended monasteries at Meteora and Athens: These monasteries are surreal and almost alien, like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They’re beautiful ancient monasteries constructed atop towering 1000ft high conical shaped rocks.
Ancient Olympia: Visit the site of the original Olympic games and explore the newly excavated race circuits and stadium, the temple of Zeus full of beautiful sculptures and frescos and the Archimedes museum with full sized replicas of amazing inventions.
Amphitheatre at Epidavrou: A fabulously preserved Greek amphitheatre which seated almost 12 thousand people, every one of whom could hear a whisper from the stage. The acoustics of this amphitheatre are truly astonishing, you can stand on the stage and try it out even now.
The Corinth canal: This channel carved 80m deep and 6Km long joins the gulf of Corinth with the Saronic gulf in the Aegean sea. If you’re feeling brave you can even bungee jump off the bridge into it!
Mount Olympus: Ride around the home of the twelve Greek gods. This is the highest mountain in Greece at 3000m and boasts spectacular scenery and beautiful sweeping roads.
Athens, Parthenon and the Acropolis: Visit ancient Athens and explore the Acropolis and the ruins of Hadrian's library, or relax on the beach by the hotel with a cocktail and some delicious food! This city is a beautiful, noisy hub of culture, history and tourism and these elements combine to make an exciting and unique adventure.
Day 1 191 Miles
Eurotunnel and then on to Reims via a disused GP track.
Day 2 216 Miles
Reims to the Vosges mountains.
Day 3 170 Miles
The Vosges to Flims, (Switzerland).
Day 4 170 Miles
Flims to Cignone via some great mountain roads (Italy).
Day 5 160 Miles
Cignone to the MOTO GP circuit at Mugello.
Day 6 150 Miles
Mugello to Ancona & overnight ferry to Igoumenitsa (Greece).
Day 7 140 Miles
Igoumenitsa to the suspended monasteries at Meteora.
Day 8 Explore Day
Day off the bike to explore the awesome Meteora hanging monasteries.
Day 9 140 Miles
Meteora to Volos via Mount Olympus.
Day 10 200 Miles
Volos to Athens via Hercules’ birthplace.
Day 11 Explore Day
Day off the bike to explore Athens city.
Day 12 130 Miles
Athens to Nafpilon via the Corinth canal & the amphitheatre at Epidavrou.
Day 13 135 Miles
Nafpilon to Kalamata via the Aegean coast road.
Day 14 100 Miles
Kalamata to Ancient Olympia via some amazing mountain roads.
Day 15 Explore Day
Day off the bike to explore Ancient Olympia and the Archimedes museum.
Day 16 80 Miles
Olympia to Patras for the overnight ferry to Ancona (Italy).
Day 17 80 Miles
Ancona to Cesena.
Day 18 290 Miles
Cesena to Ausserberg (Switzerland).
Day 19 170 Miles
Ausserberg to Hyerve-Paroisse(France).
Day 20 180 Miles
Hyerve-Paroisse to Charlons-en-Champagne.
Day 21 200 Miles
Charlons-en-Champagne to Calais and the Eurotunnel home.
Can I get a different crossing on this trip?
Of course, many of our clients cross by ferry from further north. If you would like to do this and make your own way to the hotel on the first night just let us know in the comments section of your booking form and we will deduct the cost of the Eurotunnel crossing from your booking.
When is the best time of year to do this trip?
May to September as a rule although April and October can work with a dash of luck. This trip crosses a number of high passes in the alps so you need to be aware that even in August some of these can close at short notice due to adverse weather conditions. There are always ways round these passes but worth bearing in mind when planning the best dates for your tour.
Will I find this tour too tiring?
You shouldn’t do no, we design all of our trips to be accessible to riders of all abilities and include plenty of days off the bike as part of this. These longer trips are no exception, we could easily make them 4 or 5 days shorter but we choose to add multiple rest days and avoid the motorways as much as possible so you can enjoy the ride and arrive at the hotels in the evening in good time to relax before dinner.
Is it possible to do this tour in less time?
Yes, for those with less time we now offer a shipping service so that you can ride whatever amount of the tour you have time for and then fly back while we sort having your bike collected and shipped back to your home address. Just drop us an email and we’ll price this option up for you.