During our climb&bikepacking trip in the Balkans, we didn’t want to miss the beautiful climbing spots in the Peloponese! So as we head off Leonidio, we decided to go to two stunning climbing spots that are definitely worth the detour: Kyparissi and Vlychada. Those are peaceful and remote places with amazing climbing and the traditional greek “tufas”, where you can get gorgeous views on the Azur Blue sea. Do I need to say more?
How to get there
We started from home (Brussels) and took a (cheap) Flixbus to Ancona with our bikes. (From Brussels-Basel 9:30 h, to Milano 5h, to Ancona 6h). From Ancona, we took the ferry to Patras (Peloponese). The ferry takes approximately 24 hours but there’s plenty of space so you can take a walk and some fresh air. You don’t need to book a cabin; we just had “airplane seats” and actually everyone put their matrasses in the room to sleep!
(About Flixbus however, I wouldn’t recommend you take this bus company with your bike since you’ll never know if your bike is going to be accepted in the bus. Ours got refused last minute by the driver although we paid a bike ticket because they decided to change the bus in last minute. Another alternative would be maybe to take the train from Brussels to Milano and another to Ancona. To be fair, since it was quite expensive we went for the cheap option. Otherwise, we did some research about alternatives to the bus and unfortunately, I think this is the fastest and cheapest way to get to Ancona.)
Anyways, we cycled four days from Patras to Leonidio with our full loaded gravel bikes. From there we cycled one day to Kyparissi and then another to Vlychada.
About the bike journey itself : Peloponese routes are REALLY steep and it can get quite hot so make sure you start early! However, you will be rewarded with the best montaineous views ever on pristine beaches, still untouched by mass tourism which is super nice. Besides, there are almost no cars on the roads, which makes it more enjoyable. Cycle paths in Greece don't really exist but since the roads are very quiet (From Leonidio to Vlychada, we saw 10ish cars max per day!) you won't have any problems and can ride safe.
Numbers: From Patras ferry terminal to Vlychada (last climbing spot) : 326 km – 4930 hm/ From Kyparissi (wildcamping) to Vlychada : 34,3 km – 1010 hm
See komoot itineraries for the full journey:
Where to stay
Kyparissi : there's is a wildcamping on the beach at the entrance of the village. You can't miss it since there are lots of climbers with their vans. There's a shower on the beach to wash yourself but the water is not potable. You also find hotels in Kyparissi.
Vlychada : we also wildcamped there and it was one of the best, highly recommend. Watch out there's no water or food supply on Vlychada beach so make sure you carry all your supplies with you. At nighttime I recommend you attach your food in height in a safe place because there are chacals that might eat your food as they did with our bread :)
How to reach the crag(s)
Kyparissi : There are several sectors but we only climbed in watermill sector (in the shade after 1pm) since it was the easiest to reach with a good choice of challenging routes. If you want to venture further you can go to Babala, apparently it's amazing if you want to experience more the tufa climbing but the climb to reach the crag will be very exhausting: 4,5km and almost 300 hm from the wildcamping to watermill by bike. A good warm-up!
Vlychada: easiest approach ever as the rocks are on the beach. You litteraly walk 5 minutes and you'll be at the foot of the crag. Find out more here about how to reach Vlychada by bike from Kyparissi:
For Kyparissi : try the amazing spinach pie at Glykaki ! There are also various “mini markets” in the village center where you can find basic stuff to cook (including fruits and veggies) and some cheap restaurants.
For Vlychada : the beach is at the bottom of a big downhill so make sure you have enough water and food with you because there's nothing down there. We were a bit short on water but fortunately some people in a van gave some to us. We did our groceries at the mini market in the center of the village.
Other tip for Vlychada : I highly recommend you try to give your bike bags to a camper van and coordinate with them to meet up in the village. Indeed you have to go a big uphill of several km and with a full loaded bike it can be a nightmare. We were quite lucky and met guys who could help us with our stuff so we did the uphill in a bit less than one hour. It would probably have taken double if we were loaded.
How to book the trip
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