Do you like riding your bicycle? In the last 10 years, biking became steadily more popular in Athens and Greece. It is healthy, cheap and many times quicker than using public transport. Even better, every year more biking roads are becoming part of the city, and biking shops are popping up in every neighborhood of the capital, as well as in most tourist destinations in Greece.
Since I grew up in Belgium, at just 5 km from the borders with The Netherlands, biking is like second nature to me. Till the moment I obtained my driver’s license, the only transportation I could always rely on was my bike. The sensation and freedom I felt every time when riding my bike will be never forgotten. He (or she/ it?) was my best friend.
When I moved to Athens in 1993, without a car, I was determined to use my bike, as I had done for so many years. Back then, you could not see any bikes in the Athenian streets, and I must say, it was more challenging than what I was used to! Not only the busy roads and traffic was making my biking much more stressful, but also the “ups and downs” of the hilly roads. Biking in Belgium or Holland is easy…there are nearly no hills around and especially in Holland, you get so spoiled with all those beautiful biking roads. The only difficulty might be the “wind”, especially when you are biking in the wrong direction 🙂
Being spoiled with what I thought was “normal”, I quickly gave up my biking habit in Athens. I realized I needed to invest in a “mountain bike”, in order to manage the slopes without being out of breath, but also finding a “mountain bike”, was not so obvious in 1993. So, I started walking instead which I still enjoy a lot as of today.
However, if you are not the “walking type”, there is good news. Nowadays, things have changed a lot in Greece, and for the better.
A lot of organizations organize biking tours, so you can just contact them and book one of their tours, with or without a guide.
If you desire to rent a bike and head off on your own, then here below some alternative routes!
Apart from walking, maybe biking gives you also some extra joy and fresh air during the corona months? And in case you were wondering, also electric bikes are now available in Geece !
Biking in center Athens
The seaside – “The Athens Riviera” (South Athens)
If you prefer a less “busy” tour, the seaside is a good choice. (Recently I heard they call the coastline the “Athens Riviera”.)
If you are the athletic type, you can actually bike the coastline from Athens center till Sounion, about 70 km, and then visit the Temple of Poseidon.
The combination of the sea breeze, fish, and ouzo makes you feel like heaven on earth. Good routes are Floisvos Marina to Eden beach, Faliro to Glyfada and Glyfada to Kavouri.
There are many nice places to stop on your way, or even dive in the sea.
(note: due to covid regulations, the bars and taverns along the coastline now might be closed, so take a picnic with you)
Singrou Park (North Athens: Maroussi – Kifissia)
This park in North Athens has a rich network of dirt roads and different paths, winding through fruit trees, pine trees, etc. If you want to feel close to nature, Singrou Park has it all. For your information, it is allowed to carry your bike on the metro. In order to reach this park, you take the Green Metro Line till Maroussi Metro Station and bike 500 meters to the park.
Tip: since in this park you have a lot of roads going uphill and downhill, it is advised to use a mountain bike.
For your info, if you are interested in learning Greek in Greece, the Omilo Greek Language school is located only 400 meters from this park.
Tatoi Park (North Athens) or Ymittos Mountain (Centre East Athens)
If you have the possibility to put your bike in the car and drive for about 30 minutes North of Athens, Tatoi park is another option for a bike ride. Tatoi was the summer residence of the former Greek Royal Family. It is a very green area, located next to the National Park of Mount Parnitha. Ideal to combine your bike tour with a pic-nic or tavern meal!
One more option is the beautiful Ymmitos mountain, with its amazing views over Athens.
Take a look at the video below to get an idea.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for an alternative view of the city! And of course, not only in Athens.
Every year a lot of cyclists enjoy various biking rides in different areas in Greece.
Enjoy the ride, but do not forget to wear your helmet!