How would you fancy a different kind of tour, taking in all the most important sights of Athens and the rest of Attica – and all on two wheels? Experienced cyclists can choose a more conventional pedal bike, otherwise riders have the option of a special electric bicycle!
If you are visiting one of the beautiful islands of the Argo-Saronic Gulf, you can rent a bike for the day and explore some of the most enchanting parts of the island on two wheels, alone or with your friends.
Autumn is the best time to discover Athens by bike, visiting great museums, the National Gardens and Zappeion Hall, Monastiraki and Plaka, the ancient forum and so much more! In the city centre, bike teams organise frequent rides for cycling lovers from one end of the city to the other, some of which include guided tours of important archaeological and historical sites.
Explore the city on a municipal bike…
Recently some of the local municipalities in Attica (Nea Smyrni, Moschato, Tavros, Maroussi, Marathonas, Keratsini-Drapetsona) have introduced a bike programme, making bicycles available to local residents at selected points (close to rail and metro stations, in main squares, at town halls, etc.). This laudable initiative is designed to improve the quality of life for people living in the municipalities. Users register with the Public Bicycle System and receive a special magnetic Cyclocard, with their own PIN, which can be used to unlock one of the public bicycles. The programme means that local people and visitors are able to move around the city easily, quickly and cheaply – riding bicycles that they can rent for as long as they need to run their errands in town.
Network of cycle trails in municipalities of Attica
A number of municipalities (Chalandri, Vrilissia and Kifissia) in the northern suburbs have created their own small network of cycle trails. In the southern suburbs the coastal road of Palaio Faliro (after the tram lines to the sea) is ideal for an afternoon bicycle ride, when the sun is sinking towards the blue waters of the Argo-Saronic Gulf, filling the sky with the rich colours of sunset… In the western part of the city, the Municipality of Aigaleo occasionally organises interesting rides of archaeological interest, with tours of the most important sites in the area.
Discover Athens on two wheels
Anyone who enjoys cycling can discover the beauties of Athens – ancient and modern – on two wheels. You can contact people who organise bicycle tours and choose one of the programmes, with a variety of different themes and lengths. There are not only tours of the city centre, but also rides out to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, and to Ymittos, for those with more experience and stamina.
For another exciting experience, you can also rent an electric bicycle for a tour of Athens. The electric bikes have inspired a number of enthusiastic supporters. The Solebike company organises bicycle tours to the most interesting parts of the city, allowing you to enjoy a ride without getting tired; the bicycles are electric, so there’s no need to worry about the uphill stretches. There are four different routes to choose from, varying from 2 to 3.5 hours in duration. The tours are in English and cover sites in the old and new parts of the city. The capital of Greece is not only home to important ancient monuments; it is also a contemporary Mediterranean city, with many Eastern influences. An electric bicycle tour will also reveal to you this lesser known side of the city. The groups are small, so you’ll find it very easy to make friends with the other riders.
Your companions on this very special bike ride will be the sounds of the city, the colours, scents and breezes of Athens in autumn. And from many points along the way, you’ll be able to look up and see the magical sight of the Parthenon, hovering above the city. Information: www.solebike.eu
In addition to the Athens city centre, you can also enjoy bicycle rides out into the country, in the Parnitha National Park or the former royal estate at Tatoi.
Let the Friends of the Bicycle be your guides…
Starting from the Thiseio train station, you can set off on your bicycle in the capable hands of members of the Friends of the Bicycle to explore the history of modern Athens from 1830 to the present day. Discover the social history of the city as you cycle its streets, exploring how the individual districts and monuments of the city are interconnected, and how they have changed over the years. You will also learn a great deal about the events and conditions that have influenced the lives of the residents of Athens. Contact: www.filoi-podilatou.gr