From the paradise island of Adakoy in Turkey, to the shady olive groves and medieval castles of Messini in Greece, our fantastic Beachclub destinations offer superb mountain biking holidays. We caught up with our Activity Manager Adam Sutton, who gave us his top three picks for outstanding bike rides.
Messini – The Abraham (Presidential Trail)
This route takes in some of the best biking in the Southern Peloponnese. Starting at 900m, the trail first takes in long steady double track climbs, while delivering superb vistas up at the 1000m+ elevations. Soon enough there are further things to look forward to, with double track letting you open up the speed along a choice of the ridge or the contour above Nedousa.
Before your grin can start to fade, the single track, which has been sliced out by motor cross bikes, starts to deliver a fiendish amount of carve-able mud and spectacular views. It can be done as the ‘Presidential Seal’ circular route, or can be incorporated into a monstrous 55km downhill route taking in a 1600m decent with only 800m climbing. We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of this exciting new destination and with rides this good the early signs are that the riding in and around Messini Beachclub is going to be excellent.
Neilson staff Lizzie and Vassili in Messini
Adakoy – The Temple of Doom
This ride sounds ominous and is certainly not one for the faint hearted. Riders prepare by doing some warm up exercises to stretch those sleepy limbs and then by taking part in some basic skill tests – doing a ‘slow race’ helps to gauge people’s ability to balance properly. The infamous road out is steep in the extreme and soon punishes anyone with incorrect gear selection, eventually arriving at a plateau where you can grab a breather before tackling the next stage.
The track then snakes up the hill, presenting plenty of technical climbing. Continuing for about 1km, the track is fairly wide initially and most riders, cheeks blown, cope admirably. We pass signs for a cave and eventually reach a splendid view point that overlooks the Mediterranean. The road then turns into some of the most exciting single track that you will find in this party of Turkey. Get ready to breathe deeply and work those knees because the next section is tight, steep and very rocky!
The climb continues again until you reach an open plateau – the perfect spot to leave the bikes, stretch your legs and go for a walk through some woodland and climb up to a magnificent vista. Once back on the saddle it is time to enjoy one of the most exhilarating descents in The Med. The track is basically the reverse of the ascent and feels a hell of a lot more fun! A series of switchbacks and rock drops wind down through the forest – this is a descent that really gets the heart going. Take time to cruise all the way back into the resort and reflect on what has been a relatively short, tough and utterly stimulating experience!
The breathtaking view of Adakoy
Sivota – Cliffs to Parga
This is for experienced mountain bike riders only! The rolling coastal road provides a steady warm-up before you descend a rocky track into a lush green valley. Climbing steeply you’ll follow a stream to Karavostasi Beach, where you’re rewarded with the ruins of a 4th century BC settlement and amazing views back toward Sivota and out to the surrounding islands. Follow the rugged coastal track through olive groves as you rise up inland, hugging the coastal cliff and gaining good height before a great descent with rocky switchback turns.
On the steep climb to Karavostasi
Sivota – Parga Push
This is a long distance road ride that starts with a nice steady rolling coastal road. The riding soon cranks up as you start to climb inland above lush green valleys, offering great views out past Karavostasi Beach to the sea and the nearby islands. Once you’ve reached the summit, enjoy a long descent into the old town of Parga, where you can stop for coffee or ice-cream and fill up with water.
Climbing out steadily around the coast into the next valley, hitting a fast road which brings you down toward Plataria. From this charming small port, you’ll make your final ascent up and over the ridgeline, where the welcome sight of Sivota will draw you down and home for a well-earned lunch!
The view of Karavostasi Beach
And remember, we supply all the kit you need – helmets, gloves, spares and water bottles. When our bikes are not being used on guided rides, feel free to explore independently. All we ask is that you don’t ride alone and that you’re back by the requested time. So what are you waiting for? Get on your bike!