Bikeriding on the Evrytania Mountains

Get far off the beaten track with a scenic motorbike ride through some of Greece most beautiful scenery


Beginning from Athens, I headed for Lamia in central Greece. The route’s monotonous and tiring rhythm changed once I exited the national road towards Kastro. I then took the road for Delphi. About 35 minutes on, I parked my loaded motorbike in Arahova, far away from the highway and buses headed for Delphi.

I chose a traditional café and ordered a Greek coffee – an ideal beverage for bikers, as it boosts alertness without increasing blood pressure. The odometer had clocked up the trip’s first 220 km and the sense of adventure was gradually beginning to set in. I would soon be rolling on gravel roads and savoring the feeling of escape and alternative travel.

As I approached Amfissa, Itea port came into sight, but I didn’t head all the way there. Passing by the outskirts of Amfissa, the Fokida region’s mountainous main city, I turned right for roughly 150 meters, following the oil-producing facility onto a dirt road toward the village of Karoutes.

The scent of cedar and fir trees fills the air here. This mountain range’s greeting is further enhanced by the herds of livestock that graze freely. However, beware of the sheepdogs. If any are spotted within close range, stop immediately. Allow them to approach you for a sniff and make sure not to panic and take off.

ROUTE'S DNA

Distance: Approximately 400 km
Degree of difficulty: High
Motorcycle type recommended: On/Off and Off-road 

On the way to Karoutes, the blue sky was mirrored by Lake Mornos, an artificial lake surrounded by villages close to the foot of Mount Giona. The sound of my exhaust didn’t seem to unsettle the cows grazing by the lake. I stopped for a quick photo shoot and carried on to historic Lidoriki, where numerous revolts took place during Ottoman times. The village was also torched by Nazi Germans in World War II.

A café, pharmacy, and restaurants serving local cuisine and snacks can all be found at the main square under the plane tree. This is a perfect spot to relax and stock up on supplies, including fuel. Don’t forget to try the traditional pumpkin pie.

I set off again by riding across the village’s southern part and took the winding uphill road towards the Evrytania region’s villages. Having left behind Mount Parnassus and Mount Giona, and traveling towards Doriko, I followed the road signs to Perivoli and Krokylio and headed up Mount Vardousia.

 At this point, the road narrows, barely wide enough for two-way traffic. Caution is required as the road signs are not reliable, the route runs along the edge of a cliff, and the road is dotted with rocks that have tumbled down the slope. The ride all the way to Pentagious is tight and tense. But the village’s main square, featuring an old plane tree and water fountain, is a welcoming sight.

After a good drink of mountain-fresh water, head for Kerasia and Artotina. Get ready for an off-road experience at Lefka, at an altitude of 1,300 meters. Passing through narrow dirt tracks and over perpendicular creeks and streams leads to Domnista, a location filled with fir trees. Krikello is located on the slopes of Mount Kaliakouda. Having clocked up 350 km by this point, the exceptional food and affordable hostel accommodation at Krikello was a delight.

“The route’s monotonous and tiring rhythm changed once I exited the national road towards Kastro. I then took the road for Delphi. About 35 minutes on, I parked my loaded motorbike in Arahova, far away from the highway and buses headed for Delphi.”

Five kilometers beyond Krikello, a left turn at the intersection leads to an old national highway. Headed towards Agrinio, look out for the Aspropyrgos road sign, located immediately before Prousos. A renowned monastery, Panagias Tis Prousiotissas, is located here. Below it, at Strongylovouni, a terrific delicatessen named Stremmenos sells Greek prosciutto that is worth trying.

Carrying on towards Aspropyrgos, the scenic route is like having taken a helicopter ride. It offers a panoramic view of Greece’s largest artificial lake, Kremasta Lake, as well as Episkopi bridge, which links the Evrytania and Aetolia-Acarnania regions. The road signs mention Agrafa for the first time after having turned right towards Viniani.

Kerasohori is located a quarter of an hour away, and Krenti an additional 10 minutes further on. The area’s last fuel station before entering the rugged Agrafa region is located in Krentis. Forget about the asphalt road for the next 25 km as you ride by the Agrafiotis River. This region is well known for the Trypa Gorge. The Agrafa mountain range flanks the route to the left and right.

Extremely remote and rugged villages, accessible from spring to early autumn, are located in the region, whether headed east, west or north in the Agrafa area. Regardless of what you choose, you can be certain that you will leave wanting to return.

{Thanassis Mourikis, a motorcycle mechanic and traveler, shares two of his favorite routes, in Lesvos and Agrafa. He has taken part in national racing competitions as well as off-road (enduro) events, both as a mechanic and motorcyclist}.

“Extremely remote and rugged villages, accessible from spring to early autumn, are located in the region, whether headed east, west or north in the Agrafa area.”


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