A Motorcyclist’s Route to Cape Tainaro

Experienced biker Polytimi Bouznou shares a scenic route best enjoyed on two wheels


Early in the morning, I unfolded my map for one last look at the route – 450 km of freedom in spring while riding my “Chichina”, as I affectionately call my motorbike. An hour later, I was rolling along the old national highway from Athens to Corinth, accompanied by the adjacent sea. I made a first stop at Isthmia, by the Corinth Canal. I always enjoy stopping here for a quick coffee with a view of the bridge.

An hour from Athens, on the road towards Ancient Epidaurus, beyond the village Loutra (Oreas) Elenis, I headed up and down the pine-filled mountains and, once past Sofiko, turned left for Korfos, one of the Saronic Gulf’s most tranquil and secluded bays. No matter how strong the winds are, this spot is always peaceful and ideal for some relaxation. The scent of fish on the grill always draws me to Selana, a legendary taverna.

Departing from Korfos, along the country road towards Astros, a stopover is worthwhile at Kremasti. This village sits at an altitude of 860 m, on the slopes of Mount Parnonas, at the start of a fir tree forest. The route is challenging but clears the mind and offers fresh mountainous air. The route all the way to Monemvasia covers 329 km. The sun had set and I parked my motorbike by the foot of the rock. For practical reasons, I spent the night somewhere in this ground-level area. I always choose not to spend the night at accommodation offered up at the rock because I prefer to walk without needing to carry a load. (Motorbikes are not permitted up at the fortified city, which means I would have to carry my belongings if I were to stay up there).

ROUTE'S DNA

Distance: Approximately 450 km
Degree of difficulty: Appropriate for all
Motorcycle type recommended: On/Off

The next morning I rode by the seaside village Elea and reached Valtaki. The Dimitrios shipwreck, which sunk in the Gythio area’s waters back in 1981, is visible from high above. After about ten minutes, I reached Gythio, which features a striking lighthouse at the port. This is the heart of Mani. Any route taken here is incredibly beautiful. But, yet again, I could not resist opting for the route headed to Cape Tainaron (Akrotirio Tainaro), where the incredible stone-built lighthouse stands. Park at the end of the road and walk 2 km along an accessible dirt track to get there.

I returned to Athens via Sparta, Kokkinorahi, and Klada, making an essential stop for traditional homemade syrup-immersed sweet and coffee at Stou Papantoni in the Vlahokerasia area. I left behind Ayiorgitika and Ahladokambos to enter the country road linking Argos and Tripoli. The curves are endless here for motorcyclists who enjoy winding routes. From there it was on to Dervenakia and Hiliomodi before revving it up for the trip’s remainder to Athens. 

{Polytimi Boznou, a working mother of two children, entered the male-dominated world of motorbikes five years ago. To date, she has clocked up hundreds of miles and embarked on motorcycle tours in neighboring Italy, Spain, Portugal, the North Cape (Nordkapp) in Norway, the USA, and Australia. She usually travels solo. “Freedom,” she says, “is to travel the world on two wheels.” We followed her on a Greek trip to the southernmost point of the Balkan Peninsula}.

“I could not resist opting for the route headed to Cape Tainaron (Akrotirio Tainaro), where the incredible stone-built lighthouse stands”


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