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The name of this tour, Marathon, comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger in Ancient Greece who ran non-stop from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greeks' victory over the Persians. This distance became known as the Marathon run, the longest running event of the modern Olympic Games. The Marathon tour is a guided motorcycle tour from the northern-most borders of Greece to the southern-most points of the Peloponnese, along the entire coastline. As an extension of the Achilles tour, the Marathon tour is approximately 3000 kilometers long. It is a pure Greek expedition and the most cultured motorcycle tour of the western civilization.
From the moment you land at "El. Venizelos" - Athens International Airport (ATH), you have nothing to think or worry about. MotoVoyager can take you to the four-star hotel where you will spend your first night, in the city center, beneath the "holy rock" of Acropolis. The journey from the airport to the hotel is approximately 35 minutes. There, once you are settled in, you will meet with the members of MotoVoyager.
The evening will include a short stroll to the historic center of Athens and dinner at one of the most "in" restaurants of the Greek capital. There, you will have the opportunity to get to know each other and provide you with a few instructions and some advice from the tour leader. The next morning your journey begins, as you take to the legendary streets on your "two-wheeled horses".
Note: The hotels which you will stay at for your first and last nights are approximately 25 minutes by car to the port of Piraeus, if you want to extend your stay in Greece and wish to visit one of the Greek islands.
For the rest of the tour, you will provided overnight accommodation in elegant and spacious hotels or traditional high quality guesthouses.
At the northern-most borders of Greece you will visit the astounding city of Kastoria, the city that flourished during the 19th century due to fur trade, built on the beautiful shores of Lake Orestiáda. You will experience nature at its finest at the lakes of Prespa, a natural park of great significance due to its biodiversity and endemic species.
Like the Achilles tour, the Marathon tour will pass through Mount Olympus - "the home of the gods" - where the immortals like Jupiter, Apollo, Aphrodite, and the rest of the 12 gods lived and commanded the mortals on earth, not only in Greece, but throughout the whole Roman Empire, for hundreds of years. Here you will also visit Vergina, where royal tombs lay, like that of Phillip II - father of Alexander the Great. As you descend from the Greece's highest mountain (2912 m), the enormous Platamonas beach with its imposing castle will expand in front of us. You will ride through slopes, meadows and lakes with minimum traffic, arriving at the most famous oracle of antiquity - The Delphi.
The tour continues its journey through Mount Pindos, the east-southernmost leg of the Alps in the Balkan Peninsula. You will cross through the Tzoumerka, a complex of traditional settlements between forests, carry on through the glamorous capital of Epirus, Ioannina, and see picturesque views of Preveza. Here, you will also pass through Zagorohoria, a network of 46 villages spread over the mountains of Ioannina, you will be astounded by Global award winning beaches, like those on the island of Lefkada with their emerald colored waters, continue through the depths of virgin forests in Karpenissi and, finally, ride up to the most famous Greek ski resort of Arachova.
Your journey takes you over traditional stone bridges, rivers spoken of by Homer and villages that seems to have not been touched by time. Additionally, you will visit the unique UNESCO world heritage site of Meteora, where photographs of its beauty have travelled to every corner of the globe. You will also visit places like the “Dragon’s Cave”, the only cave in Greece with fresh-water lakes, and Dispilio, an archaeological site containing some of the oldest remains of a Neolithic lakeshore settlement, dating all the way back to 5600-5000 BC.
Moving further south, you will cross over to the Peloponnese with your destination being the city of Olympia; the birthplace of the Olympic Games (776BC) with its ancient stadium and rare museum. Throughout this tour the routes taken are not ordinary. They are carefully chosen based on low traffic, sightseeing opportunities, and of course ensuring riders' safety.
Across the land where Socrates said his eternal maxims, where Achilles grew up, and Pericles created the Acropolis; through Hercules's forests and on the soil that gave birth to Alexander the Great, there is magic and awe all around Hellas. The Marathon tour is an unimaginative journey across one of the most beautiful and cultured countries of the world, which you will experience riding "your Pegasus'", your winged divine horses.
You should definitely have with you: your driving license (at all times) and any motorcycle clothing you need. At minimum ensure you have your helmet and raincoats (jacket and trousers set).
Prespa is the name of two freshwater lakes located in the north-western corner of Greece, at 850 meters above sea level and surrounded by mountains. The Prespa Lakes region is a natural park of great significance due to its biodiversity and endemic species. Prespa is protected under the Ramsar convention as a wetland of international importance and a European Important Bird Area, as well as being included in Natura 2000, a network of the EU most precious natural areas.
Prespa contains the largest breeding colony of Dalmatian pelicans in the world, a mixed colony of pelicans and the largest colony of Pygmy cormorants in Europe. Prespa is well known for its natural beauty and its high biodiversity with unique characteristics. It hosts more than 1,500 species of plants, 40 species of mammals, 260 of birds, 32 reptiles and amphibians, and 17 species of fish including a number of species found only here.
The city of Kastoria that flourished during the 19th century due to fur trade is built on the shores of the beautiful lake Orestiáda, surrounded by imposing mountains. Wander around the old neighborhoods of Doltsó and Apozári, and admire the 19th century grand mansions (three-storey buildings with large windows and enclosed balconies), owned by the rich fur traders of Kastoriá! Take a leisurely walk around the lake, watching the birds that inhabit this fantastic wetland, or board on the ferry to enjoy a romantic lake cruise! Climb to the top of the hill and take in breathtaking views of the city.
In this area, you will also visit the “Dragon’s Cave”, the only cave in Greece with fresh-water lakes, and Dispilio, an archaeological site containing remains of a Neolithic lakeshore settlement that occupied an artificial island.
Dispilio appears to have been occupied over a long period, from the final stages of the Middle Neolithic (5600-5000 BC). A number of items were found here, including ceramics, wooden structural elements, seeds, bones, figurines, personal ornaments, flutes (one of them dating back to the 6th millennium BCE, the oldest ever found in Europe) and what appears to be the most significant finding, the inscribed Dispilio Tablet. The Tablet is one of oldest discoveries (5260BC) of human’s effort to communicate by the written word.
The city of Aigai, the ancient first capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia, was discovered in the 19th century near Vergina, in northern Greece. The most important remains are the monumental palace, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, some of which date from the 11th century B.C. One of the royal tombs in the Great Tumulus is identified as that of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.
UNESCO’s Committee decided to inscribe the nominated property on the basis of cultural criteria considering that the site is of outstanding universal value representing an exceptional testimony to a significant development in European civilization - the transition from classical city-state to the imperial structure of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. This is vividly demonstrated in particular by the remarkable series of royal tombs and their rich contents. The Committee decided to add to the proposed criteria cultural criterion, since the paintings found at Vergina are of extraordinarily high quality and historical importance.
Zagori or Zagorohoria is a network of 46 villages spread all over the northern mountains of Ioannina. Mountains are divided by the sharp gorge “Vikos”. Villages are known for their outstanding natural beauty and their exclusive construction. Here you will find free horses or cows on the streets and 60 arched stone bridges. The unspoiled natural environment makes you feel like time has stopped. Steep cobbled paths, zigzags through beech woods, gray stone houses tiled with giant slabs of slate compose the sole scenery of Zagori.
Also known as ‘Cape Matapan’ is situated at the end of the Mani, Greece. Cape Matapan, almost 5.500kilometers away from Nordkapp/Norway is the southernmost point of mainland Greece and Balkan Peninsula. It separates the Messenian Gulf in the west from the Laconian Gulf in the east. Cape Matapan has been an important place for thousands of years. There is a cave at the tip of Cape Matapan that Greek legends claim was the home of Hades, the god of the Dead.
The ancient Spartans built several temples there dedicated to various gods. On the hill situated above the cave lay the remnants of an ancient temple dedicated to the sea god Poseidon. As the most southern point of the Balkan Peninsula, the cape is on the major migration route of birds headed to Africa.
Athens International Airport
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive at Athens International Airport (ATH). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request and with extra charge. Please contact MotoVoyager for more information.
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