We have very fond memories of package holidays in years gone by to the Island resorts of Greece, but we weren't very good at lazing on the beach. So we would hire a scooter and investigate the whole of Santorini, Crete, Rhodes and Corfu in the holiday week that we had available from our regular jobs at British Gas...
Maybe that's what started the whole philosophy behind MCi Tours all those years ago. Travel to a remote destination and explore on a motorcycle. We look back with great affection at the reception that we got from the Greeks that we met on our travels. Put quite simply, they like English people. Culturally we seem to have a lot in common. So there is an element of revisiting the past, but also an opportunity to ride mainland Greece and witness first hand the cultural icons that gave birth to Western Democracy. The Acropolis. The Parthenon. Delphi and Olympia.
We had the great good fortune to be accompanied on a recent tour of Corsica and Sardinia by Classics scholar, Derek the BMW-riding vicar. He absolutely brought to life the travails of the Etruscans and Greeks during our tour and sparked a renewed interest in Greece and its history that we will now pursue.
Our 15 day motorcycle tour starts with two overnight stopovers enroute to the port of Ancona for our overnight ferry to Greece. We then spend nine days exploring the best that mainland Greece has to offer. Our first stop is in Delphi, once home to the famous oracle, the spectacular ruins here were believed in ancient times to be the centre of the Earth. Legend has it that Zeus set two eagles to fly from the ends of the earth and they met over Delphi dropping the stone which marks the centre of the earth - you can actually see the Omphalos (or Naval stone) itself in the museum. For over a millennium this was a place of pilgrimage where people came to hear divine direction in matters of war, worship, love and business spoken by a Pythian priestess who would chant her prophecies over the oracle chasm. (She must have lived a long time then Derek?)
We continue to Athens for two nights via the monastery of Hosios Loukas, only a short distance from Delphi, with some of the most beautiful mosaics in Greece and set in stunning scenery. You can spend your free day in the colourful market bazaars and experiencing the cafe life or wander the narrow alleys and steep steps of the architecturally fascinating Plaka quarter of the city. Alternatively you can join us on a walking tour to the ancient Parthenon and other remains that top the Acropolis where democracy started and to the location of the best preserved Greek temple in the Market place (Agora). The Temple of Poseidon on the Sounion peninsula is a must as this dramatic sanctuary to the sea god has been a shipping landmark for centuries.
Our next two nights are spent at Nafplio once the capital of modern Greece. You will have ample time to wander the lively harbourfront, walk the coastal route or join us on a scenic ride out. Near Nafplio is the ancient theatre of Epidavros, over 2300 years old but with still the best acoustics in the world. Sit in the back row of this 14,000 seat theatre and hear a match struck from the centre of the dance floor.
Our last three nights are spent in Olympia, which for over a millennium hosted the most important Panhellenic games founded by Heracles in 776BC. It is one of the largest ancient sites in Greece, spread between two rivers and overlooked by the Hill of Kronos. You can visit the Temple of Zeus which was as large as the Parthenon and where the Olympian flame was kept alight from the time of the games until the following spring. Here was exhibited the (lost) cult statue of Zeus by Pheidas one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the only wonder in Greece itself! You can also visit the stadium which accommodated 20,000 spectators and the hippodrome where the chariot races were held.
We return to the UK via overnight ferry to Ancona and then two overnight hotel stops enroute back to Calais.
We think you will find this tour educational as well as exciting from a motorcycle perspective. The roads and variety of terrain are simply sublime. Our hotels in Greece will all be four star and we will stay in or close by all the points of interest during our tour.
Maybe you have toured extensively and think you know Europe?
Come with us to Greece...
For further information ask for our Fact Sheet via our Contact Page CLICK HERE.