Day 2 livadia - Arachova
Today, on the second day of our “Ride with the Gods” bike tour in Greece we did our first ride, taking us from Livadeia to Arachova. Arachova is a quaint mountain town located at the foot of Mt. Parnassos, the largest ski resort in Greece, located in the Pindus mountains that run from Northern Greece to Albania.
The first 7 km were relatively flat. We had a gentle climb to our first stop at 12 km at a local honey shop. We stopped, topped off our water bottles and had the chance to taste a variety of local honeys. The flavors were amazing and varied, fir, thyme, heather, orange and a fabulous one from oak that had an almost molasses flavor and is said to have wonderful antioxidant properties.
Then it was back on the bikes where we rolled up for a few more kilometers and then enjoyed a short descent bringing us to a total of about 300 m of climbing. Then the serious climbing began, covering the remaining 20 km with an average grade of 3%, though it seemed we were riding 5-6% for long stretches as we ascended into the Pindus mountains. As a group we stopped at a small restaurant/hotel at 29 km where we rested and enjoyed coffees and soda. Then it was back on the bikes to finish the remaining 7 km into Arachova (the 12% short climb to the hotel most certainly woke up the legs!) We ended the day with 36.5 km (22 miles) and about 950m (3100’) of climbing.
This was a great first ride, albeit challenging especially since I have been off the bike since last week. Those in the group who were riding in Romania the last several weeks were rock stars on today’s ride!! Tomorrow we descend to the coast and have a chance to visit Delphi, stopping on our ride for a tour