Tsitalia - Fokianios Beach - Kiparissi - Pistamata - Poulithra
116km - 2200m
Leaving Leonidio and moving towards the beachside, the rider looks for a sing to Tsitalia. This one is written in Greek and the letters should look like “ΤΣΙΤΑΛΙΑ”. After a few meters the climb to Tsitalia begins and the rider should expect a 10km long effort, which will make him gain 620m. The climb’s scenery is stunning, with the road to be full of lovely switchbacks. The rugged views with the valley of Leonidio visible in the distant background, creates a unique atmosphere. Tsitalia is a very small village, with the number of its residents not to exceed the 60 persons, therefore expect that there is no rest point.
After the reaching the climb’s highest point, the rider cycles on a wonderful plateau until a road split, where he should go left. At some point, the road gets very narrow and goes by a couple of small villages. We remember that despite the fact of them being profoundly isolated, almost all gardens in house’s porches were very well maintained, with colorful flowers and plants of all kinds, being a perfect embellishment. Such a picturesque scenery that was, created within its own simplicity.
Right after cycling through those small villages, a marvelous descent gets the rider to the other side of the mountain, which faces East, towards the horizon of the Aegean sea. As the altitude decreases, the spectacular view of Fokianos beach with its turquoise waters captivates. Arriving at the beach, signals the end of the descent. It is quite funny to realise that despite the number of times we have covered that particular part, we cannot recall an instance where someone skipped having a coffee break at the cafe found there. We recommend all riders to do the same. A short swim might also be a tempting idea. We leave that to you.
Leaving Fokiano Beach and heading towards Kipparissi, requires the rider to cycle along the coastal road, on tarmac of excellent quality with absolutely no traffic. According to the feedback we get, this part is probably one of the best routes in Greece and, for many cyclists, the best in their life. We cannot find any solid arguments why this cannot be true.
We suggest that once the rider arrives in Kiparissi not to make an long stop there, ideally not stopping at all. On the contrary, we recommend to take advantage of the warmed up legs and cover the extremely steep part (spots with 16% incline) while getting out of the village. Later on, the climb gets smoother offering some stunning views of the rugged terrain; there are parts where the road literally passes under the mountain’s rock formations. The hilly part ends at the small village of Charakas, where you can find a small cafe to refill your bottles. In the case that is not open (maybe the owner has gone to collect his kids from the school :-) ) you can find water at the church, which is located a few meters further from the cafe; at the porch - look for a tap, the water is drinkable. Make sure that you have a lot of supplies, food and water, as on your way to Peleta, there is nothing that can offer any of those.
From the crossroad at Pistamata, a gentle hilly road, on excellent tarmac begins. The incline of around 2% - 4% profoundly allows plenty of room for casual talks, or even in depth, philosophical discussions to occur, without pauses for catching up with the breathing. We recall our memories about the laughter and the information we exchanged during our ride there. We were a small group of people and we learned a lot about sports, cooking and oil industry (!). But enough with our blurb now :-)
Next stop is the Village of Peleta. Right next to the village’s main church there is a small cafe, owned by kind and nice people, where riders can refill their bottles or enjoy a short break. From Peleta Village is only downhill towards the seaside, where you find the village of Poulithra.