Bryan has recently returned from his training camp in Greece and writes about the unique opportunities for cyclists wishing to take their cycling to the next level.
“For the last few years I have been looking to do a warm weather training camp, but I didn’t want to go to the same places everyone else goes and I when I went to NEC bike show last September I went with the goal of finding somewhere like this.
At the show I met Paul and Steve at Greek Cycling Holidays which looked perfect for what I was looking for. They have a house in Eretria where they have been having cyclists for the last 3 years.
Eretria is on an island around 1 hour’s drive from Athens airport and once you get onto the island (which is only a 100m bridge) you go into a different world. All the traffic stops, and life start to slows down. The house is located just off the main road around 1km from the town with a lovely port area with some great cafés.
The house sleeps 8 people and is in its own gardens with a hot-tub where you can rest your tired legs after each ride. In the basement they have a full workshop and with a very good bike shop up the road they can keep you on the road in most situations.
I feel the unique thing about this camp is it’s not a hotel and while you are there you feel you are very much at home. Steve has been a chef at some of the top restaurants in Europe and the biggest selling point is he cooks for you each day as well as join you on some rides. There isn’t any mass catered cooking but a menu to suit you and perfect for after a hard day in the saddle. Steve also makes his own jams and curds from the produce grown in the garden and he has even had the local winery make some wine from his grapes.
One thing I didn’t expect was the roads in Greece after the trouble they have had over the last few years with their economy, but I was very surprise how good the roads were that we went on. On the island there is a main road that is about 500m from the house which runs the length of the island, which the local say is busy but to be honest it was like a UK B-road. Once you got off the main road then all you need to be careful of were goats on the roads (we got stuck behind a herd 3 times!).
While we were there, we did a lot of climbing and most days we did over 3,000 feet but with very good road surfaces I was surprised at the end of each ride that we had done this much, and they were long climbs instead of short steep ones. Twice we rode from sea level to the snow line which was amazing, and we had some amazing views while going up and down. Each day we were able to go a different direction and apart from riding out each day for the first 30mins on the main road, each day we went a different way with each route looking and feeling very different.
To sum up, cycling in Greece is an untapped jewel and if you are getting tired of Mallorca, Spain or trying to spot the Sky team in Tenerife, then Greek Cycling Holidays are what you need. We have already arranged dates for 2020 already so why not join us for an amazing time next year?”
Sign up for 2020
Dates for 2020 1stto 8thMarch and 29thMarch to 5thApril
For details of next year’s camps visit our Facebook event here.