The third and final day of our Mythical Peloponnese tour (read about Day 1 & Day 2) dawned rainy and cool which put a bit of a damper (pun intended) on our cycling plans. A vote was taken regarding whether or not we would cycle in the rain and as only three out of twelve of us were up for it the decision was made to give it a pass. However once we arrived at the starting point the rain had decreased to a drizzle and Christos from Discover Peloponnese offered to take those that wanted to brave it on the bike route after all. I really think my pouty face helped swing it (see photo below).
We cycled for about ninety minutes and the route took us through Kardara, Simiades and Mantinia, ending up at Kapsia where we met the less hardy (or some may say more sensible) of our group who had travelled by bus. Although a little damp and chilly the five of us brave and adventurous souls had a great time cycling through country roads past farms and villages, splashing through puddles and stopping to take photos of the lovely scenery and staring sheep. To some it may have been more enjoyable on a sunny summer day but to us it was beautiful. The surrounding mountains peeking out from a shroud of mist, the autumn leaves swirling in the wind, the rain glistening on the grass all amounted to a perfect setting and the ride itself left us feeling revived and rejuvenated.
The ending point of our country cycle is home to the Kapsia Cave. This subterranean cavern is one of the top ten caves in Greece and displays indescribably beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. It has only been open for public viewing for a few years and is well worth the visit when in the Peloponnese. This is one of those times where a picture is worth a thousand words so I’ll save you some reading and just jump staright to the photos.
After we were finished oohing and aahing at the gorgeous formations of the cave we drove on to another thing of beauty…the Kalogris Estate Winery. The hours we spent there left such an impression on us that I had to devote an individual post to that event which you can read about here. In a nutshell it was a magical time spent cooking, tasting wine and sharing wonderful conversation with an exceptional family in a beyond cozy and inviting setting.
Sadly our time at both Kalogris winery and the Peloponnese had to come to an end and we closed with a final stop at the famous Corinth Canal. This amazing feat of construction is something that you really have to see in person to fully appreciate. The 4 mile long, 70 foot wide canal cuts through the Isthmus of Corinth connecting the Corinth and Saronic Gulfs and essentially making the Peloponnese an island. Its creation was dreamed about for centuries before becoming a reality in the late 1800’s but due to financial and operational problems it never did attract the levels of traffic anticipated and is now mainly used for tourist traffic. Regardless it really is a sight to see, especially if you are lucky to time it with a boat passing through…which we weren’t unfortunately despite sitting at the canal side cafe for an hour.
Back in Athens after sleeping the rest of the trip is where our Peloponnese adventure ends. As I stated at the beginning of this three part series, if you think that Greece is just about the vibrant city of Athens and the dream like romantic islands I’m here to tell you that you are missing a lot. While it is true that Athens and/or the islands are worth a visit to Greece alone there is so much more to this diverse and historic country. A trip to the mythical Peloponnese region provides historic and natural sites, adventure and nature activities, seaside towns, country villages and city life, mountains and valleys and an abundance of nice hotels, delicious food and good wine. What more can you ask for?