|East European Route/ Διαδρομή Ανατολικής Ευρώπης
The East Europe Route has been labelled by some bicycle tourists as the ‘Beast of the East’, which is not surprising when you consider this lengthy route stretches from the north-east tip of Norway all the way down to sunny Greece.
North Cape (EV1, EV7) - the Finnish Lakes - Helsinki (EV10) - Tallinn (EV10) - Tartu - Vilnius - Warsaw (EV2) - Kraków (EV4) - Košice - Szeged - Belgrade (EV6) - Skopje - Thessaloniki - Athens (EV8)
Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, FYROMacedonia, Greece, 5,964 Km
You enter Greece through Evzoni town in Central Macedonia where Axios river crosses the valley of Paeonia praised by Homer and the ancient poets and philosophers as a few of the natural beauty . Cycling through the wine roads of Goumenissa, a famous wine producing region with Appellation d’origine de Qualite Superieure towards Pella, the city who replaced Aigai as the capital of the Macedonian state and quickly became one of the most important political, economical and cultural centres of Greece.
From there to Thessaloniki with Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments (UNESCO), the second largest city of Greece and the most important centre of the area. Built near the sea (at the back of the Thermaïkos Gulf), it is a modern metropolis full of cyclists, bearing the marks of its stormy history and its cosmopolitan character, which give it a special beauty and charm. A good chance to visit Agio Oros – Mount. Athos (Monastic Community, UNESCO).
Moving south to Vergina and the Archaeological Site of Aigai (UNESCO) where the royal tombs in the Great Tumulus of Vergina and the tomb of Philip II were found towards Ancient Pydna and Ancient Dion to the coast of Pieria skirting the fringes of the mythical slopes of Mount Olympus. Nearby the Meteora Monastery Complex (UNESCO) and from there to Larissa and Volos, built at the innermost point of the Pagasetic Gulf and at the foot of Mount Pilio or Pelion (the land of the Centaurs).
More south to Thermopylae where The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes. Cycling to history continues through Chaeronea, Thebes, Plataies to Eleusina and the Eleusinian Mysteries, one of the most famous religious events of the ancient Greek religion, entering Attica Region with UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the medieval Daphni Monaster to the Acropolis of Athens. The route is currently not realised.
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