ALONE OR ACCOMPANIED? GREECE

Greece is the “mother” of western thought and is part of the European Union. Its millennial history and its geographical conformation make it interesting from many points of view. On the motorcycle side, the country is among the most loved by travelers and often the destination of the “first trip outside the borders” by many users of the Old Continent.


Despite being the 12th state in the world for coastal extension, Greece is made up of 80 percent of hills and mountains … some of which reach close to 3,000 meters (such as Mount Olympus). The Aegean islands themselves often make up the peaks of underwater mountain ranges.
There is no shortage of large plains, and then forests, canyons, lakes, rivers and impressive rock formations. In practice, a perfect territory to discover on a motorcycle.

Alone or accompanied? It depends on your riding and traveling experience. There are no contraindications to moving alone, in pairs, with a group of friends or perhaps following a “turnkey” tour. In the case of off-road excursions, the support of a local guide may be useful.

Below is a short territorial vademecum.


ISLANDS – About 6,000 if we also include the islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian seas. Only 227 inhabited ones, some of which deserve a stop for a few days. Most of them are located in the Aegean Sea and are divided into seven groupings.


MAIN CITIES – Athens or Salinicco are lively metropolis, modern and at the same time rich in multiethnic history.


PELOPONNESE – Monuments of every era, great archaeological sites, such as ancient Olympia, Epidaurus, Mycenae and Tiryns, the Temple of Apollo Epicurus, and even Byzantine churches, charming villages and castles, mountains and forests, rivers and caves. The icing on the cake is the sea that reminds you of the peninsula, with beautiful sandy beaches in the west and rocky beaches in the east.


EPIRO – Region divided with Albania, between the Pindo chain and the Ionian Sea. Its mountainous mass offers virgin forests and the mythical Dragon lakes, a natural scenario shared in perfect harmony with archaeological sites (such as the theater of Dodoni), monasteries, traditional villages (look for Zagorochoria). In the immediate vicinity, you reach the Vikos Canyon, the second deepest in the world, with an ecosystem of 1,700 plants and 182 animals.


THESSALY – So much to see. Mountains, rivers, beaches, Lake Plastira, the Valley of the Temples, the incredible Meteors, the most breathtaking and photogenic Orthodox monastic complex in Europe.


THRACIA – A land to be explored in complete calm, where nature is the master. The Evros, Nestos and Ardas rivers, the Vistonida and Ismarida lakes; the Dadia forest and the delta of the Evros river, the endless expanses of white sand beaches …


CENTRAL GREECE – Do not miss the archaeological site of Delphi and the Oracle of the god Apollo; the picturesque seaside towns (such as Galaxidi, Itea, Nafpaktos). Those who love adventure find strong emotions here driving in the heart of Greek nature: gorges, impressive waterfalls, rivers with rapids, Mount Parnassus.

ATTICA – It is the Aegean peninsula that hosts the capital Athens, with the extraordinary Acropolis and, scattered throughout the basin, significant places such as Sounio and the Temple of Poseidon. The list of things to see is very long but on a motorcycle iATTICA -t is possible to include many along a well-studied route that concludes us in Piraeus, the largest and most important port in Greece. Here you can embark on the ferries that take you to the islands.


PERSONAL AND MOTORCYCLE DOCUMENTS

Greece is part of the European Union and adheres to the Schengen agreement. As a result, EU air citizens can enter the country with a passport or identity card valid for expatriation. Visas are not required by holders of valid passports from “NO E.U.” countries intend to visit Greece and stay in the country for a maximum of 3 months (90 days) within a chronological period of 6 months. We remind you that it is good practice to bring a copy of your personal documents and those of the vehicle with you.

Citizens of European Union member states in Greece can use the national driving license; Citizens of other countries must present an international driving license, along with their current valid one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLKjG0cd1W0Motorcyclists who enter Greece with their own vehicle can use it privately without having it subjected to customs and registration for a period of 6 months, continuous or distributed throughout the year. This duration can be extended for another 9 months, always on the assumption that the motorbike or scooter is used for private use.
The Green Card, issued by its insurance company and without which we would not be able to circulate in many countries, is not required in Greece and in all the countries with which Italy has entered into bilateral agreements. However, having it with you is always advisable.


MOBILITY’

The Greek road network is vast and continuously expanding and modernizing. Those who choose to cross the country with their vehicle will not find particular problems.

The border crossings to enter Greece from the neighboring Balkan countries are Exochi for Bulgaria, Evzones Kilkis for Macedonia, Kakavia for Albania and Kipoi Evrou for Turkey.

The main road axes are as follows: Athens-Thessaloniki (E 75); Athens-Corinth (E 94); Corinth- Patras (E 65); Corinth-Tripoli-Kalamata (E 65); Patras-Pyrgos-Oly MPIA (E 55); Thessaloniki-Kavala- Alexandroupoli (E 90); Igoumenitsa-Alexandroupoli (Egnatia Odos highway); Chania-Agios Nikolaos (Crete E 75).

The constant change of roads in Greece is linked to a tip that must be followed: do not rely on old maps. If you don’t like using the navigator, buy a recent map of Greece on the spot.
If your itinerary includes off-road routes in the Thrace region … especially near the border areas with Bulgaria (Rhodopi mountain massif) and with Turkey (Alexandroupolis and the Evro delta as well as the Orestiada area) know that special permits are required .

In the case of parking which is not allowed to park, the traffic police / traffic police, in addition to issuing the offense, sometimes also seizes the license plates. The withdrawal can only be made upon payment of the fine and upon presentation of the ticket demonstrating the date of return to the homeland. In the event of an infringement, it is recommended not to sign police reports written in Greek if you are unable to understand them. In practice, you insist on having the assistance of a translator, a figure provided for by local legislation.

If the intention is to rent a motorbike or scooter, especially on the Greek islands, be very careful. We remind you that the use of a helmet is mandatory throughout the territory. Always make sure that the policy linked to the rental adequately covers the damage to third parties, to the persons transported, as well as theft and damage to the vehicle (fire and vandalism). It is suggested to request the signing of the rental contract also in English.


SAFETY

https://travellers.willtofly.comhttps://travellers.willtofly.comAvoid, especially in Athens, leaving your motorcycle at night in unattended car parks.
Never let your guard down on the islands: motorcycle thefts also occur here.
In the unfortunate case of involvement in a traffic accident, remember to photograph the damaged parts of the vehicle for the purposes of subsequent compensation practices.
In case of problems with the local police authorities (detention or arrest), it is advisable to immediately inform the embassy or consular office.
In general, the degree of security is in line with the rest of Europe, including the possibility of terrorist acts.


HEALTH SITUATION

Public health facilities are crowded in the summer and generally just enough on the islands. For severe cases, there is often a lack of specialized equipment and doctors. It is therefore advisable to take out, before embarking on the trip, a health insurance that provides, in addition to the coverage of medical expenses, the possible repatriation by medical plane or the transfer to another country.

Pharmacies are numerous and present throughout the territory, but they also operate with a shift system. There are no endemic diseases reported in Greece.

MOTORCYCLE EQUIPMENT

Greece is a rather easy destination. The country can be visited on the saddle of any type of motorcycle and also comfortably in a maxi scooter. In the period June-September the temperatures allow to lighten the luggage, starting from the technical clothing, which must be protective but ventilated. The jet helmet represents a strong temptation but it is always better to opt for an integral, possibly openable.
A comfortable backpack represents the alternative to the tank bag: if there is no space for luggage, use them both.
In terms of accessories, the classic set with a pair of side cases supported by a large rear bag (convenient for trips to the sea) is more than enough.
Always useful are the various first aid and anti-puncture kits, the USB cable and the smartphone holder.


The quality mechanical padlock and padlocks with steel cable are indispensable to secure the helmets to the vehicle in short stops.
Off-roaders find in the new GIVI catalog a large number of accessories dedicated to maxi enduro.


FUEL

One liter of super gasoline costs 1.57 Euros in Greece (data taken on 23 January 2017).


WHEN TO TRAVEL

Greece is indicated as a nation with a Mediterranean climate. This generally means mild temperatures, many sunny days and little rain during the year.

However, its geographical conformation leads to differences due to the influences of the continental climate in the north-east of the country (warmer summers and colder winters). The whole area located between the mainland and the sea is affected by great variations.
In the plains the winters are mild while the mountains are constantly covered with snow. The same region can in practice present different climatic conditions in the same period.


To recap:


Mediterranean climate along the coasts and on the islands, with hot and dry summers and mild and humid winters.
Temperate climate in the central part of the country, in Macedonia and Thrace, with hot and dry summers and cold winters.
Mountain climate in Western Greece and, generally, when we move away from the sea, in areas such as Epirus, Thessaly, inland Peloponnese.

A motorcycle trip is advisable in the period from April to October. One more note: free camping is forbidden on the whole territory.

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