Five mornings – Thassos, Greece

 

Here’s a report from 10 days of beach life on Thassos. Here’s the island:

Pretty good feeling. Bikes on the car and mountains ahead!

Our base for the vacation. Tempting mountains in the background. Highest peak sits at 1204 meters

10 days… I’m not the guy to appreciate the beach life if I haven’t done anything physical during the day. Sooooo, a did my early morning rides before the heat came. At 6 o’clock it was anyway already 24 degrees… But of course, there was time for family rides also

To the morning rides… I did five and all together and they added up to 180 kilometers and 8000 meters of climb:

Ready for the first ride I realized I had lost the plug for the shifter so I used a material that we had plenty of 😉

Similar to other times that I’ve been biking in Greece I’ll have to say that it isn’t crowded with smooth single tracks. Rather rocky dirt roads and sometimes trails, but then with lots of loose rocks and quite rough. Well, the same goes for Thassos. Here and there you see marble quarries that maybe don’t look that nice but at least they create some local jobs beyond the tourist industry.

The 1204 meter tall peak is named Ypsario and gives you the sort of feeling you get looking out of an aircraft. The beach that I started from is down there. That day the ride was almost 70 kilometers and 2900 meters of climb

Rocky dirt roads… Rocks the size of baby heads shoots up into the frame as you catch speed

After hammering down the dirt roads for 20 kilometers the contrast couldn’t be bigger when you enter one of those sleepy Greek villages and sit down and zip a coffee enjoying the silence

The home beach from a new angle:

And from where that picture was taken back to the apartment I found the best technical trail. Almost 500 meters of vertical drop with some tricky switchbacks

Lizards…

I also tried parts of Thassos Cup. It’s a race in early Spring and kind of opens the season of competitions in this part of the world. Having heard about the set up on the bikes I expected some non-technical-boring-XC-stuff. But… Respect! The trail was partially very demanding and technical and it’s hard to imagine the guys riding this with hardtails, 71 degrees head angle and no dropper post.

And with fantastic views. This time the mountain village of Theologos:

And here Panagia with the stone roofs

And the coastline

In my eager of getting away from easy dirt roads I found another trail leading up the mountain. A lot of carrying, but it was nice:

But no happiness last forever… The derailleur mess-up of the year, but luckily at 800 meters elevation. I wasn’t successful in transforming it into single speed so I pushed a little, but mostly just coasted back the 17 remaining kilometers…

If you are going there and want more info you can find more at Viewranger (click on “find route” and type “Thassos”)

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