Is the Greek Island of Evia a serious alternative to the usual cycling holiday destinations?
Have you ever heard of the Greek Island of Evia? No? You are probably not alone. Would you be surprised to learn that it is the second largest Greek Island? Would you be shocked if I told you it is less than 1 hours drive from Athens? Have you ever considered Evia as a serious alternative destination for a cycling holiday? My guess is that the answer to the final question is a definite NO!
Well maybe you should.
Judging by the Strava, Facebook and Instagram accounts of Team Sky and the other pro teams Mallorca seems to be the epicentre of year round cycling destinations. So lets compare…
Did you know Evia is pretty much the same size as Mallorca? Did you realise Evias highest mountain is 300m taller than the highest point on Mallorca and nearly 400m higher then Mallorcas highest accessible peak? Were you aware that the average monthly temperatures on Evia are 2 – 4 Deg C higher than Mallorca.
Let’s look at some Geography:
Just looking at the geography of the islands there is little to choose between them except the much smaller population of Evia.
So, what about the weather? The graphs below compare data taken from holiday-weather.com.
As you would expect it varies month to month between the islands. Generally Evia is a few degrees warmer throughout the year. In terms of rainfall there is little to choose except for Aug – Oct where the Greek island has significantly less rainfall in these months. Where Mallorca gains over Evia is hours of sunshine.
Again, it is difficult to separate one from the other. From an impartial viewpoint it could be argued that the extra hours of sun and less days rain tip it in Mallorca’s favour, but choose the correct months then Evia is more likely to suit a cyclist than the Balearic Isle.
So far there seems to be little to separate the islands in terms of what they offer a cyclist. So what does Mallorca have that Evia doesn’t? Cycling Pedigree….
As previously mentioned if you are seeking out selfies with the Pro’s and trying desperately to hang on the coat tails of the teams on their training rides then pre season in Mallorca is the place to be.
Evia has serious climbs and long distance rides to match those in Mallorca, but it does not have the Kudos or the climbs and rides made famous over time.
Having said that, cycling in Greece is growing in popularity and it is not unusual to see road cyclists and mountain biking out and about. If organised group rides are your thing then you could also join the local cyclists on one of the 6 organised sportives on and around the Island throughout the year.
Also, Evia does not have the major holiday hype and familiarity as a holiday destination from the UK.
By comparison Evia’s tourism industry is low key and dominated by Athenians taking a break from the city in the summer months. The resort towns, including Eretria where Greek Cycle Holidays is based, are coastal with several tavernas , cafe’s and bars. Once you venture into the heart of the island via the inevitable leg burning climb you will encounter unspoilt rural Greek village life and culture, ancient archaeological sites in abundance , monasteries and amazing secluded beaches with crystal clear water.
The scenery is among the best you will find anywhere rugged mountains and pine forests; each part of the island has its own character. Not to mention Evia is the home to Greek Cycle Holidays Luxury Villa, which has a fantastic outdoor space and BBQ area which is ideal for relaxing in the evening and into the night. The villa also includes an area of tranquillity and recovery, where can spend time recuperating from your days ride in our hot tub and relaxation area.
Sounds great I hear you say, but are there any places to eat?
Fear not, the villa has several seating areas situated around the Villa for dining alfresco, relaxing with your company on the bamboo sofa’s or unwinding by yourself on one of the balconies overlooking the 800 sq M of lush green garden
I know what you are thinking, this sounds amazing but I really don’t want to be slaving over an oven all holiday. Well put that worry to rest! We have the option of having your very own personal chef on the premises, serving you food of the highest quality, using fresh local and home grown ingredients (you could even tend the vegetable patch if you are green fingered) based on a personally customized menu that will be decided by yourself and your host and chef taking into account any dietary needs or just personal preferences.
Does this sound like your perfect idea of a holiday?