Sprint is already around us and most of the motorcyclists are hungry for small or big excursions with their bikes. The sunny Sunday morning was a factor for me to start a small one-day trip. My decision was taken without any second thoughts, a fact that unfortunately didn't leave me any margins to inform the rest of the members about this. I decided to move towards Korinthos area and specifically at its northern beaches but also at its highlands, mountains Geraneia and Pateras. This specific route was into my mind for a long time. I always postponed this trip by having the excuse "it's close to Athens, I'll do it another time". Now it was this time...
I've started through the national road Athens - Korinthos (not through Attika Road) and after Elefsina junction (around 20km) I followed the sign for "Thiva - Elefsina". The beginning of the provincial road wasn't stunning at all. En route you meet companies, small factories etc. reminding -most probably- a not well built province of Athens.
From Mandra junction (3-4 km) the scenery changes ... the relatively good condition asphalt crosses an area full of olive-trees and pine-trees. Small newly built settlements -luckily- bind with the scenery. Following the signs for Thiva, I've met the junction (25km) for "Vilia, Porto Germeno, Psatha". For the next 4-5 km until Vilia, the sprouting was getting more intense and the road with the relatively easy twists made the driving a pure pleasure!
The Vilia village (www.vilia.org) is considered the administrative center of the municipality that has the same name. It attracts plenty of people, without having something important. Nevertheless this is a good place for a coffee rest, since it offers plenty of nice cafeterias but also tavernas. As such, the rest is considered a must, since the visitor is "required" to taste the one and only cheesepie of the village. The old oven -built since 1932 (which is located on a small road,right opposite the National Bank)- offers the most tasty cheesepies of that area -and for many- of Greece! Following the suggestion of our motorcyclist friend Apostolis, I didn't loose the chance to taste it and I can assure you that it was really delicious!!!
After my few-minutes break, I departed heading to the seaside village Porto-Germeno (or alternatively ‘Aigosthena’). The first 10 km of the route (up to the relative junction) where alongside a green, full of pine-trees, scenery, while you can easily see the sea… Soon enough I found myself on the junction of Porto-Germenos. The rest 7-8 km where downward, helix kind route, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the gulf of Alkyonides! Porto-Germeno is a seaside, touristic settlement, since there are many taverns and rooms for rent. Other than that, it offers a remarkable archaeological center, on which, the old city’s walls are still salvaged and can be seen.
I return to the last junction before the village and followed a different heading to “Psatha, Alepoxori”. The first 500-1000 m of the thin road are very impressing since they go through a thick pine-tree forest, giving you the impression that you are on a forgotten highland place of Greece.
A few meters later, the road becomes once again helix and downward, while at the same time you have the opportunity to enjoy the view of ‘Psatha’ beach from above. Reaching the destination (3km), it’s not difficult to realize that it’s a small seaside, tourist settlement, with the typical beach which extends alongside the gulf and in essence, it composes the same settlement.
From Psatha and afterwards (24km) road goes seaside following the coastal line. In fact, in a few places, it nearly attaches the sea! Completely different landscape and colors, according to what I had seen up to that time on this specific route … but very impressive!
En route –following signs for ‘Schino’- I’ve seen various small or big settlements (Kato Alepochori, Aigeirouses, Mavrolimni, Schinos) which probably are summer or countryside residences. There is a relative tourist development in these areas, but without extremities, that usually give you a bad picture. It’s worth mentioning that in Alepochori there’s a beautiful route (31 km) which ends up to Megara.
From the –relatively- casual settlement of Schino I followed an amazing mountainous route of 12 km, heading to Perachora. The almost deserted –for the season- road crosses the Geraneia Mountain through a totally green landscape of pine-trees. Really impressive…
The first small village that I’ve met was Pisia. From there and for the next of 5-6 km (up to Perachora) the route goes through small olive-tree farms and the road condition is mediocre. Entering Perachora, I followed the sign for Loutraki and soon found out the signs for “Vouliagmeni Lake”. After approximately 12 km I found myself in front of the “lake”. Moving through its perimeter, I met the spot where the lake’s water joins the sea water. So, actually, the lake is getting sea water. At this area there are many fish-taverns, grills, cafeterias and also camping. It attracts lots of people, since it is a relatively close destination from the capital.
Personally, I confined myself in a few-minutes rest before leaving for Loutraki. I now regret that I didn’t stop to drink a coffee… In any case, after 23 km I reached Loutraki and sit at a cafeteria that had a waterfall… perhaps the best choice, since the temperature was at its peak.
The return to Athens was through the national road (80km). The total driving km of this trip was 250 km, from which the 150 km where on a provincial road full of amazing and green scenery but also many seaside landscapes! It offers plenty of taverns in many places alongside the trip and also at the same time it offers remarkable beaches. I consider that it’s a very good choice for a one-day break-out of Athens, which is considered a “must” for every motorcyclist –and not only- of the widen area. I totally recommend it…