Solebike Tours organize electric bicycle excursions throughout the day – and year – and you don’t need to be super-fit to enjoy them!
Ah, la luna, la luna…the night that I sped under the spell of the moon. In Athens, the August full moon is the one night of the year when the city’s ancient sites are open to the public after sundown. I hopped on my Solebike electric bike and off we travelled through the city’s most beautiful spots, in the silvery light of the moon.
Easy, Breezy, Fascinating!
Solebike, created by cycling-enthusiasts/tourism experts Costas and Sofia has been successfully running city tours for people of every age (baby and child seats are both available and safe) for several years now. Daytime tours include wearing an earpiece through which you can follow a fascinating guided tour by Costas, Sophia, or Dimitra as you cycle. Electric bicycles are so easy to ride, all you need to do is pedal a little and zoom! Off you go, whether you’re on flat ground or up-hills. As for downhills – and believe me, we had some steep ones on my night trip – just gripping both brakes gently assures a smooth, easy experience.
The greatest thing about electric bicycle tours such as the ones so skillfully organized by Solebike is that regardless of traffic – by cars or people – you can easily and speedily navigate through the city. Vastly appealing to both foreign visitors and Greeks (indeed on my tour is was an all-Greek group), the tours are fun and always have something interesting to teach. Except for stopping at various points of interest, you get to observe life, architecture, nature, and often unknown side streets or other areas you wouldn’t normally walk through in the city.
The Moonlight Tour
On my tour, we started at the dinky Solebike Tours HQ in Makriyanni, near the Acropolis Metro station, where we registered and were offered complimentary water, helmet, and instructions. The first stop was the ancient and deeply historical area of Filopappou, where we walked to the same-named Roman monument from where we took in heady panoramic views of the city, sprawling glitteringly all the way down to the deep blue coast on one side. On the other was the gold-lit Acropolis, admired by families and friends who sat around in groups, and lovers concealed behind olive trees on ancient benches.
Next, we whizzed through the very lively Plaka neighbourhood, with its old tavernas, neoclassical buildings, seductive smells of delicious Greek foods, and buzzy crowds of revellers, many of them out to soak up the full moon’s light like us. After that, we cycled to the all-marble Panathenaic Stadium where the Modern Olympic Games were organized in 1896, but we got to see it both from the ground level and a ‘secret’ angle that Costas took us to from high above on Ardittou Hill. Finally, we visited the Zappeion Megaro next to the National Gardens, before parking our bikes back at the shop and enjoying a refreshing complimentary glass of wine and happy chat at Wine O’Clock bar on Vrassidas St.
Something for Everyone
This was just one of many creative, educational, and fully enjoyable tours that Solebike offers. They also organize cycling visits that include food and/or wine stops, seaside routes, and soon they are hoping to launch excursions to nearby Saronic islands like Aegina, where there are a whole different variety of pleasures to discover – food, sea, ancient sites and varying nature.
Solebike are out-of-the-box thinkers and even include a Sea Turtle Rescue Tour, while they are always coming up with new ideas of how to make the best of the developing Athens Walkway, the cycling paths on the southern coast, nearby locations and creative/pleasurable pursuits. They also organise private tours.