We have started our ride at my Peloponnese home base which is close to the convent of Agia Martina situated on the coastal road at the northernmost point of Kynouria (Coastal Arkadia). Today’s route will take us north though Kiveri and Myloi on the National Road “Argos-Tripolis” to Argos. The road is pan flat with very smooth tarmac which makes for a quick ride into Argos.

After passing Argos and turning right onto the Provincial Road towards Chiliomodi we are finding ourselves on a long straight stretch through the endless orange groves of the Argive Plain.

It is to be noted that flat spaces is something of a premium in Greece. The fertile Argive Plain stretching south of Mycenae has always been a very precious piece of land.

Also in terms of cycling tourism I believe that Argolis is a destination that is hard to beat. The Argive Plain with its long straight roads, little traffic and no traffic lights adds a component that might be missing elsewhere – flat terrain for both base and interval training.

It is springtime and the orange trees have just started blossoming. A fine scent of orange hits my nose. It’s a feast for all the senses. Admiring the intense yellow and red flowers (anemones, I believe) whilst listening to the omnipresent humming of the bees make it difficult to concentrate on the road.

After crossing the provincial road connecting Corinth and Nafplio at Neo Iraio we are starting the main climb of the day which is 20km long with an average gradient of just under 4%. The scenery changes with orange groves opening up to a landscape made up by rocks, shrubs and olive trees.

The first part of the climb until the village of Prosymna feels more like a false flat. The smooth tarmac makes dropping the chain to the small chainring feel like a bad idea.

After passing Prosymna the road kicks up in gradient and the road surfaces becomes rougher. Still the gradient rarely surpasses 5% which allows for a good rhythm. After another 5km we pass the village of Limnes on its northern side. Limnes is a mountain village with a population of approximately 700 inhabitants. After the decline of the tobacco industry the main source of income here is predominately animal farming.

Limnes is also known to be one of the villages in Argolis where the Arvanitika dialect and customs are still kept alive. Arvantika is an Albanian dialect spoken by a population group in Greece called Arvanites.

After another 7.5km we arrive at the top of our first climb and continue to cruise through a mountain plateau across the provincial border into Corinthia. I have planned today’s coffee stop in Aggelokastro at the Bauhaus cafe which unfortunately we found closed. However we enjoyed sitting down and enjoying the view from the small square next to the cafe which has its facade covered with artsy graffiti – a surreal sight in a scarcely populated mountain village.

After another small climb the road will take us in what is essentially a long and gradual descent to the village of Arachnaio. From here we tackle the last small climb of the day and descent into Arkadiko with its perfect little Mycenaean bridge with a single corbelled arch.

At Arkadiko we turn right and enjoy a fast run into Nafplio – today’s destination – where we have arranged to meet with friends for lunch.

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