While most of us would prefer going solo on our trips, it can be a bit daunting to go to a foreign country and manage to find decent routes, hotels, and support....not to mention the occasional language barrier. This past summer, after a few years of looking forward to it, my wife and I joined Triumph Bike Tours of Greece on one of their group tours of N. Greece and followed it with their 'lone wolf' tour of the south. Simply put, it was awesome.
Unlike some of the tour companies that go everywhere, TBTG is up-close and personal. They do only a few trips a year and limit the number of bikes to 10 because the owners are part of the group trip and consider it a vacation of sorts. They are also your support contact when you are on your own.
A few of the joys of riding in Greece....fantastic history, pretty good quality roads and millions of twisties in the mountains, great freedom for bikes (speed limits mostly ignored, lane splitting at stop lights...everywhere actually...is expected, park anywhere there is room, passing on yellow lines is expected (and a lot of fun in the hill country)), great food, and lots of nice folks.
Our tour group consisted of 2 S. African couples, an Australian couple (on two bikes), a lone guy from Wisconsin, the lead rider, his wife in a support van, and us. We rode Adventurers, Tigers, a Bonnie, and lead rode a 675 Special. 7 bikes in all.
The problem with a tour is that it's perfect for no one, too few miles for some, not enough tourism for others. Yet, through many tweakings, these tours achieve a great balance of mileage, tourism, and relaxation. The usual pace was on the road by 8:30, ride a couple hours, stop at a monastery or ruin for about 45 minutes, ride, lunch, ride, another interesting stop, ride, and that's your day.
My wife and I research in detail every country we visit before we go and had several things we felt were 'must see'. We were delighted to find nearly all were included somewhere along the way. We did enjoy our 'lone wolf' tour somewhat more than our group ride, but our group bonded well and it was excellent to have that time to become familiar with Greek customs and traffic.
I'd love to go into great detail on everything we did and everything we saw, but will simply say....for a very reasonable price, we did it all. The islands are NOT the only part of Greece worth visiting!! We sent e-mail highlights home at regular intervals so if anyone would like the gory details, feel free to e-mail. Got a few pics, too.