Looking to experience an alternative side of Mykonos? A bicycle tour is an excellent way to explore the island’s hidden gems and to go beyond the beaten paths which have gained tremendous popularity over the years.
We sat down with Dimitra Asimomyti, the brainchild of Yummy Pedals to learn more about how she started with the bicycle tours on Mykonos and her love for the island.
A guided bicycle tour is a refreshing way to experience Mykonos. Tell us a little bit more about how the idea of Yummy Pedals was born?
There are two prime ingredients to my story: Paris and my dog Marios. I’ve visited Paris on numerous occasions in the past, however the last time I was there with my sister a few years ago, we decided to take the Vélib rentable bicycles. We were pleasantly surprised to rediscover the city while riding a bike. It was a completely new experience and such a liberating one!
Four years ago, when I had met and adopted a stray dog, I needed to find ways to be able to travel with him. Pet-friendly hotels are not easy to find in Greece, not to mention how much I love camping and program-free holidays, thus I started taking trips to different Greek islands with my bicycle, Marios in his basket and my hammock. This is when the first cog in the wheel was set.
The ride itself, without the preparation and relaxation time ranges between two to six hours, depending on the selected bicycle tour. Since I only run one tour per day, there is always the opportunity of prolonging a tour by spending some more time at the beach.
A Yummy Pedals tour does not only consist of riding time. We certainly cycle through the back roads of rural Mykonos, uncovering its hidden gems (I strongly believe that Mykonos Town needs to be walked and not ridden through) and we always visit at least one of its beautiful, non-touristic beaches. However, I also give a lot of importance to the communicative aspect of my tours. I have recently completed a natural and cultural heritage interpretation seminar and my goal is to transmit to my participants my love for this island and my experiences as a local.
I usually take underwater shots of my guests who decide to go diving in our crystal-clear waters and send them the photos later on as a gift from me. On all the morning rides, I offer homemade lemonade and muffins which I make myself, so as to boost my participants’ energy levels and to refresh them.
Which has been the most popular bicycle tour so far and what do the guests love most about it?
Since Mykonos is a hilly island, my participants mostly prefer the Fokos Tour, which is the easiest ride. They are on holidays after all! It offers a leisurely ride combined with a scenic landscape and a beautiful beach. What else could they ask for?
But lately the tour which includes the visit to Ano Mera village and its monastery is quite in demand as well. So those who are tradition explorers will definitely go for this tour.
If someone is not a skilled bicycle rider, which tour would you recommend that they take? Do you have special tours designed for families with children?
The Fokos Tour or the Bike and Picnic tour is addressed to occasional riders, families and newbies. These tours go through the least hilly areas of Mykonos, winding through quiet and safe island roads. For toddlers, I have a trailer, which fits 2 children, and can be mounted to my electric bike as well as a child’s bike seat.
There is an alternative side to Mykonos that not many people know of. Could you name a few things that a guest should experience if they are looking to discover the rural side of Mykonos?
Apart from my bike tours? Well, it’s not because my father owns it, but Mykonos Vioma vineyard is the place to discover the alternative and genuine side of Mykonos. At our organic vineyard, guests can try our wines accompanied by local traditional products, listen to classical music and experience authentic hospitality, since we are a family-run business. My bike tours start from and end at the vineyard, so my tours’ participants can unwind with some exceptional wine in a completely rural atmosphere.
A visit to the cheese factory in Ano Mera could also be interesting, but every time I pass from there I am climbing a very steep uphill with my bike and never stop for a visit, so I don’t have a personal experience from there.
Top Mykonian dishes one must try?
I like simple food, so these are my suggestions: louza ham slices, covered with pepper and thyme. Kopanisti which is a tangy cheese. Its strong taste binds so well with tomato.
Mostra is my favorite. Barley rusk with olive oil, oregano, tomato and kopanisti cheese on top. Oh, and the very hard to find onion savory pie. Only a few can make it the true traditional way. For dessert, try the almond and rose water sugar coated sweet.
Any new programs which you will be launching in 2017?
Last year I launched the Bike and Picnic tour, which was a big success. This year it was added to my regular (and not customized) tours selection. It is a tour that does not only offer the tasting of our traditional products, but also an interpretation of our culinary traditions.
We hope that you enjoyed reading about the various bicycle tours on Mykonos. Planning to visit Mykonos this summer? Join Dimitra on one of her Yummy Pedals routes and discover a different side to Mykonos which you didn’t know that existed!