I've been tourist cycling for a few years now, and this year I'm off to Greece. To be honest, I'm a little nervous about cycling in Greece and I'm looking for tips. For one thing, I'm not sure about what route to take. I've been using Google Earth, "real" maps and Ride with GPS, but I really need to hear from people who know the country.
I'm arriving in Thessaloniki and making my way southwards (the exact destination depends on my wife's progress in a sailing boat but it'll be somewhere in the northern Peloponnese). There are two places I'd ideally like to go to (Meteora and Delphi) but I'm not fixed about the route there. So far I've tried planning to Meteora and I hesitate between two options:
1) Thessaloniki -> Katerini -> Elassona -> Deskati -> Kalampaka
This route is the most direct and looks stunning - but I'm a bit worried about the road from Katerini - is it safe for cyclists? It looks like there's a heck of a climb between Katerini and Elassona - and as I'll be there on a fully-loaded bike in the very height of summer I'm a bit nervous about it. Also, I may need to wild-camp as there are no camp sites. And what about dogs? I've heard some stories about them.
2) Thessaloniki -> Katerini -> Dion -> Larissa -> Kalampaka.
This route seems less interesting and less direct - but a lot easier than the other. However, finding the best road to Larissa seems a challenge as it looks like the most practical way there can only be done by a motorway-ish type road.
Apart from the route itself, does anyone have any tips for cycling on Greek roads in general? Has anyone done a route they recommend?
Thanks a lot for any help!