Eastern Crete Cycling Tour

Eastern Crete Cycling Tour 940 , 8 Days

Crete is rightly considered to be one of the most beautiful destinations in Greece. And this tour combines history, culture, mountains, beaches, lakes, good food, lots of raki and Cretan music! You will begin in Heraklion, the capital, and you will follow the coast passing through Agios Nikolaos, Ierapetra, Palaiochora and finally Rethymno. On the way you will visit the most important archaeological sites of Crete, Knossos and Phaestos, the impressive remains of the Minoan civilization which flourished about 4000 years ago. In addition you will have the chance to relax by the beach, taste the local food in the numerous tavernas and restaurants, but mostly just immerse yourself in Cretan hospitality.

This tour is of moderate difficulty. It is created for recreational cyclists; however, you must have a standard/good level of fitness to feel comfortable. The daily distance is around 50km (check daily program) and the daily total climb averages no more than 600m with the exception of one day (860m). Of course in case you will need help, we provide 24h telephone support so we will step in and help.

For those seeking a more “in depth” Cretan experience, the tour is also offered with 2 nights at each waypoint. For these extra days we offer a variety of cycling routes, boat trips, daily excursions and various other alternatives.

Personalised programs can be created for you at an additional charge depending on the number of participants, duration and component parts of the tour.

Highlights:
♦ Heraklion, Knossos and the Minoan Palace - archeological sites of major importance
♦ The Palace of Phaistos
♦ Olive oil Museum, beautiful coastal villages, stunning scenery, amazing beaches and more


Itinerary:

Day 1. Arrival - Heraklion
Arrival is at Heraklion airport or port and upon request we can transfer you to your hotel. You have the day free to explore the city at will, perhaps visiting the famous “Koule” (castle) dominating the port, or the archaeological museum. Heraklion is the biggest city on Crete and is the provincial capital. It has over 3000 years of history and you will leave wishing you had spent more time in her ancient lanes. Delivery of your bikes and equipment takes place during the evening and you spend the night in Heraklion.

Day 2. Heraklion - Knossos - Ano Hersonissosn/Koutouloufari (37Km,+430m)
Today we start our cycling trip and very soon arrive at Knossos. Not only the biggest and the most important of the Cretan archaeological sites, but also the greatest expression of Minoan architecture known to man; Knossos is an integral part of European history and as such it is known as Europe's oldest city. Once there you can visit the Minoan Palace and surrounding remains from 2000-1400 BC. We continue our ride and drop in at the Cretan aquarium where you can experience the Mediterranean Marine world with its hundreds of fascinating species. Finally, we arrive in either Ano Xersonisos or Koutouloufari, two traditional Cretan villages that, although having some tourism, have manage to retain their authentic character.

Day 3. Ano Hersonissos / Koutouloufari - Agios Nikolaos (41Km,+591m)
Get ready for a day in the saddle! Travelling throught spectacular mountain scenery you'll pass traditional villages like Vrahasi, where time has stood still, as the road will take you down to Agios Nikalaos, the picturesque capital of Lasithi. On the way, you can visit the Vassilakis Estate in Neapoli, where you can taste the traditionally produced olive oil, visit the olive museum and see an original olive mill from 1865! Upon arrival in Agios Nikolaos you can walk around the “lake”, around the old port and explore the loveliest town in Eastern Crete.

Day 4. Agios Nikolaos - Ierapetra (37Km,+462m)
Today you will begin your cycle ride following the coast and then winding your way through the olive groves eventually come to your destination in Ierapetra, an important town on the south-east Cretan coast. Swim at one of the golden beaches that you will pass or continue onto the town center with its cafes and the restaurants.

Day 5. Ierapetra - Tsoutsouros (57Km, +860m)
This is going to be your longest and highest climb, however, there are so many amazing places along the way that you´ll find yourself stopping regularly having a good excuse for a sneaky rest. You’ll have a great day! The route is mainly coastal and passes through beautiful villages like Myrtos, Tertsa and Keratokambos and eventually ends up in the tranquil town of Tsoutsouros. This day is a mixture of coastal landscapes, picturesque villages and quiet roads.

Day 6. Tsoutsouros - Phaistos - Agia Galini (65Km/+620m or 73Km/+740m)
Get in the car for a transfer 500 meters altitude high on the mountain and then some kilomters (optionally) closer to our final destination, in Mesohori. Stronger cyclist can start earlier adding an extra 8 Km on the days ride. Otherwise jump in the car and will take you 500m. up to have gentler start to the day. You'll ride among the olive trees on the plateau and pass through small villages in the area reaching the highlight of the day: The Palace of Phaistos. This is a Bronze Age archaeological site of major impotance. Continuing your journey you will arrive in Agia Galini, a small seaside town on the hilly Cretan coast.

Day 7. Agia Galini - Rethymno (32Km,+585m or 47Km, +760m)
And so, we come to our last day on our bikes. Unless you insist, we will transfer you to one of the 2 mountain villages to avoid the steep (500m.) climb which you will be confronted with. We will leave you on the summit or take you on to Spili village to shorten the route. Passing through the mountain villages of the Rethimno Province you will come to the artificial lake of " Limni ton Potamon" which means " Lake of the rivers". Crossing the dam gives you a good opportunity for a stop either to enjoy the scenery or try the local tavernas, or both. You then continue to Rethimno, the capital of the province with its historical past. The city was founded by the Venetians and wandering within the old town you will soak up the atmosphere of its noble past. Of course, no visit is complete without a walk around “Fortezza”, the Venetian Era citadel! The small shops, bars and taverns complete the atmosphere and don't forget to taste the raki once again with Greek meze!

Day 8. Departure

Good to know:
Participating in a self-guided biking tour is one of the most pleasant ways to discover a destination in depth. Upon your arrival, we will supply you with your GPS device with routes, maps, road book, etc., and of course your bike with all necessary equipment such as panniers, service kit, locks etc. From then on you will have the freedom to spend your time in any way you wish. Whether you decide to wake up early or start later, you cycle at your own pace and stop anywhere that catches your interest on the proposed route. In this way you are not obliged to follow a specific schedule but can just follow at your own tempo.

In addition, each day we take care of your luggage transfer, so you don’t have to carry anything extra with you, and of course we provide 24h telephone support in case of emergency just to be sure everything rolls along smoothly.


Price Includes:
accommodation for 7 nights in a double room (3 overnights with breakfast) in standard 3*** hotels/rooms/apartments
Luggage transfer between hotels
transfer of bikers on day 6 and day 7
GPS and Maps with routes (1 piece for 2 participants),complete information about the area
24h telephone support

Not Included:
flight tickets
excursions on your free time
entrance tickets for archaeological sites & museums etc.

Additional Services:
Bike rental/week: Trekking bike: 100€
road bike 145€
e-bike 270€
tandem bike 280€
helmet 12€


Gallery


Eastern Crete Cycling Tour (Rated 4.78 / 5 Based on 188 Reviews.)
Price
940 EUR
Duration
8 Days
Single Supplement
155 EUR
Status
Open for booking

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

Reservation System Code
GRCYCPLP
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