Eastern Crete cycling tour, Greece
Description of Eastern Crete cycling tour, Greece
Beginning in the charming capital, Heraklion, you’ll embark on a Greek odyssey through ancient archaeological sites including Phaistos and Knossos, which is considered to be the oldest city in Europe. Every day brings new opportunities to dine in rustic taverns, dip in the sea, or detour from suggested routes in order to follow your own instincts of discovery. It’s also possible to add in extra days at various points in the itinerary.
Ride through picturesque mountain villages, learn about the history of olive oil production on Crete, and swim off golden sandy beaches. Explore the lovely town of Agios Nikolaos, sip raki with the locals, and sample an exquisite range of traditional Greek cuisine throughout. If it’s cultural immersion you’re looking for, there’s nothing like a self-guided trip to bring you closer.
Another aspect of this trip that you’ll love is the changing landscapes, which are particularly beautiful in late spring or autumn, periods that usefully avoid most of the crowds too. One day you’ll be cycling through the mountains, the next around a lake, or by the coast.
Finishing in Rethymno, founded by the Venetians, you can wind down by wandering the charming streets of the old town, watching the fishing boats bob in the harbour, or cycling out to see several archaeological sites in the area.
With daily rides of around 50km, and average daily climbs of up to 600m (and one of around 850m), this self-guided cycling holiday around Eastern Crete is well-suited to regular cyclists with a moderate level of fitness. Detailed maps are provided along with 24-hour support should you need it, and convenient luggage transfers between hotels.
1 Reviews of Eastern Crete cycling tour, Greece
Reviewed on 04 Nov 2018 by Sue McNuff
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The generosity and kindness of the local Cretan people - particularly in the smaller villages/towns. The scenery was beautiful. It changed as we moved from one area to another. There were some great views to be had everyday and you are never too far from some wonderful history. It brought to life the history I had studied as an 11 year old many years ago.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
In the bigger towns always seek out the restaurants in the smaller alleys - ask the locals where's good to eat. They almost certainly will be run by a family who pride themselves on giving you a lovely meal at very reasonable prices. Never order a pudding as one is almost certainly on it's way as a gift to you plus some Raki! It might be helpful to carry a detailed map to add to the GPS provided. That way you can make any detours you want plus assure yourself of the route that you are taking. The routes were well planned on usually the 'old road' which meant that they were a lot quieter... but easier to miss unless you are looking at the GPS. The GPS is very accurate, but sometimes you need to stop and zoom in to be sure you're on the right route.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
We stopped in many villages for coffee and food during our stay. Some of our overnight stays were in villages off the beaten track - our favourite was at the 'Panorama apartment' in Kefali village - there are only 17 inhabitants. We always tried to seek out the truly local experience. We were cycling - so that must be good - but of course, our bags were moved each day. We ate local fare and filled our water bottles up as we went.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Absolutely lovely. The best cycling holiday we have done yet. The Cretan people are wonderful and very hospitable. The weather at the end of October was perfect for us for cycling. The rides are perfect - challenging without being too hard. The nature of the Island means that you are always going up or down... but the hills tended to be not too steep for too long. Our taxi drivers moving our bags always turned up promptly in the morning - even though we did not need to wait for them to arrive, we usually saw them. Giving peace of mind that the bags would be waiting for you at the next destination. We highly recommend this tour of Crete... and think we'll be back to do the other side of the wonderful Island again soon!