Eastern Crete cycling tour, Greece

“Discover the history, culture and extraordinary natural beauty of Eastern Crete with a self-guided cycling holiday from Heraklion to Rethymno. Ideal for recreational cyclists hoping for a deeper insight into life on Crete.”

Highlights

Eastern Crete | Self-guided cycling | Heraklion | Knossos | Cretan aquarium | Ierapetra | Tsoutsouros | Palace of Phaistos | Agia Galini | Rethymno |

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.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Eastern Crete cycling tour, Greece

Environment

We believe in sustainable and responsible tourism, and we are committed to having the lowest possible environmental impact. As this is a cycling tour, we use the bike and the power of our feet, which is the most eco-friendly way of travelling, keeping the environment un spoiled. On top of that, we inform our guests not to litter on the destinations they visit, to recycle when it is possible and in general to follow responsible travel guide lines. To help offset the carbon emissions we also donate 10 euros per client which is shared between forestry commissions in the Peloponnese for reforestation after the deadly fires of 2007. In the winter time, we organise days where the companies members go to the nearest beaches and gather litters, in order to keep the beach clean and avoid any trash ending in the sea waters. We also as a company, gather plastic caps and donate them to a local club that helps children with special needs by buying them special trolleys.

Community

By employing only local guides and using only regional services we provide a form of tourism that benefits the community. We use local small companies- most of them family owned- for our tours, such as local hotels, restaurants, suppliers etc. The visitor also benefits by being able to come closer to authentic local cultures and traditions due to our unique local knowledge. We think tourism should be about respect and benefit to the local inhabitants and that responsible travellers will get more out of their holiday by giving a little bit back to the special places and people that they meet. But the most important thing for us, is that your presence here gives us a strong negotiation card for pressing the local authorities for the development of our area, such us constructing cycling streets, increase the local recycling program, improve social buildings etc.. Also, all of our employees in the office are locals.

1 Reviews of Eastern Crete cycling tour, Greece

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 04 Nov 2018 by

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!

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