Biking guided tour to Minoan ruins.Minoans ruins are a highlight of the Captivating Crete tour. At Knossos you will learn from the professional guide that the peaceful Minoan empire was the first civilization on European soil and King Minos’ chair was replicated for the chief judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Throughout the tour you encounter Minoan ruins left and right.
This tour is for cyclists accustomed to climbing ascents ranging from 1500-2500 foot (450-760 meters). Captivating Crete has flat sections hugging the sea coast, hilly sections near the sea and mountains in the rural interior where passing vehicles are less frequent.
The most endearing part of the tour is your immersion into the local culture. In a Greek language class you learn to greet the locals, “Kali Mera!” There is a cooking class where you learn to prepare healthy Cretan cuisine. Tasting raki, Crete’s national spirit akin to Italy’s grappa, is unavoidable. Indeed, it is rude to turn down the first and second offerings. You can pass when a third round is extended.
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Chania
From Chania’s Souda Bay port we bike to the Akrotiri Peninsula to the end of the road to the Gouvernatou monastery. The stone path descends to Catholikon where St. John the hermit retreated over 700 years ago. The hike takes about 30 minutes round trip (1 mile) and roundtrip cycling to and from Souda Bay is 40.60 km, 25 miles. From Souda Bay, bike a back road to the old city of Chania. 13.80 km, 8 miles 54.40 km, 33 miles
Day 2: Chania
Morning bike loop up the gorgeous Therisos Gorge, climbing to 2336 feet (712 meters). Choice of lunch at a family run winery or a family run botanical park with organic meals. 55.50 km, 34.40 miles
Day 3: Rethymno
Today is the longest and hardest cycling day of the tour going from Chania to Rethymno with a pit stop at Georgiopoli Beach and an optional detour to Koules Fort and Ancient Apera whose residents engaged in “bloodless wars.” Rethymno is Crete’s best kept secret with its Venetian-era buildings, including the Fortezza fort dominating the city. 78.00 km, 48.50 miles
Day 4: Rethymno
A bike ride into the low portions of the Psiloritis Mountains takes us to the Melidoni Cave and learn its poignant history. Lunch on the seacoast at Panormos, swimming optional. Then return to Rethymno’s cycling along the city’s fourteen kilometer sandy coast. 34.90 km, 21.70 miles
Day 5: Axos
Cycle from Rethymno to Axos via Arkadi Monastery with its tragic history. Bonus stop at a Mycenae-like ancient tomb. Final destination is Enagron in Axos, a precious agrotourism center. 64 km, 39 miles
Day 6: Axos
Choice of Axos short loop with a stop at the wondrous Sfendoni Cave 16.30 km, 13 miles or Axos long loop 31.30 km, 19.40. Afternoon hike in the Psilioritis Mountains followed by a traditional Cretan cooking class.
Day 7: Arhanes
Bike from Axos to Herakleion coming down to the 803 meters, 2634 feet to sea level 49 km, 30 miles In Herakleion we are treated to a professional guided tour of Ancient Knossos and Herakleion Archaeology Museum before transferring to the traditional town of Arhanes.
Day 8: Departure
Transfers to Herakleion airport for flights to Athens or to Herakleion port for those taking the boat to Santorini.
Supplemental Tour Information:
The route for the 2017 guided tour is West to East, Chania to Herakleion. The tour starts the day before with test ride and fitting of the bikes on the Acropolis Walkway in Athens. That evening we rendezvous at Piraeus port to take the overnight ferry (private cabins) to Chania, arriving at 6:00 am.
Bike mileage listed for each day is that day’s standard bike route. Depending however on the cycling level of the participants, routes may vary by adding mileage or minimizing mileage with vehicle transfers.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
Single Supplement: 500 euros.
Total Mileage 368 km, 229 miles
Highest Elevation 2345 feet, 715 meters
About This Supplier
Joined InfoHub: Dec 2006
We are the only tour operator in Greece providing multi-day cycling tours through all regions of Greece. It is our mission to show you an authentic Greece while you cycle through the rural countryside or around the Greek isles. We introduce you to delicious Mediterranean cuisine, local produce and handicrafts,...
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