Venetian Harbor in Rethymnon, Greece. Flickr:Γιάννης Χουβαρδάς

Seafood a plenty in Crete! Flickr:Ben Ramirez
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Island of Crete

Greece Bike Tours

A bike tour on a magical Greek island

  • The Greek island of Crete is a dramatic and unspoiled destination and the perfect setting for a bike tour. It is said that Western European civilization began with the Minoans on Crete some 5,000 years ago. Myths were born here and legends live on. Lose yourself in Crete's ancient history, surpassed only by the diversity of its natural landscape. Bike through vineyards and olive groves on a terrain bursting with herbs, plants, and flowers that fragrance the air.

    And at the end of your cycling day, feast on a cuisine that is world renowned.

    Come bike, taste, and see for yourself this mystical island world!

    Highlights:

    • 16th century Venetian Castle in Rethymno
    • Winding alleys of Rethymno's old city
    • Craggy landscape of the White Mountains and Mount Ida
    • Stunning beaches
    • Crete cuisine featuring local and fresh ingredients, influenced by the various cultures
    • 4000-year-old wine tradition
    • Arkadi monastery
    • Pottery village of Margarites

    “There is a kind of flame in Crete - let us call it "soul" - something more powerful than either life or death. There is pride, obstinacy, valor, and together with these something else inexpressible and imponderable, something which makes you rejoice that you are human being, and at the same time tremble." N. Kazantzakis

    Interested in more biking? Check out our other bike tours in Greece!

  • Self-guided
    Twin/double: £ 680 $ 1,507 800 $ 1205 NOK 7533 kr 6954 $ 904 Supported
    Twin/double: £ 807 $ 1,789 950 $ 1431 NOK 8946 kr 8258 $ 1,074 Single supplement: £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113

    extra options

    Airport transfers for self-guided cyclists:
    From/to Chania or Heraklion Airports, one way:
    Up to 4 people: £ 59 $ 132 70 $ 105 NOK 659 kr 608 $ 79 Up to 8 people: £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113 Dinners included for both self-guided and supported cyclists:
    6 dinners with wine: £ 102 $ 226 120 $ 181 NOK 1130 kr 1043 $ 136 Electric bike (7 days): £ 149 $ 330 175 $ 264 NOK 1648 kr 1521 $ 198

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Fly to Chania or Heraklion Airports. Chania is located 68 km from your tour start and Heraklion Airport is located 82 km from your tour start.

    Local Travel

    Arrival and departure airport transfers are included in your tour price if you have booked the supported tour. For self-guided riders, we advise that you book the airport transfers that are available for a supplement.

    Climate

    The weather in Crete is characterized by mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. The climate of Crete is a temperate Mediterranean climate. This is a perfect year round destination. Do check local conditions before your arrival. A good website to visit to research regional weather conditions including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and other weather related facts is weatherbase.com.

    Remarks

    We can provide suggestions for other activities on Day 7 if you would like to extend your tour. There are opportunities for hiking, wine tasting at a local winery, a visit to the famous Palace of Knossos in Heraklion, the islands known as the Gramavousa Peninsula, or the famous lagoon of Balos.

    DOCUMENTS

    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.


Tour Dates

Crete is a wonderful year-round cycling destination. Arrivals are possible daily. Do keep in mind that summers in Crete are quite warm so July and August are not the best months for a bike tour on the island. Minimum number of 6 people to confirm a supported tour. 

Skill Level

This is a moderate self-guided or supported tour that takes place on quiet country (asphalted) roads with little traffic. Average daily distance is 35 mi. (50 km). On the day to day itinerary below you will find information regarding the elevation for each day. There are hills to contend with, some more difficult than other, but remember that you can always get off your bike. We always say that there is no shame in that!

Where You’ll Stay

You will spend five nights in Rethymno, one of Crete’s larger cities, completely dwarfed by the surrounding peaks of the White Mountains and Mt Psiloritis and two nights in Plakias, surrounded by mountains to the north and the Libyan sea to the south, and graced with a 1300 meter long sandy beach. You will be accommodated in carefully selected, locally owned, 3 or 4-star hotels in standard rooms. Upgrade in rooms is possible with supplement. Family rooms may be requested based on availability.

What’s Included

  • Self-guided:
  • Accommodation for 7 nights with breakfast in 3 and 4-star hotels
  • Luggage transfer between the hotels
  • Transfer of bikers and bikes throughout the itinerary as indicated
  • High standard Trek, Ideal, or Giant hybrid bike rental with panniers, helmet, repair kit, and lock
  • GPS and Maps with routes (one per room)
  • Tourist information
  • 24-hour telephone support
  • Guided (supported)
  • All of above
  • Van support (guide does not cycle with you but provides constant support throughout the cycling itinerary)
  • Airport transfers

What’s Not Included

TourBike
TypeBoth
SkillModerate
Length8 days
From800 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Day-To-Day Itinerary

Island of Crete Map

Day 1: Rethymno
Day 2: Round trip around Rethymno, including Arkadi Monastery and Margarites pottery village
Day 3: Rethymno - Anogia - Mitata - Panormo - Rethymno,  35 mi. (56 km)
Day 4: Rethymno - Late Minoan Cemetary of Armeni - Agouseliana - Kotsifou Gorge - Rodakino - Frangokastello - Plakias,  27 mi. (44 km)
Day 5: Apostoli - Souda Beach - Plakias, 26 mi. (42 km)
Day 6: Myriokefala - Kournas Lake - Georgioupolis - Rethymno, 27 mi. (43 km)
Day 7: Rethymno
Day 8: Departure/end of tour

All distances are approximate

Day 1: Arrival and overnight in Rethymno 
Rethymno will delight with its stunning beaches and mountain views. The city was founded by the Venetians and as you wander within the old town, you will soak up the atmosphere of its noble past. No visit is complete without a walk around “Fortezza”, the Venetian Era citadel! The small shops, bars, and taverns lining the winding alleyways add to the magic. We say, "When in Greece, taste the Raki"... and of course savor the Dakos as well, Crete's version of the bruschetta, topped with fresh tomatoes and mizithra cheese. Overnight in Rethymno or close by.

Day 2: Rethymno - Arkadi monastery - Ancient Eleftherna - Margarites pottery village - Viran Episkopi - Adele - Rethymnon, 27 mi.  (43 km)
You and your bike (s) will be transferred to the Arkadi Monastery, approximately 23 km from Rethymno. Built at an altitude of 500 meters, this historic site sits on a fertile plateau surround by olive groves, vineyards, pine, cypress, and oak trees. It is believed that the monastery was founded in the 12th century. The history is rich and fascinating, reaching far back, but also more recently. The site now stands as a sacred symbol of the Struggle of the Cretans for Freedom in that it was the stage for the tragic battle of 1866, opening the way for the liberation of the island in 1898. UNESCO has designated Arkadi as a European Freedom Monument. From here, you will cycle up and down the hills along the Northern slopes of Mount Ida to the pottery village of Margarites where you will meet the famous master of traditional pottery, Eleni Kavgalaki, and view some of her art. The village, which has some extraordinary architecture and lovely narrow winding streets, is well worth exploring. A short relaxing break for lunch under a carob tree with a brilliant view to the North coast will rejuvenate.  The route then leads through rural villages and after a stop at one of the oldest olive trees on the island, you cycle back to Rethymno. 

Overnight in Rethymno.

Day 3: Rethymhon - Anogia - Mitata - Panormo - Rethymno,  35 mi. (56 km).  Ascent 490 m/Descent 1690 m
Today you will explore the village of musicians and their Lyra players at Anogia,  perched on the slopes of Psiloritis at an altitude of 700 m. Music, folk art, and tradition are the lifeblood of this village. The famous Cretan weavings are showcased everywhere in the small shops in the central alleys, and streets of the village. This is a perfect place to sit awhile in one of the cafes, listen to the locals, and sip some raki. After a stop a the weaving center of Axos, you begin to bike amongst vast olive groves to the "Old Road", once the only connection from Heraklion to Western Crete. Along charcoal production areas, you will cycle through these enchanting sights with stops for lunch and refreshments. Next on the agenda is Melidoni and its famous cave. The cycling will end in Perama and the beach of Panormo.

Overnight in Rethymno.

Day 4: Rethymno - Late Minoan Cemetary of Armeni - Agouseliana - Kotsifou Gorge - Rodakino - Frangokastello, 27 mi. (44 km), Ascent 540 m/Descent 900 m
The late Minoan cemetery of Armeni with its 120 tombs built into the soft sandstone is the starting point with the bikes. Leaving the main road after a few hundred meters, you encounter a hilly but delightful landscape. The affiliation of Greece with the EU reflects in broad newly constructed roads that are rarely used by traffic. As you pedal down to the narrow gorge of Kotsifou, the view widens to include the Libyan Sea. You might even spot the southernmost inhabited point of Europe, the island of Gavdos. From here you will cycle on moderate hills to reach the southern shores at the remote village of Korakas. You cycle the coast, up and down a bit, and will enjoy a plunge into the sea in front of the fortress of Frangokastello, a former fortification against the pirates coming from Africa during the 16th century. 

Overnight in Plakias.

Day 5: Apostoli - Souda Beach, 26 mi. (42 km), Ascent 1.506 m/Descent 1.451 m
During the transfer to the start of the cycling, you will pass Phragma dam, the water reservoir for Rethymno and thea newly built social center at Anasouvari amidst the hills dotted with old chapels before reaching the starting point at Apostoli. Slightly ascending the hills, you will want to stop at the scenic overlook of the lovely Amari Valle. Via Gerakari, the cherry center of Crete, the next stopover is the orchids of Ious Kampos, spread over a wide flat meadow. In the center of the village square of Spili,  with the two huge plane trees, is the spring of Kefalovrisi. This is a series of 25 fountains with the form of a lion head from the mouths of which 330 cubic meters of water flow every hour, rich in iron and having a constant temperature at 13 °C. From Spili you head westward, entering the gorge of Kourtaliotiko, and passing through it until the view opens up to the Libyan Sea. Finally, the wide sandy beach of Plakias and the hidden resort of Souda will invite you to test the crystal clear waters of the Libyan Sea.

Overnight in Plakias.

Day 6: Myriokefala - Kournas Lake - Georgioupolis, 27 mi. (43 km). Ascent 270 m/Descent 830 m
Argyroupolis (ancient name “Lappa”) was a city state some 2,000 years ago and its worth your while taking a stroll around the Akropolis before descending to the idyllic waterfalls just below the village. Biking along a romantic little valley with a small creek you head north to the village of Kournas that gave its name to the freshwater lake. It takes us up in the hills again. 800m wide and approx. 30-40m deep is the only natural lake on Crete, we stop and enjoy the view and shoot some pics before continuing finally to the north coast at Georgioupolis. If someone wants a refreshing  swim..why not! Relaxation and refreshments before we ride back eastwards via Episkopi through hilly and remote landscape towards Atsipopoulo which is near Rethymno.

Overnight in Rethymno.

Day 7: Rethymno
Free day.  You will have use of the bicycles and can explore the town and surroundings on your own. We can provide route suggestions but there are other options as well off the bike.

Possible activities:

  • Hike Myli or Imbros Gorge
  • Winery visit
  • Visit the famous Palace of Knossos In Heraklion
  • Visit Gramvousa and Balos

Just ask us for details.

Overnight in Rethymno.

Day 8: Departure

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Tour Reviews

  • Lowell Snow 3 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    We just finished this tour of Crete, and for context I should say we are both in our 70's and ride quite a bit. So, Crete: The scenery, mountains and beaches are beautiful, the people are friendly, warm and accepting, the food is out of this world, and the biking was great for us. Some thoughts about the bike tour itself:
    We were provided with new Ideal eBikes that were exceptional.
    The routes were varied and generally perfect for us.
    Routes were described adequately, but GPS directions were great.
    Total elevation gains were substantial, but ok with eBikes.
    We were driven to each daily tour starting point, generally at high elevation.
    Our driver driver was excellent and extremely helpful.
    The price of the tour was very reasonable.
    We should have upgraded the hotels - some were minimally adequate.
    Overall we give the tour a thumbs-up and are very glad we went. The operator is very competent and provided a wonderful experience.

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