Aegean Discovery: Cycling through Eastern Crete

5/5 (1)
7 nights
28 miles/day
Self guided from EUR € 960
Bike tour in Greece
Rider Level: Recreational Electric bike tours

Aegean Discovery: Cycling through Eastern Crete

5/5 (1)

Rider Level: Recreational Electric bike tours

7 nights
28 miles/day

Self guided from EUR € 960
Bike tour in Greece

Tap above to jump to different sections of this tour

  • Explore ancient routes from Heraklion to Rethymno

    Welcome to the ultimate journey through Crete, a captivating blend of history, nature, and laid-back charm. Starting in Heraklion, the island's buzzing capital, you'll cycle along scenic paths from the coast to the mountains, stopping to explore archeological sites and savor traditional Cretan cuisine.

    This bike tour is an invitation to experience the soul of Crete. Along your path, you'll discover ancient treasures like Knossos and Phaestos, where the Minoan civilization once thrived over 4000 years ago, leaving behind incredible stories etched in stone.

    This tour is also a celebration of Crete's coastal allure. Picture yourself soaking up the sun in Agios Nikolaos, Lerapetra, and Palaiochora, dipping your toes into serene beaches. And the food! Enjoy local delicacies at charming tavernas, savoring every bit of Cretan cuisine.

    Most importantly, get ready to be embraced by Cretan warmth. It's not just about what you see but also about the people you meet. Immerse yourself in their traditions and the vibrant tunes of Cretan music, and you'll find yourself falling for the island's irresistible charm. You might even consider adding days within the itinerary to allow for a more in-depth experience, lingering a little longer in charming towns.

    This self-guided cycling adventure isn't just a tour—it's an invitation to be a part of Crete's story, where history and modernity meet to create an unforgettable journey.

    • Heraklion, Crete, Greece. Evangelos Mpikakis@Unsplash
    • Greek salad. Sebastian Pandelache@Unsplash
    • Hersonissos, Crete, Greece. Erik Karits@Unsplash
    • Rethymno, Crete, Greece. Flickr:Γιάννης Χουβαρδάς
    • Greek gyros! CC:Benoit Prieur
    • Baklava is a common Mediterranean sweet treat! Syed Fhashemi@Unsplash
    • Heraklion, Crete, Greece. Adrien Delforge@Unsplash
    • Heraklion, Crete, Greece. Evangelos Mpikakis@Unsplash

    View more photos

    Highlights

    • Heraklion - historically rich capital of Crete
    • Knossos - the ancient center of Minoan civilization.
    • Koutouloufari - charming traditional Cretan village.
    • Spinalonga- an idyllic island that once housed a leper colony.
    • Island of Gaidouronissi - golden beaches and unspoiled natural beauty.
    • The Palace of Phaistos - Bronze Age Minoan palace
    • Rethymno - an ancient Venetian city with old-town charm and coastal allure.
    • Olive oil tasting at the Vassilakis Estate


    Aegean Discovery: Cycling through Eastern Crete

    Photos 

  • Traveler photos

    •  (photo by Donna Reyes)
    •  (photo by Donna Reyes)
    •  (photo by Donna Reyes)
    •  (photo by Donna Reyes)

    Aegean Discovery: Cycling through Eastern Crete

     Tour Description Daily Program 

  • Daily program

    This tour is also available as a 14-night itinerary providing you with extra nights in each location. *For more details, please see the day-to-day descriptions and summary below.

    Day 1: Arrival in Heraklion
    Arrive at Heraklion airport and transfer to your hotel. Drop your bags and explore the city freely throughout the day. As Crete's largest city with a 3000-year history, Heraklion blends ancient Minoan history, Venetian architecture, vibrant markets, cultural landmarks, and modern living in a stunning natural setting. Visit the iconic “Koule” overlooking the port or the archaeological museum. With so much to see, you may decide you'd like to spend more time here!

    Extra day in Heraklion- If you choose to extend your stay, explore archaeological wonders or enjoy a cycling adventure. Ride up to Rogdia for stunning views or visit Arolithos village with its charming kafeneio, taverns, and a café featuring a pool.

    Day 2: Heraklion - Knossos - Hersonissos/Koutouloufari (23 mi / 37 km)
    Your cycle tour begins today as you pedal to Knossos, an ancient archaeological site showcasing incredible Minoan architecture and historical significance. The intricate palace structures and layout provide a glimpse into Minoan life during the Bronze Age. The site's labyrinth design and association with myths like the Minotaur add to its allure. From here, pedal on to the Cretan aquarium, where you'll discover different marine ecosystems, coral reefs, and underwater habitats. End the day in either Ano Xersonisos or Koutouloufari, both quaint villages boasting cozy streets filled with taverns and stunning sea views. These places offer a break from the busier coastal areas, letting you experience genuine Cretan life.

    Extra day in Ano Xersonisos or Koutouloufari- If you decide to extend your stay here, consider a cycling trip to a local mountain town or unwinding at a nearby beach.

    Day 3: Ano Hersonissos/ Koutouloufari - Agios Nikolaos (26 mi / 41 km)
    Today's cycling route offers breathtaking mountain views! You'll pass by timeless villages like Vrahasi, preserving an old-world charm, before arriving at Agios Nikolaos, the capital of Lasithi. Along the way, stop for a visit at the Vassilakis Estate in Neapoli to taste traditional olive oil. This estate, featuring an olive museum and an original 1865 olive mill, shares insights into Crete's olive oil history, culture, and flavors. Once in Agios Nikolaos, take a stroll around Lake Voulismeni, explore the waterfront and harbor, browse local shops, and indulge in Cretan cuisine.

    Extra day in Agios Nikolaos- Consider extending your stay and bike to Elounda and Spinalonga Island, home to a former Venetian fortress turned leper colony.

    Day 4: Agios Nikolaos - Lerapetra (23 mi / 37 km)
    Begin the day cycling to Lerapetra, Europe's most southern town that dates back several millennia and was a historically significant port for trade. Along the scenic coastal paths and amidst olive groves, Lerapetra offers golden beaches for a leisurely swim and a lively town center with cozy cafes and eateries.

    Extra day in Lerapetra- Extend your time here and take another day to explore the serene coastline. Another option is a boat trip to Gaidouronissi Island, situated just across from Lerapetra. This small island is celebrated for its golden beach and crystal-clear blue waters.

    Day 5: Lerapetra - Tsoutsouros (36 mi / 57 km)
    Today's route marks the longest and highest ascent, but you'll find many scenic places along the way offering the perfect excuse to pause and enjoy the journey. The route primarily hugs the coastline, winding through charming villages like Myrtos, Tertsa, and Keratokambos, finally leading to the town of Tsoutsouros. Expect a blend of coastal scenery, idyllic villages, and peaceful roads.

    Extra day in Tsoutsouros- Stay another day and cycle if you'd like, but consider a well-deserved rest after yesterday's journey. Unwind by the beach, and later, enjoy the authentic Cretan experience at the local tavernas and restaurants.

    Day 6: Tsoutsouros - Phaistos - Agia Galini (40 - 45 mi / 65 - 73 km)
    You have a choice this morning; you can begin earlier for an additional 8 km of cycling or opt for the more relaxed route via car. Either way, the cycle path won't disappoint as you pedal through olive trees and past small villages. You'll reach Phaistos Palace, a Bronze Age archaeological site showcasing Minoan architectural excellence, cultural significance, and unusual artifacts like the mysterious Phaistos Disc. End the day in Agia Galini, a seaside village with a picturesque harbor, relaxed atmosphere, and stunning coastal views.

    Extra day in Agia Galini- Add a day here to enjoy more time relaxing on the beach or cycle to Malata and explore its beautiful beaches and historic Roman caves.

    Day 7: Agia Galini - Rethymno (20 - 29 mi / 32 km - 47 km)
    On your final cycling day, you'll pass through mountain villages towards the artificial 'Lake of the Rivers,' allowing a break at the dam to enjoy the views and local tavernas. Continuing to Rethymno, a historic Venetian-founded city, explore its old town, wander around the Fortezza citadel, and embrace its noble past.

    Extra day in Rethymno- An extra day offers options like relaxing on the expansive beach, exploring cultural sites in the town center, or cycling to ancient Eleftherna and the Arkadi Monastery, a UNESCO-listed Liberty Monument.

    Day 8: Departure
    The tour ends this morning in Rethymno. If time allows, continue exploring its historic old town, Venetian architecture, and beautiful beaches

    *For those seeking an extended tour, there's the choice of a two-night stay at each designated stop. These extra days offer diverse cycling routes, boat excursions, daily trips, and various alternative activities. Additionally, you have the option to add extra overnight stays at any location. Tailored programs are also available for an additional fee, customized based on factors like participant count, duration, and specific tour components.


    Aegean Discovery: Cycling through Eastern Crete

     Photos Accommodation 

  • Accommodation

    Hotels

    These are sample hotels and may vary by availability.

    You will have accommodation in locally managed 3-star hotels or apartments. All accommodations have been carefully selected for their high standards in cleanliness, breakfast quality, location, and services.

    Heraklio: Atrion hotel

    Koutouloufari: Village Club

    Agios Nikolaos: Mantraki hotel

    Ierapetra: Astron hotel

    Tsoutsouros: Apollon apartments

    Agia Galini: Petra hotel

    Rethimno: Ideon hotel


    Aegean Discovery: Cycling through Eastern Crete

     Daily program Bikes 

  • Bikes

    Bikes available for rent on this tour (must be reserved at time of booking):

    • Men's and women's 27-speed standard touring bikes
    • Road bikes
    • Electrically assisted bikes*
    • Tandem bikes

    *More about electrically-assisted bikes >

    Equipment available with bike rental:

    • Pannier
    • Mobile Phone mount for the handlebar
    • Tool kit
    • First aid kit
    • Water bottle holder (Standard bikes)
    • Bike lock

    Bike Protection:
    Bike protection can be purchased at the time of booking. You can read more about that HERE.

    Pedals:
    The bikes will have flat pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.

    Helmets:
    Helmets are available to rent on this tour for €10. We recommend that you bring or buy your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes.

    Specifications on standard touring bikes:

    • Men or women's aluminum frame
    • Shimano 27 speed
    • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
    • Breezer comfort saddle
    • Flat pedals
    • Schwalbe Citizen w/K-Guard, 700 X 40c tires


    Specifications on electrically assisted bikes:

    • Step through aluminum frame
    • Integrated 575Wh battery
    • Bafang M420 motor interface
    • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
    • Selle Royal Loire black saddle
    • Flat pedals
    • Schwalbe Energizer Active+ 28" tires

    Aegean Discovery: Cycling through Eastern Crete

     Accommodation Dates & Prices 

  • Dates

    Saturdays: Apr 6 - Jun 8; Sep 14 - Oct 26, 2024

    Prices

    Tour Package

    7-night 14-night
    Per person, double occupancy €960 €1460
    Single use room (1 person/1 room) €1100 €1740

    Bike Rental

    7-night 14-night
    Trekking bike €90 €180
    Road bike €130 €260
    Electrically assisted bike* €280 €560
    Tandem bike €250 €500
    Helmet €10 €20
    GPS rental €70 €140

    *E-bikes are unavailable for tours starting between May 4 and 11.

    Transfers

    Heraklion airport to Heraklion hotel (1-3 people) €35
    Rethymno hotel to Heraklion airport (1-3 people) €150

    Included services

      • 7 nights accommodation
      • Breakfast
      • Luggage transport
      • Transfers on days 6 and 7
      • Navigation via GPS mobile application
      • Maps with route information and points of interest; tourist information about sights along the way (1 set per pair of travelers)
      • 24-hr emergency hotline
      • 14 nights accommodation
      • Breakfast
      • Luggage transport
      • Transfers on days 12 and 14
      • Navigation via GPS mobile application
      • Maps with route information and points of interest; tourist information about sights along the way (1 set per pair of travelers)
      • 24-hr emergency hotline

    Tour Company


    Aegean Discovery: Cycling through Eastern Crete

     Bikes Other Details 

  • Surface and terrain

    All routes are carefully chosen to avoid heavy traffic and prioritize safety, avoiding main roads whenever possible. Approximately 95% of the terrain consists of well-maintained asphalt, with only a few small sections of dirt roads.


    How to get there

    Nearest airport: the Heraklion International Airport (HER), also known as Nikos Kazantzakis Airport

    From the airport, you can book a private transfer to the hotel (to be requested at time of booking) for an extra fee, or you can travel by taxi or bus.

    If you do not book both arrival and departure transfers, there will be a bike delivery/pick-up fee of €60 per booking.


    Aegean Discovery: Cycling through Eastern Crete

     Dates & Prices Tour Reviews 

    • Donna Reyes 1 month ago

      A wonderful way to see Crete!

      Crete is the star of the show, and the route allowed us to see so much of its beauty, charm, and culture! Our bikes were top quality and we were glad of battery power since Crete has many hills and a lot of wind. Early May was a perfect choice —weather mild and no summer crowds yet. All the hotels were placed well with great views and access to restaurants and sites. I don’t know if bikes are a common thing as some hotels were not sure where to store them but everyone was friendly and we figured it out. A couple of places we found gravel and an ascent combined that meant we pushed the bikes, but the next downhill with views of that big blue sea or lovely olive tree groves in the sun more than made up for it. Be ready to hunt for the hotel a little from the endpoint if the navigation, but as the day in Crete, “it’s fine, no problem!”

      •  (photo by Donna Reyes)
      •  (photo by Donna Reyes)
      •  (photo by Donna Reyes)
      •  (photo by Donna Reyes)

    Aegean Discovery: Cycling through Eastern Crete

     Other Details Book This Tour 

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