Crete is a unique destination and cycling is one of the best ways to explore it. The island has a huge amount to offer and appeals to discerning travelers who want a unique experience. History combined with fitness, leisure and natural beauty, all in one. Crete is rightly considered to be one of the most beautiful destinations in Greece and this tour combines its history, culture, mountains, beaches, lakes, good food, lots of Raki and Cretan music! It begins in Omalos, a plateau high in the mountains, then heads down to the sea passing the famous beach at Elafonissil, it then follows the west coast of Crete, passes through historical Chania and ends up in Rethymno.
Day 1: Individual arrival in Chania
You arrive in Chania, for many the most beautiful city on Crete, with its picturesque harbor, old town and castle. Chania has a long history and had a huge impact on the region during Venetian times. It has a truly unique character that you are sure to fall in love with.
Day 2: Omalos - Palaiochora, ~52 km
In the morning we transfer you by minibus to Omalos in the heart of the ‘Lefka Ori’, the famous White Mountains. From here you have 2 options: The first option is to begin cycling directly and passing through fantastic mountainous scenery. This route has several ascents and descents, with a final downhill section that you are sure to find exciting. The second option is to hike the fantastic Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe, with its incomparable beauty. Once you reach the coast and you are transported by boat to Palaiochora. Samaria gorge is the 2nd most visited attraction in Crete after Knossos, a designated National Park, and is home to unique wildlife and many rare species. Hiking here is an unforgettable experience, however be aware that it takes 5-7h of walking on uneven ground so correct footwear is essential. Please note that Samaria Gorge is open from May up to end of October.
Day 3: Palaiochora - Inachoria, ~15 or 34 km
Today you again have 2 options. The first is to take the boat and arrive at one of the highlights of this trip, the beach of Elafonissi! Enjoy the golden sand, swim in the crystal-clear waters, enjoy your lunch in a tavern, and then ride up to Inachoria. The second option is to ride directly to Inachoria, adding an extra of 19 km to your trip. The route is mountainous on small, quiet roads and has a unique beauty, however you should be aware that the ascent is around 1000m. Upon reaching Inachoria you can either visit Elafonissi by bike or leave it for the next day to avoid the return journey. Inachoria is a picturesque group of mountain villages in south-western Crete. It took its name from the fact it consists of 9 villages (Enniachoria in Greek) and is a tranquil destination for the discerning traveler. There you will find taverns and traditional Cretan houses all set in an outstanding natural environment.
Day 4: Inachoria - Kissamos, ~40 or 49 km
We suggest 1 of 2 routes. One is 9 km longer and has an extra 300 meters during the ascent. Both routes will take you along the west coast of Crete and passing through spectacular landscapes. You will reach Kissamos, a coastal town that has managed to retain its character despite regional tourism.
Day 5: Kissamos - Chania, ~46 km
Today you follow the northern Cretan coast and cycle to the capital, Chania. On the way there is an optional visit to Karavitakis winery near Pontikiana village for wine tasting, or perhaps a stop at the Agios Ioannis cave with an amazing church in it.
Day 6: Chania - Georgioupoli, ~44 km
Today the tour continues heading east to Georgioupoli, a small coastal town with a wonderful beach. It is known for its church which has been built on the rocks in the sea just in front of the town. On the way it is strongly recommended to pass through ancient Aptera, one of the most important archaeological sites on Crete. You can visit the ancient Greek theatre, the ruins of the ancient Greek city from the 8th century BC. There is also the Ottoman tower in Koule. Situated imposingly on the top of the hill it is a fantastic example of 19th century military architecture.
Day 7: Georgioupoli - Rethymno, ~38 km
Start cycling south for your last day on your bike and within a short time you will arrive at Kournas Lake, one of very few freshwater lakes on Crete. This is a lake of unique natural beauty, with crystal clear waters where you can swim, sunbath, rent canoes, kayaks or pedalos, and later enjoy your lunch at one of the taverns. You then continue on to Rethymno, the provincial capital, which has a long and famous history. The city expanded after the Venetian conquest and there is a great deal of period architecture on offer. Wander through the old town on the small lanes which meander down to the ‘Fortezza’, the Venetian citadel. Small shops, bars and taverns complete an atmospheric environment. Just don’t forget sample the Raki once again together with Greek meze!
Day 8: Individual departure from Rethymno
7 nights in 3*** hotels or apartments
luggage transfer between hotels
transfer to Omalos of bikers and bikes on day 2
GPS and maps with routes (1 piece for 2 participants)
complete information about the area
self-guided tour - 8 days / 7 nights
arrival every Saturday
route (2): ~235-265 km
sometimes flat but often hilly, on small byroads, good condition needed
how to come
by plane: International Airport Chania
possible on request between airport Chania and the hotel
good to know
For those seeking a more “in depth” Cretan experience, the tour is also offered with 2 overnights at each waypoint. For these extra days we suggest a variety of cycling routes, boat trips, daily excursions and various other alternatives.
some of our bike tour suggestions