Scheduled Tour Cycle CycladesAthens 3 Days
Basic Tour Information for "Cycle Cyclades"
When travelers fantasize about Greece they usually conjure up stark whitewashed island villages surrounded by a blinding blue sea. That’s the Cyclades. Blue and White, just like the Greek flag. Our bike tour uses ferries to hop from island to island. Read a day by day account of the Cycle Cyclades tour in Odyssey magazine at this PDF link.The 4 night Santorini hiking add-on offers Cyclades in all its glory. You climb to the highest point on the island and witness the sea 360 degress. Sail into the caldera and hike a volcanic peak. Visit undiscovered Thirasia island.
The Logistics in Planning a bike tour to Cyclades
Crete’s vast terrain means a diversity of self-guided routes are possible. Both Herakleion and Hania have overnight ferries coming from Piraeus (Athens), as well as multiple daily flights with Athens. Crete’s transportation infrastructure means cyclists can choose to bike east to west (Herakleion to Hania) or west to east (Hania to Herakleion).
Elevation-wise, Herakleion to Hania is the easier of the two routes. However, if you plan to go to Santorini and other Cyclades islands, it makes sense to bike west to east in order to end the tour in Herakleion because no boats go to Santorini from Hania.
The number of days of your tour is also a consideration. Our standard tour is 7 nights with departure on the eighth day because this makes for a convenient one week trip. Our standard 7 night east-west route is Arhanes-Arhanes-Zaros-Rethymno-Rethymno-Hania-Hania. (Arhanes is a charming town 9 miles south of Herakleion). See the Itinerary in the Chart for each destination’s description.
Hania, with its Venetian and Ottoman façade, is Crete’s most beloved city. We include it for two nights for a reason! However, to spend two nights in Hania, you must bike the long, but do-able leg between Hania and Rethymno, 78.00 km, 48.50 miles with a 1500 foot climb. Most riders who choose Crete don’t welcome this leg, yet other riders prefer a more smell-the-roses pace. Thus, an alternative itinerary is to break up that long leg by adding an extra night to the tour (8 nights) in the lovely little town of Vamos which lies between Hania and Rethymno.
Additionally, we offer a Lassithi Plateau add-on. It is a 9 night, 10 day version of the standard tour with two extra days in the popular Lassithi Plateau, west of Herakelion-Arhanes.
For those riders who wish to lessen their Crete mountain experience, Zaros, the tour’s highest destination, can be substituted with an overnight in Axos located at a lower altitude. However, in order to avoid dangerous highway traffic, this substitution requires a vehicle transfer for you and the bike to a safe point to start riding. The transfer adds to the cost of the tour.
Although biking in Crete is mostly for the seasoned cyclist, we have created a means for moderate cyclists to enjoy the island, too. We give you a car with a rear bike rack (or a mini-van for four or more persons) and, instead of biking to each overnight destination with luggage transfers, you drive to each overnight destination and bike easier loops in that region. See the Chart titled “Drive-Bike Crete”
|Dates:|| May 3-11 , June 20-27 , September 4-12
|Duration||7 nights , 8 Days|
|Add-ons||Santorini Hiking, Athens 3 Day|
|Departure City||Naxos Island|
|Departure transfer||Yes , to airport or port|
|Tour Start Point||Piraeus port|
|Tour End Point||Naxos island|
|Number of hotels||4|
|Total Mileage||30 km / 19 miles|
|Average Daily Mileage||15 km, 9 miles|
|Highest Elevation||1500 m , 3000 ft|
Four Day Santorini Add-on
Day 8: Santorini
Leaving Naxos we take a high speed ferry to Santorini, lasting about two hours. Your first glimpse of the caldera cliffs will enchant you with its “vanilla icing” on top, meaning the classic Cyclades white villages adorning the island’s ridge. We take a late afternoon hike on the caldera, arriving in Oia to catch an incomparable sunset.
Day 9: Santorini
A delightful introduction to Santorini is through its cuisine. We attend a fascinating cooking class that focuses on indigenous foods of the island. Even if you never cook you will still assuredly enjoy hearing the history and origins of Santorini cooking plus learning to make four different appetizers, an entree and dessert. The class includes wine tasting and a sumptuous lunch.
Day 10: Santorini
A day full of culture. An hour hike up to the 7th century BC ruins of Ancient Thira, tour a renovated winery that is now a contemporary art gallery, visit an underground wine museum with Santorini’s oldest wine press, study the finely preserved Minoan frescos in the local museum. Afternoon swimming at Red Beach.
Day 11: Santorini
We take a boat to Thirasia island for a hike on this unpopulated, unspoilt land that seems worlds away from the cosmopolitan glamour of Santorini. A boat ride to the center of the caldera where you can swim and scoop up soft warm mud to slather on your body standing in the sea.
Day 12 Departure
daily flights to Athens
- Participants are required to sign our Waiver.
- Participants are required to agree to the Booking Agreement
- All costs are in euros. Click here for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
- Costs are based on Double occupancy
Cost per person
|Cost for 1 Rider||1300 euros / per person|
|Cost for 2 Riders||1400 euros / per person|
|Cost for 3 Riders||1200 euros / per person|
|Cost for 4+ Riders||800 euros / per person|
Self-guided clients carry their own gear, like pump, tubes, patch kit, etc.
|Tour Leader / Bike Guide||yes||Ferries||yes|
|Accommodations||5 nights||Rear rack||on request|
|Breakfast||daily||Arrival tranfer||See Extrass tab|
|Support Vehicle||yes||Departure Tranfer||See Extrass tab|
|Driver / Bike Mechanic||yes||Dinners||7 nights|
|Bike||road , flat or drop bars||Lunches||none|
|Pedals||regular or cages||GPS device||See Extras tab|
|Water bottles||yes||Cue sheets||yes|
|Handlebar pouch||Upon request||Maps||1 set per couple|
|Odometer||yes||Trip Folder||1 per couple|
|Helmet||yes||Mobile phone||See Extras tab|
|Lock||no||CycleGreece jersey||1 per person|
|Licensed Guides at Ancient Sites||2,see Ilinerary||Entry fees to all activities||yes,see Ilinerary|
- Airfare to Greece
- Transport to/from Crete
- Meals except breakfast
- Travel InsuranceWe are an official Travel Guard agent. Request Info
Please Contact us if you want one of these serveces added on your tour. Optional services may alter the basic root of a tour or expand the total lenght! These
- Pre-tour logistics (hotels, destinations, transport, etc)
- Post-tour logistics
- Licensed guide at Knossos or Malia
- Traditional Crete Cooking Class
- Olive Oil Tasting Session
- Wine Tasting Session
- Samaria Gorge Hike
- Imbros Gorge Hike
As Greece’s largest island with an extended network of rural roads, Crete offers cyclists exquisite routes through mountain villages that eventually descend to the sea. A must-see are the ancient Minoan palace cities of Knossos and Malia, or unheralded ruins, such as the mysterious Armeni cemetery near Rethymno.
Crete has its own delicious cuisine, its own dialect, its own traditional music. It’s practically its own country!