OptionCRETE Drive-Bike

CRETE The island of your Dreams

CRETE The island of your Dreams

Availlable for all levels of Riders

Availlable for all levels of Riders

Basic Tour Information West to East


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!

The Logistics in Planning a Self-Guide Bike Tour to Crete

Travel-planning-photoCrete’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.

Physical map of Kriti.
Physical map of Kriti.

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.

Crete from the skyAlthough 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”



Optional Dates: 25/4 | 22/5
Duration 2 nights
Add-on days  
Arrival City Herakleion or Hania
Arrival transfer yes, from airport or port
Departure City Hania or Herakleion
Departure transfer Yes , to airport or port
Tour Start Point Arhanes or Hania
Tour End Point Hania or Arhanes
Number of hotels 1
Luggage Transfers   1  
Minimum Age 18
Minimum Pax 1
Maximum Pax no max
Total Mileage 30 km/19 miles
Average Daily Mileage 15 km, 9 miles
Rating challenging
Elevation Gain 1500 m  3000 feet
Elevation Loss 100 m, 500 feet



Day 1: Arhanes   On arrival, a CycleGreece agent meets you at the port or airport and transfers you to lovely Arhanes, a one-time Minoan village whose contemporary residents continue many of the same traditions, from growing grapes for wine to cultivating acclaimed olive oil.  If morning arrival, afternoon cycle to Museum of Nikos Katzantakis, author of Zorba the Greek.   41.60 km, 25.80 miles or 24.55 km, 15 miles

Day 2: Arhanes  
Bike to the famed Minoan palace city of Knossos, the Ancient Minoa was the first civilization on European soil. By all accounts it was a peaceful empire. Recommend a taxi to  Herakelion Archaeological Museum to avoid intense urban traffic.   25km, 15 miles roundtrip

Day 3: Zaros   The ride from Arhanes 1245 feet (380 meters) ascends to the cheerful mountain village of Zaros 1394 feet high (425 meters). Zaros is known for its bottled mineral water, fresh trout and the E4 (European) hiking route. Optional afternoon hike in the Rouvas Gorge. 55.52 km, 34.50 miles

Day 4: Rethymno  Back country roads, lots of climbing, breathtaking scenery characterizes today’s ride. The day’s final destination is Crete’s best kept secret, Rethymno.  Make sure to visit the Fortezza, the grand Venetian-era fort overlooking the city.   77.20km, 48.00 miles

Day 5: Rethymno  A bike ride into the low portions of the Psiloritis Mountains. Visit Melidoni Cave and learn its poignant history. Lunch on the seacoast at Panormos.  Stroll Rethymno’s car-free alley-like streets or along its fourteen kilometer sandy beach.  67.70 km, 42 miles

Day 6: Hania   The ride to Hania first passes the Minoan cemetery at Armeni with its fascinating tombs of unknown origin.  Halfway en route is the gorgeous sea at Giorgiopoli.  Last stretch is the climb over Malaxa village at 1500 feet high.     78.00 km, 48.50 miles

Day 7: Hania   Ascend the enchanting Therissos Gorge up to 1860 feet.  On the way back stop at a winery for lunch, or visit a botanical park created by two brothers in their burned out olive field.  Enjoy Hania’s beautiful harbor with Venetian architecture.  Take time for shopping in Hania – handmade knives or gold jewelry.  51.00 km,  31.60  miles

Day 7: Departure   If departing Crete, vehicle transfer to airport or port.  Leave your bikes and gear at the hotel.   




  • 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.  

Road Service   Spare tube 1 per person
Accommodations 5 Rear rack on request
Breakfast daily Patch kit 1 per group
Luggage transfers 4 Tire Irons 1 per group
Bike-rider transfers 2 Multi-tool 1 per group
Bike road or hybrid Hand pump 1 per group
Pedals regular or cages GPS device 1 per group
Water bottles 2 per person Cue sheets per person
Handlebar pouch 1 per person Maps 1 per couple
Odometer 1 per person Trip Folder 1 per couple
Helmet 1 per person Mobile phone 1 per group
Lock 1 per person CycleGreece jersey 1 per person
  • Exclusions
  • Panniers
  • Airfare to Greece
  • Transport to/from Crete
  • Meals except breakfast
  • Travel InsuranceWe are an official Travel Guard agent.  Request Infotravel-guard




Optional Services.

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!



Here you can see a basic route of your trip.


Crete Greek: Κρήτη transliteration: Krētē modern transliteration Kriti Turkish: Girit is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea at 8 336 km2 3 219 sq mi. Crete is one of the 13 peripheries of Greece and covers the same area as the Greek region of Crete from before the 1987 administrative reform.[1] It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece; while it retains its own local cultural traits such as its own music and dialect Cretans identify themselves as Greeks. Heraklion is the largest city and capital of Crete. Crete was the center of the Minoan civilization circa 2700–1420 BCE the first advanced civilization in Greece and Europe.

March 2016

11th – 16th / 6 days / 5 nights
17th – 23th / 6 days / 5 nights

April 2016

Crete 1 April16-26
Crete 2 April 22-27

June 2016

Crete 1 April16-26
Crete 2 April 22-27


Sail & Cycle
Self Guided
Guided Toors