Island of Crete - EXTREME Bicycling

The magic of Crete lies in its natural beauty majestic, sweeping mountains and emerald-blue seas. Lyrical bells of grazing sheep and the aromas of wild herbs add to the Mediterranean magic. With its unique history, friendly people, and natural beauty, Crete is indeed a land of legends and an ideal cycling destination.

We explore the old city of Heraklion with its Venetian remains and visit the Archeological Museum to see fabulous Minoan pottery jewelry. Here we will relive the reign of King Minos.

The Extreme Crete tour differs from the Land of Zorba tour in intensity and challenge. Extreme applies to challenging rides, as well as the extreme exhilaration and exuberance one may experience. Climbs take riders to a new level of beauty with sparkling seas. The rugged island interior offers a unique appreciation for unspoiled regions. We take you to remote places the average tourist does not visit.

Extreme Crete is not for the faint of heart. Distances average 60 miles with climbs of 4,500 - 7,000 feet on a daily basis. Rides are on paved roads. The tour can be negotiated with either a road or hybrid bicycle.

Couples with different cycling abilities may choose either Crete trip: Extreme or Land of Zorba.

Daily Itinerary

(Includes all breakfasts, 9 dinners, most with wine)

Day 1

Arrival in Heraklion, Crete, at Atlantis Hotel (A Class). Orientation.

Day 2

Explore Venetian ruins of Heraklion; guided tour of Archeological Museum. Transfer to Lassithi Plateau.

Day 3

Descend to Malia before climb overlooking Potami River Valley and return to Lassithi Plateau. (55 miles)

Day 4

Ride from Lassithi Plateau to Ierapetra.Descent to Libyan Sea. (61 miles)

Day 5

Ierapetra to Matala. Coastal views of the Libyan Sea; climb to AnoViannos, flanking Mt. Dikti .Ride through Plain of Messara to Matala. (77 miles)

Day 6

Matala Kamares Valley loop ride. Cycle the Mt. Ida Massif. Shorter option to archeological sites of Phaestos and Gortys or a 3-hour beach walk. (30 or 63 miles)

Day 7

Matala to Spili; ride through Kourtaliotis Canyon. (62 miles)

Day 8

Loop ride through Amari Valley. (64 miles)

Day 9

Coastal ride to sea village HoraSfakion and AgiosIoannis. (61 miles)

Day 10

HoraSfakion to Almyrida. Climb through remote villages to crest overlooking Souda Bay. (57 miles)

Day 11

Samarian Gorge hike. (10 miles downhill) Swim the Libyan Sea. (5-6 hour walk)

Day 12

Tour ends in Almyrida after breakfast.