AEGEAN TRAILS

No individual bike tours available

GUIDED BIKE TOURS

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BIKE & HOTEL – TRANS-CRETE FROM PALEKASTRO TO ZAROS

GUIDED TOUR WITH Freak Mountainbike

Elevation: 8550 M

Kilometres: 320 KM

Trail Percentage: 10 %

CATEGORIES: CLOSE TO THE SEA, CROSS-COUNTRY, SUITABLE for E-MTB

Technical Difficulty

Landscape

TOUR DESCRIPTION

Bike & Hotel Trans-Crete from Palekastro to Zaros: Crete is a world of its own with many charming facets. As the largest island of Greece, Crete offers a variety of landscapes, pristine villages, cozy people with their own traditions and crystal-clear sea with beautiful beaches – almost everything you dream of in a vacation. A world made for mountain biking!

The journey from Palekastro to Zaros will take you from the far east of the island to its central part. A well-trained and competent guide will accompany you and help you discover all beautiful aspects of this area. You will explore the fascinating mountains of Crete. Sweaty climbs will be rewarded with fabulous views of the blue glittering Libyan Sea or on impressive mountain ranges. The lush nature with large banana plantations and ancient olive groves, as well as quaint mountain villages will give you the feeling of traveling back in time. Beautiful beaches are always available for a refreshing swim.

This demanding Trans-Crete tour is especially designed for mountain bikers desiring an intense nature experience away from the major tourist routes. You will mainly ride on nature, forest and small asphalt roads; single trails are rather rare.

Our tip: stay a bit longer on Crete before or after the tour! Visit the great archaeological sites of the island, take a stroll through the beautiful old town of Chania in the west of Crete, walk through the famous Samaria Gorge and do not miss the natural paradise of the Elafonisi peninsula!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The oldest olive tree in Greece: +/- 3,500 years old
  • Visit of the wonderful mountain village Agios Ioannis
  • Africa-like landscapes with huge banana plantations

ACCOMMODATION

On this trip, you will be accommodated in carefully selected, country-specific, bike-friendly accommodations, sometimes in charming mountain villages, sometimes in close to the sea. Everywhere you will encounter exuberant Greek hospitality, which will not only make you feel most welcome, but almost make you feel at home.

DURATION: 8 days / 7 nights

START: Palekastro (Eastern Crete)

OBJECTIVE: Heraklion (Central Crete)

PERIOD: April and October

PRICE FROM: 895 Euro

GUIDED TOUR WITH Freak Mountainbike

ADDRESS

Palekastro 723 00, Greece

CONTACT

+ 30 698 58 10 240

ACTIVITIES WITHOUT BIKE

ELAFONISI PENINSULA (CRETE)
SAMARIA GORGE (CRETE)

SIGHTSEEING

ARKADI MONASTERY (CRETE)
KNOSSOS PALACE (CRETE)
No hotels available
No restaurants available
No services available

CLIMBING & HIKING

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ELAFONISI PENINSULA (CRETE)

ELAFONISI PENINSULA (CRETE)

ADDRESS

Elafonisi, Inachori, Greece

CONTACT

Elafonisi Peninsula is located 76 km west of Chania and 5 km south of the Chrysoskalista monastery, on the southwestern punk of Crete. From Chania you can come Elafonisi by car (1.5 hours) or by bus. The road to Elafonisi is narrow and winding, but the beauty of the landscape is breathtaking.

The peninsula is a NATURA 2000 protected region and a South Seas dream in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Exotic beaches with white sand and turquoise waters on both sides of the peninsula are reminiscent of the Caribbean Sea.

The island is littered with dunes, sand lilies and junipers. Various rare species, like the endangered Caretta Caretta turtles, nest and are protected here.

The sand is almost pink in many places. It gets this color from the thousands of broken shells. At the break of the peninsula the water is not deeper than 1 meter – it forms a suitable lagoon for children.

Numerous coves and the large beach give a sense of seclusion. The eastern side of the beach is for the more organized ones: umbrellas, showers, lifeguards, snack bars and changing rooms – everything is available. In addition to the beach there is a large parking lot, as well as some rooms for rent, if you want to stay longer than just a day trip. Also, in the village of Chrisoskalista (5 km north), there are many more taverns and places to stay.

Pack your flip-flops and bathing suits - Crete's Caribbean is waiting for you!

Opened: All year long and all day long

Entrance fee: Free

ELAFONISI PENINSULA (CRETE)

ADDRESS

Elafonisi, Inachori, Greece

CONTACT

GUIDED BIKE TOURS

BIKE & HOTEL – TRANS-CRETE FROM PALEKASTRO TO ZAROS
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SAMARIA GORGE (CRETE)

SAMARIA GORGE (CRETE)

ADDRESS

Agia Roumeli 730 11, Greece

CONTACT

Samaria Gorge on Crete: Located in the southwest of the Greek island of Crete, the Samaria Gorge (Φαράγγι της Σαμαριάς) is one of the longest gorges in Europe (17 km long). It goes from over 1200 m of altitude almost from the center of the island to the Libyan Sea. It is one of the touristic highlights of Crete and is hiked by 300,000 people a year. The gorge is bordered by up to 600 m high vertical rock walls, which allow at the narrowest point of the gorge, the so-called "iron gate", a passage of only three to four meters.

The Samaria National Park was established in 1962 to preserve the unique fauna and protect rare birds of prey, such as the bearded vulture, and the Cretan wild goat Kri-Kri. Hiking in the Samaria National Park means admiring rare animal species, as well as wildflowers and orchids in their full bloom.

Hiking through the canyon is an indescribable experience, but also a physical challenge: you have to go 17 km and overcome about 1,200 m of altitude. The starting point of the hike is in the mountains. The gorge entrance can be reached by bus or car. There's no way to break the nearly 7-hours hike in the gorge, but the effort is worth it: unique natural spectacle, flora and fauna in untouched beauty and sensational motifs are guaranteed.

At the end of the march, you will reach the village of Agia Roumeli by the sea on the south coast of Crete. There are numerous taverns to fill your stomach and quench your thirst, as well as a beautiful beach for refreshment. So, take your bathing suit along with your hiking boots! The hike through the Samaria Gorge is perfectly combinable with your biking holiday on Crete.

Opened:
Open every year from 1 May to 15 October (it is however weather dependent) 

Entrance fee: 5 euros per person

SAMARIA GORGE (CRETE)

ADDRESS

Agia Roumeli 730 11, Greece

CONTACT

GUIDED BIKE TOURS

BIKE & HOTEL – TRANS-CRETE FROM PALEKASTRO TO ZAROS

WATER & WIND

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ELAFONISI PENINSULA (CRETE)

ELAFONISI PENINSULA (CRETE)

ADDRESS

Elafonisi, Inachori, Greece

CONTACT

Elafonisi Peninsula is located 76 km west of Chania and 5 km south of the Chrysoskalista monastery, on the southwestern punk of Crete. From Chania you can come Elafonisi by car (1.5 hours) or by bus. The road to Elafonisi is narrow and winding, but the beauty of the landscape is breathtaking.

The peninsula is a NATURA 2000 protected region and a South Seas dream in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Exotic beaches with white sand and turquoise waters on both sides of the peninsula are reminiscent of the Caribbean Sea.

The island is littered with dunes, sand lilies and junipers. Various rare species, like the endangered Caretta Caretta turtles, nest and are protected here.

The sand is almost pink in many places. It gets this color from the thousands of broken shells. At the break of the peninsula the water is not deeper than 1 meter – it forms a suitable lagoon for children.

Numerous coves and the large beach give a sense of seclusion. The eastern side of the beach is for the more organized ones: umbrellas, showers, lifeguards, snack bars and changing rooms – everything is available. In addition to the beach there is a large parking lot, as well as some rooms for rent, if you want to stay longer than just a day trip. Also, in the village of Chrisoskalista (5 km north), there are many more taverns and places to stay.

Pack your flip-flops and bathing suits - Crete's Caribbean is waiting for you!

Opened: All year long and all day long

Entrance fee: Free

ELAFONISI PENINSULA (CRETE)

ADDRESS

Elafonisi, Inachori, Greece

CONTACT

GUIDED BIKE TOURS

BIKE & HOTEL – TRANS-CRETE FROM PALEKASTRO TO ZAROS

SIGHTSEEING

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ARKADI MONASTERY (CRETE)

ARKADI MONASTERY (CRETE)

ADDRESS

Arkadi 741 00, Greece

CONTACT

+30 2831 083135

Arkadi Monastery on Crete: "This flame, which was kindled in this crypt and illuminated the glorious Crete from one end to the other, was a flame of God in which the Cretans burned for freedom." - Archbishop Timotheos Veneris

About 23 km southeast of Rethymnon in West Crete, the monastery Arkádi, the most important national monument of Crete, played a prominent role in the Cretan struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. The monastery (Μονή Αρκαδίου) is a former Orthodox monastery from the 14th century and commemorates the resistance against the Turks on November 9, 1866 in which almost 1,000 men, women and children were killed.

The to the monastery adjacent museum is a reminder of the martyr's death of the freedom fighters who set fire to the powder magazine of the monastery. The remarkable Venetian baroque church with the open bell tower was once even depicted on the 100-drachma note.

A stone slab with the citation of Archbishop Timotheos Veneris commemorating the events of 1866 was placed in the partially rebuilt powder magazine. In the adjoining refectory, one can still see battle scars on the furniture.

The circumstances of the fall of the monastery caught attention at international level and went down unforgotten in the history books. However, it is only in 1897 that Crete became de facto independent; it joined Greece in 1913.

The monastery Arkádi - a place with a very special atmosphere, a place of remembrance.

Opened:
April – May: daily from 9:00 to 19:00
June – August: daily from 9:00 to 20:00
September – October: daily from 9:00 to 19:00
November: daily from 9:00 to 17:00
December – March: daily from 9:00 to 16:00

Entrance fee: 3 euros; free for Greek citizens

ARKADI MONASTERY (CRETE)

ADDRESS

Arkadi 741 00, Greece

CONTACT

+30 2831 083135

GUIDED BIKE TOURS

BIKE & HOTEL – TRANS-CRETE FROM PALEKASTRO TO ZAROS
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KNOSSOS PALACE (CRETE)

KNOSSOS PALACE (CRETE)

ADDRESS

Knosos, Greece

CONTACT

+30 2810 231940

Knossos Palace:  The ruins of the palace of Knossos are one of the highlights of the history of Crete. Compared to the palaces of Malia, Phaistos and Kato Zakros, it is the largest and most important palace on Crete and even of Greece. It was rightfully awarded the European Heritage Label.

The Minoans, the oldest European civilization, built the palace of Knossos about 5 km south of Heraklion. They had one of the strongest and most feared fleets in the Mediterranean. The palace was built as an expression of their strength, splendor and wealth. At the end of the 3rd millennium BC, smaller kingdoms emerged on the island, as one can conclude from the palace complexes in Crete. Knossos became the leading Cretan city-state and probably the religious and political center of the island.

The palace of Knossos was built between 2100 and 1800 BC. The ruins that can still be visited today come from the "new" palace. It was built on the ruins of the "old" one, after an earthquake brought it to collapse in 1700 BC. The "new" palace was bigger and more magnificent. With about 1300 rooms and up to 5 floors high, the palace of Knossos was a superlative of its time. It covered an area of about approximately 21,000 m2. Particularly noteworthy is that the palace should have been equipped with running water: living rooms were heated by a hot water heater, bathrooms had hip baths and toilets with water flushing installed. Rainwater was collected in cisterns. Taxes were also kept in the palace. Knossos was relatively rich, so there was no shortage of honey, olive oil and grain. These were collected in antique pottery jars and stored in the palace.

For the visit you should plan about three hours. And it is best to combine visiting the palace and the archaeological museum of Heraclion. A wonderful cultural addition to your biking holiday on Crete!

Opened:
November – March: daily 08:00 - 15:00
April: daily 08:00 - 18:00
May – October: daily 8:00 - 20:00

Entrance fee: 15 euros per person

KNOSSOS PALACE (CRETE)

ADDRESS

Knosos, Greece

CONTACT

+30 2810 231940

GUIDED BIKE TOURS

BIKE & HOTEL – TRANS-CRETE FROM PALEKASTRO TO ZAROS

Crete in General

Crete Allgemein

Crete γενικά

In general: Crete – a diamond of the Mediterranean. The largest island of Greece is an island of superlatives. Its diverse landscapes, which can hardly be found anywhere else in Greece on just one island, captivates every visitor. Over 2000 m high mountains, wild ravines, long palm beaches and secluded bays make Crete’s nature an enchanting one. Ancient monasteries, fortresses and more than 4,000-year-old temples testify of the cultural wealth of the island.  A must explore!

Crete is the star among the Greek islands: it belongs with Rhodes to the most important tourist centers of the country. The 100 km south of the mainland island is also popular because it is an all-rounder. Stretching 260 km from west to east and up to 60 km from north to south, it is a world of its own: it goes from the sandy beach of Elafonisi to the White Mountains. The Ida Mountain is the highest peak on the island. It rises up to 2456 m above sea level. According to Greek mythology, the Idaean Cave located here is Zeus’ birthplace. In the capital, Heraklion, there is the world-famous Archaeological Museum with Minoan artefacts, as well as the Palace of Knossos, which looks back on almost 4,000 years of history, when Crete was the first high culture in Europe. The longest gorge in Europe, the Samaria Gorge is also found here; with steep walls up to 500 m high, it is a nature highlight! From quaint villages with a lot of originality and hospitality, over Italian flair in the Venetian harbor of the port town of Retyhmnon in the north of the island to the jet-set lifestyle in Elounda – you will find everything here!

The fifth largest island of the Mediterranean is a pure South Sea dream. So, pack your bags and go to Crete!

Bike activities: For bikers of all abilities the island of Crete offers great experience on cycling through many possibilities of trails that take you to unspoiled areas between olive trees and aromatic herbs, between rough mountains and deep valleys, between sheep and goats to distant mountain villages and deserted beaches as well as archaeological sites and other tourist attractions. Chοosing your trail you choose your adventure! Highlights is the exploration of the hidden villages and wild nature around the mountains where time has really come to a standstill.

Other outdoor activities:

The scenic beauty and diversity offers outdoor fans every possibility they can dream of. Whether hiking in the mountains, safari through the desert, climbing in gorges, water sports, surfing and diving on the most beautiful beaches in Europe, sailing or simply swimming and taking a break from everyday life, there is something for everyone! And once your legs are tired, you can also switch to quad and segway tours, island round trips on enduro motorcycles or simply ride on the beach on horses.

 

Tourist-Information Crete

Tourist-Information Crete

Τουριστικές πληροφορίες Crete

ADDRESS

ADDRESSE

ΔΙΕΥΘΥΝΣΗ

Crète, Greece

CONTACT

KONTAKT

ΕΠΙΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΑ

(+30) 2810341560
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