Touring - Cycling Crete
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Sweet. The job is sending me to Crete for a week or two. I found a couple of sites that talk about cycling, which basically say traffic is "fast and furious" and other warnings, but they seem to be geared towards the family holiday and keeping Little Miss Princess from getting hit by a tourist bus.
Anybody with first (or second or third) hand knowledge of the island? Recommendations for rides? Since I'll be 'working', I won't be touring per se, but taking day trips whenever possible.
If you are near the west coast check out Paleohora SW corner. I haven't cycled there but spent 4 summer hollidays with the family in that town, 2000,01,02,03. It's in our program to tour a loop around the island but not for a year or two and definetly not in the summer (way too hot), most likely we'll do it in the spring or fall.
Paleohora is a real laid back place with great beaches places to mountain bike or hike and many secluded coves. If your there at the right time of year you can see whales just off shore.
Just type Paleohora in yahoo and check it out.
Good roads and a couple decent hills to get there. The west coast of the island has the most green while the eastern end is more like a desert.
hope it helps some cheers
04-24-07, 02:32 PM
I was there for a few days on vacation almost 20 years ago, but it left a vivid impression. I didn't cycle there, but Heraklion struck me as the kind of European small city that is very tough cyclists: the natives have horrible driving habits. It's a mountainous island as well. South of Heraklion lie the Minoan ruins of Knossos, which makes an interesting (half)day trip. And there's a large circular valley south of that with dozens of windmills -- very striking landscape. We had a good time getting lost in the mountain roads there, trying to decipher the small road signs written in Greek.
I just found a bike journal at CGOAB that may prove useful:
My wife and I visited Crete and loved it, but we didn't go biking. The main roads are "fast and furious" but once you get away from populated areas traffic can be sparse (as well as stores etc. to get water and the like).
We did go hiking and had some trouble with the map being somewhat out of scale (I seem to recall reading something about this online and possbily being on purpose due to invaders, but don't quote me)
The weather is fantastic and if you're there in the summer prepare for the heat.
Heraklion is nice, but don't think I'd bike there, better off out of town. There was a fabulous beach on the northeast corner of the island, accessible by mountain roads with no guardrails.
If I recall correctly (and I probably generalize) the coastal roads are flat and trafficy and the mountain roads steep and not-so-trafficy.
It was over 30 years ago but I loved Crete.
The south side Timbakion, Matala, Agia Galini ( I hope its still the same its worth a trip) were beautiful.
the south east Agia Giorgios was fat and quiet, long empty beaches.
And down at the south west end is the Samaria gorge, so if you like hiking its a must
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