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12 Days Island of Crete, The Land of Zorba Cycling Holiday in Greece

Aquila Atlantis Hotel, 2, Ygias Street, Heraklion, Crete, 71 202 Greece

Mediterranean Cycling Holiday Greece

A bicycling magazine called the Classic Adventures Bicycle Tour of Crete, "one of the 50 best rides on the planet." For more than 29 years, Classic Adventures has been refining the tour of the island paradise with two optional hikes. Majestic mountains sweep down to emerald-blue seas. Lyrical sheep bells and the aromas of wild oregano and thyme add to the Mediterranean magic. Delight in feta cheese, thick homemade yogurt, honey-soaked walnuts, and grilled seafood. Crete's magic also lies in its vestiges of the past. The guides unfold rich layers of history for you. The stories bring to life, the real Crete where Zeus was born and Europa was loved.

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point to Point
  • Terrain: Hilly and paved
  • Difficulty level: Moderate (cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, the terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on a flat terrain sometimes, 31-45 miles per day)
  • Total distance: Approximately 304 miles / 489 kilometers
  • Vacation type: Leisure and adventure cycling
  • Type of bike: Hybrid bike
  • E-bike: Available to rent / 400 EUR

Highlights

  • Leisurely cycling
  • Explore the Island of Crete
  • Riding through rolling to hilly terrain
  • Visit to sites of Greek mythology and history
  • Multi-lingual and experienced guide
  • Daily tasty breakfast and dinner
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Support vehicle

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


10 days with instruction
The maximum participants in the group is 24
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Accommodation

During this cycling holiday, you will stay in various across lodging in select country inns and hotels across the Island of Crete, Greece. The rooms are based on a double occupancy.

You will spend night one at the Atlantis Hotel in Heraklion. Interior designers have combined their expertise in order to design and shape 158 rooms and six suites of unprecedented quality, relaxation, and sea view.

The main spaces are grand yet feel light and airy and are infused with beautiful artworks.

The rooms are exceptionally quiet for uninterrupted work and supreme relaxation, featuring generously sized desks and large comfortable beds. Rooms feature a satellite interactive 42’-inch flat screen HDTV with integrated radio and music channels, direct phone with data, alarm clock, and voice mail, complimentary wired and wireless and high-speed internet access.

Rooms also feature an in-room electronic safe of 15 inches laptop size, a minibar at an extra charge, complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, air-conditioning or heating, premium line linen, exclusive bathroom amenities, a hairdryer, and a socket for dual voltage shaver outlet

You may also enjoy using a fine rain shower cabin and slippers, pillow choice, double glazed windows, and laundry service at an extra charge. Aquila Atlantis Hotel has also been designed to comply with the law as a non-smoking accommodation.

Relax in the Lassithi Plateau on nights two and three.

Make a home out of the Potami River Valley on night four.

Cozy up in Matala on night five.

Unwind in Gortys on night six.

Doze off in Spili on nights seven and eight.

Recharge in Hora Sfakion on night nine.

Have a well-earned rest in Almyrida on nights 10 and 11.

Program

You will begin each day knowing that all rides are fully-supported with both a van or mini-bus and a guide who cycles with the majority of the group. Your guides will stop along the route to provide support, water, healthy snacks, or perhaps shed some light on a cultural or historical point of interest. All guides carry a cell phone. Scenic and safe cycling is the priority.

All of the rides are designed to allow you to cycle at your own pace. Most tour days offer a long or short option. If you want to spend some extra time at a particular point of interest, you are free to do so. On a Classic Adventure, you choose how much cycling you want to do.

Day 1: Arrival day

You will arrive in Heraklion, Crete, and you will be transferred to an A-class hotel, the Atlantis. An orientation will be followed by dinner.

Day 2: Heraklion – Lasithi Plateau

On day two, you will explore the Venetian ruins of Heraklion and enjoy a guided tour of the Archeological Museum. You will then transfer to the Lasithi Plateau.

Day 3: Lasithi Plateau (15 miles / 24 kilometers cycling – 3 to 4 hours hike)

You will circle the plateau accompanied by goats and sheep. Afterward, you will visit the cave where the mythological Zeus was born. That can be followed by a visit to the folklore museum or a hike to the Minoan site of Karphi.

Day 4: Lasithi Plateau – Potami River Valley (29 to 46 miles / 47 to 74 kilometers)

You will have a downhill ride through Potami River Valley. You may swim in the Libyan Sea in Ierapetra.

Day 5: Potami River Valley – Matala (35, 52, or 72 miles / 56, 84, or 116 kilometers)

You will visit a small Fourth Century Byzantine church with unusual frescoes. Thereafter, you will travel the Plain of Messara to the beach village of Matala.

Day 6: Matala – Phaistos – Aghia Triada – Gortys (30 miles / 43 kilometers cycling - 3 hours walk)

You will bike to Phaistos, Aghia Triada, and Gortys. You can also savor a beach walk.

Day 7: Gortys – Spili (25 or 40 miles / 40 or 64 kilometers)

You will visit a small Fourth Century church off the beaten path and have lunch in Aghia Galini. Experience a spectacular upper road overlooking the Amari Valley and Libyan Sea or lower route to Spili.

Day 8: Spili – Kourtaliotis Canyon (30 miles / 48 kilometers cycling)

You will bike Kourtaliotis Canyon. You will have the option to visit Rethymnon for dinner.

Day 9: Kourtaliotis Canyon – Hora Sfakion (36 miles / 58 kilometers)

You will have a coastal ride to the sea village of Hora Sfakion.

Day 10: Hora Sfakion - Almyrida (35 miles / 56 kilometers)

You will cross the island to Almyrida. You can view the majestic White Mountains and Libyan Sea below.

Day 11: Almyrida

You can enjoy a Samarian Gorge hike, 10 miles downhill. You can also swim the Libyan Sea which is a five to six-hour walk.

Day 12: Departure day

The trip will end in Almyrida after breakfast.

Bikes

All of the trek bicycles are equipped with a handlebar or trunk bag, map case, rear rack, water bottles, lock, pump, spare tube, and odometer or computer. The bicycles are set up with indexed shifting, 24 to 27 speeds, an odometer or computer, 22 ounces of large water bottles, a rear luggage rack, and a large trek trunk bag.

They may also come with optional repair equipment such as a mini-pump, spare tube, and tire levers. They are equipped with a combination lock, gel-touring seat, and toe clips or straps if requested. You may bring your own SPD style pedals or your own seat for installation.

Bringing your own bike is fine with Classic Adventures and they do not roof rack bikes! They fork mount all bikes in the customized trailers. Nobody puts your bike baby on the roof! Need a little boost? They also offer, on a limited basis, customized trek hybrid bikes with a BionX electronic mobility system.

it is an easy to operate battery "pedal assist system" that gives you the opportunity to explore on two wheels with help when you want it. While you will still have to pedal lightly, the Bionx system provides an additional boost of power to your pedal stroke. The system is silent, so you can take in all the sounds of the day as you normally would.

Skill level

Intermediate

  • can cycle for 3-4 hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

Included excursions

You will explore the Venetian ruins of Heraklion and visit the Archeological Museum with its fabulous Minoan pottery and jewelry. A guided tour will bring to light the reign of King Minos and relive the stories of the bull jumpers and Theseus daring a descent into the labyrinth to slay the Minotaur.

Location

This cycling holiday will take place in the Island of Crete, Greece. You will explore Heraklion, Lasithi Plateau, Potami River Valley, Plain of Messara, Matala, Phaistos, Aghia Triada, Gortys, Spili, Kourtaliotis Canyon, Hora Sfakion, and Almyrida.

Food

During this cycling holiday, you will be provided with daily breakfast and dinner. You will see that the dining of Classic Adventures reflects the best in regional cuisine, whether it be an Atlantic lobster or calamari from the Mediterranean. Fine wine, great food, and good company are very important to them at Classic Adventures. If you have special dietary needs, they will be happy to accommodate them.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Climb to the Samarian Gorge
  • Dip in the Libyan Sea in Ierapetra
  • Explore the cave where Zeus was born
  • Go on a trip to the folklore museum
  • Have a walk on the beach
  • Hike to the Minoan site of Karphi
  • Journey to a Byzantine and a Fourth Century church
  • Swim the Libyan Sea
  • Trip to Rethymnon
  • Visit a small Fourth Century Byzantine church

What's included

  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Use of a Classic Adventures custom trek bicycle (fully-equipped for touring)
  • A non-regimented "cycle-at-your-own pace" itinerary with an average 35 to 65 miles per day and the option of additional or fewer miles
  • Daily breakfast and dinner
  • Free transfers and long-term parking for most tours
  • Support vehicle for transporting luggage, equipment, snacks, drinks, and overall assistance
  • Detailed maps, route descriptions, and cultural information on a daily basis
  • Most commercial transportation within the country of most tours
  • Services of a friendly and experienced multi-lingual guide and assistant
  • Services of expert bicycle mechanics

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
12 days / 11 nights
from --

Availability

Arrival: Saturday September 28, 2019
Departure: Wednesday October 9, 2019

Pricing information

Single supplement rooms are available for 700 USD.

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