Amiras Arvi10 March 2016
10 reasons to visit Crete with a mountain bike13 March 2016
Temenos the big Byzantine castle of Crete
Max / Min points
530m / 114m
- the ride next to the river
- the view of Giouchtas mountain
- the muddy river bed
- the vine yards of Profitis Ilias
- the variety of landscapes
- the downhill section next the canyon
In 961 the Byzantine General and later Emperor Nikephoros Focas liberated Crete from the Saracens corsairs who for 136 years looted the Greek coasts and converted Candia (Heraklion) to their most dangerous base. With the fear that pirates will return to plunder the coastal towns again, he chose a fortified hillside far away from the sea to transfer the island's capital that had been destroyed.
At a dominant place, with panoramic view, surrounded by fertile valleys, was built the largest Byzantine fortress on Crete "The Temenos”. In a massive rocky hill with two peaks was founded the fortress of the Temenos, where transfered the population of Candia and the surrounding villages that were sheltered from the battles. Later, the Venetians named the hill "Rocca", which means strong rock, and the province around Heraklion was named "Temenos Province".
100% mountain bike tour passing through the fertile valleys, full of vine yards, alongside the river flowing from the northern slopes of Kastriotis, Avgerinos and Monodendri Mountains and feeding with its waters the Yofyro river. After Douli village, the landascape changes and until Roukani village we ride beside pastures at the foothils of Monodendri mountain with spectacular views.
The most technical part of the tour is the downhill section at the 2nd km next to the gorge. The road is steep and the stones makes the descent more difficult.
It is better to do the tour counter clockwise to avoid the steep ascents. The days of intense rainfall when the river is swollen it is advisable to avoid this cycling tour as the river becomes dangerous and full of mud.
...and explore Crete on your own!
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