Crete’s greatest mountain bike climbs

kofinas mountain Ai Giannis
Kofinas Ai Giannis downhill
8 April 2016
mountain bike cassette
The right gears for cycling in Crete
14 April 2016
kofinas mountain Ai Giannis
Kofinas Ai Giannis downhill
8 April 2016
mountain bike cassette
The right gears for cycling in Crete
14 April 2016

Crete's greatest mountain bike climbs


The first question to a cyclist from somebody who never rides a bike is “How many kilometers/miles is the longest bike tour you have done”. And he cyclists that want to show that is very good rider replays with kilometers or miles.

The physical condition of a cyclist is not evaluated with the distance that can ride, but the total uphill. The higher the climb, the harder the tour, the steeper the slope, the stronger the pain.

The climbers know that the exhausting effort, which many times exceeds the limits of their strength is nothing compared to the satisfaction of achieving the goal, the beautiful view from above and the downhill when returning back.

Crete with mountains that exceed the 2400 meters and the fury of the Cretans to make roads everywhere, offers numerous great and exhausting climbs. Get ready physically and mentally, check your bike, put on your helmet and test your limits. And do not overestimate your strength, the vultures that fly above your head are waiting to benefit from your mistakes.

Our criteria for this ranking:

1. Only off road uphills
2. Minimum total uphill 1000meters
3. At least 1000 meters of vertical height difference between the lowest to the highest point.
4. Less than 1000 meters asphalt road.
5. Less than 250 meters total downhill.


Attention: after every ascent you must return back to the starting point. No matter how exciting and fast is the descent you must be focused on the trail and do not exceed your limits. Accidents happen at the easy part of the route, when you return back and you are tired.

Tip: in most ascents there is no fountain to refill your bottles with water and the soil is very rocky and hard. It helps to have a light weight bike but not be stingy with water. Never dare ascents in such remote places without tools, pump, tubes, and your mobile.

Distance Km Uphill total Average steepness Downhill total Highest point Vertical height difference Asphalt total
Ai Giannis - Kofinas 13,41km 1121m 8,7% 21m 1130m 1100m 0m
Aravanes 23,85km 1288m 5,4% 150m 1529m 1138m 0m
Arvi Omalos 20,30km 1524m 7,5% 53m 1482m 1471m 220m
Katharo 19,91km 1317m 6,6% 70m 1296m 1247m 1000m
Koudoumas 12,77km 1043m 8,2% 0m 1054m 1043m 0m
Koustogerako 12,12km 1175m 9,7% 0m 1283m 1175m 0m
Krioneritis 10,31km 1052m 10,2% 3m 1180m 1049m 0m
Laloumas Rouvas 16,94km 1238m 7,3% 14m 1379m 1224m 190m
Lapatha 25,35km 1853m 7,3% 230m 1740m 1723m 150m
Thripti 23,40km 1559m 6,7% 210m 1447m 1349m 0m
Tripiti 18,37km 1202m 6,5% 83m 11130m 1119m 650m
Pachness 19,14km 1405m 7,3% 41m 2021m 1364m 0m
Just to mention that the greatest mountain bike climb in Crete starts from Phoenix of Sfakia (sea level) and ends at Pachnes at the White mountains, 2005 meters of altitude. We do not list it because it is more that 1000 meters of asphalt road.