Cyclingcreta Social Rides1 November 2022
Where do the Cretans Live?13 January 2023
How many kilometers is the round of Crete?
How many Kilometers does it takes to ride around Crete? Are there coastal roads all around the island? Is it easy to ride around Crete?
Crete is the 5th biggest island in Mediterranean sea. It is 260kilometers long from east to west. 60Km is the widest part and 12km the most narrow. It is a very mountainous island, 50% of it's area is higher than 500meters of altitude. Large mountain masses cover a large part of the island's total area. The northern coastline of Crete is relatively flat. In contrast at the south side, the mountains are high and end abruptly at the sea.
Before the boom of tourism and for more than 1000 years, most of the settlements of Crete were built on the mountains for protection from pirates. Only the big cities that had strong castles and cannons to repel the pirates were located next to the sea. When the first roads were built to connect the villages, they followed the ancient paths, through the mountains. Later, with the development of tourism the residents start to move lower to the coastal areas. The small fisherman shelters became big tourist towns. Now although there are many coastal towns and villages the most of the roads follow routes through the mountains. Lefka Ori (White Mountains) at Chania region, at west Crete is the biggest uninhabited area of Europe where there no roads. A similar scenery you can find at the south of Heraklion region (central Crete) the Asterousia mountains rise from the sea as a huge natural barrier. At these areas a construction of a road next to the sea is impossible.
So, here are some option on how to ride around Crete is you want to travel as close to the sea as possible!
Distance 1080Km - Total uphill 21.000m (approximately)
For this trip we cycle (drive) a round tour and we do not pass from the same place two times. For example we do not visit some famous places like Vai, Zakros and Matala if the road to go and return to this place is the same. We ride as close to the sea as possible and only on paved roads.
Distance 965Km - Total uphill 18.100m (approximately)
This is a similar route around Crete but we avoid some extreme uphill sections especially at Asterousia mountains in order to do the route a little bit easier. We also bypass the Akrotiri of Chania area.
We ride only on paved roads and we do not pass from the same place two times.
The Boat shortcut version
Distance 776Km - Total uphill 13.100m (approximately)
This is the same as the smoother tour, but from Sfakia village we go to Paleochora with the ship that pass from Agia Roumeli (at Samaria Canyon) in order to bypass the White mountains.