cable ties and bikes1 June 2016
Fodele Rogdia Vasilikos7 June 2016
The best maps of Crete for cyclists and hikers
Although there is a big variety of free map applications and navigation programs, the best way to plan a route or discover a place is with a printed map. Even if you use a gps you must have a map especially when you travel at places that are unknow for you.
Apart from the advertising maps given free and the maps with a resolution smaller than 1:100.000 the best maps for Crete are sold from the companies Anavasi, Terrain, Road and Orama
maps with scale 1:100.000
The map with the most placenames, mountain names and the only one that indicates the fountains. The geographical depiction of the island is very good. The colors are intense, as the altitude rises the color changes to dark brown.The background of the map is different depending on the flora of the area (forests, bushes, orchards, vineyards) feature which is not very clear and useful. The contour lines (every 100m) are distinct and sharp but make the reading of the map difficult. It shows all the settlements and villages of Crete.
The mapping of the roads is very good.
The maps follows the E4 path from side to side on Crete.
In some cultivated areas with dense rural network depicts too many dirt roads which is not usefull for a map of scale 1: 100,000 and omits a few but important for mountain bikers dirt roads on the mountains of Crete.The map is not recently updated.
The map is printed at both sides. Front side is the map, the rear side has a village index and big towns small map. The hard cover of the map has hiking routes on the E4 path with elevation profile and the highlights of each route.
The quallity of the paper is excellent and easy to fold and unfold.
The most complete, accurate and updated maps of the scale 1: 100,000. It is the only map that depicts the newest constructed roads such as the new way to Lassithi Plateau around Aposelemis lake, the new highway section at Malia, the new road from Agios Nikolaos to Kalo chorio and other. Despite the small scale is the most complete map with roads, they are depicted exactly as they are in reality. It includes all settlements even the abandoned which are depicted with a different symbol.
As the altitude rises the color becomes dark brown and the contour lines are fade. The fonts are clear and easy to read. The reading of the map is easy as also to follow a route, to find a settlement, a place, a monastery or an archeological site. It is made of an excellent quality paper and is the easiest map to unfold and fold. For the people who want to follow the E4 path the map is not particularly helpful as it is depicted only in a few areas.
The map is printed at both sides. Front side is the map, the rear side has an index of villages, towns, archaeological sites, monasteries and big towns map.
The quallity of the paper is the best of all the other maps.
Additional features are some secured canyoning routes and the excellent depiction of the beaches with a clear blue line.
If you want to do a trip by car, discover unknown beaches or go mountain biking this is the best map for the scale 1: 100.000
The first map we bought when we started cycling in Crete too many years ago. The map uses very fine and soft colors for the geographical depiction of Crete. The fonts are easily readable. Finding a settlement is very easy as also to follow a route, especially the scenic routes that it proposes. It contains all the settlements of Crete apart from a few abandoned villages.
The coverage of the road network is good but not enough.
The roads are located in the right place but there are some errors with dirt roads. It showsthat some roads are connected but in reality they do not meet each other. Some main dirt roads on the mountains does not exist but there is a clear separation between dirt rural road and hiking paths.
The map is not recently updated.
Both sides are printed with map of different areas of Crete. There are and maps of the main towns.
The map is good if you want to explore the island by car from asphalt roads. For cyclists and especially for mountain bikers is not very useful as it has some errors, it is not waterproof and durable. It destroyed after some uses.
The map is good if we want to do a tour with a car on asphalt roads or to walk in one of the big towns. For off road tours is better to avoid it.
It depicts all the asphalt roads except the recently constructed.
At the key page there are different lines for secondary asphalt roads, dirt roads and trails but on the map this lines are confused. Dirt roads depicted with the line for the paths or the asphalt, and the opposite. Most dirt roads just depicted with a thin black line without turns , they just show that somewhere in the area there is a road or a path.With the exception of the settlements most placenames are only in Greek language. The map is not water and teear resistant.
The front side is the map with an index of villages with population and altitude.
All the back side (of Heraklion map we have) has a huge map of Heraklion town, the nost famous archaeological sites and a Hotel index.
Only Orama maps shows the beaches with blue flag which is not so useful as an information.
The map shows a good geographical image of Crete with the mountains, the valleys, the plains and the rivers but does not provide useful information for our trips by any vehicle. It does not mention many small settlements and villages and some of them have been placed in wrong location.
The roads are not mapped wright. It gives greater emphasis on the hiking trails. There are a lot of mistakes and too many roads are not depicted.
The dashed green lines for the paths are so many that make reading difficult.
The contour lines although they are every 50meters they do not indicate the altitude of the line. Only one side of the map is printed (the rear side is blank)
The best use for this map is to see the course that follows the E4 path from side to side of Crete (red thick line), but not to use it to follow the path on the mountains. It is the only map that does not show the distance of the roads.
Although the graphics of the map are very good and the reading is easy the information that it gives are not useful. The map does not shows all the roads especially the dirt roads so it is not useful for off-road use. The roads are not depicted precisely and we can not understand where we are. In many cases the line for the dirt road is confused with the line for the asphalt road but it shows roads at places that there is nothing and this is dangerous.
The map suggests some beautiful routes that are really nice to do but not with this map.The names of many villages and settlements was written wrong at both
languages English and Greek. The price is very high for the information provided and the quality of paper, it is not waterproof and tear resistant.
Cycling and hiking maps (scale higher that 1:50.000)
The “must have” maps for everybody who want to hike on the big mountains of Crete. There are no other maps with so many paths and so many hiking information. The graphics are perfect and easy to read. The recommended tips and advices about hiking routes are very useful and reliable. They are maps and travel guides. A very important feature for cyclists and hikers is that they show the fountains.
Unfortunately anavasi issues only seven maps that do not cover the whole Crete. The scale of each map is big 1: 25.000, 1:30.000 or 1: 35.000 and covers only the main mountains of Crete. At these areas we can do some of the best mountain biking tours. (The map of the White Mountains, Sfakia / Pachnes, is practically useless for bikers as it covers the most mountainous area of Crete with almost no rural roads but too many rough paths.)
All maps have two sides. On the first side is the map with the contour lines. On the back side is the map without contour lines but with many tips and routes about the E4 path which is more distinct.The maps for Asterousia Mountains and Sitia-Vai have two sides with map of different area, West & East Asterousia and North & South Sitia region.
Although for the high mountains and the paths there is no other maps with so many details and information, at lower altitude hills and rural areas lots of main roads are not depicted which is weird for such a map. For these areas the hiking maps of Road are better.
They are water & tear resistant and easy to fold and unfold.
The maps are more useful for hikers and mountaineers.
Road cartography Trekking Map
Our choice for mountain bikers. The scale of these maps is very big and depict more roads than any other map. The road network they cover is huge. They are recently updated and they depict even the most recently constructed roads. The maps recommend some cycling routes (red dotted line) but they copied them from our site.
The fact that they cover the whole Crete and not only the big mountains, make them more useful for mountain bikers who ride long distances.
The graphics are very good, but the choice of colors depending on the altitude are not as good as anavasi maps.
Orama hiking maps are useful and for people who want to do an off road jeep safari but if you want to do a tour around Crete through main asphalt roads it is more practical and cheaper to buy the 1:100.00 maps (although they do not provide the same information).
All maps have two sides with map of different area at each side. The E4 path is very easy to find and follow (black thick line). A feature of the map we like is the symbol that shows the location of each city or village which varies according to the population.
The maps are printed on high quality water & tear resistant paper which is easy to fold and unfold.
The only drawback we found on these maps is their layout in order to cover the island, mainly the western Crete (maps 401, 402, 403 και 404)
|Anavasi||Terrain||Road||Orama||selena||Harms verlang||Road Hiking||Avavasi Hiking|
|maps of Crete||3||3||2||3||3||2||6||7|| weight (* with cover)||62(84*)||61(76*)||102||96||77||66(76*)||66(76*)||61||Dimensions folded||13,1x24cm||12,7x25cm||13,1x25,3cm||13x24,5cm||14,3x23,2cm||11x22,5cm||10x24,2cm||12,8x22,8cm||Dimensions open||67,9x95cm||67,2x97,8cm||67,9x97,8cm||68,5x97,6cm||68,8x98,6cm||67,3x97,8m||68x97,5m||67,4x97,6cm|| GPS compatible||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|| water & tear resistant||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|| contour lines ||100m||100m||100m||100m||50m||50m||100m/20m||100m/20m|| activities||E4 path routes with elevation profile and details||secured canyoning routes, scenic routes||scenic routes||--||hiking routes||hiking routes, scenic routes||cycling routes, scenic routes||hiking routes, climbing sectors|| Price||8 €||7 €||7,5 €||7,2 €||5,7 €||10 €||5,97 €||7-8 €|| Price digital map for GPS ||5 € per map||14,99 € all Crete||--||--||--||--||--||5 € per map|