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Mountain Biking PDF Print E-mail

Keep on moving. Pedaling your bike up incredible hills of wild untamed panorama, on small roads or trails, paved or unpaved. Then embracing the complete sense of flying when you finally coast down the other side. Along the way you will find some villages time abandoned to their unchanged customs and hospitality, taking the chance to refresh our self with virgin and pure drink, and succulent food. And you are off again to discover yet again over 5,000 villages that are on Crete, and ready to welcome you.

Itanos Tours invites you to explore the Mountains of Crete with us. This holiday is not only a great form of exercise but it’s a wonderful way to explore culture and history. We’ll ride through paths and dusty roads discovering dense olive groves, very old vineyards, mountain scents, beautiful beaches and the virgin nature of eastern Crete. Our guides will share their knowledge of the history and traditions as you ride your bike to visit charming small villages, ancient ruins and old Byzantine monasteries.

This package holiday includes a 7 night stay at a 3 stars hotel, 3 meals a day, transportation to and from airport and weeklong mountain bike program.

The following itinerary is made for your convenience so please feel free to do as you like each day, make suggestions to our staff or choose for yourself from one of our daily activities. Each day begins with breakfast at our hotel followed by a briefing on the days’ route.

Destinations of daily trips

Depending upon the ability of the participants we will use those following routes :


We will start the day from Sitanos, a lovely secluded mountain village. We will cross the villages of Handras and Armeni which are established many centuries ago and listed in the Venetian census of 1583. There from, we'll ride through the village of Perivolakia to Kapsa monastery. We will see a 15th century monastery located high on a cliff. We'll end up to Psalidia, three beautiful sandy beaches for a refreshing swim.


We will begin our day from Hamezi a traditional village 15 minutes from Sitia. At Hamezi we will visit the folklore museum which contains wine-press, olive-press, traditional irons, local dresses and household items, all displayed in an authentic Sitian House setting. Then we will go to the mountain of Liopetro to admire the ruins of the Minoan and venetian castle of Liopetro as well as the amazing view of Mirambelo bay. After that, we'll ride to Linares where in 1971 a tomb built at the late Minoan era, was found. Next stop is a summer house in papadiokampos village, 40 m from the sea where we'll swim and dine. Before the return to Sitia we will make a stop at the Monastery of Faneromeni. This church goes back to the 14th century and we will be able to see paintings dated to 1455. Half distance of this ride is on a dusty road with uphill and downhill. So this ride should be followed from riders with experience in bikes.


Once more we will start from Sitanos village, about 600m above see level in the centre of a plateau and ride to Karidi a traditional mountain village. Then we will cross the abandoned villages of Mitato and Xirolimni and continue down hill to Palaikastro village. This road is dusty but the view of the coast line both of north and south shore is marvellous. Palekastro is situated at the most eastern part of Crete, about 19km away from Sitia and 8km away from the famous palm tree forest of Vai. It is the biggest village of Sitia region. With about 1000 permanent residents. We will end up at the beautiful seaside area of Chiona which is located 2 km east from Palaikastro, where you will enjoy a rest under the shade of the tamarisks and swim on beautiful crystal clear waters. This place is famous for the traditional fish taverns.


From Sitanos we will cross a dusty road via Zakados to join Ziros an important village in Sitia District’s. In Ziros there are old churches among which the most important are Agia Paraskevi and Agios Nikolaos with all paintings and writing from 16th century. It is a fertile village where olive oil, sultana raisins, wine and dairy products are produced. There is also a model unit of organic wine cultivation and wine-making which we can visit. About 10 kilometers far from Ziros plateau the small village of Hametoulo is located. The road to Xerokambos is just a few meters out of the village, so it's not difficult to have a stop there and have a sight to the almost abandoned settlement. The road to Xerokampos is with spectacular view and our ride is easy but must be careful as will be going downhill the asphalt road from 700meters to sea level. The village of Xerocampos is considered to have the most beautiful beaches of the island. A Multitude of small coves lined with gold sand along the cool waters of the Mediterranean will wait for you. The turquoise waters will rejuvenate your skin after the long ride.


We will start from the very end of eastern Crete where the island is so narrow and you can see both Cretan sea (north) and Karpathian Sea (southeast) in front of you. We will ride downhill to Itanos, a beautiful sandy beach (and an ancient sight) where a swim is a must. Next stop is Vai, the famous and unique palm forest located right in front of the beach. It is the largest palm forest in Europe and its palms are endemic Cretan palms (Phoenix theophrasti) and were NOT imported. It has grew inadvertently many centuries ago when Saracens pirates were eating palm tree fruits at the beach. Then we'll ride along Kouremenos, a 2.5 km sandy beach, well known for windsurfers. We will continue on a dusty road to Chiona where there are many beautiful isolated inlets and small sandy beaches, one next to each other connected by a harsh dusty road which can be followed as long as it takes to choose your own private beach. If you are an experienced bike rider you can swim at Skaria at the end of that road.


We start this route from our well-known Sitanos and cross Karidi to make a stop at Adravasti. This is a small settlement near Ziros on the mountain side, 36 km away from Sitia. It is depicted by old houses and narrow rising street maintaining its traditional atmosphere. There are not many people living there. Ancient items were found on the peak of the mountain Entichtis (560 m). We will go on to reach the village Zakros and stop at Kato Zakros a village located at the bay of Zakros 7km away from the village of Zakros and 42km from Sitia. There in 1961 a great Greek archaeologist N. Platon unearthed the fourth largest Minoan Palace. Like the other Cretan palaces, the palace of Zakros, was first built in about 1900 B.C. The present ruins seen by the visitor belong to the second building phase, in about 1600 BC. The total area of the palace, including ancillary buildings, is approximately 10,000 sq. m. It was not only the permanent residence of the royal family, but also the administrative, as well as commercial and religious centre of the surrounding area. The long term excavations have yielded over 10,000 objects, many of them considered unique, which are now on display in the Iraklion and Sitia museums.


The village of Lithines is about 25 kilometers south of Sitia on the road Sitia- Ierapetra. The area near Lithines has some interesting Byzantine churches. The particular interest is the church of the virgin of Lithines, which is partially built into rocks where some remarkable beautiful icons can be seen. Then, we will continue uphill to the small village of Pefki. Built up on the mountains, prides itself on its beauty cleanliness and hospitality; it is popular with locals and travellers alike. It boasts two wonderful caves with amazing stalactites and stalagmites. We will enjoy the views of a great part of south Crete and the Libyan Sea while we have a coffee and snack at the traditional kafe "kafenion" of the village The landscape is beautiful with the ability to see many unusual birds and flowers. After Pefki village we will ride through an amazing pine-tree forest to Stavrochori. This is one of the most important villages of the Sitia District, listed in 1583 by the Venetians as Stavrodoxari. We'll continue riding up to Orino village. The village is up in the mountains at 640 m altitude and the name itself means «mountainous». It is a picturesque village with a magnificent view and rich vegetation. The village is surrounded by a pine-tree forest and it is one of the best-known gorges of southeast Crete: the Butterfly gorge. Unfortunately a fire destroyed 70% of the pine trees of the area of the gorge in 1993. Leave your mountain bike by the café at the entrance and if you want have a walk 500 metres through the woods to the gorge. In the spring and summer fluttering Cardinal and Swallowtail butterflies drift past in a spectacular array of colour.



  • transportation to and from airport
  • accommodations : 7 nights hotel stay (double occupancy)
  • 3 meals a day
  • transportation to and from excursions
  • full equipment provided


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