In preparation for a full e-bike tour of Crete, that will take us coast to coast from Elafonissi in the West to Zakros in the East, we explored some off-the-beaten-track roads inland from Tavronitis.
We tried to reproduce the conditions on one of the legs of the island trip, which we are planning for the beginning of April, that will last 9 days.
We met with some friends in Tavronitis, equipped with some mountain e-bikes and some full-suspension regular mountain bikes.
In the beginning, we followed a quiet road next to the Tavronitis river. Then we took a turn for the steep, on the right side of the river. We started climbing and climbing, on a wide track in good conditions that took us on the crest high above the valleys below. Open views on all sides, extremely spectacular. On one side, Chania town, then the peninsulas, the sea and the little island of Agios Theodoros. On the other side, the White Mountains covered in snow. The road was quite steep in parts but always rideable, slow going with the added challenge of strong gusts of wind blowing us and the bikes to the side.
It was a beautiful day, with clear skies and plenty of sunshine, a warm South wind for this early spring. After the crest, we descended and joined a quiet paved road in the mountains just below Omalos plateau. We continued our descent through pine forests, which eventually turned into citrus groves and avocado plantations.
Lunch break came in the village of Vatolakkos, where we shared tasty Cretan dishes and recharged our batteries.
After lunch we entered another little known world, first through flat orange valleys then into more green conifer forests, zig-zagging out of sight from civilisation, passing forgotten villages before rejoining the open big river valley that took us back to the starting point.
A great day! We rode 66 Km, starting at 9:30 and arriving at 16:30, including the 1½ hour lunch break. We also climbed an impressive 1500m! All worth it. Ready to do it again, and again.