Around Crete

At the very beginning of February 2020, just when Europe started to realize Covid-19 just might become a real problem, I set out for the sun in Crete, an island I hadn’t been to before. Going by train through Europe with my bike in a bag turned out to be a major pain in the neck. I changed train/boat/bus in Malmö, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Bruxelles, Paris, Milano, Bari, Patras and Piraeus on my way to Crete, and in even more places on my way back home in mid February. The bike bag was heavy, bulky and I was always afraid it might be stolen.

Changing trains in Italy, my bike bag always close

I came to Crete just after a really cold bout, so the mountains were covered in snow, but the day after my arrival spring was all over the island.

Snowy mountains
Sun and ocean and road on Crete

I started in Heraklion and biked around ¾ of the island clockwise. After a few days I realized that the views were much better from the other side of the road. If you ever bike around an island, make sure you do it counter-clockwise, so that you are on the ocean side of the road where the views are better.

Most of the trip was not overly hard biking, except when I went across the island from Sfakia in the south to Vrises in the north. You need strong legs for that part! The roads are great, and views are sometimes world class.

Switchbacks in eastern Crete

On my way back through Europe I got sick, resembling the flu. Since then I’ve tested for antibodies, but apparently it wasn’t Covid-19.

Tour details (grading from 1 to 5)

  • Time of year: February to June and September to November
  • Difficulty: 3
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Scenery: 4
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