Cycling in Greece


So might have to attend a wedding this summer in Greece, on the island of Crete (Town called Chania).

I’ve been abroad a lot in Spain and Italy, and of course most know how good the riding is there.

Does anyone know how good (or bad) the riding is in Crete?

I know summer is the peak holiday season as well, but I have no idea what to expect in terms of how drivers are, roads etc.

Thankful for any input!

I have not been to Crete but cycled on the greek mainland (near Kalamata). In general really enjoyed it, roads very quiet and no problems with traffic. I would say when out in the sticks (i.e. away from coastal tourist areas) it feels remote fairly quickly - be self sufficient, particularly take enough water and dont assume you will be able to get some at small hamlets in the middle of nowhere, and if you do certainly dont assume they will take a card payment

Usual issue in any southern European country of stray dogs, but most are pretty laid back. One thing to beware if you come across any packs of goats roaming the hills, before you think “how sweet”, they will have a protection dog that is trained to follow them around, these dogs make it clear you are on their patch!


I’ve rode my bike several times in Greece and it’s fantastic. Avoid the big cities and everything @rhorn said is spot on. I usually go at least once per year to a smaller town south of Kalamata.

If you can fit it, I would also recommend at least 32mm tires, not because the roads are so bad, but because where I have ridden, many of the roads that actually go up to the top of the mountain become gravel at some point and you definitely want to be able to go to the top.


I’ve ridden in mainland Greece: The drivers are no problem at all. The road surfaces are often pretty crap. It’s really really hot.

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A guy I follow on YT (German speaking though) did a really cool looking tour last year from the north to the south coast. Here is the route of that:


I rode in Chania in the summer of 2019. I enjoyed it enormously despite the hot weather. I did a loop from the town of Chania up to the entrance of the Samaria gorge and then back from another road. I had no problems with drivers, dog or goats, but maybe that was just by chance. While descending, going cautiously at around 50 km/h, I encountered a road that was covered completely with pebbles which came from a nearby river that flooded during the previous week. I had the time to stop without any problems, but beware that you could encounter potholes or other problems with the roads if you take the ones less travelled.

Overall though it was fantastic to ride around Chania. I enjoyed a lot the road in the midst of the Therisso gorge as well as the north coast (which has many tourists though). If you go during summer always have enough water with you and 20 something euros to buy extra water and some snacks. Not everybody accepts credits cards for small amounts. Also do not hesitate to take breaks, especially if it too hot, for coffee and water.

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Awesome, thanks for the tips! Have you ridden somewhere else that you can compare it to? I am honestly mostly worried about the drivers since I know how they drive down there… they do on the other hand drive like mad in Spain too, but compared to Spain, I haven’t seen a single pro Greek rider :sweat_smile: “Maybe they got run over?” is my first though…

Glad to hear, heat I can take, just don’t wanna be killed on the roads :slight_smile:

Shit, good to keep in mind, thanks!

I felt safer there than I do in the UK

I felt extremely safe, had no issues whatsoever with drivers or anything else. I have heard though various stories from Greek friends that if you are unlucky you could have encounters with drivers that do not care at all about cyclists and accidents have happened. Having said that, I am not sure that the incidents are significantly more than the rest of Europe (thinking of France, Italy, Spain; maybe Holland is a different story).

I started cycling in 2014 and I live in south France. I have not felt any significant difference in the way that French and Greek respect cyclists.

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Alright, thats an interesting point! Been cycling in south France as well, and feel pretty safe there except for when the German BMW/Mercedes drivers pass :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s so true, I think you get the point. Be aware though that I have heard stories that there can be some very inconsiderate drivers in Greece. Never encountered them myself (I cycled in Crete, Rhodes and Lesvos) but apparently there exist people that can drive dangerously.

I have not been to Crete, but have been living in Athens for 4 years and have ridden all over the mainland. Some good points here so far, but a few more:
Don’t ride as far as possible to the edge of the road, there can be lots of unexpected obstacles - random holes, untrimmed trees, oddly placed sewer grates, etc. Drivers are used to lots of mopeds, so they are pretty cool and will give you space.
If you visit in summer, be careful of the heat, it’s no joke.
Drivers move fast but tend to be very aware, as the road obstacles are many, the standards and restrictions that we are used to in the US are not in place, and there is definitely a free for all vibe to the whole thing.
Stay alert and be friendly, you’ll come across a lot of cyclists on the road.