Exlpore Central Crete by Car or Bike

In this section, routes designed to be made by car, motorcycle or, for the adventurous, even by bicycle, are presented; they can serve as basic guidelines for visitors who wish to get to know Crete.

It should be noted, however, that in some cases it is not possible to complete a route within one day, due to the complex geomorphology of the island. This is even more the case if one wishes to see all points of interest presented in each route.

Locations where facilities and amenities are available are presented in detail along every route (they can also serve as a starting point for one's expeditions), together with settlements, monuments and places of particular natural beauty. In the Services menu, of each route, there is also the possibility to choose where to stay and eat, to plan any other activities and to read about the services available in the areas that each route passes through.

Below, routes in the Central Crete (Rethymno & Heraklio) are listed.


This route is specially designed for nature and history enthusiasts. It connects important archaeological sites, historical and ecclesiastical monuments and traditional settlements, and it passes through a verdant landscape where one can also organize various hikes.

  • Region Rethymno, Amari, Milopotamos
  • Route Length 106 km. (84 km. to Patsos and 22 km. returning to Rethymno)
  • points of interest Ancient Eleftherna, Byzantine Bassilica at Vizari, Arkadi Monastery, Ceramics Exhibition at Margarites, Patsos Gorge

This is a route for those who wish to get to know the historical Idi (Psiloritis) massif (where, according to mythology, the god Zeus was born), together with the most significant of its settlements, monumental nature and sites of ancient civilization

  • Region Milopotamos, Anogia (Rethymno)
  • Route Length 57 km.
  • points of interest Nida Plateau, Skinakas Observatory, Zominthos, Spilaio Sfentoni, Diskouri Monastery, Idaeon Antro

This route goes along the eastern and southern foot of Psiloritis, passes through picturesque villages, archaeological sites, Byzantine churches and locations of particular natural beauty, and it also offers the possibility of exploring many different side-roads and hiking routes.

  • Region Heraklio, Malevizi, Festos, Gortyna (Heraklion prefecture)
  • Route Length 78 km.
  • points of interest Gorge of Agios Nikolaos, Gorge of Agios Antonios, Archeological Site of Tilissos, Varsamonero Monastery, Agios Antonios of Vronisi Church

This route connects the most important places of interest of the Asterousia area, such as archaeological sites, settlements, gorges and beaches. One can choose to follow whichever parts of the route that one finds most interesting. It should be noted, though, that the roads which climb up the slopes of the mountain range usually twist and turn, and in some cases they are not paved.

  • Region Festos, Gortyna (Heraklion prefecture)
  • Route Length 84 km.
  • points of interest Minoan villa of Festos, Ancient Gortyna, Odigitria Monastery, Agiofarago, Gorge of Martsalo, Monastery of Koudoumas

This route links a few of the most significant sights of the Heraklion Prefecture and passes through traditional settlements, vineyards and historical monasteries. It is a fairly easy and gentle route. However, museums and other sights demand quite a lot of time; therefore, onemay choose to see them individually. 

  • Region Irakleio, Chersonissos, Minoa, Archanes-Asterousia (Irakleio)
  • Route Length 83 km.
  • points of interest Knosos Minoan Palace, Crete Aquarium, Kazantzakis Museum, Agarathos Monastery

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