Friday, 21 April 2017

Road Circuit from Platanes via Arkadi Monastery, Crete

This fine road cycling circuit begins at the Olympic bike hire shop in Platanes on the north coast of Crete and heads in-land climbing steadily through the villages of Adele, Pigi and Loutra, before winding its way up the famous monastery at Arkadi. The road, which is fairly empty in April, continues to climb before peaking at about 600 metres amid sumptious mountainous scenery. The picturesque return route heads down through Charkia, which has a gleaming white church, and Ag. Triada, before returning to the coast. The last section involves a fun and fast descent on fresh tarmac, which veers steeply down towards the sea. Although the road surface can be dodgy in the hills above the monastery, this route would be doable on a road bike and is straightforward on a hybrid. It involves about 37km of riding, according to Strava, and 642 metres of climbing, nearly all of which comes in the first half.