Crete is a very good option for those who want to ride motorcycles in a pleasant climate in early spring or late autumn.
I’ve been to Crete in the first week of May for 12 years, and the good weather has always been dominant. And if a morning swim is on your repertoire the water is perfect even in early May. And a swim after a day on the bike, whether it has been on a motorbike or a bicycle, is always refreshing.
Bicycling has been my main activity of this first week of May, and we have explored most roads in the area. There are plenty of possibilities; there are roads of varying standards along the coast and criss crossing the inland.
The main reason for not exploring Crete on motorcycle has been a limited offer on bikes to rent. Motorcycles for rent have been well used old bikes and offered by companies with no feeling for motorcycle. When I rented a bike some years ago the quality of the bike ruined the experience. The situation has become much better and I can recommend Motorbike Rental, they have a variety of motorcycles and suited to the road conditions on Crete and well suited for paved and unpaved roads. If available I will recommend a Honda CB 500X, it’s a perfect bike for Crete. It isn’t a coincidence that the model selection is concentrated in small adventure bikes such as Yamaha XT 660 and BMW GS 650.
I have always stayed on the southeast coast east of Ierapetra with Makrigialos as a base. There are several small hotels to choose from, and Miramare Studios located right by the beach is just one of several attractive hotels. This is a good base for day trips, and close to the ocean front.
While the traffic on the north coast from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos i busy, the roads on the south coast and is more relaxed. With the exception of the main road to Sitia on the north side of the island, the roads here are mostly narrow and you should pay special attention on wet asphalt. When raining some roads get very slippery.
Crete is for those who want to enjoy relaxed driving and the many small roads takes you through villages and scenic areas that are not equally accessible by car. If you have some experience with gravel roads you have many opportunities for exciting excursions and creative route selections. A good map is recommended, not all roads are marked on the GPS maps. Inland, and not very far from the coast, it can be challenging to identify the many roads that cross back and forth in the valleys.
Among the larger places worthy a trip is the already mentioned Sitia on the north side of the island. If you continue along the coast to the north you will arrive in Agios Nikolaos which is also worthy a stop. I can recommend an excursion to the island of Spinalonga, famous from the book The Island by Victoria Hislop.
Life on the southern side of Crete has a more relaxed pace than in the tourist resorts on the north and west of the island. The contrast to a city like Heraklion is evident. Here is a vibrant city life and a visit can certainly be recommended. Also the Lasithi plateau and Zeus cave is worth a detour. Along the coast you will find many small villages such as Myrtos west of Ierapetra. And if you are tired of asphalt there are a myriad of dirt roads that take you to remote villages. You can really satisfy the adventurer in you. Be generous when calculating driving time, electronic navigation aids tend to calculate a much shorter travel time than what iss possible on these roads.
Route nearby Makry Gialos: