Life is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page

Gouves (Iraklio) - Imvros - Aradena - Chora Sfakion - Fragokastelo

Trip Details

Date: Sun, 13/03/2005
Distance: 364 km
Motorcyclists: Sakis, Manolis, Christos, Ploumisti, Aris, - Nikos (BMW1150), Thodoris (Honda CBR600), Nikos (Yamaha FAZER600), Κostas (DUCATI)
Copilots: Ada, Elpida, Giannis
Photographers: Manolis, Ploumisti
Authors: Manolis
Translators: Ada
Map: Trip map
Photographs: Link

Sightseeing map

This route was the second one we made during the three days trip to Crete. We really enjoyed the company of our new Cretan “biker” friends: Nikos and Yannis with a BMW GS1150, Thodoris and Elpida with a CBR600, Nikos with a Fazer600 and Kostas with a Ducatti. Our companion was big with all types of motorcycles!!!
We got started early in the morning, as we had to cover enough kilometers, a lot of them without the possibility of driving fast. The meteorological forecast was also not so optimistic... although Aris assured us that “not a single drop will fall from the sky….”!!!
We arranged an appointment close to one of the exits of city of Heraklion that would be convenient for everybody. Our first destination for the morning coffee was the village of Vrysses, on the way to Chania. Generally, on the way from Heraklion to Chania, you can drive fast, except certain points where the road surface is not satisfied and need extra care.
Reaching the central square of the village Vrysses, we stopped at a cafeteria next to the river that passes through the village. There we had the first opportunity to discuss with our new friends from Crete. Nice people and very friendly, characteristic of most residents of Crete. The weather seemed worst to the direction we were driving... We were leaving the sunshine behind and leading ourselves directly in the storm, as sun was covering the bigger part of Crete and only the N.W. part was cloudy! That part was our destination…
We left from Vrysses and after a few kilometers, we saw the first drops fall. We entered the gorge of Imbros while the cars that were coming from the opposite direction, made us a sign, trying to inform us about the weather… We stopped in order to wear the raincoats and continued crossing the gorge of Imbros. The street was very narrow with continuous turns. A lot of turns and the road in very bad condition but... nothing could make us stop!!!
Reaching to the end of gorge, there is a wooden canteen on the left side of the road. We stopped to take some pictures and of course, to drink a raki (traditional Cretan drink), while the rain continued!... We also cleaned our helmets that had blurred!!! There, we met also the owner of that place, who said us that he made everything by himself, although it seemed to us a little difficult… he had only one leg, one hand and one eye!!!
After this small pause, we continued to Hora Sfakion, with the rain getting stronger and stronger... We reached the village of Sfakia and took the street for Anopolis, in order to visit Aradena. The road goes up the hill, narrow with many turns, but it is not tedious. It deserves the effort, if you find yourselves at Sfakia. The map we had, when we visited this area in 2003, showed this road like an off-road one, therefore we had decided not to continue. However, our local friends informed us that the same road t was asphalt until up to village Agios Ioannis.
Aradena is an old abandoned village, next to a gorge. The villagers, in order to reach their village, were crossing paths through the gorge, which still exist. Nowadays, an iron bridge (military type) connects one part with the other. The village is still very beautiful. You have the possibility to walk through the abandoned houses, some of them in good shape. Unfortunately, because of the strong rain, we did not have that chance but we still enjoyed the landscape of the gorge and the village from the point of the bridge.
We returned to Sfakia, where Aris, Ada, Thodoris and Elpida were waiting for us. We decided to take a break at the cafeteria and we “embraced" the stove to get warm and dry…. It is difficult to describe to you the condition of our gloves!!! After a while the rain stopped. We gathered and took the direction for Fragokastelo. The sun was keeping us company for the bigger part of the way. We reached the sea, and stopped at Fragokastelo to take some pictures again. We continued by the coast for the village Plakias, to find a place to eat. Last time we visited the same area, we did not have the chance to enjoy it, because the wind was so that forced us to move with maximum speed of 20km/h!!!
Finally, we stopped to eat at the village Armenoi, around 20km before Rethimnon. Because of the day, the taverns were full. Nevertheless, we found the tavern of a motorcyclist and member of the local club of Crete... unfortunately, I do not remember the name of club. It was getting dark when we finished our food, therefore we took also the way back.
A few kilometers before Heraklion, we stopped on the national road to say goodbye to our friends, the Cretan motorcyclists who co-ride with us. We got the chance, once more, to confirm the fame of the most hospitable people of Greece!!!