Driving on Crete
The best way to see and explore Lasithi is to drive around with a car (or motorbike). It’s a great way to see all the beautiful places and get to the little unknown villages, remote areas and hidden beaches. There are many really beautiful roads, with amazing views, and quite often the drive itself is the best part of the trip.
The roads in Lasithi vary greatly in quality and condition. The major roads between the bigger towns and along the coasts are in good condition. These include the road from Neapoli and Agios Nikólaos to Ierapetra or Sitia, from Ierapetra to Myrtos and from Ierapetra to Makrigialos and from there again to Sitia.
Besides these major roads there are many good roads that are easy to drive, like the roads to Males, Anatoli, Kalamafka, Prina, Kritsa, Zakros, Xerokambos, Vai and Palekastro. Most of them are fully asphalted, and if there is a dusty part then it’s a flat and good to drive part. Some have sharp hairpin turns or blind turns, where you have to pay attention. These roads all have signs, and are mostly correctly described on maps so finding your way is not too difficult. A good road map is an essential companion on your trips though.
There are many dusty roads that are most of the time good to drive. It is not always easy to see if you can drive these with a normal car, as the first part can be good, but other parts can be bad, and not possible to drive with a normal car. If you want to be sure you can drive pretty much any road, then get a 4WD. Take care on these roads and drive slow. Most of these roads have no signs, so figure out beforehand how to drive somewhere. Ask the locals for information on the state of the road or for directions.
And then there are roads and tracks where a 4WD is essential, like the road from Males to Katharo, the road from Tryphti to Afendis, most roads on Estavromenos, and many little mountain-roads. Some of the roads are either so bad, or in a few cases so steep, that it can be dangerous. Be very careful when driving (high) up in the mountains, and don’t drive these roads if you have no or little experience with driving on roads like these. When in doubt, turn around.
What to watch out for:
- the distance on the map says nothing about the actual travel-time
- potholes (all roads, including asphalt)
- stones and loose gravel on the main roads (especially after rain/heavy winds/in winter)
- sheep or goats crossing the road (often just after a bend)
- holes and rocks sticking out of the road (dusty roads)
- locals wanting to overtake you (watch the mirror and move to the shoulder lane)
- tractors, little white pick up trucks, mopeds and even pedestrians on major roads
- water and mud on the road (you never know how deep it is)
Want to go explore all these great places yourself? Contact me for a rental car or more information.