distance: 52Km total vertical gain: 1073m
Stage 4 of the Tour of Crete leads further inland into the prefecture of Chania. The distance may seem short at a total of 52 kilometers, but the scenic diversity, the gorgeous albeit challenging climb of Zourvas and the passing through the tall and narrow Therisso Gorge, will leave you surprised in how all this can be distiled in so few kilometers. This is one of the many marvelous attributes that Crete has to offer to you.
The stage could be described as having a single long grade 1 climb that stars off easy and steadily ramps up to steep gradients. The initial 10 km into the plains of Alikianos are pretty much flat and packed with lemon, orange and olive trees. Past Alikianos it’s a steady climb up the gully of Keritis river up to Meskla village where the scenery changes into a dense foliage of sycamore trees. Just past the sightly village church begins the climb of Zourvas. The following kilometers offer multiple turns, ever-increasing gradients and striking landscapes leading up to the intense final 9 km with 522 m of climb into an elevation of 706 meters above sea level. Past that point it’s pretty much descending for the next 10 km with a passing through the thrilling Therisso gorge. After having visited numerous villages and 13 additional kilometers later, the riders return to spend their last day in Platanias.