Ride an e-bike to Manna mountain, highest mountain on the West coast of Crete

Destination: Manna mountain, the highest mountain on the West coast of Crete at almost 900m a.s.l.
Date: Monday, April 1st, start at 9:00am
Meeting point: Venizelos square, Kissamos
Distance: about 35km
Estimated time: 2:30h on the bike, 30 minutes walking, 4:00h total
Ascent: about 1000m
Route: Galouvas, Lousakies, Zachariana, mountain top and back via slightly different route.
Off-road: about 17km
Estimated difficulty level: 4/5
Link to route: https://goo.gl/maps/1ayd8Cv6mD62
Link to profile (not exact): http://bit.ly/2U8tSz1

So Fiona and I went up the mountain yesterday.

You can see the gps track here:

The elevation profile and the route are not completely truthful, the map gets confused because it lacks parts of the track coming down so there is no connection, and uses isntead the same route to go back, but that’s not what we did. See below for description.

The route we took to go up, from the North-West, is definitely not for the faint-hearted, or for the beginners. The slopes are crazy, the cliff fall next to the road is steep, the terrain, especially when you turn around the mountain on its West and South side, is largely completely loose gravel with non-existent grip. I do wonder if more experienced, stronger and better equipped bikers could ride up that track. The last few hundred metres of vertical ascent we just pushed the bikes, continuously slipping on our feet.

The views are breathtaking, and in the end we made it to the end of the track.

Then we came down from the other side, North-East towards Zachariana, and while some parts were again very loose gravel, the slopes were not as steep and definitely doable. It was fun riding down the hill, the road winds down with long zig-zags.

Another time we are going to do the climb up from the East side and maybe go down South-East, towards Galouvas village.

A few pictures of the way up, first the easy then the hard part: