Hairy Roads in Crete

One of the hairiest (scariest) roads in Crete used to be the road down to Hora Sfakion until they did it up and toned it down. But now there is another, a recently tarmaced dirt road that leads from Kallikratis to Frangokastello. Kallikratis is a bit remote in the mountains above Argiropouli, but now, thanks I suspect to EU help, it is beginning to enter the real world.

Recently, about two weeks ago, I drove down this road in our little car with my wife, and she agrees, scary it certainly is. Anyway here is a lovely video by Dave Wood on Youtube of this exact road.

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16 thoughts on “Hairy Roads in Crete

  1. Ray – great video, thanks for posting it! I’m going to have to share it with a friend of mine who came to visit me a few months ago. It was her first time in Crete, and she’s prone to motion sickness so we had to stock up on motion sickness meds and restrict our excursions because she couldn’t deal with the windy roads:-( I’m sure she’ll appreciate the virtual tour;-)

  2. If I am not mistaken, this is the road where tourists go back by bus from Samaria Gorge (boat to Chora sfakion). I was there in 2008 and I remember those tunnels (that time) under construction and small unpaved road in the mountains above this “scary” road. I did not feel very well when looked down from 2nd floor of the bus, seeing just big canyon and no solid soil under the bus. It was lot more scarier than this road.

    I was there second time this year (by a car), and it’s nothing compared to 2008.

    • No, this is a different road. Much narrower and tighter bends. Buses would never get round the hairpins. There was a time when even long wheel base land rovers had to do three point turns at each bend.

  3. Last year we took this road on our trip to Chora! One of the most beautiful roads I ever did in Crete! Thanks for sharing this movie, it brings back those good memories!

  4. Asking if better and safer roads by themselves mean the alleged character of Crete is “being destroyed” is rather imbecilic. Safety has to become a priority in this country which has the highest per capita road mortality figures in Europe (not that anyone cares). Yes, that’s right – you stand a much better chance of getting killed here in Greece – and especially on Crete – than anywhere else. Stupid roads are only part of the problem. A near total lack of enforcement of road rules is another. A complete absence of any kind of safety culture is another.

    What you should ask is whether better roads mean buses full of package tourists can now get somewhere where the tour operators couldn’t get before – now that *will* destroy local character. But controlling rampant package tourism is another issue. Safety has to take priority – unless you want one of those silly little boxes with the cross on top put up on the side of one of those hairpin bends in honor of your corpse or those of your loved ones.

    • Why people resort to personal insults amazes me. Calling someone imbecilic (i.e. having the mental capacity of a 3 – 7 year old) because they did not have the same agenda as yourself is unacceptably disrespectful.

  5. It was better without the asphalt. A beautiful road used by first of all the provata at Kallikratis and then their owners.
    When winter is closing in which the animals feel they start the walk back down to Frangokastello and people just have to follow. Fantastic.

  6. I’m with Lars – Kalikratis to Frango was a far more interesting road before they laid asphalt in about 2006 – it was part of the Rally of Crete, so if the video is frightening, imagine racing down it. The dust on some hairpins was over 300mm deep, which made braking interesting on the way down, but locals would drive up in a Daihatsu Matiz with 4 adults in it. Unfortunately, the tarmac has led to more tourists – most of whom just drive through, rather than stop and engage with the locals.

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