Cyprus walking travel guide

CYPRUS WALKING HOLIDAYS TRAVEL GUIDE


2 MINUTE SUMMARY

Although the Cyprus Tourism Organisation has concentrated on walks in the south, itís Cyprusís Turkish north that holds the lionís share of timeless tracks with the 100km ridge along the Kyrenia Mountains flanked by views over the Med and the Mesaoria Plains. Tear yourself away from crusader castles for a moment and youíll find walks to turtle nesting grounds and ancient monasteries along the Karpas Peninsula to the east; however, roads are rough, with belligerent, braying donkeys best bypassed with just a nod.

Back in southern Cyprus, less confrontational paths can be found around the islandís highest point, Mt Olympus, within the central Troodos Mountains, where Artemis lays claim to one of the best circular walks on Cyprus. More myths and legends prevail the further west you walk with the Akamas Panorama featuring the Baths of Aphrodite and the start of the Adonis and Aphrodite trails which lead over dusty gravel tracks to some of the islandís finest stretches of unblemished coastline.

Find out more in our Cyprus walking vacations travel guide.

WALKING HOLIDAYS IN CYPRUS


WHAT DOES WALKING IN CYPRUS ENTAIL?

Small group or self-guided


Choosing between self guided and small group walking vacations in Cyprus depends on whether you prefer to walk with detailed trip notes or an experienced guide. Small groups are suited for walkers who like to make friends along the trail with the added bonus of local knowledge to transform seemingly meaningless rocky ruins into fantastical folklore. Self guided walking vacations in Cyprus allow you to choose your own adventure, from a selection of trails, where you can set off at a time that suits you depending on how you feel and the number of meze dishes consumed the night before.

Mountain trails & coastal paths


Although the Troodos are a high point for hikers, the Kyrenia/Beşparmak Mountains, along the north coast, certainly arenít to be outshone with crusader castles, ruined monasteries and plenty of opportunities to explore deserted Mediterranean beaches. Aside from the notched north, the Akamas Peninsula, jutting out to the west, also holds some wonderful walking routes such as the Aphrodite Trail, which leads through dense thickets of pine and juniper to reveal low lying cliffs, sand dunes and beaches that remain, thankfully, untouched by all but migratory birds and nesting turtles.

Ancient & natural encounters


Cyprus abounds with ancient wonders, including those found within Paphos Archaeological Park, although ití not always possible to combine a walk with such sites. However, there are several short walks featuring stone built villages, medieval Venetian bridges and weather-worn watermills and vineyards to provide some fascinating points of interest during a week away. Aside from ancient heritage, Cyprus has a wealth of woodland paths and verdant valley trails with black pine, cedar, juniper and yellow flowering sea broom and gorse allowing longer distances and wild encounters with sea turtles and migratory birds or horned mouflon and semi-feral, dusty, donkeys.

Centre based or point to point


Cyprus holds some superb self catering properties in close knit villages, such as Kalavassos, Platres, Droushia and Vouni, where responsible tourism is helping to conserve these rural communities. Opting for a base from where to start a series of walks is ideal for travelers looking for relaxation without having to pack and unpack or worry about reaching the next hotel. Alternatively, point to point walking invites an adventure, more variety, as you walk from one traditional village inn or B&B to the next, with luggage and a cooked meal ready and waiting upon arrival.

BEST TIME TO GO ON A WALKING HOLIDAY IN CYPRUS


TEMPERATURE & RAINFALL

In springtime, the Akamas Peninsula surrenders to blood red poppies, cyclamen, gladioli, iris, chrysanthemum, hyacinth, anemones and the heavenly scent of flowering rosemary to make Mar-Apr the best time to walk in Cyprus for wildflowers. May-Oct is hot, hot, hot, so give these months a miss or set off early with the promise of ocean dips and shaded pine forests to alleviate heat. Accommodation rates fall with the leaves which can be tempting for those wishing to walk in Cyprus in Oct-Nov although damp Dec and Jan can make conditions slippery underfoot whilst snow clouds gather over Mt Olympus.
Photo credit: [Topbox: nh53] [Small group or self-guided: dolanh] [Ancient and natural encounters: Dickelbers] [Temp chart: Adam Raoof] [Helpdesk: Ronald Saunders]

Written by Chris Owen
Cyprus self guided hiking vacation, North Cyprus

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