CYPRUS WALKING ROUTES
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME
The Karpas Peninsula, along the northeasterly arm of Cyprus, offers rough road access to sandy stretches while the limestone spine of the Kyrenia Mountains promises lofty views over the Med as well as, from east to west, the crusader castles of Kantara, Buffavento and Saint Hilarion. Explore away from the north and the centrally located Troodos Mountains rise for walks around Mt Olympus, the island’s highest point (1,952m), with nearby pine and cedar forests providing welcome shade, perfect for leafy, stumble trip trails to hidden waterfalls. An hour’s drive east from Troodos takes you to the capital, Nicosia, while the same distance south finds you at Limassol, on the coast, whilst the northwest belongs to the Akamas Peninsula and the legendary Baths of Aphrodite.
Akamas Panorama walk
Traversing the Akamas Peninsular on the west coast of Cyprus, this 13km walk starts from the village of Droushia and ends at the beautiful Baths of Aphrodite with the summit of Moutti Tis Sotiras (370m) proving the adage: size doesn’t matter. Expect to find dusty trails flanked by sea broom, juniper and carob trees leading to ruined monasteries and sweeping views towards the ocean.
Cape Kormakiti & Sadrazamkoy
This circular coastal walk takes you on a 10km round trip from the village of Sadrazamkoy on Cape Kormakiti to make the most of the far-reaching scenes over Guzelyurt Bay. Following the coast southwards delivers easy footpaths in between natural low lying sand dunes and the fringes of the Akdeniz Forest where sea broom, Calabrian pine, junipers and acacia align the route.
Give yourself an early start from Panagia Apsinthiotissa monastery at the foot of the Kyrenia Mountains before undertaking around 600 steps to Buffavento Castle, the highest of the three Kyrenia crusader castles. Once you've recovered from the climb and inevitable wind buffeting you'll find an isolated ridge road allowing for 'there and back' distances in sight of St. Hilarion.
Five finger mountains
The clenched knuckles of the Beşparmak Mountains are one of the island's natural treasures and offer 360-degree panoramas over the Med and Meseora Plain. Recommended walks feature both easy (8km) and extended (13km) routes which follow fist-like contours through pungent pines leading to the hidden, monastic ruins of Viran Kilisie and Sourp Magar.
Made up of four smaller components the 13km Madari circular trail starts from the fire lookout point on Madari Peak near one of the most picturesque villages on the island, Polystypos. Surrounded by golden oaks, junipers, sage, pines and Cypriot cedar trees the trail is a sensory delight with volcanic rock formations adding to views over Morphou Bay and the Troodos range to the north.
Troodos mountain trails
There are a couple of walks which circumnavigate the island’s highest point, Mt Olympus (1952m). The 13km Atalante trail starts from Troodos Square and features thick pine and juniper forests (max 1750m). The 7km Artemis trail starts a little higher up and promises more of the same at over 1800m. Add the nearby 3km Caledonia Falls trail for contrast, just don't expect Niagara.
CYPRUS WALKING HOLIDAYS ADVICE
TIPS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN CYPRUS
“Steer clear of the sprawling ugly developments that have sadly ruined much of the south. The only viable places in the south which are still relatively unspoilt are the Troodos Mountains and the Akamas Peninsula. In the North, which is still relatively untouched by tourism, there’s wonderful scenery with fantastic walking trails. However, it’s very difficult to walk without carefully-researched directions, particularly as maps are unobtainable and there are very few publications.”
The colours of Spring
“The first splash of spring is the bright yellow Bermuda buttercup and brilliant yellow carpets of crown daisies interspersed with bright red poppies. There are also many varieties of anemone with all their subtle variations from white to red, pink, pale lavender, violet and purple. Then there’s the vibrant blue anchusas, alkanets and bugloss. That’s not to mention the 44 different species of orchid, including the tiny pink Anatolian Orchid which abounds in March and April.”
CYPRUS WALKING HOLIDAYS TRAVEL ADVICE
TIPS FROM OUR TRAVELLERS
Photo credits: [Map topbox: Michael Homan] [Akamas Panorama walk: China Crisis] [Cape Kormakiti and Sadrazamkoy: George M. Groutas] [Crusader Castles: George M. Groutas] [Five finger mountains: muffinn] [Madari Trail: Graptaloyia] [Troodos mountain trails: Melissa Wall] [North/South Divide: Wojciech Biegun] [The colours of spring: muffinn] [Tips1: nh53] [Tips2: Son of Groucho]