When you think of Cyprus, you’re likely to conjure images of lazy beach days and prolonged soaking in the hot sun. It isn’t usually the first place that comes to mind when searching for a top hiking destination – but it should be! Cyprus sits at the crossroads of three continents and is host to a rich and diverse landscape layered in mountains, coastal paths and countryside. It offers itself as a wonderful site for hikers of any experience level and those eagerly searching for a plethora of stunning views. Here are a few of our favourite walks to tickle your fancy, but for the adventurous sort you’re sure to find plenty of exciting off-track paths as well.
Start Point: Baths of Aphrodite
Distance: 8 km. 370m at the highest peak
Best for: This one is for all you serious go-getters of the hiking world. It has some challenging spots and thigh-burning uphill climbs so make sure you’re donning the proper walking attire. It might be best for first timers to skip this hike until you’ve built up some more confidence but you will miss out on the incredible shots over the Akamas Peninsula. It’s a very rewarding finish indeed – don’t forget your camera or else you won’t be able to smugly boast about it!
The Aphrodite Trail is considered one of the most picturesque trails in all of Cyprus. Guess it suits being named after the Greek goddess of beauty and pleasure!
Duration: 3-4 hours depending on how many pictures and snack breaks you take.
How to get here: You can travel by bus from Paphos, on the 645 from Karavella bus station to Polis. It leaves every hour from 8am and will take about 50 minutes. You can then change to the 622 to go to the Baths of Aphrodite. This also leaves on the hour and the journey is an easy-going half hour ride.
Where to stay: You’ll be spoilt for choice of fabulous hotels to stay in, check out some reviews online and it’ll be pretty difficult to go wrong.
Agros Kato Mylos Nature Trail
Start point: Close to the Rodon hotel.
Distance: 6 km.
Best for: A rather fragrant hike for nature-lovers wishing to experience the orchards, vineyards and rose bushes that this small town is known for. It would probably make for a good couple’s hike as well – who needs a measly bouquet when you can relax in a field of flowers with that special someone! Every spring the town hosts an annual rose festival in which thousands of roses are used to make lovely rosewater. It’s a very popular destination as there are also dances, feasts and ceremonies to take part in! You can cheekily pop into some of them mid-hike if you like. The walk is a little tricky in some parts but overall not too hard for a casual walker to take on.
What’s more, Agros has a very small population so you can avoid all the bothersome crowds and tourists that you might encounter elsewhere in Cyprus and instead enjoy some quiet, much deserved you-time with beautiful nature surrounds. If you are in the mood for cultural interaction you’ll find that the locals are very friendly and will happily give you a sense of the lifestyle in rural Cyprus. The hike is also perfect if you need to hastily burn some fat after gorging on some of the sumptuous and sweet food that the island has to offer.
Duration: Just 2 hours, so you really have no excuse not to fit it into your holiday schedule.
How to get here: It’s probably best to drive as there’s not much available in terms of public transport in this region. Hire a driver or rent your own and you can add a fun road trip to the hiking mix.
Where to stay: Unfortunately there are also not many hotels available in Agros because it’s such a teeny town. You could stay in a nearby place like Rodon, which is a hit with people around Greece as a weekend break destination. It also follows on from the rose theme as its name Rodon means ‘rose’.
Troodos Trails: Artemis
Starting point: It’s a bit of an unusual start – but don’t let that deter you! Begin by the small brown hut along the road leading up to Mount Olympus (Chionistra). Ignore the deceptive signs and follow the narrow track to the immediate left of the hut.
Distance: 7 km.
Best for: The trail circles the magnificent Mount Olympus in the Troodos Mountains. On a good clear day the views can stretch out as far as the coast of Limassol. With such striking scenery, it’s no surprise that the site is often chosen as a venue for enviable wedding ceremonies. The ruins set into the mountain sides and the flowers that come out to bloom in autumn make it such an idyllic place to share those vows or to take remarkable photographs.
This is another great one for experienced walkers or those who enjoy a bit of a challenge. The terrain can get a bit rough so be careful of your footing – particularly in winter where you also have to mind the icy slopes and keep a beady eye on those skiers zooming past you! You should also of course have your eye on the wonderful views all around.
Duration: 2-3 hours
How to get here: It is very convenient to reach by bus, or alternatively it is a 1 hour 15 drive from Pathos International Airport.
Where to stay: You can peruse a great list of rural retreats and family run hotels to stay in here
I’m a travel blogger currently trying to evade death by crushing each morning on London’s monstrous tube system.