Looking for Cyprus walks? Read my tips on the best routes, the best time to visit and the best walking guide to purchase before you travel to Cyprus.
Aphrodite Trail - Akamas
Walking is one of my many passions and I spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors with my husband Al and our dogs Rocky and Arnie, looking for new trails and admiring the spectacular views.
We certainly know some of the best places to walk in Cyprus so I thought I'd share some tips for you here.
I came to Cyprus armed with an invaluable little book called the Rother Walking Guide to Cyprus. and it helped us find our way round many of the best trails very quickly.
The other key thing that helped us was the FREE nature trail guide, available from the Cyprus Tourism Office (the CTO). There are offices in all the major towns.
Tip: NEW - Cicerone, the specialist in outdoor walking, climbing and trekking guides with over 320 publications, has just added a Walking in Cyprus guide to their collection.
Covering both the South and the North of the island, this pocket-size guide contains 44 Cyprus walks varying in length and difficulty from 3km to 20km. There are crystal-clear custom maps alongside the route descriptions and an image for each walk and the fantastic thing about this new Cyprus walking guide is that, after purchasing the guide, all the routes are available to download in GPX format.
In addition, the new Cicerone guide has useful information sections including transport, accommodation and border crossing tips together with a brief history of the island and what to look out for in terms of flora and fauna. The walk summary appendix at the back also gives an immediate overview of the distances and time required for each walk plus how much elevation and descent is involved.
Having lived in Cyprus for 14 years now, I do know many of the walks in the guide intimately, but I can highly recommend this great little guide, especially as you can just follow your GPS afer downloading the routes - a bit like having your own personal guide!
There are around 200km of purpose-built tracks across nearly 50 nature trails on the island, all of which are signposted with useful waymarkers telling you about the various shrubs and trees on your chosen trail.
One of our favourite walking areas in Cyprus is the 79 sq km Akamas Peninsula on the far west of the island, which is a haven of wild, natural beauty, thanks to its inaccessible bumpy tracks - 4x4 definitely required if you are not on foot.
Breathtaking blue lagoons
Amidst the huge gorges and rocky mis-shapen coastline, almost 600 species of plant can be found and a walk in spring among the colourful rock cyclamen, orchids and wild thyme is pretty hard to beat.
If you are brave enough to venture to the highest point on the Akamas, that of Moutti tis Sotiras on the Aphrodite trail, you will be rewarded with one of the most breathtaking views on the entire island, that of the blue lagoons.
Legend has it that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, brought her lover Adonis to the beautiful Akamas for love making, which is why two of the nature trails on the peninsula bear their names - the Aphrodite and Adonis trails.
Sadly, the fragile beauty of the Akamas is forever threatened by mass tourism with greedy hoteliers and developers eyeing up the peninsula as the last portion of Cyprus to be untouched, as yet.
Thankfully, the European Union is watching the Cypriot government closely to ensure it remains a National park and. while there is talk of putting a tarmac road through the peninsula, so far the area remains fairly inaccessible; long may it stay that way I say!
Build your own snowman!
The spring season of March to early May is definitely the best time for walking as the temperature is more agreeable and the landscape is awash with the colours of spring. Winter, however, can be equally fun if you are lucky enough to avoid any rain.
If you choose to walk in the Troodos or anywhere above 1000m after a fall of snow, you feel like you're walking in the Alps! When we built this snowman, on the Horteri trail near Stavros tis Psokas, it was actually March.
Of course you don't just have to choose nature trails for your Cyprus walks. Simple routes through mountain villages across valleys and gorges are equally enjoyable and, in spring, you are more likely to spot one of the 45 different species of orchids that grow in Cyprus as they are common in many of the valleys.
Flavomarginata wild orchid
If you do plan to venture off the beaten track or want to know where to find the rarest orchids and other wild flowers, I would recommend hiring a walking guide.
A guide can also organise transport and accommodation if required, taking the hassle out of finding an unspoilt walking trail, plus a local guide will always know the best place for a beer or a coffee after your walk!
Tip: On Cyprus walks near remote mountain villages, you will sometimes be asked to stop for a drink by a local. This often means sharing a bottle of Zivania, a fairly rough local spirit made from the remains of the wine making process. BE WARNED, it is very strong and does not have the nickname "fire water" for nothing!
Now I've given you a taste of the type of Cyprus walks you can expect to find, see the links below for a selection of our favourite Cyprus walking trails.
And if you like what you've read so far, let me know by clicking that little LIKE box at the bottom of the page :)
Links to my Favourite Cyprus Walks:
Favourite Things to Do