Explore some deserted villages

On this medium level cycle route near Lysos

Ride the Lysos Loop

Cycle route through deserted villages

If you're looking for deserted villages in Cyprus, try this medium cycling route through a GORGEOUS gorge near the village of Lysos.

The views are spectacular from every turn as you wind your way through pine forest before visiting the village of Lysos.

A hard climb onto the ridge above Lysos (known locally as Rocky Ridge) is then rewarded with a wonderful long descent through four deserted villages to the bottom of the Evretou valley.

The villages of Melandra, Zacharia, Istinjo and Sarama became deserted after the conflict in 1974 and the only inhabitants are now goats, sheep and pigs, tended by local farmers.

Istinjo - deserted village
Gorgeous gorge in Cyprus

Deserted Villages Cycle Ride


  • Start your journey at Abtoullinous Junction, clearly marked on the map.
  • Take the E4 around the hillside for 5km until you reach the main road.
  • Turn LEFT towards Lysos. After a coffee in the village, climb up through the village following signs to Melandra.
  • Once on the ridge, there are amazing views back towards the coast and also towards the Troodos mountains; on a clear day you can pick out Mount Olympus with its familiar golf ball marking the summit.
  • Next make your way DOWNHILL through the four villages until you reach the valley floor.
  • Turn LEFT past the "avenue" of Cyprus trees up the valley until you reach a NO ENTRY sign. This is the start of the GORGEOUS gorge.
  • NB: Inexperienced mountain bikers are advised to walk the first 300m of the gorge as the terrain is very rocky and the drop very steep... if you get it wrong! Take your time through the gorge to admire the views...they are spectacular.

  • At the end of the gorge, take a LEFT hand turn and follow the trail UPHILL all the way back to the junction where you have left your car.

Zacharia deserted village

TIP: You can do the route in reverse but then it becomes a HARD route as you will have a steep 6km CLIMB through the deserted villages.

Distance: 28km
Difficulty: MEDIUM The last 4km are UPHILL!
Terrain: Forest trails, 15% concrete/road, rocky sections and rough gravel through the gorge.

I hope you enjoy this favourite ride in the forest areas near Lysos village. If lucky, you may also see the Cyprus moufflon.

Kalo Pothilato!

Return from Deserted Villages Cycle Route to Cycling

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.