Nature trails in Cyprus
Explore Cyprus on foot, by following one of the 52 designated walking trails that have been created to highlight the island’s beautiful landscape and Mediterranean character. Cyprus is renowned for its natural beauty and enviable climate and although it is possible to take advantage of these hiking trails any time of the year, the recommended seasons are during autumn and spring when rural areas are in full bloom and the weather is favourable. The trails are scattered around Cyprus with the most popular areas being in Akamas, Troodos and Cavo Greko. These trails will take you on a journey through rich natural vegetation and places with historic and cultural features. Most of the trails have signposts at the starting point of the hike to indicate the kilometers and gradient of the walk as well as flora and geological features you will find en route. The Cyprus trails offer alternative tourism in the form of outdoor recreation and physical activity whilst admiring the beautiful environment and learning the history and traditions of the island.
Hiking is very popular in Cyprus, with organized walking routes specially designed to follow specific themes. There are Nature trails, Walking trails, Sports trails, Geo routes and Botanical trails for you to pick from depending on which area you are in. Trails are characterized as linear or circular and they have been graded by distance and degree of difficulty. At each starting point there is usually a kiosk with a map showing the route and main points of interest with warnings of possible dangers for hikers, like cliffs and river crossings. These trails will have signs with information on the environment, the flora and historical and cultural features. There are plenty of signs with directions and in some cases you will find wooden benches in areas of particular beauty, if you want to take a break. There are also fountain with drinking water on the longer routes. It is wise to make sure that you have enough water with you and also a mobile phone in case of an emergency.
There are three degrees of difficulty on these trails, category 1 are the easy trails with gentle gradients and these are suitable for all ages. Category 2 are medium trails which have sudden changes in gradient and are more suitable for fit and able adults. When it comes to category 3, you can expect a high degree of difficulty with sudden changes in gradient, rough and slippery narrow terrain. You would have to be physically fit and able to tackle these difficult trails.
There are over 50 trails to choose from and we have listed the top eight below. For more information you can log onto the Department of Forestry www.moa.gov.cy/forest or the Cyprus Tourism Organization www.visitcyprus.com
Aphrodite Trail (circular)
This trail start from the Baths of Aphrodite in the Polis area in Paphos. There are springs with drinking water at two points and it is considered to be a category 2 trail. This trail links up with the Adonis trail.
Length: 7.5 km - Duration: 3 hours – Degree of difficulty: 2
Pissouromoutti Trail (circular)
Starting at the Smigies picnic site, this trail has great views of Polis Bay and the Akamas beaches.
Length: 3 km - Duration: 1 1/2 hours – Degree of difficulty: 2
This trail follows the Kryos Potamos River and passes the Kalidonia Falls. Starting point is 700m from the road between Troodos and Platres or from the forest road that begins at the tourist square, and end at Psilo Dendro in Pano Platres.
Length: 3 km - Duration: 1.5 hours – Degree of difficulty: 3
Panagia tou Araka-Stavros tou Ayiasmati Trail (Linear)
This trail is also in the Troodos area and starts from Panagia tou Araka Church or Stavros tou Ayiasmati church which is 8 km from Platanistasa Village. You will be able to visit these two churches which date back to 1192AD and 1494AD respectively. Both these churches are listed as part of the painted churches of Troodos and are UNESCO World heritage sites. The trail runs through dense pine forests, orchards and old stone terraces with views of Morfou Bay and the Pendathaktilos Mountains.
Length: 7 km – Duration: 3 hours – Degree of difficulty: 3
Ariadne Trail (Circular)
For this route the starting point is the ‘Tree Tops hotel’ just after Gerakies village and takes you en route to Panagia tou Kykkou monastery. Picturesque villages and the Marathasa valley are part of this beautiful countryside with lush vegetation on the fringe of the Paphos forest. A visit to the monastery is possible and this area has great historical interest.
Length: 5 km – Duration: 2.5 hours – Degree of difficulty: 3
Kannoures – Agios Nikolaos Tis Stegis (Kakopetria) Trail (linear)
The starting point for this interesting walk is the main Karvounas – Troodos square road and ends at Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis church, or if preferred, Kakopetria village. This trail follows the scenic route of the Karyotis River and goes past the now disused chromium mine and ends at the church of Agios Nikolaos which is one of the painted churches listed by UNESCO as a heritage site.
Length: 9km (12 km up to Kakopetria village) – Duration: 3 hours (4 hours up to Kakopetria village) – Degree of difficulty: 3 due to its length. Relatively easy, mainly downhill route.
Konnos - Spilia Kyklopa (Cyclopes Cave)
Starting point for this trial is Konnos beach, between Protaras and Cavo Greko. This trail will take you along the coast leading to natural caves. A kiosk operates on Konnosi beach for the hiker’s convenience.
Length: 2.4 km – Duration: 45 minutes – Degree of difficulty: 1
Konnos - Agioi Anargyroi
This trial also starts at Konnos beach but takes you to the little church of Agioi Anargyroi which is built over a sea cave and said to be the home of Saints Kosmas and Damianos. This trail will take you past amazing sea views and also offers the possibility of exploring the amazing sea caves in this area.
Length: 1.4 km – Duration: 30 minutes – Degree of difficulty: 1