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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Hiking in Cyprus

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When considering visiting Cyprus, hiking may not be a top choice. Many people associate Cyprus with its resorts and beaches. Our recent trip to Cyprus showed that there is more to Cyprus than just sun, sea and deep history. There are also a number of natural landscapes and geological diversity making hiking on the island an enjoyable experience.

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Cyprus is a great hiking destination with its rugged coastlines, spectacular Troodos Mountains and forests full of old, gnarly pine, cypress, and juniper trees. You can also enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle with its mild climate almost year round, its location in southern Europe, fascinating history, delicious local food, and increasing quality wines.

Top Cyprus’s Hiking Trails

Although Cyprus is a small island, the hiking trails offer a wide range of landscapes and styles. You’ll notice from the photos that each hiking trail highlighted was different to the other, which makes for an enjoyable hiking experience.

Many of the trails are in protected areas. We recommend downloading GPX tracks or using your favorite map app (we use pocketEarth to get offline maps) or hiking app. (We use Komoot, AllTrails). You’ll always have a digital copy of the trail, in case you get lost. Because Cyprus’ environment is fragile and its natural beauty is delicate, it is important to follow marked trails and be respectful of the surroundings.

Check the weather forecast before you go, as it can change quickly, especially in winter. Bad weather can make hiking unpleasant and dangerous, especially for canyon hikes. It is a good idea to start early to enjoy the sunrise and end before it gets too hot.

Take a moment to breathe deeply, take in the scenery, and be grateful for where you are.

Hiking in Cyprus, coastal view from the Aphrodite Loop hiking trail.

Aphrodite Loop Extended – Best Hike for Coastal Views in Cyprus

The Aphrodite Loop, located in the northern part of Cyprus near Akamas Forest is one of the most popular hikes on the island. It’s known for its stunning cliffs and breathtaking coastal views. You will pass the Baths of Aphrodite, a waterfall grotto in botanical gardens, and then continue on to some juniper-dotted rocks to the Moutti Tiras overlooking Cape Arnoutis.

The trail descends past ruins of a medieval monastery and an oak tree that is 500 years old. It also passes through many forests with mountain goats.

Distance: 11.5 km / 7.15 miles

Time: 3-4 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Aphrodite and Adonis Loop Trail Map and Tracks

Avakas Gorge Trail – Most Dramatic Hike in Cyprus

This hike is both breathtakingly beautiful and difficult due to the Avakas Gorge’s depth. Although most people only go to the end of the Avakas Gorge after the first kilometer, this segment has the most stunning landscapes and requires the least effort. We encourage you to continue on until the end.

The gorge is for the brave and fit. It winds up and widens in striking ways. Wild goats may be found grazing in the hillsides.

Hiking in Cyprus, Avakas Gorge Hike

Distance: 10 km / 6 miles

Time: 3-4 hours

Difficulty: Moderate-Hard (Do not attempt this trail when raining or if there is any risk of rain.)

Avakas Gorge Trail Map and Tracks

Atalante Trail – Best Troodos Mountains Hiking

A peak at Mount Olympus, located in the middle of Cyprus’ Troodos Mountains is close to 2,000m. This means that you can ski in winter (yes, there are ski resorts in Cyprus), but also that there are some amazing Troodos Mountains hiking paths.

The Atalante Trail Loop was our choice as it made a loop around Mount Olympus. It was also a bit longer than the Artemis Trail (8km / 5miles).

Hiking in Cyprus, Troodos Mountains Atalante Hiking Trail

Distance: 14.75 km / 9 miles

Time: 4-5 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Atalante Trail Map and Tracks

Cape Greco Hiking Trail, Sea Caves to Konnos Beach

  • This Cape Greco hike took us first to the sea caves, a collection of sandstone rock formations that stand in dramatic contrast to the crystal clear turquoise waters below. We then continued along the coastal trail past the hilltop with a view over the entire cape.

There are many hiking trails that lead to Cape Greco National Forest Park, and even up to Cape Greco. Some paths are very short and only take you to the Cape Greco Viewpoint, the sea caves or the Ayioi Annargyroi chapel. We were looking for something longer and more continuous so we could stretch our legs and take in more of the natural landscapes along Cyprus’ eastern coast, near Ayia Naapa.

The most dramatic scenery can be found along the coast for the first 5-6km / 3-4 miles. We then returned to the trailhead by taking an inland route.

Hiking in Cyprus, Cape Greco Trails

Distance: 10 km

Time: 2.5 – 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Cape Greco Sea Caves to Konnos Beach Trail Map and Tracks

The Best Time to Go Hiking in Cyprus

From the end of December through the beginning of January, we hiked in winter Cyprus. It was a beautiful time to hike, with temperatures in the mid- to high 60s F/ 18-22 C.

Moreover, the hikers were not as busy at this time of year. But, the winter weather in Cyprus can be extremely unpredictable — even rain — so make sure you are aware of forecasts and be flexible when planning your hikes.

Many locals we spoke with said spring (March-early mai) is great for hiking because it comes before the summer heat and allows wildflowers to bloom along many of the trails. Some others suggested November, as the temperatures have dropped from the warm summer and the early autumn, but it is still not the time for the winter rains.

The best time to visit Cyprus is summer, especially for the beaches. We have heard that the summer months (June to September) are not the best for hiking in Cyprus due to the intense sun and high temperatures (90+ F/30+C).

Avoid heat exhaustion and excessive sun exposure if you are hiking Cyprus during the summer months. You should always bring plenty of water.

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