If you believe the slogan of Cyprus – “Where the gods take vacation” – in the past, the gods already came to bathe and relax on the gorgeous beaches and turquoise blue bays of the island. But did the divine beings also go to the high mountains that tower in the center of Cyprus? The Troodos Mountains would certainly have been worth it. In fact, there you will find beautiful landscapes that are in no way inferior to the coast. In particular, the beauty of the region is revealed on the Madari Trail. Because on this high-altitude trail, panoramic views over almost the entire island can be experienced. Cyprus has developed this trail into a circular hike. Therefore, I do not want to deprive you of this sight. In this blog post I present you my personal hike on the Madari Circular Trail. For me, this high-altitude hike was an absolute highlight on my round trip through Cyprus. A great adventure and an experience that I will never forget. I hope you enjoy reading my travelogue, and I’m glad you came across my travel blog.
My hike over the Madari in brief
If you click on a link below, you will go directly to the corresponding section of the route. It starts at the parking lot at Doxa soi o Theoas. The first section of the route immediately climbs steeply uphill. In return, however, a multitude of magnificent viewpoints over the Troodos Mountains await you. And that over a length of 3.5 kilometers. At the end, the fire lookout awaits at Madari at 1613 meters above sea level, which promises a spectacular 360-degree panorama. This is followed by a descent via switchbacks and a hiking trail through wooded areas, which, however, always allow for wonderful views of the region. Afterwards, the Madari Trail will lead you along the European Long-Distance Trail E4, and the last section of the route will take you from the Moutti tis Choras junction uphill back to the Doxa soi o Theos Pass.
The entire hike is 12.5 kilometers long and I needed about 4.5 hours. Especially at the beginning of the hike, the route has a steep incline, so that a good basic condition should be present. In total, there are a good 650 meters of altitude to climb. Nevertheless, the Madari Circular Trail is rather easy to manage. The paths are stony, but well developed, signposted and recognizable. Hiking shoes are nevertheless a must. There are no refreshment stops or drinking water on the hike, so enough provisions should be taken. I have marked the route and all important points on the map.
12,5 km (4.5 h)
↑↓ 655 m
Parking at Doxa soi o Theos
Well developed nature trails with signposting
How to get to Madari Circuit
Travel by car
There are four parking lots along the circular trail (see map). However, the most sensible place to start is at Doxa sio o Theos. The road 909 runs through the Troodos Mountains, from which you have to turn onto the F944 in Kyperounta. After about 2 kilometers you will reach the parking facilities at Doxa sio o Theos. Parking there is free of charge. The drive from Troodos to Madari Trail takes about 20 minutes.
To Madari Circular Trail by bus
From Kakopetria bus number 44 goes to Spilia. From there it is a 1.1 km walk to the road junction Moutti tis Choras, crossed by the Madari Trail.
Bus lines 32, 43, 406 and 407 run between Kakopetria and Chandria. There is a bus stop in Kyperounta at the hospital. From there it is a 2.4 km walk to Doxa sio o Theos. Lines 406 and 407 even start in Nicosia.
Bus number 4 runs between Peristerona and Lagoudera and stops at Saranti. From there it is a 1.5 km walk to Selladi tou Karamanli, located on the Madari Circular Trail.
If you want to learn more about traveling by car or public transportation in Cyprus, check out my travel blog about Cyprus.
My hike across the Madari Trail
I park my rental car on a gravel road at Doxa sio o Theos (1335 m) and wonder why so many cars are already here so early in the morning. Along the stony road, several men in camouflage clothing and orange high-visibility vests sit and stand, shooting into the sky with long rifles. Is today something like hunting day?! Let’s get out of here quickly. I go on the hiking trail, which leads directly quite steeply over serpentines uphill. Therefore, I reach very quickly several viewpoints that promise a wonderful view of the mountains of Cyprus.
Short Facts for your Trip
For hiking in Cyprus, I recommend you to travel between March and May or between September and November. In summer it is too hot for that. During the months of December to February, there is a high probability of snow on the Madari. Another advantage is that there are few tourists in the low season. And the Madari is a very popular destination in Cyprus.
Viewpoints over the Troodos Mountains
The hiking trail over the ridge of the Madari continues uphill. At about 1480 meters altitude I reach a bench from which I have a magnificent view of the Troodos Mountains. In the distance I can even see the summit of Mount Olympos. Feel free to check out my blog post where I show you my trek and travelogue on the Artemis Trail around Mount Olympos.
After another 50 meters of altitude, the next seat awaits me, somewhat hidden. From here I have a wonderful view of the valley of Kyperounta. I sit down and enjoy the idyll. But still rifle shots drown out the quiet sounds of nature every few minutes.
Hare hunting in the mountains of Cyprus
Every 30 seconds a loud bang, which quickly falls silent in the vastness of the mountain landscape. Again, and again dogs cross my path, which hunt excitedly up and down the mountain slopes of Madari. I ask a hunter standing by the trail what he is hunting. “rabbits” I wish him good luck but secretly hope he doesn’t shoot a single one. I continue and hope that I am not mistaken for a rabbit on my hike.
I try to ignore the noise and devote myself to the magnificent view that opens up at every turn. The pine forest is behind me, along the way are now golden oaks, strawberry trees, and rock roses. At an altitude of 1600 meters, I reach a vantage point that allows a panoramic view of the mountains of Cyprus. In the distance I can see the sea, a fire watch is enthroned within reach on the Madari.
View from the fire lookout on the Madari
A paved path leads from the parking lot at the foot of Madari to the fire station. At the summit (1613 m) there is a small glass hut where an official watches over the area. From up here, a breathtaking view reveals itself. To the north I look at the Mediterranean Sea in the distance, see the peak of Olympos and many smaller peaks of the Troodos Mountains. I can see the path I’ve traveled and guess where the hike will take me. In short, the 360-degree panorama on the Madari is amazing. But see for yourself!
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Circular trail from the Madari
A sign shows me which way I have to take for the round hike. Over serpentines it goes now about 150 meters of altitude steeply downhill. It follows pine forest and again excited dogs cross my path. I walk over soft ground, on which also on the warm island of Cyprus the leaves collect in November on the ground. Suddenly I reach a small picnic area and to my surprise there is a hammock. Of course, I don’t let myself miss it and lie down in it. A great idea to enjoy the beautiful view of Troodos Mountains.
Hidden viewpointsat Madari Trail
I leave the pine forest behind me, and it goes further downhill. After a kilometer I reach a bench in front of a large prominent tree (see picture). Behind it hides a small path that leads to a viewpoint. At the end, I stand on a rock and marvel at a 360-degree panorama. Behind me is the ridge of Madari from which I came. In front of me I see the valleys with the villages of Saranti, Spilia and Kannavia. I continue walking and shortly after I reach the road Selladi tou Karamanli. Here is a small EOKA monument, which reminds of the Cypriot resistance against the former colonial power.
Section on the European Long-Distance Trail E4
I follow the sign “E4”, which marks the European Long-Distance Trail E4. This connects the most southwestern point of Europe (Portugal) with the most southeastern point in Cyprus. It is thus the longest long-distance hiking trail in Europe. However, my path on Madari Circular Trail leads me through dense golden oak forest, which, however, always provides opportunities for great views.
Moss covers small streams and boulders along the way. Autumn has also arrived in the Troodos Mountains, so the hiking trail is covered with colorful leaves. There is still a bang in the distance. If this continues, soon there will be no more hares in Cyprus.
The last section of the Madari Trail
I reach the junction Moutti tis Choras, where parking is also available. A signpost shows me the way towards Doxa soi o Theos. The trail runs parallel to a road and requires another small effort. Almost 180 meters of altitude must be overcome on the last 1.8 kilometers. Exhausted, I return to the car. The hunters have disappeared, and no more shots can be heard. Fortunately, no one has mistaken me for a hare.
If you are looking for a travel guide to Cyprus, check out this book. I personally like this travel guide series very much. The authors give travel tips especially for individual and low budget travelers. Moreover, not only the well-known sights are described, but also more unknown places are mentioned.
Conclusion of the Madari Circular Trail
I really liked the route overall. Those who appreciate the mountains and nature will love this hike. The first section over the back of the Madari to the fire station is a highlight in itself. Due to the many vantage points and 360-degree panorama, you can’t stop marveling here. For this, one also gladly accepts the effort in coping with the differences in altitude. No relevant hiking experience is needed to master the route, but respect for heights should be present. In any case, hiking boots should be worn. The hike is 12.5 kilometers long and takes about 4 to 5 hours. However, it can be shortened by walking the same distance back from the fire station (7.6 km). There is also the possibility to take the spectacular circular walk “Teisia tis Madaris” around the peak in addition (+ 3.5 km). I was on the Madari Trail in November, in the off-season. It was sunny and still around 20 degrees. However, it seems a bit fresher at altitude due to the wind. I only met one couple from Poland on my hike, but I also started early in the morning. I can highly recommend this attraction. If the hike is too long for you, you can also just head for the fire station on the Madari. The view is breathtaking. For me, the high trail at Madari was an absolute highlight and experience on my Cyprus round trip.
Hotels and accommodation near Madari Trail
The best starting point for the hike at Madari Circular Walk is the region around Kyperounta. In the village there are bus connections, supermarkets, and accommodations. You can find a selection under this link* The nearby town of Kakopetria* and the town of Agros* are also good places to stay. I stayed at the Livadia Hotel Kyperounta* and was very satisfied.
Of course, there are countless other places in the region that offer accommodation. Below you will find a selection for the entire Troodos region.
I hope you enjoyed my travelogue about the Madari Trail. On my Cyprus Blog I show you other beautiful travel destinations in Cyprus and share valuable tips and experiences for your trip to Cyprus. Did you like my blog post? Was I able to help you? Then I would be happy if you recommend my travel blog, leave a comment, or follow me on Instagram. Thanks for reading and have fun on your vacation in Cyprus.
The references marked with an asterisk (*) are so-called commission links. If you click on such a referral link and buy something, I get a small commission from the provider. For you, the price does not change! I see it as a small thank you for my work and look forward to any support.