Hiking in Cyprus

by Arne

Cyprus belongs geographically to Asia, but culturally and politically to Europe. The small island state is located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and is the third largest Mediterranean island. Most vacationers visit the country because of the sunny weather and the island’s paradisiacal beaches. One does not necessarily think of hiking and active vacations when thinking of Cyprus. Yet the “Island of the Gods” offers a wide range of hiking opportunities. Meanwhile, there is a decent hiking network with signposted routes on Cyprus, most of which are named after Greek gods. You can expect spectacular coastal hikes over steep cliffs, hikes along gorgeous beaches or through deep gorges. But especially the Troodos Mountains in the interior of the island offer optimal conditions for hiking. Nowhere else you will find more forests, waterfalls, mountains, or other nature highlights than in this region. Panoramic views over the entire island are guaranteed.

On my travel blog I show you beautiful hikes that I have done myself in Cyprus and give you helpful tips and information specifically about hiking in Cyprus. I am glad that you came to my travel blog and I hope you enjoy reading my travelogues.

The Cypriot nature parks and hiking opportunities

There are several national parks in Cyprus, such as the Troodos National Park in the center of the island, which is the hiker’s paradise of Cyprus. Other popular destinations and nature reserves are the Akamas Peninsula, Cape Greco or the Kyrenia Mountains. Furthermore, there are over 45 nature and landscape reserves in Cyprus, which offer excellent opportunities for hiking. Examples are the Petra tou Romiou National Forest Park, the Athalassa National Forest Park or the Machairas National Forest Park. In total, almost 20% of the country is forested, more than any other Mediterranean island. Active vacationers and nature lovers will not be disappointed in Cyprus.

A road winds through the mountains of Cyprus at sunset
Hike in the Troodos Mountains

Best time to go hiking and weather in Cyprus

Cyprus is one of the warmest destinations in Europe and has over 300 days of sunshine a year. In the summer months between June and August it is very hot and dry on the island. With the exception of some shady forests of the Troodos Mountains, hiking is almost impossible at this time of year.  

For active vacations and hiking I recommend you to travel to Cyprus between March and May or September and November. In spring, the meadows are in bloom and the package tourists stay away, but you can expect some rainy days. Autumn has the advantage that the water temperatures are still pleasant for swimming, but you can expect more tourists. In general, you should leave early, because the clouds usually come up in the afternoon in the Troodos Mountains.   

Between the end of November and March you have to expect a lot of rain and in the mountains even snow can fall. If you like snow hikes and afterwards you want to swim at the beach, Cyprus is the right place for you in winter.  

On the following website you will find detailed information about the climate on the island. Before you go on a hike, you should always read the weather forecast first. For this purpose, the website of the Cyprus Meteorological Service is a good place to start.

Blog articles and travelogues about my hikes in Cyprus

Below you can see blog posts about my round trip in Cyprus. In these blog articles I present you beautiful hikes that I have mastered myself during my trip. Here you will find a lot of tips for hiking and personal impressions of the Cypriot nature.

Hiking trails in Cyprus

There are over 50 designated hiking routes and trails in Cyprus, managed by various organizations. Many of them are named after Greek gods. In general, the condition of hiking trails in Cyprus is good, but not comparable to Western European levels. You can find a selection of marked hiking trails, for example, on the website of the Department of Forests and on the website of the Cyprus Tourism Organization.

Marking of the hiking trails

Most Nature Trails have a signboard at the starting points of the hikes with information about the route, difficulty level, points of interest, and flora and fauna. The trails themselves are often inadequately marked. However, at the junctions of popular hiking routes there are often wooden signs indicating the destination and the distance. Sometimes only the name of the corresponding nature trail is written on the wooden signs. I also often saw markings in the form of arrows on stones. The European Long-Distance Trail E4 is marked with an “E4” marker along the route. In general, you should never hike on unmarked trails, especially in the Troodos Mountains or the cliffs. I used offline GPS hiking maps with all marked trails for my hikes in Cyprus.

Difficulty of the hikes

The hiking trails in Cyprus are classified into three difficulty categories. Category 1 describes an easy hiking trail with a slight ascent and is suitable for any fitness level. Category 2 hiking trails have an average difficulty level and require a decent to good fitness level. Sudden changes in incline or stages along narrow or rough terrain must be expected. Category 3 describes a high level of difficulty and is only suitable for people with a very good fitness level. The trails in this category can be over steep, slippery, narrow or loose terrain and usually have sharp changes in slope.

If you are looking for more information on hiking or hiking routes in Cyprus, check out these hiking guides. Personally, I like the hiking guide series by Rother very much. The books are small and handy, offer useful information about hiking and detailed descriptions of the hikes. I have already been able to discover great hikes that I would not have found without these books. But also, the other books certainly offer useful information and beautiful hiking routes for your trip to Cyprus.

Olive tree by the sea through which the sun shines
Coastal hike at Cape Aspro

Safety tips for hiking in Cyprus

  • n case of emergency, dial 112 for the Cypriot emergency service 
  • Take out an international health insurance (mountain rescue can be expensive) 
  • Let someone know where you are hiking to 
  • Book your accommodation in advance and cancel if something comes up 
  • Check the weather forecast before hiking (www.weather.cyi.ac.cy) 
  • Hike only on marked trails 
  • Wear appropriate hiking shoes and clothing 
  • Take a first aid kit with you 
  • Take a hiking map (I use the app Locus Map) 
  • Take enough water and provisions with you
  • Protect yourself from the sun, because it gets hot in Cyprus and there is little shade
  • It gets dark much earlier in Cyprus than in Central Europe
  • Beware of falling rocks when encountering a herd of goats
  • An encounter with the highly venomous Levantine otter is extremely unlikely, as it flees from humans and is not aggressive. In the event of a bite, immediate medical attention is required.

If you are unsure or prefer to go hiking in company, there is a possibility to join a guided tour. You don’t have to worry about route planning, food or transportation, but you can completely focus on the beauty of Cypriot nature. I recommend booking a tour through the portal of Get Your Guide, where countless activities around the world can be booked easily and safely.

Tourist stands between the rock walls of the Avakas Gorge
Hike in the Avakas Gorge

Hiking equipment in Cyprus

Depending on the region, the altitude, the season, and the length of the hike, you need different equipment for hiking. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to equipment, but below I’ll give you an overview of my own equipment. Generally, I buy my hiking equipment at regional outdoor stores. The following links lead to Amazon to get an idea of the respective equipment.

Hiking boots

Most important are sensible hiking shoes or hiking boots. These must fit perfectly and should therefore be tried on by a specialist before buying. I personally wear the boots Trovat Advanced II High GTX from Mammut* for long mountain tours and the shoes Peakfreak Venture Waterproof from Columbia* for easy hikes. In Cyprus, I only had my hiking shoes with me, which was perfectly adequate.

Equally important, in my opinion, are hiking socks that fit your feet, warm, or repel moisture. Make sure that the socks do not wrinkle, because that’s how blisters occur. I wear the TK2 Cool Wandersocken from Falke* and in very warm temperatures like in Cyprus the Hiking Light Merino Mid Socks from CEP*

Clothes for hiking

When it comes to hiking pants, there are countless designs. There are waterproof, quick-drying, warming, or lightweight pants. You have to decide for yourself what the best pants are for you. I wear hiking pants from Frilufts and Columbia* In Cyprus, even in November, I only wore shorts.

Furthermore, a short functional shirt (Schöffel*) in summer and/or a long functional shirt (Berghaus*) should not be missing. A warmer top such as fleece sweater (Vaude Rosemoor Fleece*) should also be present. Extremely important is a good rain jacket that keeps you dry and warm in thunderstorms and rain.

Equipment for hiking

There are different backpacks for hiking. Some are only suitable for day trips and others are suitable for multi-day hut tours. For multi-day tours, I recommend a size of at least 35 liters. I use the 38-liter backpack Traverse 38 S von Ortovox* For day tours, a 20-to-30-liter backpack such as the Crosstrail 24 Lt* is sufficient. Make sure you have an integrated rain cover. A hydration bladder is also practical, which can be stowed in the backpack and facilitates drinking* Especially important with the temperatures in Cyprus.

In Cyprus, there is hardly any protection from the sun. Therefore, wear headgear and remember to wear enough sunscreen. Moreover, tick protection is recommended in Cyprus.

Tourist lying in hammock in the forest and enjoying the view of the mountains
Hike in the Troodos Mountains

Accommodation and hotels for multi-day hikes

In Cyprus there are no mountain huts as you know it from the Alps, for example. However, since you are never really far from civilization during your hikes on the island, conventional accommodations can allow hikers to spend the night in the mountains. Especially in the Troodos Mountains, there are countless mountain villages that offer overnight accommodations. I recommend staying in one of the authentic private accommodations. These mostly family-run guesthouses stay away from the well-known online portals, so you’ll have to do your research in advance. Accommodation in the mountains costs between 20 and 80 euros, depending on the season and comfort, and should be booked in advance. The easiest way is to book, for example, via Booking.com*

Booking.com

How to get to the Cypriot hiking areas

You are most flexible with your own car. Road conditions in Cyprus are good, but some side roads and some coastal roads are not paved. There are also often parking lots for hikers on the island, most of which are free of charge. Note that there is left-hand traffic in Cyprus.

The country has a very poor bus network and no rail transport. There are intercity buses, city buses, and country buses. The former connect the major cities of Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, Nicosia and Agia Napa. With them you can get to the busy areas. Rural buses usually go only once or twice a day from the countryside to the city and back. So, you need a lot of time if you want to visit the hiking areas by public transport. You can find more information and timetables on the website of Cyprus by Bus. Unfortunately, there is rarely a bus stop at the starting points of hiking tours. An extra way from the bus stop to the start of the hike must therefore often be planned. It is easier to book a rental car.

I hope you enjoyed my travelogue about hiking in Cyprus. 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.

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.

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. 

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