Adventure, tranquillity, history, exercise, and contact with nature – all en route!

Text: Ellie Karnezi 

It’s nice to have a change of pace and follow paths that promise alternative means of recreation than those of the city. To walk without stress, exercise, breathe fresh air, come face to face with creatures that live in forests and mountains, forget about time, and live in the moment. To accommodate these, Cyprus is your ally on two fronts: the weather (always summery) and a network of sixty-five hiking trails. Here are six.

Venetian Bridges Trail

Offering panoramic views throughout, this path leads to the medieval bridges of Elia, Tzelefos and Roudia. Cross the dense pine forest over the Arminou dam and through the Pera Vasa picnic area, where there is the trunk of a massive dry pine. Head to Saouris farm, owned by Kykkos Monastery, stop for a while at the Saouris Cave and Mita’s pen and ask where to find the famous vulture observatory. You will feel like you are flying!

Livadi Trail

Located in the Troodos National Forest Park (a Natura 2000 area), the route will take you through a wild forest of black pines and junipers. It’s a magical landscape. Shortly after, you will find yourself in front of a unique sight: the valley of Solea, Morphou Bay filled with colourful villages spread before you. The Kampos Tou Livadiou (meadow plain) has drinking water and picnic areas, while the ease of the route makes it ideal for those not used to walking, families with children, and those looking for a leisurely walk on the mountain. It is worth noting that the path is wheelchair accessible.

Caledonia Trail – Caledonia Waterfalls

Within Troodos National Forest Park, a magnificent trail passes through a dense forest, following the flowing water of the Kryos River, then passes the Caledonia waterfall, ending at Psilo Dentro in Pano Platres. Among other things, hikers will see a trout farm, a fenced area with horses, ponds and small wooden bridges. Access to the impressive waterfall, the largest in Cyprus, is via a short dirt road. Walking along, you will find yourself in a wild and unspoiled landscape with plane trees, medronho trees, pines, and sumac plants. The scents of sage and lavender, combined with birdsong and the sound of water, will enchant you!

Madari Trail

This beautiful path hides in the Adelfoi (brothers) Forest, one of the most important natural areas on the island. It offers panoramic views of the bay of Morphou and the plain of Mesaoria, as well as exciting routes through the greenery. Observe the rocky relief of Madari, which in some places forms sharp outcrops and unique vertical cliffs, and learn the names of rocks and plants from the signs placed along the paths. About halfway, you will find yourself in a forest full of cedars, and if you continue a little further, you can climb to the Madari fire tower, which has stood in the same spot since 1931.

Panagia tou Araka Path – Stavros tou Agiasmati

It starts from the medieval Monastery of Panagia Tou Araka (1192 CE), ending at the medieval Monastery of Stavros Tou Agiasmati (1494 CE) – two churches with excellent frescoes. You will walk through large areas with almond and walnut trees, vast vineyards and an endless pine forest. The view is panoramic. To the east of the path is Kionia, to the west is Olympus peak, to the south is Madari, and to the north is the mountain range of Pentadaktylos, the plain of Morphou and the Xyliatos dam. Here you are in total connection with nature, standing in its midst.

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