Cyprus from Air, the team that captures the beauty of Cyprus from above, invites you on a journey to discover five must-see locations.
Text: Andreas Katsis
Photos: Cyprus from Air
We first met in 2017 when they persuaded me to join them in scaling Kannoures, an awe-inspiring face in the northwest of the Troodos mountains. We traversed rocky trails and streams for six hours, descended into the Koilada Tou Misous (Valley of Hate) and climbed steep slopes, savouring the stunning vistas along the way. I can still recall the exhaustion that set in with each passing mile, even as I revelled in the thrill of exploring a new world. Of course, much has happened in the time since that unforgettable adventure. Cyprus From Air has cultivated a passionate following of fans on social media who eagerly track their journeys. During a recent conversation with the team, I asked for recommendations on their top five must-visit destinations in Cyprus. I also inquired about what drives them to continue exploring the island’s mountains and seas, uncovering new facets of its beauty with each adventure. They shared a poignant insight; “It is only when we truly come to know and appreciate the natural wonders of our home that we can learn to respect and preserve them.”
Discovering the Cypriot Agrino
Despite being a protected species and a symbol of Cyprus, few locals have ever had the chance to see the wild Agrino sheep in person. Fortunately, for those who wish to see these magnificent creatures, Cyprus From Air suggests an exclusive excursion to Platania in the district of Limassol. There, in a protected area, you can observe and admire communities of Agrino sheep as they graze and rest. Walking silently around the perimeter of the space, you’re likely to glimpse these elusive animals in their natural habitat. With patience, you may even be able to capture some stunning photographs of them. For a bonus, consider combining this excursion with a picturesque outdoor picnic.
Hiking in Pissouri
For many people, hiking is associated with climbs in the mountains, among wooded areas. However, around the village of Pissouri, in the district of Limassol, one can find some of the most awe-inspiring hiking areas on the island. Five distinct paths wind through the rugged terrain, at times merging with the sparkling sea, and at others scaling limestone cliffs, offering panoramic views. Cape Aspro boasts one of the most breathtaking paths on the island, offering stunning views along the coastline above Lahanika Beach. The beach, which is mainly accessible by sea, stands out for its unique charm. The trail remains equally alluring throughout the winter season. There, you’ll discover an array of unique flora and fauna found only in Cyprus. The route is challenging but the unforgettable vistas make the trek well worth it.
Teisia tis Madaris – Where Nature Reigns Supreme
The view is eerily magical. Resembling massive walls, vertical rocks formed over the years compose an impressive scene. From the fire lookout point, the sunset transforms the scene into a stunning and unforgettable panorama. The Teisia Tis Madaris trail is one of the top-rated routes for locals and foreigners alike. The 3.5-kilometre winding path offers a moderate hike to a maximum altitude of 1,580 metres. You will be treated to stunning sunsets and panoramic views of Larnaka, Limassol, Nicosia, and the Troodos. Check out two other trails in the area: Doxa Soi o Theos and Moutti Tis Choras. Access is easy by car through the village of Chandria Pafos. Stop at Kyperounta on the way up.
Aphrodite Trail – Akamas Forest
The Aphrodite trail, located in Natura, a protected area, offers an unparalleled view of the Akamas peninsula and is just as popular as Teisia Tis Madaris. During winter, the trail is particularly famous for the rare Cyprus tulip (Tulipa cypria) that grows in the area. Although it seems easy, the route has moderate to difficult sections due to the significant changes in altitude. Once you reach Moutti Τis Sotiras, the highest point, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the islet of Ayios Georgios and the famous Gulf of the Blue Lagoon.
Diarizos Valley and the monastery of panayia tou sinti
The monastery of Panayia Tou Sinti, an important Venetian-era structure, commands a prominent position on the western bank of the stream of Xiropotamos. It is easily accessible by car from the nearby villages of Salamiou, Pentalia, Ayia Marina, Kelokedara and Nata. The path to the monastery is picturesque, winding along the river and offering verdant views in every season. Although abandoned in the late 1920s, the stone structure was meticulously restored by the monastery of Kykkos between 1994 and 1997, receiving the prestigious Europa Nostra award for its excellent preservation. Today, it is a UNESCO-listed site housing exceptional frescoes.