Cyprus

CYPRUS

The two most interesting areas on the big island of Cyprus for the walker is the Akamas peninsula and the Troodos mountains.

The town of Paphos has good bus connections and can be used as a springboard to the Akamas and surrounding areas. For a tourist town, Paphos is surprisingly quiet and attractive out of the absolute high season. I would especially recommend a stay in the upper Ktima Paphos. This is also were you will find the new Paphos bus terminus, at the Karavella car park. Because of this new “unified” bus terminal I have included bus information for each walk, as updated information has yet to reach any tourist guides (in general all buses that leave from Ktima at all leave from Karavella, except the Paphos city routes 10 and 11 that leave from the lookout point by the marketplace, listed as “Market”). The lower tourist town of Kato Paphos is most interesting for its archaeological sites.

If you would like some excellent dining up in Ktima, as well as a good hotel, you cannot do much better than the Kiniras Hotel and Garden Restaurant.

I have not visited the Troodos, but my friend Christopher Thompson has written a guide to the island which especially focuses on the resort of Platres and the Troodos mountains. As well as being a general Cyprus/Troodos guide it also contains a full downloadable walking guide for the Troodos mountains, available as PDF-files in A4 or A5 format. The A5 version can be made into a handy booklet for use in the field, see his (also downloadable) printing instructions.

Selected walks: For walks on Cyprus see Landscapes of Cyprus by Geoff Daniel and Cyprus by Rolf Goetz. Lance Chilton has a booklet called Walks in the Akamas Area. I refer to these guides for my “Akamas” walks below as /Daniel/, /Goetz/ and /Chilton/ respectively. Even the Rough Guide – Cyprus has a few walks described. Not surprising though, it is written by our old friend Marc Dubin (of Trekking in Greece fame). For walks in the Troodos see: Walking In Cyprus – The Troodos Mountains by Christopher Thompson. See also Cyprus Island Walking Trails by Foxy’s Island Walks.

•1 E701 – KISSONERGA – MAVROKOLYMBOS DAM – CORAL BAY (my total time 3h01, includes short stops for drinking and photography; +266m -248m, 2 laps): This is walk 13 in /Daniel/, with the slight addition of starting the walk by walking up to Kissonerga from the bus stop on the main road below. My timing starts at the main road (E701) bus stop and ends in the Coral Bay town center. Take Alepa bus number 10 from “Market” in Ktima to the Kissonerga turn-off. This bus is very convenient as it goes every 20 minutes or so. To start in Kissonerga itself you can take Alepa bus 3, 6 or 7 from “Karavella parking” directly to the village. Return with bus 10 from “Coral Bay” to “Market”.

No big navigational problems en route. But I am not sure where “Apis street” actually starts. I took left (coming from the bus stop a kilometer or so below) on the major crossroads just BEFORE (not AT) the football field. Then had to go right at a T-junction. A left at the next T-junction finally brought me into the mentioned street, very close now to the cemetery. It seems that a better way might have been to pass the football field on the left side and then turning left directly into the correct street, but I did not investigate.

•2 THE AVAGAS GORGE (my total time 3h38, includes short stops for drinking and photography and even a swim in the ocean; +-364m, 1 lap): This is walk 16 in /Daniel/, but with the added walk from and back to Ayios Yeoryios (actually part of walk 15). /Goetz/ describes in walk 6 a longer loop through the gorge. Take Alepa bus number 10 from “Market” in Ktima to Coral Bay. There, switch to bus 10A to Ayios Yeoryios. You will need as a bare minimum one hour from the Market to Coral Bay to have any chance of catching a corresponding bus there. Actually they do not correspond very well. Reverse procedure on the return. Obs: The bus from Ayios Yeoryios can be as much as ten minutes early on the return.

No navigational problems en route. Once out of the banana plantations you can walk in the dry fields beside the road if you want. There are also several shortcuts to choose from up/down from/to the church itself. By all means take the bus to its end stop to take a peek at the church before you do your walk. On the return you will probably want to use all of your available time on the beach in the Lara area. And/or you can stroll down to the café at the pleasant little harbor below Ayios Yeoryios. There is also an archaeological site, I do not how interesting it might be. You can even add a small walk to Kantarkasti (/Goetz/ walk 7) if you have the time.

•3 THE APHRODITE TRAIL (my total time 4h01, includes short stops for drinking and photography and even a swim in the ocean; +-453m, 1 lap): This is (one alternative of) walk 20 in /Daniel/ and is also walk 1 in /Goetz/. I also added a part of walk 19 in /Daniel/ (walk 3 in /Goetz/) to get to/from a nearby beach. To get to the trailhead take the Nea Amoroza minibus from the Karavella parking in Ktima to Polis. There switch to the corresponding Polis to Baths of Aphrodite minibus. Reverse procedure on return. This is one of the most beautiful walks on the entire island.

You will not even need a guide book or map (it might even be best without…), as the whole path is very well marked. Follow the small yellow marker signs (and any other bigger signs you see reading “Nature Trail” or “Aphrodite’s Path”). Both guides above seem to have at least slightly different ideas at points close to the start (but not the Rough Guide, which also describes this walk). Instead just FOLLOW THE MARKED TRAIL. You can also disregard the updates to the Sunflower guide as the “Users” have all gone a not signposted shortcut.

Approaching the end of the walk, when you are almost touching the coastal track used in walk 19 in /Daniel/, take a switchback path down and head for the sea. When you after a few hundred meters are close to the first beach you can cross a field to your right on some jeep tracks and descend a short eroded path on the other side. Be sure to pick up the switchback path again on your way back, the track is not too interesting. Use the upper path/remains of older tracks and do not descend to the track again before you are forced to when you are fairly close to the Baths.

•4 POLIS – LATCHI – NEOHORIO – ANDROLIKOU – PRODROMI – POLIS (my total time 4h57, includes short stops for drinking and photography; +-422m, 1 lap): This is walk 1 followed by 2A and 10 in /Chilton/. Take the Nea Amoroza minibus from the Karavella parking in Ktima to/from Polis. A walk with focus on agriculture and goat farming. Unfortunately most of the former unpaved roads and tracks are now under asphalt or concrete.

No big navigational problems en route. At the start I could not see the “Popular Bank” (some new development in progress), but the mentioned café, travel agency and supermarket were all there so directions were easily confirmed. After the goat farm just out of Neohorio directions are a bit more strange. As the road dips down into the first prominent valley there is absolutely no crossroads worth mentioning. After that the road winds on for a long time. Just starting to ascend from the SECOND prominent valley there IS a major crossroads. Keep left (straight) here, more or less on the level, and you will after another long stretch start to descend into the mentioned gorge, which is the THIRD prominent valley.

•5 AYIOS NEOPHYTOS – MELISSOVOUNOS – KOILI – AYIOS NEOPHYTOS (my total time 1h50, includes short stops for drinking and photography; +-249m, 1 lap): This is walk 11 in /Daniel/. Take the Alepa bus number 4 (the Empa/Tala bus) from Karavella to Ayios Neophytos. Return on the same bus. Note: Not all number 4 buses goes all the way to the monastery. Suggested bus times: 0930 form Karavella, return on the 1230. Obs: The bus can be as much as ten minutes early on the return, and beware that the 1230 is actually the LAST returning bus from the monastery. If these times does not suit you, you can walk the 2 kms up/down the road from/to Tala village for more buses. This walk has tremendous views of the Paphos area.

No big navigational problems en route, but the 15 min point has several tracks going uphill. The one REALLY going upwards is a shortcut (overgrown eventually) that demands some endurance. You are probably meant to skirt the ENTIRE olive grove and just follow the main track.

In Koili you can disregard the updates to the Sunflower guide as the “Users” have little new to contribute. The housing estate is far from confusing and everything is EXACTLY as described in the book in all respects. If you are just able (easy!) to follow the instructions as printed you will find the right streets at the right points. I think that the map tracing of the actual streets followed is a little bit off though.

The decent to the monastery is not too overgrown (at least not in autumn) for the use of shorts. Some “Users” have had problems with barb wire initially, this is only a problem if you start to descend too early. Just keep ahead on animal traces from the track when it ends and you will find the stony path in 30 seconds flat.

• Good starting points: • Platres – nice village in the mountains • Troodos – the village in the middle of the action • Paphos – buses will take you around to walks in the Akamas area (see below for more info)

• How to get there: • By air

• More info: • Travel and Transportation in Paphos, has schedules of bus transportation in the Paphos area (for Alepa buses see also timetable reproduction above from September 2005) • Walking In Cyprus – The Troodos Mountains by Christopher Thompson • Cyprus Island – Holiday and Touring Guides, Walks and Photos by Foxy’s Island Walks


This page was last modified at January 4, 2014.

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