Hiking in Cyprus
While Cyprus is mainly a well known Destination for beach holidays, it is also a great destination for hiking holidays.
If you google Cyprus Photos you will see beaches and blue water first. But Cyprus has much more to offer besides the Touristic resorts and bars.
The hiking can be incredible. And because the Island is so small you can see all kind of different spots: from coastal trails to rocky Mountains, to lush green Forests, waterfalls and adventurous Gorges.
Essential Informations before you go hiking in Cyprus
If you are serious in to hiking and you want to do some hiking in Cyprus, you should definitely think about visiting in Fall/Winter/Spring.
In summer it can reach up to 40Degrees Celsius and thats definitely too much to handle if you like to do long hikes. Most places dont have water refill oportunities or the springs might be dried out in the middle of summer.
In winter it can become a little colder (mainly in the mountain reagions) and you might get a bit of snow in the mountains. There is even one ski lift in the Troodoos Mountains at Mount Olymp, the highest peak of Cyprus. Make sure to bring some warm clothes for the evenings as the houses are not well isolated and it might get chilly at night.
When we visited in Nov-Jan we had our Base in Larnaca and the lowest temperature around 17 Degrees during the daytime and 8 Degrees was the lowest we experienced at night.
So if you visit in winter bring some more clothes than shorts and a top 😉 But still you can bring your bathing suit as the water temperature has an average of 17Degrees Celcius in winter.
A rental car is essential to visit the most beautiful spots. While the touristic areas do have some regular busses going to the main Attractions, you do need to have a car to do the interesting Troodoos Hikes and go all the way to Akamas.
Hiking Trails in Cyprus
Most hiking trails in Cyprus are not very difficult.
A lot of them could be called walking trails rather than hiking trails. Most of them can be enjoyed by the whole Family.
There are two main hiking areas in Cyprus. The Troodoos Mountains and the Akamas Peninsula.
The Troodoos Mountains cover a huge Area of Cyprus and you can find all kinds of Nature Trails there.
Akamas is way smaller but is very beautiful too.
Mostly the trails that are frequently visited are marked fine.
Some trails are marked ok, and some of them are not marked at all. So it is always recommended to have an Offline GPS Map with you. I can recommend MapsMe for Offline Maps.
Make sure to always carry enough water with you. (Check our Article here: How much water do you need day hiking)
In Summer it can be difficult to find refill places. And natural springs might be dried out.
In winter you can drink plenty of natural water in the mountains where there are waterfalls and springs.
Bring your water filter bottle to always get safe drinking water and to reduce your plastic bottle trash.
Cyprus has a huge problem with plastic trash and littering. They don`t have a bottle deposit system yet and not a lot of recycling bins around, so I recommend buying the biggest water container you can find (10L,15L) and refill. Around Larnaca, Limassol, there are plenty of refill stations where you get cheap drinking water (mostly next to small local groceriestores, Kiosks). Around the Akamas Region we did not find any, but we had 2 Big Container of water with us (20L) to refill during our Weekened Trip.
- Plan ahead: Find the right trail for you (how long, how difficult) where are you going? What kind of terrain? Hows the weather? So you know what to bring with you.
- Check the Weather: So you know what kind of clothing, how much water you need to bring. If you choose to do a canyon hike in winter/rainy times, it can be dangerous if it starts raining, so always check the weather before you go.
- Be Prepared: If you know where you are going and hows the weather gonna be, you can prepare. Bring a map or have an Offline map and a power bank for your phone. Bring enough water and snacks. Sunscreen, the right shoes…
- Keep to the path: It can be attempting to go off trail but it can be easy to get lost. It is also important to stay on trail to make sure nature won´t get destroyed. Read more about Leave No Trace here.
- Hike responsible: Don’ leave trash behind, Don’t leave the path, Don’t pick any plants… Cyprus has all sorts of beautiful but also endangered plants and insects that call it home, so as always and everywhere, leave it better than before. Bringin an Extra Trash Bag to pick up litter you might see during your hike can be a good idea too.
- Need more Tips? Check out our other Articles: Packing List for Beginner – Zero Waste Hiking – 10 Essentials (plus1) – Responsible Travel Guide
Our top 6 Hikes in Cyprus:
We stayed three months in Cyprus and did a lot of hiking.
Some hikes were just nice, some spectacular…
Honestly, we did love the Mountain Hikes more than the Coastal ones.
So we thought to at least share our 6 favorite hikes in Cyprus.
1) Artemis Loop at Mt. Olymp
At the highest Point of Cyprus (Mt.Olymp) there are a few trails that circle the peak. The Peak itself is not accessible.
The most known loop around the peak is the Artemis Trail.
You can’t miss the Parking Spot, it is marked on every map.
The Trail is well signed, and there are great views (if there are no clouds).
In winter you should check beforehand if there might be too snow. It can be challenging if the path is covered with snow. There are a few spots where it goes steep down just one step off the trail.
(7Km – 1.5/2hrs – easy)
2) Aphrodite Loop - Moutti Tis Sotiras
At the Akamas Peninsula one of the most known hike will be the Aphrodite Loop.
You should go clockwise from Aphrodites Bath. The first part is a bit steep and after some rain it can be muddy, but it has great views and nature. If you reach the top you can look down to the Blue Lagoon.
And if you smell Goats, take a look around, they will be somewhere climbing the rocks.
While the hike up to Moutti Tis Sotiras was great, the walk along the coast to the blue lagoon was rather unspektakular. Man made dirt Roads for the 4WDs of the hunters. A lot of littered Cans and bottles alongside this road. To me rather disappointing, so I can only recommend doing the Loop to the Peak and then down the other side and back.
We visited during low season and during Corona, so it was almost empty besides some hunters (one downside here, all the private hunters. The shooting was something I could not get used to at all).
You can not miss the starting point, as Aphrodites Bath is a real Tourist Hotspot.
(You can go from 7.5 KM-only the Loop, up to approx 20KM depending on adding some of the coastal trail after you got down from the Moutti Tis Sotiras Peak – so it`s gonna be 3hrs+) -Medium
3) Avakas Gorge
The toughest but most adventurous one we found in Cyprus. It was stated as an easy hike in a different article we read, but when we got there (a few days after a storm) we did not manage to get trough the whole Gorge. Maybe there were some Rocks falling down during the heavy rains, or we just did not find the right ones to climb.
It was nevertheless one of the most beautiful Hike in Cyprus. The Gorge is beautiful! Again we were alone most the time. We only met 3 other couples on our way back. I know it might be more busy in summer.
It is very important to check the weather before you enter the Gorge. Heavy rain could make this a deadly trap. There could also be so much water that you cant even walk half way.
In winter you might also just plan ahead that your shoes will get wet. It is sometimes easier and safer to just walk through the water directly, then trying to jump from one wet stone to another. So bring some extra shoes and socks to change.
You can either start from the Ocean side (Toxeftra Beach) or from the other side. You will find the starting points if you google Avakas Gorge easily.
4) Agioi Saranta
While the hike to this Cave Church is not one of the most beautiful trails (mostly dirt roads and sadly a small illegal looking dump) the Cave Church is a really special place and worth visiting.
You can park at the Church of Panagia (Παναγία ) in Protaras and then take this easy walk.
(5Km – 1hr – easy)
5) Vavatsinia - Kionia Picnic Site to Profitis Elias
Vavatsinia is a small Mountain Town where you can find a lot of shorter and longer Nature Trails.
We loved the trail that starts at Kionia Picnic Site all the way to Profitis Elias Monastery.
One of the Most beautiful Trails we hiked. No Paved roads or dirt roads, all Hiking Trails and mostly well signed.
All the way to the Monastery and back was 15Km and we needed 3.5hrs.
6) Hike to Stavrovouni Monastery
A nice hike up to Stavrovouni Monestary. It goes up and down on some loose rocks, so make sure to have some good shoes with you.
It is worth the sweat, you will have great views from the Chapel on the Carpark of the Monestary. There is even a little Peak with a white cross if you follow the path around the small Chapel at the Car Park. It is close to a Military Base. So you might hear shooting or like we did, see some Soldiers doing training Hikes…
The Monestary itself can only be visited by men and only during certain visiting hours. So check that if you like to visit the Monestary itself.
If you make a loop half way down will go along a paved road but there wasnt much traffic when we visited.
(6.5 KM – 1.5hrs )
As a starting point/parking spot you could choose the Chapel in Pyrga marked on the map.
Low Waste Hiking Travel Tips Cyprus
Like too many other countries Zyprus has a huge Plastic Litter Problem. I picked up too much plastic from beaches, seen too much plastic trash while snorkeling and saw too many illegal dumps while hiking. Overfilled Bins at the beach that doesnt get emptied frequently enough, and heaps of cigarette butts where the sunbeds and umbrellas are standing on the beach…
So because I know you all love to be outside and enjoy being surrounded by nature, enjoying the beach, let’s protect what you love, but how?
- Use Reusables for food and drinks: Dont bring any disposables on your hiking trip.
- And ask to get your coffee to go in your reusable mug, food to go in your own container.
- Refill water bottles from big Container or at refill stations.
- Recycle – collect your recyclables and drop of at the recycling bins in town.
- Reuse the thin plastic bags from shopping for your next fresh produce shopping or better, use reusable produce bags.
- Bring your 11th Essential: a trash bag to pick up trash you see on trails.
- Don’t leave any wet wipes behind bushes when you pee or poop in the open air during your hike. They don’t break down. Either bring some natural Toiletpaper and bury it all of your left behinds in a cathole or even better, fold the tp and pack the used toiletpaper into a zip-loc bag and dispose properly in a trash bin when you finished your hike. (read mora about the leave no trace principles)
- Find more Zero-Waste Hiking/Camping Tips here
- And check out my experience to eat vegan and live low waste in Cyprus