Top walking holidays in Cyprus

Cyprus boasts a wide choice of top walking holidays in the north and the south of the island.

Top walking holidays in Cyprus attract lovers of the great outdoors from all over Europe.

In the north, the 100km ridge along the Kyrenia Mountains flanked by views over the Med and the Mesaoria Plains is a real highlight. Tear yourself away from crusader castles for a moment and you’ll find walks to turtle nesting grounds and ancient monasteries along the Karpas Peninsula to the east. Although roads are rough, it is well worth the effort for the stunning views alone.

Back in southern Cyprus, easier paths can be found around the island’s highest point, Mt Olympus, within the central Troodos Mountains, where Artemis lays claim to one of the best circular walks on Cyprus. More myths and legends prevail the further west you walk with the Akamas Panorama featuring the Baths of Aphrodite and the start of the Adonis and Aphrodite trails which lead over dusty gravel tracks to some of the island’s finest stretches of unblemished coastline.

Small guided tours are recommended for walkers who like to make friends along the trail with the added bonus of local knowledge to transform seemingly meaningless rocky ruins into fantastical folklore.

Although the Troodos are a high point for hikers, the Kyrenia/Beşparmak Mountains, along the north coast, certainly aren’t to be outshone with crusader castles, ruined monasteries and plenty of opportunities to explore deserted Mediterranean beaches.

The Akamas Peninsula, jutting out to the west, also holds some wonderful walking routes such as the Aphrodite Trail, which leads through dense thickets of pine and juniper to reveal low lying cliffs, sand dunes and beaches that remain, thankfully, untouched by all but migratory birds and nesting turtles.

Cyprus boasts ancient wonders, including those found within Paphos Archaeological Park. You can also find several short walks featuring stone built villages, medieval Venetian bridges and weather-worn watermills and vineyards to provide some fascinating points of interest during a week away. Aside from ancient heritage, Cyprus has a wealth of woodland paths and verdant valley trails with black pine, cedar, juniper and yellow flowering sea broom and gorse allowing longer distances and wild encounters with sea turtles and migratory birds or horned mouflon and semi-feral, dusty, donkeys.

If you are looking for a top walking holiday in Cyprus, explore the close knit villages, such as Kalavassos, Platres, Droushia and Vouni, where responsible tourism is helping to conserve these rural communities.

Opting for a base from where to start a series of top walking holidays in Cyprus is ideal for travellers looking for relaxation without having to pack and unpack or worry about reaching the next base. Alternatively, point to point walking invites an adventure, more variety, as you walk from one traditional village inn or B&B to the next, with luggage and a cooked meal ready and waiting upon arrival.

The best way to explore Cyprus on foot is to book a guided walking tour before you leave home and make the most of local knowledge.