Hiking, Biking and Skiing in Cyprus
Information about hikes, mountain and road cycling, and the ski areas of Cyprus; including trails, routes, precautions and clubs...
This page contains information on the following:
There are more than 200 kilometres of well-marked hiking trails on the island, including a number of popular hiking routes such as those in Troodos area, the Akamas Peninsula, the Aphrodite Trail, the Adonis Trail branch and the Avakas Gorge. Trails are signposted, giving hikers information on the local flora, fauna and geology.
In the summer, high temperatures during the middle of the day can make outdoor activity dangerous. It is suggested to take the following precautions:
- Wear good walking boots, especially on rocky trails
- Wear a hat and sunglasses
- Keep hydrated; carry a water bottle at all times
- Watch out for snakes (see below)
Note that it is forbidden under the Forestry Act to:
- Cut plants and flowers
- Light fires outside safe fire areas
- Damage any structures
It is recommended to dress appropriately to enter monasteries and churches (shoulders should be covered, shorts, short skirts and low-cut attire should not be worn).
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has information on walks and nature trails on the island.
- Cyprus Tourism Association (CTO)
At: 19 Leof. Lemesou, Nicosia
Tel: 22 691 100
Well-marked trails can be found in the following areas:
- Nicosia: Athalassa National Forest Park
- Nicosia District: Pitsylia Area
- Nicosia/Larnaca Districts: Machairas Forest, Lefkara, Kato Drys, Vavatsinia
- Famagusta District: Kavo Greco (6 trails)
- Famagusta District: Protaras Area (3 trails)
- Paphos District: Stavros tis Psokas (5 trails)
- Paphos District: Akamas (5 trails)
- Limassol District: Kyparissia - Germasogeia (3 trails)
- Nicosia/Limassol Districts: Troodos Area (over 10 trails)
There are two nature trails for the disabled:
- Kampos tou Leivadiou in the Troodos area is a 1.6 kilometre circular circuit
- Mandra tou Kampiou in the Machairas forest in a 1 kilometre circular circuit
The Department of Forests has more information on Nature Trails and details on their categories of difficulty.
There are eight species of snakes in Cyprus, three of which are venomous but only one which is dangerous to man: the Vipera lebetina or Blunt Nosed Viper. In case of a snakebite by this viper, medical attention should be sought immediately. The Blunt Nosed Viper is a front-fanged, fat snake, identifiable by the "blunt nose" and dull grey/brownish shade. It typically reaches 130 cm in length. Wells, streams, shaded areas under rocks or shrubs are the most common resting spots for this snake. The Coin Snake is commonly mistaken for the Blunt Nosed Viper as they are similar in appearance. All snakes are most active during the summer.
- Wikipedia has more information and images of the Vipera Lebetina (Blunt Nosed Viper or Levantine Viper)
- Find out more about snakes in Cyprus
Cycling is a destination for professional cycling teams in training, and provides good terrain for road and mountain bikers. It has year-round good weather and relatively quiet country roads. There are various local cycling clubs throughout the island.
Road bikers should note that car drivers may not be accustomed to sharing the road with riders, so it is important to ride defensively and with awareness. It is recommended to wear a helmet.
Mountain bike rentals are available in larger towns and sea-side resorts and from guided cycling tour companies. Mountain bikers would find that most tracks are not mapped, so some riders may find it worthwhile to initially hire a guide. During the hotter months of the year, the Troodos Mountains is an excellent place for riding as temperatures are cooler than on the coast.
The Cyprus Cycling Federation is the official cycling organisation for road and mountain cycling and may provide information on request.
- Cyprus Travel Secrets also has much introductory information and route information
- A Window on Cyprus has some on- and off-road route maps
The ski season in Cyprus generally runs between January and April.
The Cyprus Ski Federation & Club has four ski lifts reaching 8 alpine ski runs on the slopes of Mount Olympus (elevation 1,951 metres). The Hera and Zeus lifts service the runs on the North Face of Mount Olympus while the Aphrodite and Hermes lifts service runs in Sun Valley. The runs accommodate skiers of all levels and ski schools are on site. Cross-country ski tracks are also available. The Mount Olympus ski area has a restaurant and two cafes.
- For up-to-date information on ski and road conditions and what facilities are open, see the Cyprus Ski Federation & Club website
- Cyprus Ski Federation & Club
Tel: 22 449 838
Fax: 22 449 837
- Cyprus Ski School
Tel: 99 516 590
- Olympus Ski School
Tel: 99 428 116
- Troodos Ski School
Tel: 99 443 450
Downhill and cross country ski equipment can be rented on the North Face (Zeus lift) and at the Ski Shop in the Sun Valley area. It is recommended to arrive early to rent the best equipment.
There are two hotels in the Troodos Square area, about 2 Km from the ski resort. There are many more hotels in the surrounding villages of Kakopetria and Platres. Winter is considered the low season, so prices are lower than in the summer.
Mount Olympus is about 3 kilometres from Troodos hill resort, 12 kilometres from Platres hill resort, and about an hour's drive from the seaside town of Limassol.
- Access direction Limassol: take the highway leading to the city of Limassol and follow signs to the Troodos area.
- Access from Nicosia: take the highway following directions to Troodos. It takes about one hour to reach Troodos.
There are four ski clubs in Cyprus: Nicosia Ski Club, Famagusta Ski Club, Limassol Ski Club and Troodos Ski Club.
- The Cyprus Ski Club has more information about the Nicosia Ski Club
- Nicosia Ski Club
Tel: 22 449 837
Fax: 22 669 681
- Famagusta Ski Club
Tel: 25 566 099
- Limassol Ski Club
Tel: 25 384 040 / 99 612 126 / 99 482 007
Fax: 25 394 519
- Troodos Ski Club
Tel: 25 420 230
Ski club members receive a discount on rentals at the Sun Valley Ski Shop.
- Cyprus Forestry Department
At: Louki Akrita, CY 1414 Nicosia
Tel: 22 805 510
To report forest fires: 1407