Cyprus is well-known for the wild party scene of Ayia Napa and its environs, but there is far more to Cyprus, including big natural wildernesses that are perfect for exploration on foot or, to cover more ground, by bike. So if you are wondering where to go for your next cycling trip, why not consider heading to the sunny island of Cyprus?
While some areas of Cyprus’ coast are built up and blighted by over-development and mass tourist, there are other stretches that are lovely and relatively tranquil and unspoiled. If you want to avoid traffic and crowds then steer clear of the more built up south coast and head north. If you are looking for some gentle on-road cycling then the stretch between Polis and Pyrgos is a delight. Near Polis, the Akamas Peninsula also provides some lovely relaxed cycling.
But if you want to know why Cyprus is increasingly becoming a cycling Mecca then you really have to head inland. There are many mountain biking and woodland trails criss-crossing the varied landscape of this compact island. There are challenging routes on rough trails with steep gradients, smooth road rides that take you gliding through tranquil forests teeming with wildlife, and a whole range of routes that fall, in difficulty, somewhere between the two.
This may be a small island but it is also a very varied one. There are a range of landscapes to explore, from mountains, to moorland, forests to scrub, deeply undulating geology and flatter coastal areas and the good thing from a cyclist’s point of view is that you can travel swiftly across this changeable landscape in very short time periods, perfect if you want to see and do as much as possible on your holiday because it is so compact.
The areas of Paxos Forest, the Troodos Mountain Massif and the Machairas mountains are riddled with fantastic trails that wind through beautiful vistas and lead you to small idyllic mountain villages, historic churches and other sites. Whether you are a serious cyclist or a family taking your time on a gentle eco exploration, there is something in this beautiful country for everyone. There may be snow on the high peaks in winter but there are cycling trails that can be enjoyed year round and unlike most other European destinations, there will be few troubles with headwinds.
The Troodos area has many delightful routes but if you are looking to base yourself centrally then Karvounas is a good bet. It is a nexus on the cycling routes in the area, giving access to trails leading in every direction.
The ideal conditions and beautiful scenery mean that every cyclist should give Cyprus a go. Don’t write it off because you have heard about the laddish, drinking culture that some people enjoy here. Cyprus can also be a perfect alternative travel or adventure travel destination. So get on your bike and see what Cyprus really has to offer.
Presenting: Chris Ronneseth – Adventure Travel Expert!
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