Some people love nothing more than a leisurely stroll through nature, perhaps stopping off for a lazy picnic, enjoying a drink at a quaint coffee shop or tucking into a meal in a traditional country tavern. But others, have a slightly different approach to the natural world, with a penchant for all things wild and a sporty. And if it’s fun under the open skies that you’re after, Cyprus offers an abundance of opportunities to get your heart pumping, from climbing and cycling, to skiing and sailing.
My Cyprus Insider highlights a few of the best to keep you on your toes and get those adrenaline levels reaching an all-time high.
Nothing quite beats feeling the wind in your hair as you weave your way through country lanes in the Cypriot countryside. And with various cycling routes mapped out throughout the rural terrain by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), there’s great incentive to get your helmet on and go for a whizz through the welcoming greenery. For more details on all the trails available visit www.visitcyprus.com.
Skiing may not be the first thing that you think of when you picture your holiday in Cyprus. But in late December, the first snow of the season usually begins to fall, blanketing the peaks of the Troodos Mountains in magnificent white until around March. This does of course vary from year to year, so if you’re really intent on a good ski trip, it’s best to visit the island towards the end of January or February. For updates and more info visit www.cyprusski.com.
Mountain & Rock Climbing
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, Cyprus’ rugged terrain offers ample opportunity to reach new heights, with the mild weather conditions most of the year meaning you can get those hiking shoes on when the rest of Europe may still be icy and cold.
There are plenty of local clubs and groups on the island where you can get hold of information online, but it’s always a good idea to make www.komoaa.com your first port of call; the Cyprus Mountaineering, Sport Climbing and Orienteering Federation.
While the island is now home to a glamorous new marina in Limassol, with more to soon be built in other seaside towns, the island is fast becoming a true sailing hot spot. With unspoilt bays to be explored and an abundance of anchorages, there’s so very much to be discovered with many hidden coves only accessible by boat.
Boasting a mild climate during most of the winter season and a constant mean average breeze of around 100 knots, the island environment sets the stage for many a happy sailing days. Whether you opt for an organised boat trip via a yacht chartering service, or you fancy mastering the art of seamanship as you navigate a yacht first hand, there is something for everyone.
For the ultimate adrenaline rush, nothing quite beats hitting the waves with a board and kite. Not for the faint hearted, those who are brave enough must undertake professional training before heading out into the open seas with the equipment. With many water sport and dedicated kitesurfing schools around the island, it shouldn’t be hard to find one close to where you are staying.
The crystal clear waters that lap against the Cyprus coastline are the perfect place to experience the excitement of scuba diving. And there are plenty of great splendours to ogle at, from sea caves to underwater wrecks. Every coastal resort of the island is home to a number of dive schools to accommodate your needs, affiliated with the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI), allowing you to obtain globally recognised credentials.
If you do choose to go diving in Cyprus, be sure not to miss out on the wreck of Zenovia, a Swedish ferry that sank close to the Larnaca coast in 1980. Attracting diving enthusiasts ever since, the site has often been touted as one of the best wreck diving sites in the world.