Want to feel the freedom of wind rustling through your hair, as you gallop along sandy beaches or luscious countryside terrains? Then take a ride on one of nature’s finest beasts and allow life’s distractive noises to blur away into oblivion whilst you become one with the great outdoors.
With the earliest evidence of horse riding estimated as far back as 3500BC, the connection between man and the majestic horse share a history deeper and older than most others. With its many health, mental and emotional benefits, climbing on that horse and taking a trot is something that both young and old can enjoy alike.
So squeeze into those jodhpurs, strap your helmet on, and place your feet firmly in the stirrups as My Cyprus Insider takes you on a canter of interesting horse riding venues around the island.
1. Lapatsa Riding School, Tseri, Nicosia
There’s no horsing around at Lapatsa Riding School! It’s the leading and largest equestrian establishment in Cyprus, proudly holding the Cyprus Championship for the last two consecutive years. Open for over 30 years of business, it takes its horseplay seriously.
With a massive indoor arena, the venue is open all year round, heralding international and highly experienced trainers, large outdoor arenas and a vast assortment of international school and livery horses.
Fancy a little dressage or show jumping? Whether you’re a wee nipper or a fit octogenarian, Lapatsa can help you become the best horseperson you can be. If your equestrian skills leave a lot to be desired for, fear not, you’re always welcome to learn simply for leisure. Whether you desire cross country sunset hacks, committed intensive training or just want to kick back and enjoy tea at the club house whilst your little ones pony trek, then Lapatsa is the ranch for you.
Where? Mishiaouli & Kavazoglou Tseri, Nicosia. Tel: (+357) 22-455194
2. Artemis Riding Therapy, Limassol
For a truly holistic experience, then trot on down to Artemis Riding Therapy. An encouraging place set in the beautiful Avdimou countryside, near both sea and mountains, it offers horse related programmes which focus on promoting physical activity and emotional well-being whilst having fun under close supervision; a must for all beginners!
Artemis is the perfect place for some Zen time, while you explore beautiful trails and clear your thoughts, relishing in the freedom of connection with these stunning and intelligent animals. That’s not to forget firming up all those wobbly bits and injecting a spurt of vitality to tired limbs and minds. In a gist, Artemis Riding Therapy is a place where body, soul, mind and equestrian can come together as one.
Where? Avdimou, Limassol. Tel: (+357) 99-900901
3. George’s Ranch, Paphos
Want to combine a little competitive sport with luscious scenery? Located by the stunning sea caves near Peyia, George’s Ranch awaits. Established in 1994 as a trekking centre, the ranch is now a reputable training facility which competes successfully at National Level.
With a large selection of horses and ponies including imported horses, ex-race horses and rescued unwanted horses, there’s a suitable equestrian for any level or ability. Are you a bit of a pro? Then book a session in the F.E.I (federation equestrian international) instructor and international show jumper to fine tune your already exceptional skills.
Last but not least, you can enjoy an all year round tailor made programme, taking you on coastal treks to the stunning sea caves; pure heaven!
Where? Agios Georgios, Peyia, Paphos. Tel: (+357) 99- 647790
4. Cyprus Villages – Drapia Farm, Kalavasos, Larnaca
For an intimate and private experience, then a visit to Drapia Farms is essential. Book yourself and a friend in any time during the year for a personal ride through small rivers in Kalavasos Valley, over unspoiled hilly landscapes or the rugged white rocks of Governor’s beach. The small farm is situated in a gorgeous orange grove amongst the hills, where you can traverse Cypriot countryside, breathing in scented orange petals and pines whilst meandering happily along.
Guided trail rides, all day or hourly treks for beginners or advanced riders are all welcome. Why not take the kids along to join you on one of their two ponies and make it a family day for all to remember?
Where? Drapia Farm, Kalavasos. Tel: (+357) 24-332998
5. Ride in Cyprus, Lysos, Paphos
Fancy a one hour horse ride, or is 7 days more your style? Then the numerous programmes available at Ride in Cyprus, will cater to all your horsy dreams. Founded in 2007, Ride in Cyprus was awarded Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2014. With its pretty wooden stables overlooking forests and mountains, one can trek across plains, through deserted Turkish Cypriot Villages or ramble in rugged forests.
For adventurous folk, then hop on for an overnight trek! It’s all perfectly relaxed, whether you prefer to trot, canter or gallop your way through charming scenery or casually amble around, the focus is always on creating safe and healthy relationships with the horses, correct balance and lifelong techniques, whilst having a great time.
Where? Lysos, Paphos District. Tel: (+357) 99-777624