Dramatic mountain tops, stunning sea views, and ancient bridges crossing gurgling rivers: you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to countryside discoveries in Cyprus. And nature trails recently re-opened across the island, following the gradual lifting of lockdown measures, you can now put your best foot forward around the country. The My Cyprus Insider team has specifically narrowed down three trails that really deserve to be on your bucket list.
1. Aphrodite Trail, Akamas, Paphos district
The whole of the Akamas peninsula is undeniably stunning, and even more so in the spring when the whole area is blanketed in vibrant green and peppered with flowers. Get your walking shoes on to traverse a trail of 7.5km in length, which should take 3-4 hours to complete, with time to stop off to take in the beauty of the area.
Starting off at the Baths of Aphrodite, where legend has it that the Goddess of Love and Beauty used to bathe, you will pass by the ruins of Pyrgos tis Rigainas (Queen’s Tower), believed to have once been part of a Medieval Monastery. But probably the best thing about this trail are the breath-taking views across Cape Arnaoutis, Polis Chrysochous and the lush Paphos Forest. The trail also connects with the Adonis trail, whilst at its starting point, you can visit the Akamas Botanical Gardens.
2. Venetian Bridges Trail, Treis Elies, Limassol district
Many of you have probably heard of the gorgeous Venetian bridges of the island, but there seems to be a veil of mystery surrounding them, perhaps due to the fact that they are a little off the beaten track, and admittedly, a little hard to find! But set out on this trail (starting from Kaminaria village) and you’ll go right past all three of them: Elia, Tzelefos and Roudia.
Saying that, the route is an exceptionally long one (17 km which takes about 6 hours) so you may want to consider covering just part of the distance. Panoramic views abound here, and you’ll weave your way through dense pine forests, over Arminou dam, past Pera Vasa picnic site, and through Saours farm belonging to Kykkos monastery, past the Cave of Saouris and beyond.
3. Artemis Trail, Troodos
This trail, which starts off 300 metres from the junction between the Chionistra road and the Troodos – Prodromos road, has something rather special about it that hardly anyone knows about, set to thoroughly delight history buffs. Not just about taking in the beautiful natural world, walk through the route and you’ll come across ruins of rough fortifications built during the final year of the Venetian occupation of Cyprus (1571 AD) by a group of Venetian generals who decided to put up a defence against the Ottomans.
The route goes round Olympos mountain peak (Chionistra) at an altitude of 1850m and provides spectacular views in all directions, while you’ll also spot some rather rare species of flora and rocks. The trail is 7km long and will take about 2.5 – 3 hours to complete.