With measures slowly easing up and restrictions around the island gradually lifting, we can finally look forward to some time spent in the great outdoors, enjoying the countryside once more, while we rekindle that long-lost bond with nature. Here are five scenic routes to delight both experienced and novice cyclists!

 

 

1. Solea Valley, Nicosia & Troodos

This is a well-paved route with a low difficulty level – although you probably won’t want to traverse all of it as it spans a whopping total distance of 156.4km, and follows a steady upward slope – starting from Agioi Trimithias and following the road to Agia Marina. Taking you deep into the pretty Solea Valley, you’ll have the chance to take in traditional architecture and picturesque Byzantine churches. Be sure to stop off for a break in Kakopetria at Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis church; a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only surviving monastery church of its kind, covered entirely in frescoes from the 11th to the 17th century.

 

 

Passing the church, the route continues and crosses the main Nicosia-Troodos road, climbing towards the villages of Nikitari and Vyzakia, following back the same route to Nicosia through Agia Marina Xyliatou, Kato Moni, Meniko, Palaiometocho and concluding at Agioi Trimithias.

Find out more about the route here.

 

2. Agios Georgios-Lara Bay-Fontana Amorosa-Baths of Aphrodite, Paphos

This route is only 22km long but has a high difficulty level, beginning at Polis Chrysochous and navigating towards the famous freshwater Aphrodite Baths where legend has it that Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of love and beauty, used to bathe. Be sure to check out the adjacent botanical gardens while here.

 

 

The route continues through the Akamas forest, ascending towards the lighthouse, where you can gaze out at stunning views across the western area of the island.  Before reaching the beginning of the big uphill (17km from the starting point) in the Fontana Amoroza area, take a quick break and enjoy an exhilarating swim in the beautiful clear blue waters of the Blue lagoon. After enjoying the view and the lighthouse, you are left with two options: either return back to the starting point via the same route, or if you’re itching for more, continue the ascent to the ‘Smiges’ picnic area, through Neo Chorio village and then head back to Polis Chrysochous.

Find out more about the route here.

 

3. Limassol-Fasouri/Pachna-Kolossi, Limassol district

A long and enjoyable route of 90.8km, you can enjoy riding on paved roads through relatively easy terrain. First come the citrus orchards of Asomatos and Fasouri, the main orange-producing areas in Limassol. Then, you’ll be riding along the Limassol-Paphos road, following the route past the chapel of Agios Ermogeni and the Curium archaeological site and its famous beach. Next, ride past the military base of Episkopi and Paramali village where the road starts ascending north towards Avdimou, Prastio and Pachna, the main wine-producing villages of the region, followed by the nearby smaller producers, Agios Amvrosios and Kivides.

 

 

After Kivides, gaze at the spectacular view to the east of Limassol, Akrotiri and Episkopi; a truly relaxing and remarkable spot, followed by the beautiful countryside of Souni, Kantou and Erimi, leading to the towering, ancient medieval Kolossi castle, a perfect example of military architecture originally built in the 13th century. Conclude your journey with a return to Limassol via the Fasouri road.

Find out more about the route here.

 

4. Kofinou – Larnaca

The Kofinou–Larnaca cycling route covers a total distance of 40.1 km and is an easy and enjoyable ride. Starting from the village of Kofinou and heading north-east, you’ll travel along the outskirts of the villages around the famous neolithic settlement of Choirokitia. You’ll then pass through Alaminos village with a range of historic houses, the old church of Agiou Mama and the long, rectangular 15th century stone castle of Koulas.

 

 

Next up is Anafotia – pass by the chapels of Agia Marina, Agios Christoforos and Saint Timothy and Mavra as well as taking a moment to gaze at the main attraction of the village, the Heroes Monument.

Last but not least is the lovely Mazotos, where you can visit Panagia Petountas Chapel, right by the sea and built upon Roman ruins where many tombs were discovered. The route then goes through the grade-separated junction at Larnaca Airport and ends at the Fire Department traffic lights.

Find out more about the route here.

 

5. Psilo Dendro (Platres) via mesa Potamos – Karvounas, Troodos district

Covering a total distance of 16.2 km and a low degree of difficulty, this route starts from Psilo Dendro in Troodos and crosses the Mesa Potamos river six kilometers from the starting point. Enjoy the dense vegetation of the eastern slopes of the Troodos Mountains offering a cool getaway, even during the hotter months of the summer, and kick back for a break at a lovely picnic area on route, near the Prodromos monastery.

Next, you’ll pass Kato Amiantos and its village houses with characteristic sloping roofs as senses are rejuvenated with the aromas of fragrant herbs and shrubs growing alongside beautiful pines.

 

 

Following the Saittas to Karvounas road, for 3 kilometers uphill, gaze at the Chardaki peak to the southeast. The Karvounas cross-section is a great place for a break, with views across the north of the island. Then, continue the route uphill north-west, as the route takes you to Troodos junction square for a short break, before descending to Psilo Dendro where the adventure culminates.

Find out more about the route here (turn to page 14).