Our Favorite Hiking Trails and Travel Routes in Cyprus
Hiking may not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of visiting Cyprus. The Mediterranean island nation is most commonly associated with its beaches and resorts. Our recent vacation to Cyprus, however, showed that the country not only offers sea, sun, and rich history but also a variety of natural landscapes and geological diversity, making trekking on the island a thrill.
As a hiking destination, Cyprus surprises with its rugged coasts, dramatic cliffs, majestic Troodos Mountains, and forests rich with old, gnarled juniper, cypress, and pine trees. Add to that great weather virtually all year due to its southern European location, interesting and long history, rich local food, and increasingly good quality wines. You have all the ingredients for a well-rounded, energetic Mediterranean escape.
Our plan for a week in Cyprus was to enjoy trekking, sunshine, fine cuisine and wine, as well as hikes around the capital city of Nicosia and visits to archaeological sites. To do this, we selected several hiking trails in Cyprus as the anchors of our one-week trip, then scheduled everything else around those walks and whatever the weather gods threw at us.
Favourite Hiking Trails in Cyprus
Even though Cyprus is a small island, its hiking routes provide a surprising variety of natural sceneries and styles. As you can see from our images, each hiking path shown below was distinct from the others, resulting in a well-rounded trekking experience.
Most hiking routes listed below are in protected areas and have trail markings. Still, we recommend downloading GPX tracks and using your preferred map programme (we use
PocketEarth for offline mapping) or hiking app (we use Komoot and AllTrails). Then, if you get lost, you’ll have at least one digital representation of the trail. Because the environment and ecosystem of Cyprus are relatively delicate, stay on marked routes and be respectful of the natural surroundings.
Aphrodite Loop Extended – Best Hike for Coastal Views in Cyprus
- Distance: 5 km / 7.15 miles
- Time: 3-4 hours
- Difficulty: Moderate
The Aphrodite Loop in northeastern Cyprus in the Akamas Forest is one of the island’s most popular walks due to its impressive cliffs and coastal vistas. The path leads through the Baths of Aphrodite and a waterfall grotto set in botanical gardens, then up along juniper-dotted rocky cliffs to the Moutti, this Sotiras view of Cape Arnoutis below.
The hiking track descends through the remnants of a mediaeval monastery, a 500-year-old oak tree, and mixed woodlands frequented by native mountain goats.
The Aphrodite Loop trail should be followed clockwise.
In this way, the hills with expansive coastline views are beneath you as you start your journey along the shore and progress higher toward the cliffs. The route signs point in the opposite direction, which might make the entire trek less difficult and steep. The nicest early morning weather is paired with the shoreline, where you’ll probably enjoy it the most, and starting along the coast offers superb lighting.
While the traditional Aphrodite Loop is about 7.5 km / 4.7 miles long, we joined the Adonis route on our descent through the interior (following the monastery ruins) to gain an additional 4 km / 2.5 miles of length see some different vistas. The Adonis is a lovely trail that passes through old pine, cypress, and juniper trees and grassy meadows where sheep and goats are grazing. Watch out for all the wild oregano, sage, and other growing plants.
How to get to the Aphrodite Loop trailhead:
We travelled a scenic 50 km (or one hour) drive from Paphos to the beginning of the Aphrodite Loop trek. Near the Botanical Gardens’ entrance, there is free parking. Additionally, there is a public bus station where you may board bus 622 from Polis, which departs from Paphos and other areas.
Avakas Gorge Trail – Most Dramatic Hike in Cyprus
- Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
- Time: 3-4 hours
- Difficulty: Moderate-Hard (Do not attempt this trail when raining or if there is any risk of rain.)
- Avakas Gorge Trail Map and Tracks
The Avakas Gorge’s depth makes this walk both difficult and breathtakingly gorgeous. Most people only climb the first kilometre or two into the gorge before turning around because it has the most breathtaking scenery for the least amount of work. However, we advise you to continue to the end.
The gorge deepens, winds, and opens out in various interesting ways for the athletic and daring. You might even come across some wild goats grazing in the hills along the trip.
Unfortunately, the trail markings usually disappear after the first one or two kilometres, leaving you to follow the gorge’s course and search for worn trails and footprints on each side of the stream.
The Avakas Gorge Trail continues through the gorge till it ends in a mountainous, lush pasture. It’s a wonderful idea to stop here for a snack or picnic or just to take in the pastoral sight of sheep and goats grazing all around you.
We discovered a hiking track south of the gorge along the rim and via the Peyia State Forest.
Contrary to the recommendation of many Avakas Gorge hiking trails, you return through the gorge. We advise using this trail to return. This route will be more interesting, less taxing on your joints, and quicker than returning through the full gorge.
How to get to the Avakas Gorge trailhead:
It was supposed to take us 30-45 minutes to drive from Paphos to the Avakas Gorge. However, the shortest route suggested by Google Maps involves travelling on various gravel country roads until it reaches a road washed away, forcing you to do a U-turn (as it did us).
Rather, adhere to the instructions that lead you along the Avakas Gorge Road, which enters the gorge from the west (the coast). The road’s final stretch is unpaved. To avoid driving our tiny rental car on the final section of the road, which was full of potholes and bumps, we ultimately parked around 0.5 kilometres from the trailhead parking area.
You can, however, continue driving to the trailhead parking area. Just be cautious.