Cycling and hiking in Cyprus

Cyprus, Kyrenia harbour

There's a lot more to Cyprus than Ayia Napa - it's a beautiful Mediterranean island too, you know.

So whether or not you're indulging in the nightlife or heading for a quieter corner of the holiday hotspot, pack a pair of lightweight walking boots or hire a bike to up the activity level on your beach break.

The island’s diverse landscape is inspiration enough to get active, with mountains, forests, wildlife and numerous beaches across the south.

What better way to make sure you're not bulging out of your bikini by the end of your summer holiday? Click through to fimd out some beautiful spots to cycle and hike in Cyprus.


cycling woman offroad

Best Cyprus cycling routes

Ayia Napa

Best known for its nightlife, Ayia Napa will be mostly yours if you get up early and on your bike to beat the midday heat. Cycle paths are safe and probably the best way to see the highlights of the resort. Take a ride along Nissi Avenue from the town centre until you reach Water World Waterpark, with a detour south for lunch and a refreshing dip at Makronissos beach: stick a towel and bikini in your back pack, along with a bottle of water.

Health benefit: Go the distance, and not only will you be rewarded with the sights and smells of picturesque countryside, but you'll reap the benefits of a 300-calorie exercise session over eight miles.

Tip: Keep your arms relaxed and alter the position of your hands on the handlebars as you cycle. This should prevent too much pressure going on the same nerves and stop you feeling the strain.

Cycle training plan for long-distance rides

Larnaca

Start at Tourist Beach and sight-see your way by bike on an 11-mile cycle route - but remember to grab a picnic as you pass through town. Travelling south, you’ll follow paved roads and pass the port, before cycling along Athinon Avenue for breathtaking views of Larnaca Castle and Mackenzie Beach. Continue past the airport and turn right at the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque to reach a picnic area in the woods; the perfect place to rest and refuel in the shade. Take the straight road for a visit to the rural village of Meneou, near Salt Lake.

Health benefit: Cycling improves your cardiovascular fitness, which decreases your chance of heart disease. It’s not a result you can see, but it’s definitely one you can feel.

Tip: Stretch your muscles before a ride to help prevent an injury. Try the supported bond angle yoga pose by lying on the floor and bringing the soles of your feet together, making a diamond shape with your legs. As you do this, rest on your elbows with your hands under your thighs. As it’s a comfortable exercise, do it for as long as you like to take tension out of your groin, hips, chest and shoulders.

Safe cycle tips from an Olympic champion


hiking woman in shorts

Best Cyprus hiking routes

Hike like a true adventurer through natural beauty

Paphos Forest

In the south-west of the island, north of the Troodos Mountains, Paphos forest is perfect for hiking. Take it easy down at sea level or test your comfort zone by working your way up hills covered in verdant pine trees. The area is pristine and it’s easy to make your way along the range of trails, just keep a track of time so you know when to head back. There are many picnic areas - take advantage of them to give your muscles a rest and lower your heart rate before moving on.

Health benefit: After an open-air hike you are guaranteed to sleep better and, as you’ve contributed to your aerobic exercise, your risk of high blood pressure will continue to be reduced. Just think: you could come back from holiday fitter and healthier than ever.

Tip: Hiking is sweaty work, so carry plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Reduce the strain by packing your rucksack light - but don't forget a first aid kit just in case, and do include insect spray.

Stay safe when you're hiking

The Troodos Mountains

These mountains have a peak height of 2,000km at the top of Mount Olympus and offer a beautiful location to hike, with wildflowers, grazing sheep and the sound of bird calls. There are marked trails across the area, including ‘Persephone’, which ends at a stunning panoramic viewpoint, and ‘Kalidonia’, which takes you past the Caledonian waterfalls where you can catch a welcome fresh-water drink.

Health benefit: Hiking across rough terrain means your muscles are constantly being adjusted and toned, particularly your calves. Toned legs without spending ours on the stepmaster? Yes please!

Build your walking strength with these moves

Tip: Pack a fruit snack, as you could burn 370 calories an hour on a strenuous hike, and fruit will replenish lost energy reserves while hydrating at the same time. For a backpack tension-relieving cool-down, stretch your chest muscles by bringing your arms behind your back and putting your fingers together to pull away from your body.

Choose your Cyprus getaway

More active holiday ideas