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Hidden Gems
Walking in Cyprus: Troodos Mountains and Akamas

Walking in Cyprus: Troodos Mountains and Akamas

Overview

This is a walking tour based in three accommodations, offering some of the best walking experiences on the beautiful island of Cyprus, known as the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite. The trip takes in the best Troodos trails and the Akamas peninsula, with an additional inland walk experience in between. It is suitable for different tastes as on most days we provide options to choose from shorter and longer walks. Troodos Mountains are the largest mountain range in Cyprus and are known for their unique geology and Byzantine churches and monasteries. Akamas Peninsula impresses with its wide sandy bays, rocky hiking trails offering stunning views and wildlife diversity.

Highlights:

  • Troodos Mountains – the largest range in Cyprus
  • Kelephos medieval Venetian bridge
  • The beautiful beaches of Akamas peninsula
  • Baths of Aphrodite cave

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kakopetria Village

Upon arrival, transfer from Larnaca/Paphos airport to the old part of Kakopetria village where you stay for three nights. Kakopetria village is built upon the foothill of the Troodos Mountains and is perched at an altitude of 667 m. Old Kakopetria is a charming village, between two streams. It has narrow alleys and houses built in a combination of local stone and adobe. There is a walking trail to the west of the west stream. Exploring the old part as well as walking on the trail next to the stream, are highly recommended. There are two UNESCO World Heritage Troodos painted churches within walking distance from your accommodation. 11th c. Agios Nicolaos tis Stegis, about 2 km from old Kakopetria, is the most striking of the two (visiting hours: Tue – Sat 09:00 – 16:00, Sun 11:00 – 16:00, closed on Mondays).

Day 2: Artemis Trail and Caledonia Falls Trail

Today’s walk is composed of two very different trails, one of which – Artemis trail – is the Cyprus trail with the highest elevation (1,800 meters).

Artemis trail is circular and has a length of 7 km. A short transfer in the morning (~20 min) will take you from Kakopetria to the start of the Artemis walk. Walking on Artemis offers superb panoramic views of different parts of Cyprus. The trail combines barren rocky land that is home of the endemic Troodos juniper, with forested stretches of black pine and walking next to cliffs at some parts. You will pass by some ancient and huge trees. Please note that when there is snow, we advise against doing this walk. There are other lower elevation alternatives that we can suggest (included in the package).

The walk for today also includes a part of the Atalante trail, which ends at Troodos Square. You can have some rest here before you continue along a short stretch on a paved road to the Persephone trail which leads you to the linear Caledonia waterfalls trail. With a length of just 3 km, it is quite steep and crosses the stream at points. About midway of the route, you will reach Caledonia Waterfall, a major natural attraction. The trail finishes in Platres village. Transfer back to Kakopetria (~30 min).

  • Walking for the day (Artemis walk – Atalante – Persephone – Caledonia Waterfalls): 19 km, 5-6 h, ↑600m ↓1200m
  • Accommodation: The Mill Hotel or similar

Day 3: Madari Circular Walks

This is a superb 13-km long circular trail near Madari mountain peak, in the area of Pitsilia, in the Troodos mountain range. There are several relatively convenient starting points. The trail is of medium to strenuous difficulty, with some strenuous ascents and descents. You will enjoy great views to the south, including Morphou bay, to the north, including the village of Kyperounta and Troodos peak, to the west including the village of Spilia. There is great variety in vegetation – you walk past golden oak, wild rose and mastic bushes, junipers, pine, strawberry trees, rock rose and sage, and even cedar, plane trees and bracken. There are also some fascinating rock formations in the area. Do not miss the Xyliatos lake and Panagia tou Araka church, one of the ten UNESCO World Heritage painted churches of Troodos.

  • Walking for the day: 13 km, 4-5 h, ↑800 m ↓800 m
  • Accommodation: The Mill Hotel or similar

Day 4: Platy Valley and Kelephos Medieval Venetian Bridge

Platy valley is one of the jewels of Cyprus nature. Before you start the walk, you can visit one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Painted Churches of Troodos in the area. In the summer Platy Valley is covered in green, you may see many pine and plane trees in the valley, an abundance of bracken and even fig trees. It is possible to encounter frogs, freshwater crabs or moufflon in the valley. ​Another stretch is on the part of a trail that is called the Medieval Bridges trail, which according to local tradition was used by camel caravans to carry material from the copper mines on the north side of Troodos to Paphos port for export. When you reach Kelephos Medieval Venetian Bridge probably the most photographed of the medieval bridges in the country, just inside Paphos Forest, you will be picked up and transferred to the village of Droushia (~1.5 h), where you will spend the next two nights.   

  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 4-5 h, ↑400 m ↓800 m
  • Accommodation: Palates Hotel or similar

Day 5:  Akamas Coast and Avakas Gorge

Today you will explore Akamas west coast. A taxi takes you from your hotel close to the southern part of Lara beach (optionally you can walk from the hotel downhill on a cement road to reach Lara beach). The basic route connects the south Lara beach to Toxeftra beach (on the south end of Lara coast) and is just about 6 km long. This makes it especially suited in the summer, as it can be combined with swimming/snorkelling, with the possibility of sea turtle spotting as well. About 3.5 km from Lara beach you turn inland to reach Avakas Gorge. Avakas Gorge is narrow, at points down to 3 m, with high cliffs on both sides. The changing colours of the limestone rocks, the running water and the local fauna offer a very particular environment in the Gorge. The walk ends around Agios Georgios tis Pegeias locality, where there’s a restaurant, a medieval church, some ancient ruins and a fishing port. The bus takes you to Laourou Beach and from there to Droushia village via a scenic route and several picturesque stone-built villages. Alternatively, you can book a transfer with us to your hotel in Droushia.

  • Walking for the day (incl. the suggested part in the Gorge):  12 km, 2 h ↑300 m ↓300 m
  • Accommodation: Palates Hotel or similar

Day 6: Akamas Panorama Walk

Today you enjoy the Akamas Panorama Walk, traversing the pristine Akamas peninsula. On the way, you will be enjoying glorious views initially of the west coast and subsequently, on the imposing Moutti Tis Sotiras peak, of the north-west, and of the north coast, all the way to Pomos in the northeast. The long walking option starts at Drousheia village, from where it goes north. If you would like to shorten the walking for the day, a taxi will take you to the village of Neo Chorio from where the path goes west (should be booked in advance at a supplement). At the end of the walk, you leave Akamas from the small yet mythical Baths of Aphrodite cave – according to the legend, the ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite used to bathe in the pool of the natural cave, amidst the lush greenery. The cave is next to a beach with a café and a restaurant, where you can have some rest before returning to your hotel – you can either take the local bus or walk for about 2 km.

  • Walking for the day: Long option: 20 km, 4 h ↑500 m ↓1000 m
    Shorter option with a taxi transfer to Neo Chorio: 13 km, 3 h, ↑550 m ↓750 m
  • Accommodation: Aphrodite Beach Hotel or similar

Day 7: Adonis Trail or Free Day

Today is a free day, and you can choose to spend it on the clear pebble beach or make some easy optional walks. You can also visit Paphos ancient city – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the walks you can do is the Adonis trail on the Akamas north coast.

Day 8: Departure

The tour ends after breakfast. By public bus to the airport or you can book a private transfer with us (recommendable). Or you can extend your stay.

Hotels

The accommodation is in family-owned hotels in private rooms with ensuite facilities. The Aphrodite Beach Hotel is the last hotel outside the Akamas Natural Park.

Sample hotels: The Mill Hotel (Kakopetria Village), Palates Hotel (Droushia), Aphrodite Beach Hotel (Polis Chryosochous)

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

The overnights are on bed & breakfast basis, 2 dinners are included at Aphrodite Beach Hotel. Items for lunch are on purchase in the local mini-market in all villages. In most hotels you can order a packed lunch (recommended to be arranged at Aphrodite Beach Hotel, options are to go to the nearby village); discuss with the hosts what they can make for you and what you like and pay for your lunch on the spot in cash. Occasionally there is a possibility for a tavern lunch on your walk as well. Evening dinner can be enjoyed in one of the local taverns or at some of the accommodations where you will stay for overnight.

Travel

Timezone: GMT +2. In big cities, many people speak English, but in remote areas, this might not be the case. However, most of the hotel personnel where we stay speak English and are ready to help you. Road signs/markers are normally in both Greek and Latin alphabet. Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50Hz, two-pin round plugs. Currency: Euro (€). We strongly advise taking adequate cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are not available outside of big cities. Up-to-date FCO travel advice on Cyprus is available here.

Our recommended arrival airports are Larnaca and Paphos.

Transfers to/from Airports

Private transfer from Larnaca or Paphos airport to Kakopetria is included upon arrival.

Departure Aphrodite Beach Hotel

  • By public bus to Paphos or Larnaca. Hotel to Paphos Airport : Buses 622 + 645 +613 (or 622 + 649)
  • Hotel to Larnaca Airport: Buses 622 + 645 + intercity bus to Limassol + Shuttle bus to Larnaca airport

Private Transfers

On departure day, private transfers can be arranged to Larnaca or Paphos Airport.

Baggage Transfers

Luggage transfer is included in your package on day 4 and day 6 (when changing hotels). All your belongings must be clearly marked with your name. Ask the accommodation owner where and at what time the bags should be left in the morning. When you travel on public transport you always take your luggage with you.

Trip Info

Difficulty Grade: Moderate

This holiday is appropriate for experienced walkers and requires a good level of fitness. The daily walks are typically 4 to 5 hours (16 km on average). Nature trails are well marked – much of day 2 and day 6, and most of day 3; partially on day 4 and day 5. On day 2, day 4, day 5 and day 6, some stretches are on dirt roads. It is best to follow the GPS tracks and the maps provided. Parts of the Artemis trail (day 2) Madari circular trail (day 3), Aphrodite trail (day 6) are close to cliffs or steep slopes and are not suitable for people with vertigo, but you will admire amazing views.

Route Navigation

We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed digital road notes and maps, as well as GPS tracks and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack. The route can be walked in the summer as well when some shorter walk possibilities are recommended.

When to Go

This trip is available from March until the end of May and from mid-September until the end of November. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season. As in the summer it gets very hot, it is not recommended that you do this walk in June-August, but the tour can be arranged on request in this period.

Weather

Cyprus has a subtropical climate – Mediterranean and semi-arid type (in the north-eastern part of the island) with very mild winters (on the coast) and warm to hot summers. Snow is possible only in the Troodos Mountains in the central part of island. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry. Generally, summers last about eight months, beginning in April with average temperatures of 21–23 °C during the day and ending in November with average temperatures of 22–23 °C. The middle of summer is hot – in July and August on the coast the average temperature is usually around 33 °C, and in June and September – around 30 °C.

What to Bring

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside the accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Included

  • 7 nights accommodation (private en-suite)
  • Breakfast on each day
  • Luggage transfers when changing hotels on day 4 and 6
  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • 24/7 telephone assistance by our local office/representative in Cyprus
  • All the needed navigation materials in digital format

Supplements and Extras

  • Where solo travellers or individual members of a group require a single room, a supplement is applicable as costs are not shared
  • Extra nights in each accommodation
  • Private departure transfers to the airports, additional transfers in the itinerary

Excluded

  • Flights and airport transfers upon departure
  • Other public transport
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunches and dinners not mentioned
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

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