Cyprus is an island of natural beauty in a region with an abundance of ancient and modern civilisations and cultures. Its mineral wealth was well known in ancient times: the island gave its name to the element copper (Cu). Away from the cosmopolitan towns and beach resorts you will find large areas of natural, unspoilt countryside. Rugged, conifer-clad mountains, woodland and gentle orchards and vineyards are interspersed with tranquil, timeless villages. The people extend a warm and friendly welcome and their hospitality will add greatly to the enjoyment of your tour. In mid to late March Cyprus comes into bloom with a profusion of exquisite, wild flowers. The island’s position on one of the major migratory routes means that it becomes a stopover for many species of birds during their migrations, particularly in April and September / October. The Troodos Mountains cover much of the southern and western part of the country and this walk takes you from walking in the high mountains down to the coast, starting from an altitude of about 1100m. The walk takes you through a time worn landscape, with painted churches and Kykko Monastery, the largest monastery in Cyprus, dating all the way back to Byzantine days. The walk continues down to the Pafos area in the western part of the island and includes walking on to the Akamas Peninsula, an important nature reserve.
This is a moderate trek, as the daily walking distances are average, but it includes some steep climbs and descents. It should therefore present no difficulties to someone accustomed to day long walking. Day stages: Distances walked vary from 12 to 20 kms (25 km on the extended day) or 3,5 to 7 hours a day (up to 8 hours on the extended day).
Transfer to Pedoulas in the heart of the Troodos Mountain Range.
Accommodation: Your first 3 nights accommodation is in a simple one star family-run hotel with about 20 rooms in the middle of this attractive village which has a 15th century world heritage painted church. All rooms have en-suite facilities.
You start with a circular walk from Pedoulas via Moutoulas and its 13th century painted church, enjoying wonderful mountain scenery and some spectacular views.
There is a short taxi transfer from Pedoulas to the start of your walk at the Xystarouda Picnic Area. You then walk through the delightful Platy Valley to the village of Milikouri. You will be met at a set time and returned to Pedoulas.
You will be collected and transferred to the start point of your walk. Enroute you will stop off at the Monastery of Kykko for a short visit. Your walk then starts from "Cedar Valley", and leads on through dense natural forests of Cyprus cedar, habitat of the Moufflon, unique to Cyprus, to Stavros tis Psokas.
Accommodation: In the depths of the forest, you stay at a simple but attractive guesthouse run by the Forestry Department. All 7 rooms have en-suite facilities. The cafeteria where meals are taken is a 10 minute walk.
Much of today's walk involves a long descent out of the mountains. The route passes through Stavros tis Psokas and up to Simou village where you will be collected by taxi and transferred to Kato Akourdaleia. The walk can be extended another 6 km, if you wish by continuing the walk directly into the village of Kato Akourdaleia.
Accommodation: In the centre of this tiny village, set among orange groves, you stay in a traditional old building now converted into an attractive, family-run inn with 7 en-suite rooms. On occasion rooms in the nearby villa and in the village are used.
Today we regain some height as we reach the Laona Plateau and onto Droushia. This small village has a population of 200. It is a typical Cypriot village with many old stone houses bearing traditional architecture of carved doors and windows of wood. The narrow, winding streets add to the character of the village along with the renovated village houses. There are two coffee shops that cater to the needs of the village, as well as two small supermarkets/kiosks and some very good tavernas. There is a small weaving museum and an open air theatre which hosts events during the summer months. The church of Agios Epifanios, is in the centre of the village and you can explore the ancient monastery of Agios Georgios Nikoxilitis on the eastern side. This monastery is thought to have been built in the 15th century and was rebuilt in 1923 after destruction by fire. From Droushia you can see all the way across to the Troodos Mountains and, looking north you can see Chrysochou Bay and the seaside towns of Latchi and Polis. Looking west, there are stunning views of the Akamas Peninsula with many huge landforms scattered in between.
Accommodation: The Palates Hotel is a comfortable family run hotel.
Today you descend to the coast, including the optional visit to the entrance of Avakas Gorge. Agios Georgios tis Pegeias is situated about 400m from the coast, with a small fishing harbour and beach area. It is mainly an agricultural area with bananas and citrus, a few tavernas, two churches and the ruins of an early Christian basilica. It is locally claimed, that the sunset from Agios Georgios tis Pegeias is the most beautiful on the island. Perhaps the best place to be to view this spectacle is above the cliff next to the St. Georges Restaurant above the fishing harbour or on the coast itself.
Accommodation: A small family run one star hotel. All rooms are ensuite.
There is no walking today. Instead, you will be able to enjoy the sea and beach activities. Have a rest from walking and relax into the Cypriot pace of life. The closest town is Polis 7 km away. To get there you can either hire a fairly inexpensive taxi or take the 3 times daily bus service (Lachi - Polis). Alternatively you could take the hourly or bihourly bus from bus service from Polis to Paphos to visit the town, its harbour and its important antiquities.
Accommodation: Two nights at Chrysochou Bay, Akamas Peninsula. The hotel has 70 en-suite rooms. The modern looking hotel is set in a fine position, just above a pebble beach. 4 km /2.5 miles is Lachi Harbour where all facilities are available. A further 2 km from here and you reach Polis a small town, but the area's largest!
A long walk, mostly downhill, passing through a deserted village before meandering along tracks and through woods, then descending steeply to the coast. You walk down to the Baths of Aphrodite where the lovely goddess is said to have bathed in a rock pool. Good views of Chrysochou Bay throughout.
The final walk takes us into the Akamas on a circular route along Adonis and Aphrodite nature trails, via the ruins of Pyrgos tis Rigenas and then to Mouti tis Sotiras, a peak overlooking the sea from which we get beautiful views and the Baths of Aphrodite. The nature trails of the Akamas are particularly spectacular when the spring flowers are in bloom.
After breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to Pafos or Larnaka to catch your outbound flight.
Per Person, Twin Share