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Cyprus is a small island. However, it still has everything a cyclist could dream of: mountain routes (the Troodos), great beaches, seaside bike rides, good food, sunny days, and warm hospitality – with most people speaking English and many good hotels and lodges. As we had only two days, the choice to go “Cyprus biking” was quite natural.
Preparing Our Bicycles
As there was no place along our planned Cyprus cycling route to rent bicycles, we had no choice but to take our own bicycles with us. We packed our Santa Cruz – Superlight bicycles in a bicycle shipping box, and as we planned to rent a car, we took a car bicycle rack with us. Packing bicycles, as well as shipping them by air, is something we always try to avoid.
Tip: Stop by the Akamas Peninsula on your Cyprus biking tour
The Akamas Peninsula in Cyprus is famed all over the world for its spectacular scenery.
It is one of the few places in the world that really gives off the impression of being a wild and untamed wilderness, but actually boasts a number of bicycle trails frequented by Cyprus' cycling enthusiasts.
Even though, acting like busy and spoiled adults, we left the task of packing to Chen Lazami, our long-time loyal mechanic from the bike shop, we still hated the game of "are we going to get our bicycles from the airport in one piece?" This seemed more important at that time - much more than Cyprus biking itself.
Much to our relief - our bicycles did survive both trips, and the only minor surprise we had was with the air shipping back home from Cyprus, by Cyprus Air. We were requested to pay 30 pounds (around $40 US) for air shipping. I would advise you to check in advance with your travel agent to see if this is necessary.
We arrived at Larnaca airport around 9PM and rented a family car (no pre-reservations were required, and it was very simple). We unpacked our bikes and loaded them on the bicycle car rack. After 40 minutes of driving, half of it on small village roads - we arrived at the center of a quiet, beautiful village, Lythrodontas. We made a phone call to our host, Mr Costas, and he came to the village center to guide us to his wonderful B&B: Inn AVLI Traditional Holiday Houses. At midnight we found ourselves in two separate beautiful old-style rooms, ready to start our Cyprus biking experience.
What Did We Take With Us?
The weather during that time of year was still quite warm, so we did not have to take heavy clothing with us. We just had our summer riding clothes. As we had a rental car with us and our rides were (almost) circular both days, we did not have to carry along too many things - only the necessary minimum accessories that we usually carry for a regular biking trip back at home:
- One pair of cycling-shoes (with cleats)
- Two sets of cycling clothes, including cycling shirts, shorts & socks
- Bike riding gloves
- Helmet and helmet liners
- Power gel: about 3 packages for each riding day (We assumed that finding food was not going to be a problem in this trip - see Cyprus images below.)
- Outdoor first aid kit, including sun protection cream and pain-relief cream (Ben-Gay)
- Biking maps: The best fitted for our trip was a 1:75000 cycling map
- Biking sunglasses, bicycle speedometers and bicycle rear storage rack.
- GPS: On some biking blogs, they say that bicycle GPS is not really required (especially for bicycle touring). Still we decided to take with us our GARMIN ETrex GPS, just in case
- Camera: We had a camera for still pictures. For video, my experience with a helmet video camera was not that great (see our trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand) - so I decided to use my good old Sony DV camera instead.
- Personal documents, some money and books (Just as on ALL of our biking trips, on this one too we never even opened a single book, but we will continue taking books with us on our future trips.)
Our Cyprus Biking Trip, Day by Day
Day 1 (44 Km): Lythrodontas and back (circular route)
After enjoying the breakfast at Avli Traditional Houses (the best tomatoes I had in years), we started Cyprus biking to the west, along a typical mountainous view, with olive trees and sunshine.
After about 12 km of climbing, we reached a junction with a paved road. Our route turned to the south for another 12 km, passing near Profitis Elias. We began on relatively flat dirt roads, and then descended in a wide circle back to Lythrodontas. In the village center, we stopped for a scrumptious local snack, and then returned to our B&B to attend to the car. We attached the car bicycle rack and soon we were on a two hours drive along the beach, to Paphos. For more details about this route you can visit this excellent link.
Day 2 (55 Km): Kathikas, Pano Arodes & Kato Arodes and back (circular route)
After an early breakfast, we loaded our bikes on the car rack and headed north of Paphos along the main coastal road. Our starting point was the beautiful village of Kathikas, about 600 m above sea level. This village is about 15 minutes from the main road (E701), along the E709 road.
We left the car in the village center and start Cyprus biking to the north along the E709, passing some small villages (Pano Arodes, Kato Arodes and more) overlooking the Mediterranean Sea along the western side of the island. You can see all that in the pictures of Cyprus that I have posted.
Judging by the map, the north-western corner of the island looked quite difficult for bike riding, so we turned to the west near the village of Androlikou (just past Fasli). The 500 m of direct descent to the coast-line was a real reward for our climbing efforts in this mountainous area.
The last part was a long flat ride near the coast-line (Lara Beach) back to the junction of E709 and E701. There we sat down for an early dinner in a local open-air restaurant along the road. One of us hitchhiked back to Kathikas to fetch the car.
- Issue magazine about Cycling in Cyprus
- A great web site about traveling in Cyprus, including some valuable information about cycling in Cyprus
- Cyprus cycling routes (PDF)
- Cyprus cycling maps
- Lythrodontas Circular Cycling Route
- Avli Traditional Houses, Lythrodontas, Cyprus
- All about Cyprus, including Cyprus interactive map
Books About Cyprus
More information about Cyprus can be found on several informative books. Take a look: