Cyprus is a small island, But it still has everything a cyclist can dream of: mountain routes (the Troodos), great beaches, seaside bike rides, good food, sunny days and warm hospitality- with most people speaking in English, and a lot of good hotels and lodges to stay.
As we had only 2 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 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. Even though acting like busy and spoiled adults, as 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 on 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 that 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 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 bicycle car rack.
40 minutes of driving, half of it on small village roads- and we arrived to the center of a quiet, beautiful village, Lythrodontas.
We made a phone call to our host, and he came to the village center to guide us to his wonderful B&B. At midnight we found ourselves in 2 separate beautiful old style rooms, ready for the next Cyprus biking days.
What did we take with us?
The weather during that time of the 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)
- 2 sets of cycling clothes, including cycling shirts, shorts & socks
- Bike riding gloves
- Power gel – About 3 for each riding day (We assumed that finding food was not going to be a problem in this trip – see Cyprus images below)
- First aid kit, including sun protection cream and pain relief cream (Bengay)
- Biking maps – the best fitted for our trip was a 1:75000 cycling map
- Biking sunglasses, bicycle speedometers and bicycle rear storage rack
- On some biking blogs, they say that GPS is not really required. Still we decided to take with us our GARMIN eTrex GPS, just in case…
- Camera: We had a camera for still pictures. About video, my experience with helmet video cameras is not that great: I have decided to use my good old Sony DV camera instead.
- Personal documents, some money and books (Just like ALL of our biking trips, in this one too we never even opened a single book, but we will continue taking books with us in our future trips..)
Trip details, day by day
Day 1 (44 Km): Lythrodontas and back (circular route)
After enjoying the breakfast at Avli Georgallidi (the best tomatoes I had in years), we started Cyprus biking to the west, along typical mountainous view, olive trees and sunshine.
After about 12 Km of climbing, we reached the junction with a paved road. Our route turned to the south for another 12 Km, passing by near Profitis Elias. We began on relatively flat dirt roads, and then descended in a wide left circle back to Lythrodontas.
In the village center, we stopped by for a scrumptious local snack, and then we came back to our B&B, to attend to the car.
We attached the car rear rack and soon we were on a 2 hours drive along the beach, to Paphos.
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 600m 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 liaise along the west side if 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 Androlikoli (just passing Fasli).
The 500 meters of direct descend 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 set down for an early dinner in a local open air restaurant along the road. One of us just hitchhiked back to Kathikas, to bring the car.
This Cyprus biking adventure was certainly unforgettable.