As a Mediterranean island with a varied terrain, Cyprus offers you the chance to enjoy exciting holidays that involve numerous activities. If you are sporty, adventurous type and you enjoy a bit of action during your holiday, you will be impressed by the variety of sports that are offered. Take a moment to read this article and choose your favourite pastime... and go for it!
When it comes to exploring Cyprus why not consider doing so by bike. Cycling will take you through some of the most scenic spots in Cyprus. Let two wheels and pedaling get you to new places and help open your eyes to stops along the way that you might otherwise miss. Whether you are interested in wandering recreational trails, harsh mountain biking terrain or paved road riding, there are trail and route types suitable for any kind of rider.
Follow one of the many cycling routes or even make your own. Set the pace you desire whether training or leisure and feel your lungs with fresh air while making your bit to fight global warming and protect the environment.
Special brochures listing all the cycling routes with a description of the location and facilities are available at every CTO office and online.
Jeep and Quad Bike Safari
Choose to explore the amazing area of Troodos, Akamas and many others by taking safari excursions either with four wheel drive jeep or Quad Bike Safari. Trained assistants will show you stunning views, through pine scented terrain, the local colours and a little of the history Cyprus. The terrain changes so quickly that gives the rider all kinds of challenges on their four wheel jeep or quad bike.
Explore the local terrain of Cyprus while practicing your climbing. This challenging sport until recently had remained one of Cyprus’ best kept secrets. Rock climbing in particular offers an unparalleled closeness to nature as well as the rewards of physical effort and achievement. Several locations in Cyprus are suitable for rock climbing, such as Ineia, Drousia and Diarizos River in the Pafos district, Cape Greco between Protaras and Ayia Napa and Trooditissa’s excursion area in the Troodos Mountains.
Click here to visit the Cyprus Mountaineering, sport climbing and orienteering federation official website.
Another way to see the country is on foot... If you want to explore the unspoiled face of Cyprus or want to improve your fitness, hiking is ideal. Leave your car and experience the culture and nature of the island in the best possible way. Autumn and spring are perhaps the ideal seasons for hiking along the numerous trails that lead you off the beaten track. Varying in length and difficulty, these designated trails can be found near the coastal zones, while others are situated on mountain areas.
Popular hiking trails are located at Troodos Mountains, in the Akamas peninsula, at the National Forest Park of Athalassa, at the National Forest Park of Cavo Greko and at the Machairas Forest. For maps of the trails, visit your nearest CTO office.
Kitesurfing / Windsurfing
Windsurfing season in Cyprus runs from April (around Easter period) to early November. Cyprus is one of the most southerly parts of the EU and one of the sunniest. Pissouri Bay, Avdimou beach, Paramali Beach, Kourion (Curium), Ladies Mile, Faros Beach and Softades beach are some places where one can practice windsurfing.
Kitesurfing is more popular when the winds are strong. Cyprus offers the ideal conditions as specific areas are blessed with all year round strong winds, pleanty of sun and warm sea temperatures. By simply choosing adapted equipment, you can kitesurf in waves or flat water, with light or stronger wind provided you have the essential skills level and knowledge. Most popular and organised locations for kitesurfing can be found in Larnaka at Mazotos and Softades area, in Limassol at Paramali near Audimou, Pissouri, Curium and Ladies Mile beach.
The crystal clear waters that surround Cyprus are perfect for scuba diving and if you have never explored 'life under the waves' there are PADI and BSAC courses available in all resorts. There are both day and night dives available including fascinating cave systems and shipwrecks - including one of the top ten wrecks in the world MS Zenobia lies just off the coast of Larnaca and was a Swedish ferry that sank in 42 metres of water on her maiden voyage, taking cargo worth £2 million underwater.
Winter and Water-Ski
Cyprus is an island of contrasts, and whilst it a popular winter sunny destination not so many people know that it offers good skiing too! Mount Olympus (1,952 metres) is the highest peak in the Troodos mountains. From the beginning of January through to March (sometimes April) the mountains are deep in snow and are transformed into a winter wonderland that is reminiscent of the Austrian Tyrol! There are four main ski slopes with six different runs all of Alpine standard and varying in length from 100 - 500 metres and there are also two cross country (langlauf) trails at Sun Valley, one of eight kilometres the other four kilometres and both offer spectacular views down to the Limassol coast and the Salt Lake on the Akrotiri peninsula.
What is fascinating about Cyprus is the fact that it is possible for someone to ski on the Troodos Mountains and in the same day in less than an hour drive to do water-ski in the Mediterranean waters. Water-ski fascilities can be found in most beachfront hotels and water sports centres in organised beaches.
Thanks to the island's location, Cyprus is a natural point of departure for exploring other neighbouring destinations. Locally based cruise lines will carry you across the waves to the neighbouring countries. The cruises depart from the Limassol Port. You will find a selection of cruises and ferries from Cyprus to the Holy Land in Israel, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Rhodes, Athens and The Greek Islands.
Sailing and Yachting
The weather conditions, the unpolluted sea and the interesting coastline make Cyprus an ideal place for yachting. Two ports, three marinas and numerous bays provide adequate shelter for private boats.
Even during the winter months, the yachtsman will appreciate the sailing conditions off the coast of Cyprus, with air and sea temperatures around 17C. If you prefer a sailing experience, choose one of the many boats that sail along the coastline, and enjoy the sun and the sea, or even the seabed if you are on board a glass-bottom boat.
Famous boat cruises depart from Latsi Port for a lazy day trip west of Paphos towards Akamas and from Ayia Napa port for exploring the Ammochostos coastline.
Fishing as a hobby is on the rise in numerous dams around the island. Sea fishing is also popular from all the main coastal resorts. No doubt, fishing will test your patience, but at the same time, it is regarded by many as the most relaxing activity. Famous fishing shelders for their great catch are Potamos Liopetriou, Zygi, Polis and Pomos.
Cyprus is on the main migration routes for birds coming from South Africa to the North of Europe and Asia and back. Regular visitors are the flamingos who winter on the Larnaka Salt Lake and at the Akrotiri Salt Lake and swallows. Cyprus is an important place for bird watchers and Chrysochou Bay in Paphos is regarded as the most important bird observatory.
Click here to visit BirdLife organisation of Cyprus.