The Secret of Cyprus

The magnificent pine forest
which covers approximately 1/3 of the western side of the island.

There are hundreds of miles of well maintained forest trails as well as some EXCELLENT new tarmac roads winding through the various forest regions like the Tilliria, Marathasa and Solea valleys, all leading to the more well known alpine region of the Troodos mountains.

Keen road cyclists will love the alpine style roads winding up, down and through the forest regions and marvel at the lack of cars as they enjoy their own personal training ground.

The more adventurous walker or mountain biker can explore the forest more deeply on the off road trails and, if lucky, will spot the shy Agrino or Mouflon (the indiginous mountain sheep that looks more like an antelope or small deer).

Alternatively, why not take one of our scenic tours on one of the newly built alpine roads through the forest itself.

The tracks and trails are perfect for rally driving and Cyprus has held several world rally stages over the past few years, bringing thousands of car buffs to the island.

Most picnic sites are well signposted off the main roads but, once off the tarmac, expect a bumpy ride on a dirt track – a 4×4 vehicle is a must!

All the sites have BBQ areas, small playgrounds for children and toilet facilities (though not all are that well maintained!) You are unlikely to see many other people at the picnic sites unless it is a Bank Holiday when many of the locals make an expedition to go there, often with the whole family which can be up to 50 people!

One of the most popular times is Green Monday, the first day of Lent, when many families head into the countryside to eat a variety of vegetarian food. This is Carnival time in Cyprus and a great excuse for a celebration.

A special feature of this particular bank holiday is kite flying so now you know why all the shops have kites on display for 2 weeks beforehand!

Favourite picnic sites to look out for are:

Agios Merkourios – about 10km from the village of Argaka

Livadi – which lies deep in the forest behind the Pomos dam

Stavros – at the Stavros forest station

Smigies- a popular picnic site on the Akamas peninsula and an ideal starting point for walks on nature trails