holidayloop.co.uk For overseas home owner

Cyprus outdoor Pursuits

Apart from the beaches and usual water sports (See Coasts) Cyprus has plenty to offer those who love the outdoors. Cyprus is a wonderful place for walkers especially in spring when temperatures are not too high (avoid midsummer) and the meadows are full of beautiful wild flowers. In the South the best hiking areas are in the Troódos Mountains and on the Akámas Peninsula. You can follow nature trails in both areas and orchid lovers will be in heaven with over 50 species growing wild. Cedar Valley in the Troódos Mountains is a nature reserve where you may see the shy moufflon, a wild Cypriot sheep now a symbol of Cyprus. Cape Gkréko a limestone headland on the south eastern tip of Cyprus is also a protected nature reserve and best seen by canoe or glass-bottomed boat and divers will enjoy exploring the shipwrecks. (See Coasts). Cape Gkréko is also suitable for rock climbers as are the crags of the Troódos Mountains.
 
In the North the Karpas Peninsular with its rolling hills and empty beaches is the perfect place to get away from it all. If you are lucky you may get to see wild donkeys and nesting grounds for sea turtles. The eastern part of the rocky spit is now a nature reserve.  
 
A great way to see the scenery is by bicycle and these are widely available to hire. Horse riding is also available on some beaches and four wheel drive vehicles are becoming a popular way of exploring the beautiful Cypriot countryside and historical sites. (See Culture)
 
For keen bird watchers there are two salt lakes in Cyprus (one near Lárnaka and one on the Akrotírio Peninsula). Both provide excellent gathering points for bird migration in early spring and winter. Here you can expect to see flocks of flamingos, swans, pelicans and wild ducks plus the Cyprus warbler. In the North the Klidhes islets provide a haven for all kinds of sea birds.
 
Fishing is allowed in many of the reservoirs on the island but you will need a permit available from district offices of the Fisheries Department.
 
There are three 18 hole golf courses to choose from outside Páfos, Aphrodite Hills, Secret Valley Golf Club and Tsada Golf Club which is set in the grounds of a 12th century monastery. At Lemesós try the Vikla Golf Course. Golfers visiting the North should please note there are no public golf courses available but you are invited to use the 17 hole course at the Cyprus Mining Corporation at Yesilyurt, southwest of Mórfou (Güzelyurt).
 
Finally winter travellers can ski or snowboard on the northeast slopes of Mount Olýmpus in the Troódos Mountains between December and mid-March. Weekends tend to busy with locals. An International Skiing Competition is held here every March. Good luck!