Why Cycling in Cyprus is the Best Idea for a Holiday

Georg Egger at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2018
Georg Egger at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2018 | © Lexware Mountainbike Team / Flickr
Photo of Maureen Murori
Writer26 March 2018

As well as guaranteed sunshine and lack of headwinds, Cyprus boasts stunning scenery and an idyllic setting that make it fantastic for cycling. Want to know more? Then read on to discover what makes exploring on two wheels a must when visiting the island.

It’s a green (and healthy) break away

Individuals and agencies the world over are pooling resources together to curb global warming. By taking part in a cycling holiday, you become part of the global group fighting to reduce personal carbon emissions into the atmosphere – if cycling is adopted as a means of transport around the world, it would largely help to reduce global warming. In addition to being a green activity, cycling is a healthy pursuit – it allows you to stretch your muscles and relax after several hours if not days/months of hard work.

The terrain is rugged and varied

The landscape of Cyprus is unpredictable – the terrain and scenery change rapidly every few kilometres, giving cyclists an opportunity to experience a variety of surfaces within a short period of time. The varied terrain can go from hills to plains and from rocky to clay – the island gives cyclists a chance to experience unique surfaces within the same locality, making it one huge mountain bike arena. Since 1997, the island has hosted the Cyprus Sunshine Cup. As part of the Mountainbike Series, the event is ideal for professionals as well as amateur riders. It is one of the most celebrated mountain bike race events in the World Cycling Federation (UCI).

There’s a strong cycling culture

Due to its good weather and unique terrain, Cyprus has become a firm favourite and a sought-after destination by enthusiasts, and a number of bike centres have sprung up to satisfy the needs of the growing market. They render rental services and organise adventures to traverse the island’s serene olive groves and vineyards, jagged coastlines and intriguing ancient ruins.

In the southern part of the island, for example, weekly evening bike rides on Wednesdays have become a tradition. For over ten years, people have been gathering in Limassol and Nicosia to promote the use of bicycles as a means of transport and recreation. The meet-up is also aimed at expanding the presence of bicycles on the streets of Nicosia and Limassol, which will ultimately help to reduce the number of vehicles on the streets.

The northern side also offers unique cycling experiences. Last month (February 9-11, 2018), the International Cycling Tour of North Cyprus was held in the locality for the third time in a row.

Cyclists taking part in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2018 | © Lexware Mountainbike Team / Flickr

There are plenty of cycling routes and trails

Cycling is a great way to interact with the in-depth history of a country at a pace that will allow you to take it all in. Over the years, cycling trails and routes along various themes have been created across the island – you can pick from nature, cultural, wine, villages, religious, museums and galleries, as well as sites monument trails. You can follow one of the countless routes, or venture out to discover new and undiscovered places on your own. Whatever route or trail you decide to follow, you are bound to find all manner of exciting sights and sounds.

The themed tours are a great way to explore

With a growing number of enthusiasts, cycling has become part of the efforts to promote tourism in the Mediterranean island, with themed tours organised around the sport.

Aimed at promoting cycling throughout Europe, The Netherland’s Council of the European Union presidency backed the Cycling Festival Europe 2016. Called “Wheels and Traces”, the event in Cyprus saw cyclists make a grand tour around historic Nicosia. The 15-km (9.3-mile) cycle was recorded for a showcase at the TEDxNicosia 2016.

Georg Egger at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2018 | © Lexware Mountainbike Team / Flickr

The Gran Fondo (Big Ride) has to be seen to be believed

Once only known for mountain biking, Cyprus is now recognised as one of the global road cycling destinations.

For the past two years, Cyprus has hosted Gran Fondo, a type of a long-distance road cycling racing event originating in Italy in 1970. Today, the mass participation cycling event is gaining ground in North America, Asia and the rest of the world. The island’s event is one of the nineteen races of the World Cycling Federation (UCI), supported by Cyprus Tourism Organization. With fans from around and outside the island, this new development is aimed at attracting more tourists to the country. Gran Fondo encourages professionals and recreational cyclists to take part in the event. Riders are promised to experience scenic views, personal achievement and even grand prizes.

Bikes at the Limassol seafront | © Edi Weıssmann / Flickr

It’s a holiday for everyone

Regardless of age or fitness level, a cycling holiday is a great leisure activity break. You could be relatively new to cycling or an experienced cyclist with a number of medals to your name, you could be married with a family, single or dating, cycling does not discriminate – it gives everyone an equal opportunity to explore the world.

As you tackle the hills and valleys, as an individual or a group, you’ll soon see that exploring this beautiful country on two wheels is far more than a once-in-a-lifetime cycling event, and you absolutely should not miss.

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