Cyprus in winter is not like most European countries and with temperatures around 20 degrees, activities like trekking and cycling are just perfect for the adventurous traveler.
It´s 7 am in Tochni, a small village located between Limassol and Larnaca. The sun shines and the sky is completely blue, the temperature is warm and comfortable. I get messages on my mobile phone on how the rest of Europe is grey and cold, however I have flown less than 3 hours and I feel like in a completely different part of the world – This is Cyprus in winter.
Tochni is very quiet and calm. There is only one small shopping store in the whole village and most restaurants open only in the afternoon. Life is more relaxed and still in this part of the country. Although I have a car, something that’s almost obligatory to travel in Cyprus, the weather is perfect for a morning of hiking and wandering.
From short 1-hour hikes to full day trekking, Tochni is a good place to start a day of sports and adventure. Mountain bikes are also very popular in this area and with the coastal village of Zygi located not more than 10km away, water sports are also an option when visiting Cyprus in winter.
Cyprus is a country you need to visit with a car. Public transportation is not very good and unless you want to stay in one single area during your whole stay, a car is simply necessary. Renting a car is also a good option for a day trip to other villages around the area. From the west to the east coast of Cyprus you need at least one day driving and with beautiful natural landscapes on the western coast or Ayia Napa, traveling at least a couple of days by car is really worth it.
Trekking in the day and eating at night
If there is something that really amazed me in Cyprus it is the amount of food you will get during a meal. Meze, a traditional set of several dishes (between 8 and 10) with different kinds of local delicacies, usually accompanied by wine, juice or a local drink, is the perfect way to finish a long day. The amounts of plates on the table and the variety of flavors, make this a completely different experience when it comes to dining.
“Let me bring you some dessert”, said our waitress in a local bar in Lefkara. It´s probably the 10th dish on the table and I can´t imagine eating more. After eating different kinds of breads, meats, salads and side dishes, I´m not even sure if I can get through the whole week eating like that in this country. At least I was planning to go mountain biking the day after.
Mornings in Cyprus during the winter are very simple and relaxed. A local breakfast to get some energy for the day, a glass of fresh orange juice while looking at the rocky mountains of central Cyprus and the sound of birds singing while flying under a blue sky. I was ready to start my day and with 24 degrees outside, I could not have found a more comfortable temperature for a full day of adventure. My mountain bicycle was ready and I had already downloaded a map on my mobile phone telling me which route I wanted to take. Cyprus in Winter is warm and comfortable. The complete opposite of any other place in Europe
The roads were empty and the landscapes changed constantly. My goal for the day was to reach the Southern coast and spend the whole afternoon relaxing and reading at the beach. The waters of the Mediterranean were not very warm at this time of the year, but I did not mind in taking my towel and go for a swim.
My stay in Cyprus wasn´t short. I spent 10 days in this country and with the right mix of relaxation, adventure sports and sightseeing, time went way faster than I thought it would.
Cyprus is known as a party destination in Summer with British and Irish tourists getting drunk at techno parties on the beach. However, for me Cyprus felt more like a movie of Woody Allen: meeting new people while drinking wine, watching the sunset, food until I couldn´t eat more and romantic landscapes I will never forget.
Are you planning a trip to Cyprus? Let me give you some tips from my guide in Europe and if you want to see more of Cyprus, check out our video below!