We often get asked for somewhere interesting to ride in the springtime and who wouldn’t want somewhere to get a good training block in in February or March and get the spring cycling season off to a flying start with some sunny miles?
Nestled in the eastern Mediterranean between sunny Turkey to the north, Lebanon to the east and Egypt to the south Cyprus offers a balmy climate at the start of the year that Mallorca and the Canaries could only dream of.
Cyprus enjoys 326 sunny days per year and Feb/March temperatures mean shorts everyday. The Troodos mountains rise over 2000m up from the Mediterranean to the top of Mount Olympus (yes the one with Zeus) and offer us a varied week of riding past ancient monuments, tranquil forests, scenic vinyards and beautiful olive groves. There are hundreds of kilometers of smooth tarmac and best of all, unlike other Mediterranean destinations, Cyprus is still undiscovered by cyclists, the roads are empty and waiting to be enjoyed.
Home to some of the worlds best olive oil, the birthplace of halloumi and with an array of fresh meats and vegetables Cyprus’ cuisine is light, nutritious and delicious. Even the most basic looking village café will rock out some world class hummous and tsatsiki with fresh crispy pittas on the side. Our first ride of the week takes us along the coast through Paphos, our base for the week and the main city of the Greek side of the island. A haven for sunseekers the year round Paphos boasts a variety of seaside resorts but our interest is in the hills behind the city. After riding along the boardwalk we take a right and start the 12km climb up to the hill town
of Kathikas, at an average of 6% it’s a good strong start to our weeks training, the ice cream at the top will make it all worthwhile! From there we take in 2 more climbs for the day before descending all the way back to cold drinks by the pool to finish.
Later in the week our queen stage of the week involves 160km up to the ski station at the afore mentioned Mt. Olympus, we ride a sensational loop only recently possible with a new connecting road all the way up through the valleys of olives and vines and into the blissful forests of the high Troodos and back. With over 3200m of climbing this ride really is a day to
remember and takes in all the best the island has to offer, the views are spectacular. With what is essentially a 55km rolling climb up to 2000m we will take a couple of stops on the way and there will be a shorter option if you don’t fancy the whole thing. We have lunch atop the mountain in the forest village of Troodos before beginning the odyssey that is a
65km rolling descent through tiny villages and vinyards.
Our base for the week is the Aliathon resort in Eastern Paphos, offering easy access to the mountains and only a 20 minute transfer from the airport it is ideally located and with large rooms, 2 swimming pools and an all you can eat buffet for Breakfast and Dinner it is the perfect place for our spring training camp. Though not as polished as some traditional spring cycling locations Cyprus has so much to offer, the smooth roads, the food, the mythic history, the mountains, the climate, the friendly locals and the easy going nature of the place mean that Cyprus should be firmly in
your sights for your next Spring Training break.
Find out more information about Cyprus Cycling Holidays HERE.