Cyprus: A Mecca for Adventure Sports

The message is getting through: Cyprus offers visitors way more than sunshine, beaches, and natural beauty. It also caters to a wide variety of adventure sports, among them rock climbing, trail running, kite surfing, open water swimming, and mountain biking.

According to the Cyprus Tourism Organization, adventure tourism is a growing sector in Cyprus, with an increasing number of thrill-seekers visiting the island to participate in adrenaline-fuelled sports.

Thanks to its mild Mediterranean climate, stunning natural scenery, and rugged terrain, most adventure sports can be enjoyed all year round in Cyprus.

We offer a guide to some of the adventure sports available in Cyprus and include details of which federations and/or clubs to contact for more details.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is popular in Cyprus with locals and tourists alike. With its many limestone and sandstone cliffs, the island caters to all climbing abilities. As a bonus, most climbing spots are situated in areas that boast stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Many clubs and organisations offer experienced guides to help newcomers tackle climbing or bouldering routes best suited to their skill levels.  Most clubs also have technical climbing walls, which offer fun for the entire family.

For more information about rock climbing in Cyprus, contact the Cyprus Mountaineering Climbing & Orienteering Federation or one of the many rock-climbing groups dotted around the island.

Mountain Biking

With its vast variety of trails and a plethora of mountain biking clubs, the sport is very popular in Cyprus.
Many of the trails traverse rugged terrain, including clifftops, while others have been improved with ramps and jumps to add to the thrill.

The main group promoting mountain biking in Cyprus is the Cyprus Cycling Federation, which organises events throughout the year. Their flagship event is the annual Sunshine Cup, which attracts elite mountain bikers from around the world. The federation also works to promote safe and responsible cycling.

Besides the federation, there are many mountain biking clubs and groups situated right across the island ready to introduce newcomers to this adrenaline-fuelled sport.

Trail Running

With Cyprus crisscrossed by an extensive network of ancient pathways and modern, well-maintained single-track trails, the island is a trail runner’s paradise.

Unless there is a specific event in the area, runners will mostly have the trails to themselves and can enjoy the wonderful experience of immersing themselves in nature. Don’t be too surprised if you come across a herd of moufflon, a wild sheep native to Cyprus. Extremely shy, they will eye you from afar before trotting off into the thicket.

Be warned, however, that a few mountain bikers illegally use some of the hiking trails in the Troodos area, hurtling down them at great speed and scaring those on foot.

Among the finest trails on the island are those in the stunning Akamas Peninsula, in the Machairas forest area near Nicosia, and, of course, in the picturesque Troodos Mountain range.

The main group promoting the sport on the island is Cyprus Trail Runners, which regularly organises events and group runs, and is always ready to introduce newcomers to the thrill of running on trails that wind through pine forests, rocky terrain, and ancient monasteries.

The group also organises supported multi-day runs along their 135 km Sea-to-Sky route that starts at Alaminos beach in the Larnaca district and finishes at the 1952 metre Shionistra peak in Troodos.

Kite Surfing

With its clear, warm waters, steady winds, and dramatic coastline, Cyprus provides ideal conditions for kite surfing and wave riding pretty much all year round.

The various kite surfing clubs dotted around the island organise competitions and events in summer and winter, while also providing training for beginners and advanced kiters, and offering equipment rentals.

While the village of Pissouri is regarded as one of the top kite spots in Europe, there are many other sites where the wind blows most days of the year. These include Paramali, Akrotiri, Kiti, Paphos, and Limassol.

Some of the main clubs are KiteMed, Kahuna Surfhouse, Kiteflex, Makwind, North Coast Kite Surfing Club, and Windsurf City. Most also offer Stand Up Paddling (SUP) opportunities.

Open-Water Swimming

Cyprus boasts some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean and consistently scores 100 percent on the European Environment Agency’s rankings for water excellence.

Add to that the sunny weather and beautiful beaches, and it is no wonder that open-water swimming is popular across the island.

The Cyprus Swimming Federation, along with several private clubs and organisations, promotes the sport and regularly organises open-sea swimming competitions.

The Nireas Triathlon Club, too, regularly organises informal open-water swims as well as structured open-water training sessions. They invite all swimmers to join them but insist that newcomers subscribe to the club’s open water swimming guidelines.

Kayaking

With endless coves, sea caves, and picturesque beaches to discover, kayaking is surely the best way to explore the island’s coastline.

Kayaking is also permitted on some inland dams. However, with no strongly flowing or deep rivers, shooting rapids and white-water rafting are not possible in Cyprus.

The most popular kayaking spots are off Cape Greco and the Akamas peninsula, where the waters are clear and, in places, beautifully turquoise.

The controlling body for the sport is the Cyprus Canoe Federation, which regularly organises events and kayaking adventures for adults and children—both in the sea and on Germasogeia dam near Limassol.

For private excursions, contact Sea Kayak Cyprus, which is based in Limassol. They provide kayaks, safety equipment, and local knowledge of the coastline. They offer day tours and sunset tours for beginners and, separately, for advanced paddlers.

Several kayaking groups in Agia Napa offer guided tours of the nearby sea caves as well as the rugged Cape Greco coastline.

Overall, there are many opportunities for kayaking in Cyprus, and joining a club or federation is a great way to get involved and meet other kayaking enthusiasts.

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