Limassol’s cycling scene is on the rise.

In part that’s due to the increase in Cyprus’ popularity as a cycling destination more generally, thanks to its favourable Mediterranean weather, varied terrain and excellent road network.

However Limassol’s position on the sea yet close to the Troodos mountains (and some excellent wineries!) is also a draw for cyclists. Limassol’s cycling holiday credentials also get a boost thanks to the fact it’s the base town for cycling events such as L’Etape Cyprus and the 0-2000 cycling challenge.

In this article we speak to Mike Hadjioannou, an associate of the Limassol Tourist Board. They’re keen for cyclists to consider Limassol as their cycling base in Cyprus – and here Mike tells us why. With 20 years of experience riding in and around Limassol and designing cycling routes for the tourism authorities, there’s lots to share!

Read on for details of everything from Limassol’s bike routes to its bike rental and bike shops.

Why should cyclists visit Limassol?

Limassol is the second largest city in Cyprus. It’s located on the south coast of Cyprus, just 40 minutes or so from the two main airports. It’s an attractive place with all the bonuses a coastal location and ancient roots bring.

While Limassol is pretty big by Cyprus standards, its population is only around 200,000. So while you’ll need to “ride out”, it won’t take that long and there are plenty of options for different kinds of terrain. For example

  • To the east, you’ll find at least two or three options to ride flat terrain.
  • To the west, there are rolling hills where you can gain some elevation.
  • There are five or six good options for riding uphill from the city.

I share tips for great routes below.

Another thing I love about the countryside around Limassol is the fact you can easily access the unique hospitality and local culture. You feel it as soon as you ride in the countryside and you pass through the villages; just 5 minutes in the local shop or coffee bar will let you experience the warmth of the people and the fact they’re always willing to help you.

An example I heard recently was shared by the famous road cyclist, Anna van der Breggen. She was here riding in our event and was staying in Limassol but training in the countryside. As soon as she got to training, she realised that she had forgotten her helmet and that it would be an hour drive back. Immediately the locals understood and ten minutes later she had a helmet – and a coffee. This is just what Cypriot hospitality is like!

The final point to mention in favour of a cycling trip based in Limassol is that the weather here is reliably good. I don’t remember ever having to cancel a ride because it was raining the whole day. You might get unlucky and it rains for a few hours one day, but never all day. We’re also a great place to visit in winter because temperatures stay in double digits even in January and February and even in these “rainy” months you’re looking at just a few days of rain each month. Again, more on this below.

These factors have not gone unnoticed by pro riders and we now have quite a few ex pros living in Limassol, like Thomas Wegmuller, Ilnur Zakarin and Viatcheslav Kuznetsov.

Tell us about Limassol’s cycling routes

Mt Olympus is the famous climb of the area and is the climb that most people visiting the area will ask to do.

However the landscape in our region is very varied and there are areas with vineyards, dense forest and olive trees.

The Limassol Tourist Board have prepared a wealth of routes to help you explore the region (here).

Three of my favourites are below.

You can also find easier routes (and additional options) within the routes Limassol Tourist Board have prepared, mentioned above – here).

Route 15: Apsiou – Agios Mamas – Zoopigi – Agios Pavlos – Agios Konstantinos – Kalo Chorio – Louvaras – Apsiou

Distance: 55.8km
Road condition: Paved road
Total altitude difference: + 1,430m
Bicycle type: Road bike

This route is designed for experienced cyclists who want to explore the small, picturesque villages of the area and test their endurance on some tough hills.

I love this route because it has wonderful views and provides a real sense of escape very close to the city of Limassol. The route takes you through vineyards and citrus plantations into the mountains, through numerous beautiful villages with picturesque, narrow, cobbled streets and traditional architecture.

If you visit in autumn, you will have the opportunity to taste pure and traditionally made palouze (a pudding with grape juice). In all the villages, the church is the most emblematic building, while a visit to the Commandaria Museum in Zoopigi is an absolute must.

Points of interest: Agios Pavlos Church, Agios Konstantinos Church, Chapel of Agios Georgios in Louvaras, Chapel of Agios Mamas, Chapel of Panayia Kyra, Old Church of Agios Konstantinos and Commandaria Museum in Zoopigi.

Route 1: Limassol-Agios Georgios-Lofou

Distance: 80km
Road condition: Paved road
Total altitude difference: + 1,410m
Bicycle type: Road bike

This route, again suited to more experienced cyclists, starts near Limassol’s medieval castle and old port.

Near the beginning of the ride you arrive at one of the most beautiful dams in Cyprus, Kouris dam. After Ypsonas until Lofou village, the route is mainly uphill. At the village of Lofou you can admire the surrounding hills with their stone structures, while the picturesque mountain villages of Agios Georgios and Silikou are good places to stop for coffee. Vatican documents  published in 1962 by the French Academician Jean Richard, show that the village of Silikou produced over 4,000 hectoliters of Commandaria wine all the way back in 1367! Silikou also hosts thematic museums and workshops related to the production of olive oil and Commandaria.

On your way you will pass through small, quiet villages of the countryside, among olive trees and carob trees, as well as vineyards at the highest points of the route.

Going to the highest point of the route you can admire the wonderful view of the city of Limassol. Especially during the months of February until May the route is wonderful and is a unique opportunity for cycling. At this time of year,  the weather is not too hot or too cold and the views are unique.

On the way back, after Lofou village, the route is downhill and in several points the road is narrow with some sharp turns; take extreme care.

Points of interest: Medieval Castle of Limassol, Commandaria Museum in Silikou, Lofou Village and old olive trees, carob trees and vineyards along the route.

Route 2: Limassol – Lofou – Pera Pedi – Platres – Troodos – Olympos – Kyperounta –
Potamitissa – Lemesos

Distance: 117km
Road condition: Paved road
Total altitude difference: + 2,660m
Bicycle type: Road bike

Again, this route is for experienced cyclists who want to explore the mountainous area of Limassol including the villages of Lofou, Pera Pedi, Platres, Troodos, Kyperounta and Potamitissa. Good fitness is required and advanced riding skills, though there is limited road traffic.

Early on the ride you come to one of the most picturesque dams in Cyprus, the Kouris dam. After Ypsonas until Lofou village, the route is mainly uphill, and you are forced to dig deep to conquer the climb. From Lofou you can admire the surrounding hills with their stone structures. The village is well-known for its traditional architecture.

Next you arrive at Pera Pedi, a village with an ancient history, at an altitude of 770 meters. The Krios (cold) river, a tributary of the river Kouris, crosses the village. Pera Pedi makes a perfect stop for a coffee as the next kilometers are uphill. From this point, the route goes
through the forest while passing close to the highest waterfalls of the island, Myllomeri and Caledonia.

As you head towards the top of Olympus, you can take in the breathtaking views of the city of Limassol. Especially during the months of February until May, when weather conditions are usually excellent, the route offers idyllic scenery and is a fantastic choice for cyclists.

On the way back the route is downhill and in several points the road is narrow with sharp turns where cyclists need to be very careful.

Points of interest: Medieval Castle of Limassol, Commandaria Museum in Silikou, Lofou Village and old olive trees, carob trees and vineyards along the route.

What are the roads like in the Limassol region?

In general, the road network is really good in Cyprus and quite safe. If you follow the traffic signs that tell you when to reduce speed or where there is a sharp turn, then you should have no problems.

In the Limassol area, other than the main roads, I think the only area to really avoid is the Erimi to Agios Amvrosios stretch which is busy and fast! A-roads are the highway. Also the B roads can be busy – but the B road between Limassol and Paphos is nice and not a problem.

Coffee stops

In Cyprus pretty much every village has a central square, which definitely has a coffee shop. In most of them, you can have a stop and have a local coffee and some traditional sweets. You should definitely try the walnut sweet called Karidaki, it’s delicious!

What are the key road cycling events in Limassol?

Cycling is a popular sport in Cyprus, so there are lots of events throughout the year. However the biggest events are below – and they all start from Limassol!

L’Étape Cyprus

L’Étape Cyprus was a new addition for 2022 to Cyprus’ cycling events calendar. The first event was held on 13 November 2022. With the kudos of L’Etape behind it, this is expected to become a very popular annual event in Cyprus.

0-2000 Cycling Challenge

This event has been held for a number of years, usually in June each year. It’s a two day event that’s known as the hardest cycling event in Cyprus. In 2023 it will be held 4-5 June 2023.

GranFondo Apollo and Aphrodite

This event is billed as a cycling for all race, to suit all fitness levels, from beginners to pros. It is always held on the first weekend in October and the next event will be on 2 October 2023.

What are the best hotels for cyclists in Limassol?

Cycling is a growing trend in Limassol and there is currently no dedicated accreditation scheme for cycling-friendly hotels.

If you choose to stay in the centre of town, I would suggest basing yourself towards the east of the city near the coast. There are lots of hotels there and there’s pretty good access to cycling routes without too much traffic.

If you prefer not to cycle through town when on your bike, my suggestion would be for cyclists to look for hotels outside the city. For example, the Columbia Beach Resort in Pissouri is a great choice. It’s in the heart of the countryside, around 35 kilometres outside Limassol and has bike hire run by ex pro Swiss cyclist Thomas Beck Muller.

Are there places for bike hire/bike shops in Limassol?

There are two bike centres in Limassol that offer bike hire, bike tours, bike transfers and bike maintenance. They are: – we offer services all over the island and can deliver rental bikes to Limassol. We also have a bike shop in Troodos Square near the top of Mount Olympus. – They are based at the Columbia Beach Resort in Pissouri near Limassol.

In terms of repairs, you should be prepared to be able to fix minor punctures. However, if you do get a mechanical you can’t fix, you could always get a taxi back to your hotel or I’m confident a local would stop and offer some help.

When to visit Limassol?

One of the wonderful things about Cyprus is the weather; you can certainly ride in Cyprus all year round. There may be rain from time to time, but it’s never going to stop you for the whole day.

In July and August, while cycling is possible in the very early mornings, I generally wouldn’t recommend it as it’s so hot here.

In addition to the cycling events mentioned, two other big events happen in Limassol, which it’s worth knowing about.

The first is the annual carnival, which Limassol is very well known for. It’s always held towards the end of February and the beginning of March. This is a huge event for our community.

The second is the annual wine festival which is held in September. There’s the opportunity for wine tasting and of course lots of food and music too.

Any tips for riding in Limassol?

What should you do off the bike?

The coastline is full of nice areas with beaches you can swim from. There is also an area for surfing and kite surfing not far from Limassol.

If you like wine, there are several villages with lots of wineries, less than half an hour’s drive from the city. They include Omodos, Lofou, Vouni, Vasa and Arsos.

The villages also offer some wonderful authentic Cypriot food in relaxed family-run restaurants.

There are theme parks outside the city for the family, as well as plenty of hiking trails.

Do you need to speak Greek?

It’s not necessary, but locals always like it if you can speak a few words! For example

Kalimera / Good Morning
Efharisto / Thank you
Parakalo / Please
Podilato / Bicycle
Podilasia / Cycling

Rules of the road

Here are some points to bear in mind:

From 2023, it will be mandatory for everyone to wear a helmet in Cyprus.

When there is a bicycle lane or bicycle path on a road, it should be used.

Cycling on the highway is prohibited.

We drive and cycle on the left hand side of the road (so easy for those from the UK!).

Also remember that on hire bikes, you’ll find the rear brake is on the right hand side.

What to bring

If you’re coming in winter, I’d suggest a gilet for the wind. If you are climbing up the mountains, you should be ready for the weather so a long sleeve jacket is good to have and possibly even gloves.

Do you need a car?

If you are on a road bike, you definitely can have a week of rides directly from the hotel in/around Limassol – though if you want to go further afield, a car would be a good idea so you can have different starting points for rides.

You’ll sometimes find that bikes are allowed on buses, but it’s at the discretion of the driver so it’s not guaranteed.

What food to try?

I always suggest that visitors try the mezze. Like the tapas in Spain, it’s made up of small portions with up to 17 or 20 different dishes. For example, you might have a big salad and dips like tahini and hummus. These are the main starters, let’s say, plus olives and olive oil to dip with the bread. And then you have different types of meat as well as vegetables, for example mixed with tomato, egg or cheese. Zucchini with egg is also popular.

If you’re looking for what to buy to eat on the bike, you’ll find lots of snacks in convenience stores like croissants filled with chocolate and local pastries like olive pie, halloumi pie or tahini pie (tahini pie is always hugely popular!).

Or you can visit a bakery. Bakeries in Cyprus are common and you’ll find lots of variety of pastries and sweets.

A big thank you to Mike and Limassol Tourism Board for sharing such useful information about cycling in and around Limassol, Cyprus.

Have you cycled in/around Limassol?

Let us know your experience in the comments below!


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Mike Hadjioanou

Mike Hadjioanou has been a technical advisor for the Cypriot Cycling Federation since 1999, working with local authorities to develop a cycling network and design routes.

He has coached athletes who have participated in the Olympics, won medals in international races and the Mediterranean Games with National Cycling Team of Cyprus. Mike has also organised a number of Cyprus’ biggest cycling events including the UCI Gran Fondo.

Last Reviewed: 09 December 2022

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