Cyprus launches long-distance hikes

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To boost Cyprus’ attractiveness as a destination for hiking and nature activities, the Tourism Deputy Ministry and the Forestry Department have renovated two forest shelters in Paphos for long-distance hikers.

From February, long-distance hiking enthusiasts will have two forest shelters to take cover or spend the night while adventure-seeking in the Paphos forest, in the Livadi old settlement.

Authorities have revamped the old forestry station and the Livadi elementary school into shelters offering hikers a place to take refuge in case of adverse weather conditions or to sleep over.

The two shelters are the first of their type in Cyprus.

Forest shelters offer protection from the elements of nature and therefore have a basic infrastructure for accommodation, but without providing additional services such as electricity and sleeping mattresses.

The shelters provide basic necessities such as water, a kitchen and a fireplace.

“There is no electricity, adding to the true remote experience of the shelters, but water can be heated through the boiler by using firewood.”

The Livadi forest shelters are located in an idyllic environment, far from human activities and accessible only on foot.

Long-distance hikers can cover the distance from Stavros tis Psokas to Livadi (about 15 kilometres) in daylight, where they can spend the night. The space is also suitable for stargazing.

The shelters are on the old path that connects Stavros tis Psokas river in the Paphos District with Livadi. Locals and forest rangers used it up until the mid-1950s.

It was currently rediscovered and cleared by the Forestry Department.

The department is working on clearing more hiking trails, which will offer enthusiasts the possibility for five to six-day forest hikes.

Paths to be opened will connect the village of Panayia, in Paphos, through Milikouri, all the way to Tylliria.

The new paths are part of the “Heartland of legends” campaign to boost the island’s seasonality, which entails a 3,000 kilometres route of authentic experiences which passes from the mountains to the rural and remote areas of Cyprus.

The Deputy Ministry of Tourism will be organising events for hikers to get acquainted with the trail and the location of the shelters.

A treasure hunt event will be held on 29 January, starting from the camping site at Stavros tis Psokas.

Hikers wanting to participate can send their applications through the Heartland of Legends online platform.

Those interested can access the Heartland of Legends platform for more information and accommodation reservations.