Mountain Biking in North Cyprus
For the active visitor, mountain biking is a fabulous way to get around and see some spectacular scenery. There are many organised trails and a number of centres where you can hire bikes. We can also arrange full biking holidays for groups, please contact us for details.
The mountain biking trails presented here are spread out geographically, covering a wide variety of topography to give you a well-rounded feel of North Cyprus. On these you will able to visit Guzelyurt, the citrus capital in the flat western plain, the Kyrenia Mountain Range with stunning views of the Mediterranean in the north, the plains of the south and the secret beaches of the Karpaz Peninsula in the eastern most part of the island. The trails are mostly made up of narrow forest roads and occasional tarmac roads with little or no traffic.
In General, the rides are leisurely with intermittent breaks for snacks and exploring interesting spots such as Kantara Castle, the abandoned copper mines of Lefke, the aqueducts of Lapta, and the Roman chapels of the Karpaz Peninsula. The recommended skill and fitness levels are indicated for each, and at the bottom of the page these levels are explained.
North Cyprus Coast Route
Suggested skill level: 2-3. Suggested fitness level: 2
Route: Alevkaya to Kucukerenkoy (18 miles/29 Km)
Elevation gain: +917m, loss -1529m
The trailhead is approximately 35 minutes from the centre of Kyrenia. Alevkayasi is a locally popular recreation area high on the Kyrenia Mountains. The start of the trail is a demanding uphill climb for 2.5 Km. The rest of the trail is mostly downhill with a few mild uphill rides. The trail follows the forest route through pine forests, with magnificent views of the Mediterranean. A stop can be taken for a visit of the Mediterranean Sea. A stop can be taken for a visit to the Antiphonitis Monastery, a 7th century Byzantine chapel with well-preserved frescoes. The ride continues along the route with views of both the southern Mesoria plain and the northern coastline. There is an exciting 3 Km downhill section, which passes close to a natural tunnel hidden in the foothills of the mountains.
Suggested skill level: 2. Suggested fitness level: 2
Route: Lefke, Doganci, Guzelyurt (20 miles/31 km)
Elevation gain: +352 m, loss: -455 m
The trailhead is an approximately 1.5 hours from the centre of Kyrenia. Lefke is an old copper mining town with an interesting and ancient history. There are many old Ottoman mansions, date, palm and fruit orchards and aqueducts. The trail starts above the village near an abandoned mine. Through the narrow village roads, the trail runs slightly downhill and follows a dirt track along a water channel. During the ride, it is worth stopping to take a look at the abandoned copper and gold mine. The ride passes through potato fields and lush citrus orchards.
Doganci village, famous for its potatoes and water melons is the ideal place to take a break for refreshment and food. The trail ends in Guzelyurt city centre. Displayed here in the impressive archaeology museum is the princess “Golden Laves of Soli” discovered during excavations in 2005 at the Soli tombs – an absolute must see if you are interested in archaeology and history.
Suggested skill level: 1-2. Suggested fitness level: 2
Route: Lapta mountain top to Lapta sea front (12 Miles/19 km)
Elevation gain: +652m, loss -1351m
The trailhead is approximately one hour from the centre of Kyrenia and this ride is a far more leisurely half-day trip when compared with the others. At the starting point is an abandoned military tank, which is now maintained as a war memorial. After riding 4 Km on a slight uphill tarmac road there is a long downhill ride all the way to the Lapta seaside. The mild downhill section from the top of the ridge winds through the foothills of the mountain down to Lapta, and passes through the village on narrow roads to finish at the seaside.
Suggested skill level: 2. Suggested fitness level: 2
Route: Ay Philion – Karpaz – Apostolos Andreas Monastery (20 miles/32 Km)
Elevation gain +350 m, loss -400 m
The trailhead is approximately two hours from the centre of Kyrenia. This trail takes you to the furthest point of the Karpaz Peninsula. Ay Philion is a fascinating place with a Roman Church with mosaics and remains of an ancient harbour. From here the ride is approximately 7 Km of tarmac road, with little or no traffic, that takes us to Aphendrika with the ruins of three old churches. This is where the wild Karpaz begins. The trail is in the form of a narrow dirt road roughly following the coastline. Here you will able to take a break during your ride to discover isolated sandy beaches. There is one steep climb to traverse, followed by an equally exciting downhill ride all the way to the seaside, which would be a suitable to have a lunch break. At the very tip of the Karpaz Peninsula is the Kleides Island, an important nesting habitat for seabirds with the remains of a Neolithic settlement. The Ride ends at the Apostolos Andreas Monastery.
Level 1 – Complete Beginner
You have never ridden a mountain bike before and have not ridden anything for a while.
Level 2 – Novice
You have some experience (less than one year) of riding a bike off-road
You may be a road biker who wants to do some more mountain biking
Level 3 – Intermediate
You have been mountain biking regularly for at least one year
You have reasonable bike-handling skills, and are confident riding a variety of terrains and conditions including single track, double track, muddy, wet, dry and loose surfaces
You are competent at riding hilly trails with moderate climbs and descents
You are relatively un-athletic. Cycling on flat ground for an hour or so is ample for you and you walk any small climbs
You exercise at least once a week for 30 minutes or more
You can ride at a relaxed pace for up to three hours a day, for three consecutive days
You can tackle one or two climbs of up to 200m per day
You have a reasonably high level of fitness, exercising at least twice a week for 45 minutes or more, throughout the year
You can ride for up to five hours per day at a moderate pace, with snack and photo stops, for three consecutive days
You are capable of tackling one or two moderate climbs per day, of up to 400 metres