Outdoor Persuits

TRAVEL Tuesday, 15 June, 2010

Outdoor Persuits

Bird watching

Cyprus can be an important destination for bird watching with more than 20 important wetlands on the island, including the dams. Many of these are very significant for birds and are prime birdwatching spots. Cyprus is blessed with the presence of hundreds of different species of birds (almost 400 species), many of them using the island either as a temporary stopover during their annual migration from the north Europe to Africa (and vice versa) or as a refuge against the cold winter period in Europe. Particularly popular winter visitors are the flamingos and ducks that grace the salt lakes between October and March where they rest and feed.

There are close to 50 species of resident birds including the griffon vulture, the wren and the chaffinch. Besides the endemic Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Pied Wheatear, there are four endemic subspecies – the Cyprus Scops owl, the coal tit, the short-toed treecreeper and jay.


The dams, constructed over the last 45 years, are a big asset for ecotourism. Most of the dams are open to angling (conditions apply and a permit is required).Coarse fishing is available island wide with over 20 reservoirs open to anglers and most are stocked. These stocked reservoirs contain more than 15 species of freshwater fish, including trout, largemouth bass, carp, pikeperch, and roach.

Deep sea fishing can be arranged through a full range of sea fishing charters (up to 60 miles from shore) fishing throughout the year for tuna, shark, dorado and barracuda


Cyprus is great for cycling with many interesting bicycle rides to be enjoyed both on-road and off-road. Whether you're a keen road cyclist, an avid mountain biker or you just like to explore a new place at a leisurely pace there is something for everyone. You can enjoy the flatter terrain of scenic coastal paths or the more challenging sweeping forest trails and rolling valleys which test even the fittest of cyclists. Apart from July and August, when temperatures soar, Cyprus has an almost perfect climate for cycling most of the year.

Nature Trails

There are some 200km of purpose-built paths across nearly 50 nature trails on the island. Spring (March to early May) is probably the best time for walking in Cyprus as the temperatures are agreeable and the landscape is awash with colour with almost 600 species of plant to be found. At this time of year you are more likely to spot one of the 45 different species of orchids that grow on the island.

Winter, can be a good season for walking if you are lucky enough to avoid rain, and if you choose to walk in the Troodos (or anywhere above 1000m) after a fall of snow, you are more likely to feel like you are walking in the Alps.

Pick up a copy of the nature trail guide, available from any CTO Office (Cyprus Tourist Organisation).