- Distance: 34 km
- Level of Difficulty: Advanced level (+760m of total ascent)
- Bike Required: Road bike or Trekking with 27 speeds
- Points of Interest: Environmental Information Centre of Larnaka’s Mountainous Areas, Dafermou Winery, Lefkara Village, Timios Stavros Church (Holy Cross), Ethnological Museum of Traditional Embroidery and Silversmith-work, Panagia Eleousa Church, Bee & Embroidery Museum, Ktima Christoudia Winery, Agios Minas Monastery, Loulla’s Farm - Halloumi Cheese Workshop, Petros Nikolaou Basket Weaving Workshop, Ktima Georgiades (olive oil and donkey milk products)
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Wine and Gastronomy Route (34 Km)
This bike tour offers the perfect combination of a picturesque ride with an authentic experience of Cyprus tradition and wine tasting. Lefkara is famous for its lace (known as ‘Lefkaritika’) and intricate silver handicrafts, whilst the village takes its name from the white of its silica and limestone.
Starting your tour from the Environmental Information Center in Skarinou, you will need to climb approximately 7 km to Lefkara. Whilst the climb is the difficult part of this tour, it is also highly rewarding thanks to its panoramic views.
Just before reaching the village of Kato Lefkara - 6 km from the starting point – you can make your first wine tasting stop of the day at Dafermou Winery, an old style winery that uses modern production methods.
Once you have concluded your first winery visit, you can continue your bike ride through Kato Lefkara to then reach Pano Lefkara. This is one of the most beautiful villages on the island, with numerous traditional houses that have been listed by the Department of Antiquities and the Department of Housing and Urbanism.
Aside from viewing the traditional architecture of the village, you can also visit the Local Ethnological Museum of Traditional Embroidery and Silversmith-work, Timios Stavros Church (Holy Cross) and the numerous historic chapels that can be found on every corner of the village.
Your bike ride then continues towards the traditional village of Kato Drys, with its charming limestone houses and winding roads. In Kato Drys, you can stop for a visit at the informative Bee & Embroidery Museum and the charming Panagia Eleousa Church before you descend towards the next winery of Ktima Christoudia, which is on the way from Kato Drys towards the village of Vavla. The winery offers all of the local wine varieties, as well as many traditional grape products, including Shoushoukos and Palouzes sweets and the potent spirit, Zivania. Wine tasting is complimentary for visitors.
If you wish to continue exploring the area after your wine tasting, you can ride towards the next village, Vavla, to enjoy a taste of different products made with honey from the local beekeepers. On your way to Vavla you will also pass by 15th century Agios Minas Monastery, which is worth a visit.
After Vavla, the route back to the starting point is easier than it was on the way up, and can be taken by following the road to Choirokoitia, where you will be rewarded with another interesting visit, this time at the local Halloumi farm – ‘Loulla’s Farm’. At the farm you will have the opportunity to watch the farmer make Halloumi cheese in the traditional way, and for a small fee, you can also partake in the tasting of fresh Halloumi with locally-grown tomatoes, village bread and traditional coffee.
With the Halloumi cheese having whetted your appetite for local cuisine, the journey back passes by the restaurant of Ktima Georgiades, a traditional rural retreat in Skarinou Village, which is well known for its olive oil and donkey milk products. There you can replenish your energy levels with a variety of local home-made dishes, including moussaka and a range of meats cooked over charcoal… a very tasty way to end your ride!
Along the route there are two bike centres that can assist you with any bike-related queries or bike repairs:
Bikin’Cyprus Adventures, Tochni village: www.bikincyprusadventures.com, Tel. 97 702 200 Cycle-in-Cyprus, Kalavasos village: www.cycle-in-cyprus.com, Tel. 99 108 349 (open during winter and spring)