Larnaka region is fast becoming the cyclist’s destination thanks to a variety of factors, including its optimum climate, beautiful scenery and varied and challenging terrain.
A key figure in enhancing the cycling experience is Mike Hadjioannou, founder of Activate Cyprus. Mike has been involved in cycling as an athlete, coach and cycling event organiser since 1983, distilling all these elements into one company in 2012 to provide cyclists with a one-stop-shop for cycling tours and participation in the prestigious competitions and events the company hosts, including the former Cyprus Sunshine Cup, Bedrock Gravel Festival (mid-April) and the Aphrodite Women Cycling Race (Febuary) encompassing Larnaka region, alongside others held across the island.
Although not from Larnaka himself, Mike has chosen the region for cycling activities for a number of reasons, as he explains: “Rural Larnaka – and particularly Tochni, Lefkara, Choiroikoitia and Kalavasos – are very picturesque. Parallel to this is the variety of routes that are great for road, mountain and gravel biking with low traffic; clean, fresh country and mountain air, and a very authentic experience of agrotourism and traditional Cypriot hospitality that is appealing for tourists.”
These areas feature in the major cycling competitions and events that Mike organises for their varied topography changes: “The optimum road cycling conditions of routes up to 1400m above sea level and good road surfaces are ideal for all level of cyclist and more leisurely rides, but the area is equally good for more challenging mountain biking that requires advanced technical skills, which is why the trails were included in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup. And as most of the region is a gravel biking ‘hot spot’ it is ideal for the forthcoming Bedrock Gravel Fest, taking in Tochni to Kiti.”
Mike’s personal favourite spot for cycling is from Tochni village towards the region’s mountainous areas, thanks to the sweeping, panoramic views of Larnaka and the coastline from Zygi to Mazotos, and of course, the welcome along the way when he stops at a local coffee shop for a refreshment and a chat with the locals!
In terms of cycling trends, Mike says new opportunities allow more people to enjoy cycling: “Whilst all the tours we offer – road, mountain and gravel biking – remain popular, the latest increase in requests is for e-bikes because it’s much easier for amateur cyclists of all fitness levels to cover a greater distance on them without tiring, allowing them to experience more attractions and sights on a bike than they would normally do.”
LTB also offers cyclists eight ‘Larnaka Thematic Cycling Routes’ that combine cycling with sightseeing, so hop on your bike this autumn and discover Larnaka region on two wheels!