Venetian Watchtower Route East
- Distance: 46 km
- Level of Difficulty: Average (+210 m of total ascent)
- Bike Required: Trekking off-road with 27 gears
- Points of Interest: Pyla Tower, Achna Forest, small chapel before Ormideia village, Xylofagou Watchtower
Venetian Watchtowers Route (East Larnaka Region) (46 km )
Constructed over 500 years ago, the Venetian Watchtowers acted as an early warning system against naval attacks and remain intact in four separate villages within the Larnaka District. This bike tour will take you to two of these watchtowers in the eastern area of Larnaka at the villages of Pyla and Xylophagou.
The Watchtowers of the Larnaka region are a significant element of the island’s connection to Venice, and historians believe that this system would have continued across to the Ammochostos region, and perhaps even the whole of Cyprus.
From your starting point at Pyla Beach on the Larnaka-Dekeleia Road, you will head north towards Pyla Village, where you will find the first well-maintained watchtower in the centre of the village, near the Church of Archangelos Michael.
In order to reach the second tower in Xylofagou village (from Pyla), follow the route to the villages of Pergamos, Xylotymvou, and then to Achna. From Achna village, continue towards Ormideia village, where you will find a very small chapel, 1 km outside of the village. These types of chapels are widespread around the island and are usually built inside or on top of caves that were used as places of worship in the past.
Leaving Ormideia, head towards Xylofagou. Upon entering the village, you will need to carefully follow the map in order to reach the tower, which is located 3 km north from the centre of the village and stands some 100 m above sea level. The Xylofagou tower has a unique circular shape that differs from the other three watchtowers of the region.
On your way back to the starting point, your ride will take you along the coastline from Ormideia to Dekeleia.