Venetian Watchtower Route West
- Roads: Asphalt
- Distance: 17 km
- Level of Difficulty: Average (+250 m of total ascent)
- Bike Required: Trekking and Road bike
- Points of Interest: Cape Kiti Lighthouse, Watchtower of Rigaina, Koulas (Alaminos) Watchtower, Agios Mamas Church, Angeloktisti Church
Venetian Watchtowers Route (West Larnaka Region) (17 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 western area of Larnaka at the villages of Pervolia and Alaminos.
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.
The 9th century lighthouse of Cape Kiti (in Pervolia village) is the starting point of this route, and thereafter a short ride towards Larnaka takes you to the first stop of the day - the Rigaina Watchtower (Regina’s Tower). The well-preserved tower is small but graceful, and over its elevated entrance you can see the crest of St Mark’s Lion, which was the Coat of Arms of the Venetians who built it during their rule of the island.
Leaving the watchtower, you will then ride towards Kiti village, with care required when traversing this busy, main street of the village.
While in Kiti there is time for a break at the coffee shop next to the beautiful 11th century Byzantine Angeloktisti Church, whose name means ‘built by angels’. The church is very significant for the unique 6th century mosaic of the ‘Virgin and child between two archangels’ it contains.
Once you are ready to resume your ride, you can continue towards the villages of Tersefanou, Alethriko, Anafotia, Menoyeia to Alaminos village to see the Medieval stone-built watchtower that is located at the entrance of Alaminos. The 15th century chapel of Agios Mamas - which is situated on the southern edge of the village – is also worth a visit before departing for Mazotos.
Heading south on the main road, you will reach the coastal road for the return to Larnaka. In order to ride on the quieter coastal road that will lead you back to Pervolia village and to the original starting point of Cape Kiti Lighthouse you will need to cross a main road first, with caution advised.