Five Greek-Cypriots from London plan to cycle the full perimeter of the island of Cyprus. The team started at 10am on September 15th from Aphrodite Hills and will cycle clockwise, aiming to finish at Aphrodite Hills sometime in the afternoon of the 22nd September. The total journey is estimated at around 430 miles or around 700 km.

The reason for the tour is to celebrate the 60th birthday of one of the team – Robert – by rejoicing in the beauty, the wonderful sites and history of our island. On the way they will:

  • pass ancient ruins at Paphos, Soloi, Salamis, Amathus and Curium;
  • witness the legacy of the Crusaders and the Franks at St Hilarion, Kantara and Kolossi;
  • admire the Venetian defences at Paphos castle, Kyrenia harbour and the walls of Famagusta;
  • visit the Christian churches and monasteries at Apostolos Andreas, Ayios Raphael at Pachyammos, Panayia Angeloktisti in Kiti, Ayios Mamas in Morphou, and the little but charming church of Ayios Georgios by the sea below Pegeia;
  • reminisce the legend of Aphrodite at Aphrodite’s Rock at Petra tou Romiou, Aphrodite’s baths near Latsi, and Aphrodite’s Sanctuary in Kouklia;
  • enjoy the beauty of the Akamas, the pleasure of the sea and beaches, and the remoteness of the Karpass peninsula.

And this will be the first time that three members of the team – Andreas, Alex and Marios – will see their ancestral homes.

They are aware of a British army team that completed a cycle tour of the perimeter of the island shortly after the Limnitis crossing was opened, but we are not aware of any Cypriot team completing the circum-navigation since the crossing’s opening.

The team were part of a group of Greek- Cypriots who planted the Cyprus flag at the top of the 20,000 foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa on New Year’s Day 2011.

 

The Team

There will be 5 riders that will complete the entire tour as follows:

Robert Kyprianou, 60. Born in London to parents from Trikomo and Ayios Georgios, both near Famagusta now in the occupied area. Married to Soulla from Morphou. Company Director (including on the Board of Eurobank Cyprus), photographer and traveller. Robert has 4 sons and lives in London and Cyprus and has a home in Aphrodite Hills. The idea for the tour was to celebrate Robert turning 60 on 2nd September.

Alex Kyprianou, 32 – son of Robert, born in London. An IT programmer. Alex has never visited his grandparents’ homes in Trikomo and Ayios Georgios. Alex lives in London and has one daughter.

Marios Kyprianou, 21 – son of Robert, born in London. University student reading Economics at Warwick University. Marios has never visited his grandparents’ homes in Trikomo and Ayios Georgios. Marios lives in London.

Vassos Vassiliou, 52 – Born in London to a father from Morphou. Vassos is married to Nadia from Zodhia. Vassos has run 15 marathons and numerous triathlons. He lives in London and has 2 children.

Andreas Vassiliou, 18 – son of Vassos. Andreas is a student and will be entering Warwick University in October to read Economics. He ran his first marathon this year at the age of 18 in three and a half hours. Andreas has never visited his grandfather’s home in Morphou.

For the first 2 days. the team was accompanied by Natacha Lee, a tri-athlete and student reading Biochemistry at Warwick University. This is Natacha’s first visit to Cyprus.

 

The Plan

Bicycles and logistical support have been provided by Al and Kirsty Yates of Mountain Bike Cyprus based in Kouklia. They have supplied new hybrid bicycles specifically for the tour that can deal with the variety of terrain and road conditions that will be encountered.

Temperatures will be high with an average high daily temperature of 30 centigrade and average low of 19 centigrade, with an average 10 hours a day of sunshine. As a result the team will set out early each morning before 8am, breaking between midday and mid-afternoon, and finishing the day late afternoon/ early evening. There are also further resting points identified on the route where the team will rest and refill food and water.

The route will follow as closely as possible the perimeter of the island, including the Karpass peninsula. The team will cycle across the Akamas, camping one night around Lara Bay. Otherwise the route will keep to roads close to the coast. The terrain will vary from flat long stretches to hilly slopes where the mountains meet the sea. The toughest part of the route will be the 5.6 mile very steep climb up the mountain in order to avoid the Turkish enclave at Kokkina just before Kato Pyrgos; the long remote route up and back through the Karpass peninsula; and the extended steeply hilly stretch from Kourion to Aphrodite Hills on the last day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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