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Northern Cyprus - Hiking along stations of Besparmak Trails

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Northern Cyprus - Hiking along the stations of Besparmak Trails

Besparmak Mountains, also called Pentadaktylos Mountains, together with the three mighty castles St. Hilarion, Buffavento and Kantara, stretches along the north coast of the island of Cyprus.

From time to time rugged and steep, then again with rolling hills and shallow coastline, the mountains of the Cape Kormakitis extend from the Zafer Cape to the end of the Karpaz Peninsula, which is known for there living wild asses. Please check the gallery in the appendix, which show a first impression of the many options along the Besparmak Trail.

A rich flora and fauna, great views along the mountain and on the idyllic harbor town of Girne / Kyrenia with the Bellapais Abbey, the historic olive grove of Kalkanli and the excavations of the Roman town Soli provide an ideal environment for an extended hiking trip along the Besparmak Mountain.

At least we wanted to learn some of the parts which stretches from Cape to Cape, which, after all, have a total length of 257 kilometers and should thus be separated into individual stages. Therefore local operators offer the hiking route divided into18 stages, which are between 7.3 to 20.9 kilometers long. Each of the 18 stages have its highlights, stimuli and peculiarities. Once it is one of the well-preserved castles on the ridge of Besparmak, then hidden abbeys, monasteries and churches as Bellapais or sometimes an idyllic picnic spot by the sea, where you insert swimming breaks depending on the season or watching the surfers in their activities in late autumn or spring. In spring the areas of nature that will delight every Orchid Lover particularly.

Wherever you are on the trail, you will experience great views on both sides of the island, meet really hospitable Cypriots and enjoy the silence of nature. A special aspect of our visit also will be exploring possible wintering sites for campers who look for possible recreation, whether walking or cycling. First contacts and visits have been made already, because during a hike, we came across an organic farm near the village Kormacit that quite openly met our requests. Being located in the shallower part of Besparmak trails, the region has an excellent position for cycling, there are, no question, sufficiently destinations in the immediate area that are worth visiting. Of course you can also only focus on walking. Please feel free to contact us with relevant questions: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

But now back to Besparmak Trail, which is marked throughout the way with an easily recognizable green-white mark (see picture in gallery), so not necessarily a hiking guide must be booked. In order to complete each cut, there are tourism companies, public transport or taxis that will take you to the respective starting points and also pick you up again at the end of the day's stage. Also, there are plenty of accommodation options along the routes, so that all stages could be completed in succession. In this case, your baggage can be conveyed from one accommodation to the next.

Of course, hiking routes may be divided over several vacations or just a part of the route to be done. This is a really great option for the campers, because they can combine the routes during winter time with any other attractive destination on the island. So the stay does not get same daily routine, combining hiking with trips to the cities and to the Southern part of Cyprus, which is not too far and now accessible even with own camper or car..

Here you may choose from the review of possible parts of Besparmak Trails:

North Cyprus, from cape to cape in 18 stages

Section 1
From Kormakitis to Korucam 16.2 km
Gentle climbing, starting at the lighthouse and the coast towards Besparmak Mountains. In the village Korucam there is an active community of Maronite Christians, the whole village is involved in developing ecological tourism.

Section 2
From Korucam to Lapta 20.9 km
A tour through shady pine forests, beautiful meadows and rocky landscapes alternate. Along the way you will come to a picnic area and restaurant.

Section 3
From Lapta to Karaman / Karmi 13.1 km
Wonderful views to the sea and steep cliffs on the edge of the path. From Karaman / Karmi you have a beautiful view on the mountain range with St. Hilarion Castle. Karmi is an old mountain village, famous for its colorful flowers and old Greek houses.

Section 4
From Karaman / Karmi to Nicosia-Kyrenia road 9.2 km
Now the huge castle of St. Hilarion, which seems to stick to the mountains, appears as a visiting point on the hiking program. Of course, the distant view and the view to Girne / Kyrenia should be mentioned.

Section 5
From Nicosia-Kyrenia road to Bellapais 12.7 km
Scenic plateaus awaiting your discovery. One of the highlights of the trail is the village Bellapais with the Gothic abbey that is delightfully lit with the onset of dusk.

Section 6
From Bellapais up Buffavento Restaurant 18 km
In this section you will experience partly alpine character, climbing to the castle Buffavento is a must, with great views of the island, the sea and along the mountain range.

Section 7
From Buffavento restaurant to Alevkaya 9.4 km
On this section you are hiking along the Besparmak = five fingers, where the trail has got its name from. The ruins of the Armenian Sourp Magar monastery and Alevkaya picnic place are more stations of the path that leads mostly through beautiful forests.

Section 8
From Alevkaya to Antifonitis Church 12.4 km
This walk takes you on through beautiful shady woods, great views and ends at a jewel, the Monastery Antiphonitis.

Section 9
From the church to the east of Antifonitis Mallidag 10.9 km
Small villages lie along the way. In spring Orchid enthusiasts can get their money, actually already a must.

Section 10
Starting east of Mallidag to south of Mersinlik 16.7 km
Rewards you on this hike with great views, large rock towers and a beautiful wooded area.

Section 11
South of Mersinlik to place Kantara 7.3 km
Today's stage finished almost by itself. An easy way to the village and castle of Kantara.

Section 12
From the village of Kantara to Yedikonuk 16.3 km
After the tour to the castle of Kantara you will continue with great views of the sea and the coast to Yedikonuk.

Section 13
From Yedikonuk to Esenköy. 19.4 km
The trail runs along the coast with many bays and meadows.

Section 14
From Esenköy up to Sipahi 14.3 km
On the way you will meet the Ayia Trias church, have a shaded picnic area and beautiful views of the valley and a mesa.

Section 15
From Sipahi to the monastery Eleousa in Dipkarpaz 18.2 km
This Part also rewards you with great views and at the end of the stage to the former monastery Eleousa

Section 16
From the monastery Eleousa to the village of Dipkarpaz 9.5 km
The route leads back along the sea and at the end of a beach you encounter the ruins of Agios Philon Basilica.

Section 17
From Dipkarpaz village to the ruins Aphendrika 14.6 km
Today you cross the Karpaz peninsula with various churches, beaches and many wild asses!

Section 18
From the ruins Aphendrika to Cape Zafer 17.9 km
Along the coast with beautiful cypress trees and scrubland you reach the end of the Karpaz Peninsula and the final destination Cape Zafer at the end of Besparmak Trail.

Please read as well:

Kormakitis / Korumcam - Maronite Church in the Center

Hike to the historic olive grove of Kalkanli

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