Germasogeia Dam to Kyparissia Circular Walk
Date Last Walked: May 2018
Distance: About 8 miles (13 kms)
Duration: Approximately 3 hours 30 minutes (excluding stops)
Difficulty: Quite hard walking: 600m ascent/descent
The starting point for this walk is close to Limassol so this is a good one to do if you are staying there, particularly if you are reliant on buses or taxis. The Sunflower guide has a version of this walk but a number of the original signs and landmarks have now altered or disappeared, so the photos below may help.
This is also a good ‘achievement’ walk. It offers the opportunity to climb from just above sea level to almost 2,500 feet in a comparatively short space of time and without any specialist skills. Some stamina is required but nothing beyond the experience of an average walker. You will scale a small peak above pine forests and see some great views across the island down to the southern coast.
There are plenty of small birds to be seen in this area. The mixed vegetation, water and nearby houses make a great habitat for small birds and even in November we have seen coal tits, goldfinches, blackcaps, willow and Sardinian warblers amongst others. Higher up on the walk there are plenty of kestrels and partridges around. We also saw a buzzard soaring near the escarpment above Germasogeia Dam.
Drive toward Foinikaria from Germasogeia, crossing over the dam and following the signs to the Germasogeia Nature Trail. As you enter Foinikaria you will turn off to the left, following a small road which skirts around the very edge of the reservoir until you come to a small, newly-refurbished car park on your left as the road itself bends upwards and round to the right.
This is the start of a nature trail: there used to be a trail board here, but it has long since disappeared. The GPS co-ordinates for this starting point are: 34.75632N, 33.09616E.
From the car park, set off on the tarmac road opposite (Lapithou Street) up the hill. You are currently at an altitude of around 70 metres above sea level.
After 10-12 minutes you will reach a junction. Take the left fork here and walk up Kyparissovonou Street. A (brand new!) brown nature trail sign, seen in 2016, has now gone but may be renewed at a future date.
Continue along the asphalt road. At around 15-20 minutes you will be walking between two chain link fences. As you reach the end of these fences the asphalt road turns to the right. Leave the road at this point and join the rough and rocky trail leading up the hill. There is (currently!) a small faded green trail sign directing you up the hill.
Follow this track as it climbs alongside a chain link fence to your left and begins rising, quite steeply at times. Stay on the main track and ignore any turns off to the right or left. You will soon (at around 30 minutes) reach a sign pointing back the way you have come to ‘Finikaria’ 3km and, ahead, a wooden hiking sign pointing to your route on the left.
Keep following the trail, it can be a bit of a slog and quite steep in places, but worth it for the amazing quiet and the stunning views. At about 45-50 minutes you will reach two small boards with arrows directing you off the track and onto a path to the right which continues to climb steadily up the mountainside.
The views start to open out as you climb and about 15-20 minutes after joining this path you will see the summit of Kyparissia high above you with the shelter where you will stop for a well-earned break!
Keep going, climbing all the time, and after about 1 hour 15-20 minutes you will reach a junction of paths with hiking signs and a green signpost back to Foinikaria 5km. Take the left fork uphill – you’ll return down the other path later.
Don’t forget to look back at the wonderful views of Limassol and Akrotiri as you are climbing. At 1 hour 40 minutes you will reach a lovely shady bench with views across the empty valley. You are almost at the top now, so choose to stop here for lunch or carry on for another few minutes to the shelter!
Keep climbing upwards, ignoring an inviting looking track to your left and taking the right fork onto a path to the shelter. (We followed the left hand track once – it’s lovely, for about half an hour. Then it simply stops and you have no choice but to climb back up the way you came)
You should reach the shelter after approximately 1 hour 45-50 minutes. It’s a great spot to sit down, drink some water, catch your breath and eat some of that pastelaki that you have stashed in your rucksack!
You are at an altitude of 692 metres and, on a clear day, the views down across the southern plains and coast are stunning. On a hazy day they look more like this!
When you are ready to move on, take the track that heads east from the shelter (following the green hiking sign), descending slightly for 70-80 metres, then climbing a little before levelling out across the ridge.
After about ten minutes’ walking (2 hours – not adjusted for stops) you will come to a three-way junction with a bench and a sign pointing back the way you’ve just come to ‘Kyparissia Peak’. Your path is to the right and heads downhill.
A further 50-75 metres further down the hill, take a right turn (following a green hiking sign).
The trail is now very easy to follow as it winds down this pretty valley, crossing the stream (or the stream bed in dry weather) part way down. The shelter on the summit will be high up on your right hand side as you descend the valley. At around 2 hours 25 minutes you will arrive back at the junction where you turned left at the 1 hour 25 minute point.
Retrace your steps down the hillside to arrive back at your starting point after around 3 hours 30 minutes. That’s without any stops – you’ll probably need to add in 20-30 minutes for breaks as this is quite a strenuous hike uphill and back down.
May 2018: Barn Swallow, Black-headed Bunting, Chaffinch, Chukar, Coal Tit, Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Hooded Crow, Hoopoe, House Martin, Masked Shrike, Orphean Warbler, Pied Wheatear, Whitethroat, Wood Pigeon.
November 2016: Chukar, Coal Tit, Greenfinch,Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Kestrel, Long-legged Buzzard, Magpie, Sardinian Warbler, Stonechat, Wood Pigeon.
October 2015: Chukar, Coal Tit, Cyprus Wheatear, Hooded Crow, Kestrel, Redstart, Wheatear, Willow Warbler, Wood Pigeon.
Not a great effort! But when we have done this walk at other times we have seen: Blue tit, Chaffinch, Common buzzard, Cyprus warbler, Great tit, Jay, Red backed shrike and Woodchat shrike.
Around Germasogeia Dam itself we’ve seen: Bluethroat, Great and Little egrets, Grey heron, Purple heron and Squacco heron.