Agros – Lagoudera – Madhari – Agros
Date Last Walked: October 2019
Distance: 14.5 miles (23km)
Duration: About 6 hours 5 minutes without any stops. There’s plenty to stop and look at on this walk, so allow at least 7 hours and adjust the timings below accordingly.
Difficulty: Overall ascent/descent of around 500m, so fairly significant climbing with some quite steep sections, both uphill and downhill.
A great walk which takes you through villages, up mountains and along forested valleys. You can visit one of Cyprus’ most famous Byzantine churches, enjoy amazing views from Mount Adelphi and see impressive and unique rock formations.
Park at the start of the Agros-Lagoudera nature trail (1100m), which is marked on the CTO maps. Park next to the Agros reservoir which is just above the village on the F945, the Troodos/Lefkosia road. [GPS Co-ordinates: 34.924442N, 33.015544E]
Across the road from the trail board you can see the start of the trail. Take the gravel path which zig-zags up the hillside. There are trail signs, but some of them are damaged, so there is some scope for getting lost! The path roughly follows the line of the telegraph wires so use these as a guide. You are aiming to reach the last telegraph pole which is visible at the top of the hill.
After 10 minutes the track takes a sharp right just before a vineyard then climbs sharply up a rock shoulder back towards the telegraph wires.
Continue to climb and at around 20 minutes you will reach a three way junction with a bench which is situated by a telegraph pole. [GPS: 34.928947N, 33.015890E] Take the middle path which continues uphill (the other tracks head downhill) and passes a circular concrete base on your left where there used to be a water tank. You can see a small house just below the track on the left.
Keep following the trail uphill and after about 35 minutes your path will pass over a rocky summit where there is a bench…
…and, very shortly after this, you will see a stretch of dry stone wall terracing to your left.
Ahead of you at this point look out out for a broken signpost (just a wooden stake jutting from the ground). Follow the path towards the post.[GPS: 34.932043N, 33.012231E] As you pass it, keep the wooden post to your left, and follow the path as it zig-zags down on the right hand side of the ridge.
This path – a trifle overgrown/underused in places when we last walked it – zigzags quite steeply down the hillside until, at 40 minutes, you reach a wide track. Turn left here…
…and start walking along this track as it gently descends and heads broadly northwards. This is now easy contour walking and you will start to see some of the lovely views in store, with the Kyrenia mountains in the far distance while the villages of Polystypos and Livadia nestle in the valley below and to your right.
There are occasional dilapidated wooden boards with arrows to mark your way and, in recent times, a number of renewed metal green signs at fairly regular intervals. Continue along the main track, ignoring any tracks heading off to the right or left, until you reach an asphalt road and the junction of the E931 and E907 with signposts to ‘Lagoudera 2km’ (1 hour 15 minutes).[GPS: 34.947912N, 33.010792E]
Notice the roadside shrine to Saint Onouphrios, a hermit whose abundant body hair kept him warm while he lived his ascetic life in the desert.
At the very start of the Lagoudera road you will see an earth track to the left. Follow this for a few yards and then turn right onto the path indicated to the right.
This crosses a road after a couple of minutes, then continues down a steep-sided valley through woods, shale and scrub. Depending on how recently the local council has cleared the path you may find that the going is a little overgrown. At around 1 hour 35 minutes the path emerges onto an earth road.
Turn right onto the road and walk towards Lagoudera, passing wooden boards directing back to the Lagoudera-Agros nature trail and onward to Panagia tou Araka and arriving in Lagoudera (2 hours).
If the path into Lagoudera proves heavily overgrown (this has happened on occasion) then you can simply walk the very quiet asphalt road from the junction (at the 1 hour 35 minutes point) down into Lagoudera. If you choose this option, all timings are reduced by around 15 minutes.
As you arrive in Lagoudera you will see a pink house on your right. [GPS: 34.962099N, 33.010330E] Turn left here…
…to join the signed European Long Distance Path E4 on the road that climbs uphill through the village, You will pass the town hall on your left and shortly after this you will reach a junction where you will turn right, following the signs to Saranti and the church of Panagia tou Araka.
When you reach Panagia tou Araka at 2 hours 15 minutes you may want to take time to have a look around this important Byzantine church with its richly decorated interior.
After you have explored the church, continue walking along the road to Saranti, arriving in the village at 2 hours 25 minutes. Walk through this sleepy village as the road bends around the valley and follow the road uphill towards Spilia. You will pass the small church of Saints Konstantinos and Eleni on the left hand side as you are heading out of the village. (2 hours 35 minutes)
Continue on this road as it climbs steeply out of Saranti. About 15 minutes after leaving the village (2 hours 50 minutes) the road hairpins to the right. [GPS: 34.966813N, 32.991551E]
The E4 (and you) continue straight on, following a concrete track for a short distance until you reach a chain link fence. Turn right here and walk up a loose earth path, following the fence uphill and around to the left. At about the same time as you reach a wider track you will see a small concrete reservoir below the path to your left. Turn right onto the track and almost immediately turn left to rejoin the loose earth path as it continues uphill. There is an E4 sign below a tree to direct you uphill.
The path continues uphill, crossing a second and third track. There are E4 markers and nature information boards at frequent intervals. Watch out for these and you won’t go wrong.
The path climbs steadily to arrive at a junction of asphalt roads…
…and the nature trail board of Saladi Karamanli (3 hours 5 minutes) You are now at an altitude of 1,230 metres. [GPS: 34.964847N, 32.988145E]
Take the path to ‘Madhari 3.6km & Doxa Soi O Theos 7.4km’, pausing first to look at the EOKA memorial to Charalambos Petmeridos.
This path is clearly marked. It climbs, fairly steeply at times, to the Madhari ridge, first through pine forest and later opening out onto the craggy mountainside. You will pass a rustic stone table and chairs about half way, and you can see the fire look-out station far above you as you climb. This is your destination!
When you reach the ridge (4 hours) you will have fantastic views all around the island: to the north, Polis and the Kyrenia mountains, to the west, Troodos and Mount Olympus, and to the south, Limassol and the Akrotiri salt lake. Even more satisfyingly, you will have climbed almost 400 metres in just under an hour, as you’re now at an altitude of 1,630 metres! [GPS: 39.956203N, 32.995204E]
Follow the path indicated by the wooden signboard to the Teisia tis Madaris trail.
This takes you around the side of the mountain, descending quite steeply at first then climbing back up and following the contours to arrive at the south side of Mount Adelphoi. It’s a great little trail with more fabulous views and it takes you through some of Cyprus’ unique and impressive rock formations.
We once met a German geologist on this trail who explained that Cyprus is one of very few places in the world where you can see the earth’s crust exposed in a sheeted dyke complex such as this.
When you reach the end of the Teisia tis Madaris trail (4 hours 45 minutes) you’ll see a CYTA station to your right. [GPS: 34.951375N, 32.999102E] Follow the asphalt road to your left down the hill until you reach a junction with wooden boards pointing back up to the nature trails behind you, and to Agros 5km ahead of you. (5 hours 15 minutes) [GPS: 34.940173N, 33.005308E]
Walk down the Agros road for about 5 minutes. Just before a road sign for double bends and a 50mph limit, take the earth track to your left, as indicated in the picture below. [GPS: 34.938010N, 33.007634E]
Ignore a chained-off path to your right after less than a minute and keep to the left on a downhill path.
After 2-3 minutes the track arrives at a minor fork: take the right-hand option which, when we did this walk in October 2019, was marked by a row of beehives.
Around 5-6 minutes after leaving the asphalt road you will reach a terraced vineyard [GPS: 34.934957N, 33.010220E] where you should follow the clear path as it skirts immediately alongside the lowest terrace (don’t get led astray by the vague trails in the scrub below!) and then turns uphill at the far end of the vineyard.
When you reach the ridge this footpath emerges onto a track.
Carry on straight ahead as indicated in the photograph above. Ignore a turning to the right and carry on, gradually descending until Agros appears in front of you in the distance. In a few metres more turn off the track onto a footpath that dog-legs to your left [GPS: 34.931960N, 33.012027E] (5 hours 30 minutes)
A few metres down this path and you will be back at the broken signpost that you passed at the 35 minute point this morning.
Retrace your steps to arrive back at the Agros reservoir after approximately 6 hours 5 minutes.
Birds seen November 2015: Blackbird, Blackcap, Chaffinch, Chukar, Coal Tit, Collared Dove, Cyprus Warbler, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Magpie, Robin, Woodlark, Wood Pigeon, Wren.