Agros – Lagoudera – Madhari – Agros
Date Last Walked: November 2015
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 Troodos/Lefkosia road.
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 which is situated by the final telegraph pole. Take the middle path which continues uphill and passes a circular concrete base 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). Keeping the wooden post to your left, follow the path as it zig-zags down on the right hand side of the ridge.
This path zigzags quite steeply down the hillside until, at 40 minutes, you reach a wide track. Turn left here…
…and start walking along it as it gently descends and heads broadly northwards. 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 some recently renewed metal green signs. 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).
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. The path is occasionally overgrown so you will need to pay attention, although in November 2015 it had been cleared. 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).
As you arrive in Lagoudera you will see a pink house on your right. Turn left here…
…to briefly join the 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 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 out of Saranti. About 15 minutes after leaving the village (2 hours 50 minutes) the road hairpins to the right.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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 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. 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)
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.
After 5 minutes the track reaches a terraced vineyard where you should follow the clear path as it skirts along the lowest terrace 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. In a few metres more turn off the track onto a smaller one that dog-legs to your left (5 hours 30 minutes)
A few metres down this track 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 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.