Touring Cyprus by Motorbike
Didn’t you have a lovely time the day you went to Cyprus…….emmmmm!!!!
Travelling down to Manchester airport at 3am seeing the car temperature gauge registering -15.5c had me feeling the warmth of the sunshine on my skin (great imagination you see). It also had the devil on my other shoulder whispering “turn around what do you want to go for”
However, having spent €350 on my AirBandB accommodation (for 23 days and included being picked up and taken back to the airport)~, £121 on the return flight by Squeezy Jet, including extra leg room, plus £125 on parking (read that last bit again) £125 frigging squid, plus a Post Office travel card with a €1,000,000 on it (just checking you are reading this), plus, I had organised the loan of a motorbike from The Golden Ride Hire in Coral Bay for 10 days. The decision was given to the nicer of the two devils and I continued.
Manchester airport – plane – thin cushioned seat that didn’t recline – zoom – €7 for a coffee and kwakont – Paphos – TaDar………
Working my way through customs after passport control and nothing to declare I found it to be amazingly well organised and simple, bravo Paphos airport.
Picked up by the AirBandB chappy in his car and taken to my ‘room’. This was to take around 30 minutes travelling some backroads to Tala, just to the west of Paphos and up in’t hills, and enabling me to reacquaint myself with the land that took my heart 38 years ago. Where had pathos gone, oh my god, it looked like Redcar sea front on a bad day. Extracted from my memory 38 years ago of a quaint fishing harbour I was confronted with run down cafe’s, painted walls and tree bases of graffiti words, and dusty litter strewn back roads – oh my god what had gone so wrong. (nothing really I was to discover later, paying €3 just for a ‘small’ cup of coffee they were doing just fine I am quite sure). Nothing lasts forever does it, progress is progress. On the outskirts of the town, to where it appears all the big hotels are, they are still developing, building and producing dust, and it was just barren of any personality whatsoever. A saying sprung to mind from an old Blackpool B&B owner from the 50’s – how would you like your eggs, fried or boiled!!!
I was left feeling so sad I could have cried……..
Anyway, onwards McDuff…….my room, in a 2 bedroom apartment in Tala, is a medium sized room with two single beds supplied with quilts you could see through they are that thin. Great for summer I am sure but this is NOT summer, so pinched the spare one off the other bed and still wasn’t warm during the night. I could ‘still’ see through the two quilts, even if they were stuck together with sticky backed plastic. I took to wearing my motorcycle base layer, and bloody socks, bloody socks I tell you, to try and keep warm. There is a blow heater on the wall and that warms the room up quickly, but, I was asked to stop using it overnight because of the cost, as he would end up making no money. Cheap isn’t always the best option is it boys and girls. However in the summer I am sure I wouldn’t have to wear socks!
That is what AirBandB is all about though, someone who has a spare room, making some extra cash. That is what I love about it, it’s cheap and not a hotel or B&B. Although the system is being spoiled by larger operations trying to push out the home owner and they are losing the best part of AirBandB, helping people make some extra dosh. They are now just interested in everybody coming on board so they make more money through fee’s
The following morning I was taken to the motorbike shop to wait for collection, and wait, and wait and oh, wait a bit more. They were having a meeting and really I wasn’t bothered because the sun was shining and I sat on a bench in Coral bay, outside the shop to start my tan.
That done Zee (the girl with the amazing eyes, and a ‘Latvian’. I do love European girls) came out of the motorbike shop and filled in the paperwork. Following her to the back of the shop there was my motorbike. It was a black Yamaha XT600R, and looked big enough for my left foot but what was I going to do about the other foot. Actually it was fine once I sat on it, pushed start and rumbled off into the wilds of Cyprus. (You can read about some of my exploits in previous posts).
If you have never experienced a cross over 600cc single piston engine motorbike I would encourage you to do so as it will make you love your own bike even more. It reminded me of a song…….Shake, Rattle and Roll. However in a previous post about Akamas Peninsula it was perfect.
The roads are MINT with a capital MINT, I cannot recall seeing one pothole in the miles I rode, and they are basically (in February) empty, once you leave the towns. Travelling from Paphos to Polis, some 30km, is an extremely pleasant experience and the views looking towards the Troodos mountain range is spectacular to say the least. The views towards Polis are equally as impressive on a nice day the blue sky, joining the blue sea…….heaven in your eyeballs.
I even found an old fishing boat that gives the impression of two old wrecks together…..bloody cheek!
This time of year Troodos mountain herself is not really achievable on a motorbike due to being bloody freezing once you go into the mountains, but the road is so full of twists and bends it is fabulous – no traffic seen in 2 hours and blasting my way into the freezing zone still made me smile. The views are not so great though unless you are in love with pine trees, because they block most of the views, which is a crying shame.
Even though I had the Yamaha XT600R for 10 days I was unable to ride every day due to weather (2018/19 winter was the worst winter they had experienced for decades) on one of the days I did a pilgrimage to the 2 army bases I had stayed in at Episkopi, during 1980 and 1981. So this would be 38 years since I was last on the island, never mind the army bases and I had such beautiful memories of those times….you can read about that visit right here.
Overall opinion of Cyprus by Motorbike
- AirBandB can make it a really good cheap option for accommodation, but make sure you are close to facilities or get a car/motorbike
- Motorbike touring Cyprus is great on these roads because they are relatively free of traffic and you will ‘never’ get lost theres just that many roads or towns to get lost in
- The scenery is nice, not great, but nice looking over the blue ocean or up in the mountains if you like trees (because they block most of the view)
- Cyprus is a long weekend for motorbike tours because once you have bene on them, well, you’ve been on them, and they don’t build new roads very fast (apart from the motorway the roads as they were 38 years ago)
- Cost of motorbike hire is around €300 for 7 days – for a 600cc size – for me I find expensive, but have been told it is due to the very high insurance premiums – for example you can hire a car for a week for the same as a bike for a day!
- Fuel is just under what you will find in the UK, at €1.10 or €1.20 a litre so that is fine
- Food – is expensive in fact stupidly expensive – I was caught out twice for coffee, standard mug €3. I stopped a couple of time for lunch and for a sandwich and nescafe sachet coffee expect to be charged €6. So do not expect to have a cheap holiday if going self catering AirBandB. Maybe you can find some deals for places to stay including breakfast, but at €12 a night AirBandB takes some beating.
- The best place to test your skills and have fun is on the Akamas Peninsula. I spent quite a bit of time there due to weather conditions not being great. Its a great off road and you can hire a bike for the day to do that, or book a tour with Zee from Golden Ride Hire, there is nobody better………..
Conclusion – Cyprus by motorbike is okay for 7 maybe pushing to 10 days – no, lets leave it at 7, and for that you can expect to pay out around €800 to €1000 including everything, accommodation, flight, bike hire (the biggest chunk), food and fuel (if frugal).
Would I come back, well, not in February or the winter months. Having not been here during good hot weather I have no idea about those times so will leave that choice to you.
For the same money you could do Tenerife and the routes I did there absolutely blew my socks off, something Cyprus just didn’t achieve. You can see those videos on a section of this website.