This 60 kilometre route starts at Deftera in Nicosia and goes along the old Psimolofou road passing through the villages of of Episkopeio and Politiko, near Agios Irakleidios monastery. From there it heads towards Filani and Machairas. The route from Politiko to Machairas monastery is a steady uphill ride, while that from Filani to Machairas monastery is a dirt track.
At a distance of 4 kilometres outside Politiko, the road to the right leads to the village of Lazanias, while that to the left to the Ayia Skepi chapel and the Machairas Monastery’s Educational Centre. After a mild ascent for about 3 kilometres, you will reach the Machairas quarry, where you start a difficult climb all the way up to the monastery.
Just before the monastery, is the underground hideout of Gregoris Afxentiou, a Cypriot freedom fighter who died during the island’s struggle against British rule.
West of the monastery and to the right, is the road that leads to the villages of Lazanias, Gourri and Farmakas and joins up with the Nicosia – Pitsilia route. This route continues to the east and then turns to the north as you start your descent to Nicosia.
It goes past the Agios Onoufrios chapel and the Mandra tou Kambiou picnic site three km further down. This is the official site of the 5,5km mountain bike piste of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, where the international “Afxentia” race is held every year on the last weekend in February.
Past the picnic site, the course heads east on six kilometres of dirt road towards the village of Lythrodontas. On the outskirts of the village the course turns north towards Analiontas, Tseri and Strovolos Avenue that heads back into Nicosia.
Elevation Gain: 1493m
Highest point: 1026m
Lowest point: 205m
Road surface: Paved