25 February 2014 18:10

Cyprus’ 1st Walking Festival due to kick off next Saturday was officially announced on Monday, the result of a joint effort between the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) and the Forestry Department.
Within the framework of the festival, participants will have the opportunity to encounter the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of the island through a selection of six nature trails. The walks will take place at different intervals throughout the month of March and beginning of April.
“This specific type of tourism (walking tourism) is especially important and is integrated within the framework of alternative forms of tourism which the CTO has, for the past couple of years, been trying to create and promote,” said Marios Hannides, Director General of the CTO.
“Cyprus can no longer be solely promoted for sun and sea holidays, we have to support alternative forms of tourism,” he stressed.
Hannides went on to explain that walking tourism is an ideal form of tourism to be promoted in Cyprus, for a number of reasons. Aside from supporting the island’s economy as a whole, the months travellers choose to go on walking holidays fall in the low season and therefore can only help combat seasonality locally.
Hannides also added that through supporting the winter season, the local economy in villages and rural communities will also be supported.
The festival includes organised walks headed by tour guides and people from the forestry department in four sections of the island: Cape Greco Park, Free Famagusta area, Akamas Forest Park, Machairas National Forest Park as well as the Troodos National Forest Park.
“The festival is a form of celebration, to give the opportunity to travellers to meet our beautiful regions, our forests, which are unique, but also the villages in the surrounding areas,” concluded Hannides.
All tours will be accommodated with a bus service departing from all main towns while reservations are obligatory. More information can be found on the CTO’s website.


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