Neolithic Route – Europe’s most ancient route
• Roads: Asphalt and loose surface
• Distance: 24 km
• Level of Difficulty: Easy to average (+270 m of total ascent)
• Bike Required: Trekking off-road with 27 speeds
• Points of Interest: Choirokoitia and ‘Kalavasos Tenta’ Neolithic Settlements, Tochni Village, Zygi Village
As one of the most important prehistoric sites in the eastern Mediterranean, the Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia is included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list. Its well-preserved circular houses with flat roofs were built by farmers coming from the Near East mainland around the beginning of the 9th millennium and were constructed with mudbrick and stone.
Riding your bike from Choirokoitia towards the ‘Kalavasos’ Neolithic Settlement, you will firstly pass through Tochni; a picturesque village just 3 km from Choirokoitia, where you can visit the church of Agios Constantinos and Agia Eleni, or enjoy a drink at one of the village’s quaint coffee shops. From Tochni, you can reach the Tenta Neolithic settlement – which shares many similarities with the Choirokoitia settlement – by riding through Kalavasos’ narrow, cobblestoned roads. According to local sources, the locality of Tenta was named after Agia Eleni – mother of Constantine the Great – pitched her tent on the site when she returned to Cyprus from her trip to Jerusalem in 327A.D.
An archaeological exploration of the area can also be combined with a tasty dish of fresh fish in the nearby village of Zygi, which is famous for its fishing harbour. After your lunch you can enjoy the scenic route along green fields bursting with vibrant oranges and lemons, followed by a ride through Psematismenos Village. A few kilometres away from the village you will finally reach your original starting point of the Choirokoitia settlement, where your bike journey through history culminates.