Venetian Watchtowers Route (East Larnaka Region)
• Distance: 50 km
• Level of Difficulty: Average (+330m of total ascent)
• Bike Required: Trekking off-road with 27 gears
• Points of Interest: Pyla Tower, Achna Forest, small chapel before Ormidia Village, Xylophagou Watchtower
The Watchtowers of the Larnaka region are a significant element of the island’s connection to Venice, and historians believe that this system would have continued across to the Ammochostos region, and perhaps even the whole of Cyprus. From your starting point at the CTO beach on the Larnaka-Dekeleia Road, you will head north towards Pyla Village, where you will find the first well-maintained watchtower in the centre of the village, near the Church of Archangelos Michael.
In order to reach the second tower in Xylophagou Village (from Pyla), follow the route to the villages of Pergamos, Xylotympou, and then to Achna. From Achna Village, continue towards Ormidhia Village, where you will find a very small chapel, 1 km outside of the village. These types of chapels are widespread around the island and are usually built inside or on top of caves that were used as places of worship in the past.
Leaving Ormidhia, head towards Xylophagou. Upon entering the village, you will need to carefully follow the map in order to reach the tower, which is located 3 km north from the centre of the village and stands some 100 m above sea level. The Xylophagou tower has a unique circular shape that differs from the other three watchtowers of the region. On your way back to the starting point, your ride will take you along the coastline from Ormidhia to Dekeleia.