Rare sightings of Cyprus snakes hiking
If you are fortunate you may catch a quick glimpse or more of one of the many snakes situated on the island. One of the largest in number is the distinct black Cyprus Whip Snake. The snake can grow beyond three meters long which makes it the largest in Europe. Whilst Limassol hiking I fortunately caught sight of this reptile. In spiritual circles it is considered good luck to see such a creature on a walk or hike.
Synonymous with healing, change and good health. The snake most connected to the Caduceus as symbolized on countless hospital and ambulance doors and relates directly to the lower chakra (the perineum) for healing, stability, grounding and the material plane of existence. The creature darted like lightning across my path more frightened of my giants trail shoes than anything else.
Amazingly it is said the Black Whip snake can climb trees where it can hunt for young birds and steal eggs. The snake is harmless but can be considered aggressive when threatened. It lifts its body for a non-poisonous bite. In days gone by Cypriot farmers would place the snake on their land to remove rodents and other poisonous snakes. Like the Cat Snake also found on the island, it is largely harmless.
The beige Cyprus Whip Snake is also not poisonous and is found at higher altitude in the Troodos. A number of trekkers have come across these animals. It likes wet areas near streams or damns.
The Montpelier snake, like the beige Whip Snake is also rare. It has poisonous teeth but is not aggressive in nature. You would be lucky to spot one of these animals whilst on a walk or hike. The venom of the Montpelier is not so dangerous for humans and just causes swelling. Unlike the Viper which is the most dangerous snake on the island. You would be extremely lucky or unlucky depending on perception on a walk to catch such a reptile whilst out and about. In truth as a walker you would need to provoke the animal for it to attack and I have never ever heard of anyone on the island suffering from its bite.
Team member at Rejuvenation Hiking, Limassol Cyprus.
Hiking the Prastio Nature Trails
Cyprus is a healing island and has its unique share of nature. This is best discovered on the islands trails and hiking tours. Away from the growing cityscapes of Paphos, Larnaca, Nicosia and into the hills above the large but increasingly popular and impressive sprawl of Limassol.
There is a surprising amount of diversity and a richness in fauna and flora as well as a resurgence of animal life. The re-connection with nature through its hiking tours is a wonderful excursion to participate in. That sense of togetherness on a Limassol group hike is a joyful thing to behold given todays highly wired yet arguably growingly disconnected society.
Currently there are increasing attempts focused on up-leveling and improving the natural world exemplified in parts of the Troodos region. With healing, protection and diversity in mind, the Cyprus Society for the Protection of Birds and nature in the north (KUSKOR) brought back into the wild a wounded eagle. It took some time for the eagle to heal and fly again but it now joins a large number of Bonelli’s eagles on the island.
There are estimated to be over 31 pairs of these large birds which are dispersed evenly across its hilly and open areas. Having personally spotted three of these eagles one afternoon on a trek in the Kyparissia trail in Lemesos district; I was extremely impressed. Other types of bird more commonly spotted on a tour or hike in this area are the Cyprus Warbler, the Crested Lark; the Woodpigeon , the Barn Swallow and the Bluerock Thrush and the Blackbird. Treks are usually graded 1-3 in terms of difficulty. The Kyparissia trail is stated as a 1. This Trek takes you from Prastio through to either Parekllisia or the valley holding Finikaria.
The hiking route is well marked and signed yet protected with bench spots for a rest along its route. The trail is marked for bikes and motorcross yet is wide and safe enough for all participants use. The inclines are gentle and the going is even and steady. A wonderful thing about Cyprus unlike my native United Kingdom is the openness of the sky and the chance to really be captivated by the clearness of vision. You are very unlikely to see heavy clouds or fog obscuring the view from the trails edge.
The distance from Prastio village to Finikaria village works out at around 15Km. The distance from Prastio to the peak is around 3km. The views from the top have been described as ‘awesome.’ I would certainly agree. Even better Prastio has a fabulous village tavern to host the weary trek participant on his or her excursions return.
Team member at Rejuvenation Hiking, Limassol Cyprus.
Motorola Defy, 1.8m drop proof, fully waterproof up to 1.5m waters for 35 minutes, sand and dust proof and built to military specification 810H for thermal shock ranging from -30C and +75C for up to 30 minutes.
At around €200 and with a sleek profile, great stock android performance and a really good camera, this could well be the best budget rugged smartphone for hiking and outdoor adventure seekers.
Over the last two month I’ve been living my everyday outdoor lifestyle with the Motorola Defy. I've been really impressed by its build quality and performance, and most importantly for me the camera is also really good.
Every phone I’ve bought over the years ends up getting smashed when I drop them on the road while running and the last phone I had got destroyed when I dropped it in the wet sand at the beach.
Incredibly the Motorola Defy can withstand all of those scenarios in a sleek and attractive design. If you remove the supplied wrist strap, it really just looks and feels like a regular smartphone in a tough rubber case. And that’s what I really love about this phone, this rubberised rugged case is actually part of the phone. Also the screen is a scratch proof super tough Corning Gorilla glass Victus which is slightly recessed into the case for even more protection.
Performance is smooth with the Android 11 included update. Rear fingerprint reader works without any flaws and the battery life is mighty impressive. I can easily get a day and a half of battery life even with heavy use of the camera and video.
Camera quality is a big surprise for me. The quality is far better than I was expecting, providing sharp and bright photos in any condition thanks to the 48MP sensor with Quad Pixel technology. Video is pretty good too, although I find results are much better with the image stabiliser switched to off. Camera quality on other rugged smartphones I’ve tested in the past has always been disappointing to a point of being useless for my social media work, not so with the Motorola Defy. All the pictures on our new Instagram were taken with the Motorola Defy and the videos on our TikTok were also taken with the Motorola Defy.
Best budget priced rugged smartphone for hiking and extreme sports and with a really good camera…I can highly recommend the Motorola Defy, I really love this phone as my everyday companion built for hiking adventures in Cyprus and beyond,
Founder of Rejuvenation Hiking, Limassol
Motorola Defy, unbreakable construction, fully waterproof, great value hiking adventure phone at around $200. Available from Amazon.
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Best hiking stores in Limassol
If we can't find what you need in these stores, we then just use Amazon DE camping and hiking, the extra shipping costs are so worth it, absolutely everything you could possible need for camping and hiking and better quality choices than we have in Cyprus, arrives in a few days with DHL and no hassle returns with a full refund for 30 days (something you will never experience in Cyprus).
Founder Rejuvenation Hiking Limassol
Nature Rejuvenation Limassol
Articles from our Limassol hiking and trail running tour guides and partners
Limassol Running Club incorporated with Rejuvenation Hiking membership