Earlier this year I travelled to a place better known for sea, sand and unrest than for hiking, but what I found on Cyprus was one of the perfect place to explore on foot.
Away from the madness of the tourist traps and the crowded beaches, Cyprus reveals itself. Quiet paths lead through natural settings and into historical villages that exist years away from the bustle advertised in the brochures.
Take a peninsula to the West side of the island for instance: Legends combined with sun-kissed landscapes along the Aphrodite Nature Trail, which stretches languidly along the coast and offers access to the beautiful "Baths of Aphrodite." The stories about this place and the goddess that once came here are as sweeping as the panoramic views.
Closer to the middle of the island, the Troodos Mountains off miles upon miles of rugged trail. Some paths lead to the top of the peaks while others wind through green, tree-lined valleys. I hiked and hiked and absolutely loved it. The views are vast. I could spend months hiking these paths and still want to do more.
Those that are interested in religious history cannot go far away without finding a church or monastery full of unique ancient writings and pictures. Even agnostics can get a sense of awe passed down through the ages by entering the the small, heavily decorated building hidden off the trails.
The food that was on offer near the trail in the mountains was vastly different from touristic offerings and completely out of this world. I hadn't eaten or wanted to eat so much for a long time. Meze was the order of the day.
I will return to Cyprus. There is no doubt about that. And I won't be at the beach.