Following the cake route (Part 1)

Attractions, Routes

Written by Jules

January 31, 2021

There are many articles online about the wine routes of Cyprus which of course are fabulous, who doesn’t like wine tasting. The thing is, the wine routes here are held together by fabulous biking roads and so there’s the conundrum – you can’t ride and drink.

So, with this in mind, I thought to explore the possibility of a Cake Route.

Yes, you heard right – who doesn’t like cake?

And why ‘Following the cake route – Part 1’? well, there will be more than one Cake Route – so watch out for Part 2!

Certainly, many bikers I have come into contact with here plan their rides around the best place to stop for coffee and cake, so why not join in.

The starting point for me was the Delizie Café and Bar on the outskirts of Pissouri. Apart from being an easy place to find and park, the staff love us bikers and they bake the best lemon torte I have ever tasted.

I have even called them to make sure they have got them available before going for coffee. One time they didn’t have any but made me one especially.

So when I pitched up 40 mins later it was freshly baked and still warm from the oven – total bliss, you simply can’t beat Cyprus lemons.

Sarah arrives on her blade and joins me for an equally heart-warming slice of banana Bread, and then it’s back on our bikes. We head out into the sunshine for a nice ride past goat farms and tumbling Cyprus stone walls, progressing nicely with roads wide and even (for Cyprus that is), with nothing but wide sweeping bends in our view.

It’s definitely the journey that counts, even when the destination is a very cool, pretty little village called Omodos.

A small wine-producing village set into the outskirts of the Troodos mountain range at an altitude of just 800 meters and known locally for its’ wine, Zivania spirit, handmade narrow-knit lacing and ‘arkatena’ bread.

It’s lovely for walks around ancient cobbled streets, visits to the traditional rural homes that have been turned into museums, and shopping for original art and crafts (e.g. silver jewellery, glass objects, lace-work and sweets. 

Omodos also houses a Medieval wine press and the monastery of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross) set in the centre of the village square which holds a piece of the original Holy Cross.

There is also a museum dedicated to the National Liberation Struggle, as well as a centre for the preservation of narrow-knit lacing, and an Icon Museum.

Anyhow, as lovely as Omodos is, I digress, because as we turn off the main road down the narrow street into Omodos all I’m thinking about is a lovely coffee and the sweet homemade treats that await us in the quaint, but relatively modern, pastry shop called George’s Bakery and Cafe.

Located conveniently at the edge of the car park the bakery allows us to enjoy all of our favourite things at once: fabulous coffee, sun and cake.

George’s has an incredible choice of homemade cakes made in two sizes – a normal portion size and, in addition, a mini one as a bite-size treat if you haven’t the room for the full-size version!

So if you are like us and have already consumed a decent size lemon torte and slice of banana bread, or are watching your weight, these little bite-size treats are perfect. Also useful for when you can’t make up your mind as you can have as many as you like.

All winners here!

Sadly, for me, I have been watching my weight, only as it consistently climbs north but what to do… anyway back to the cake! As I was saying, the beauty of this cafe is that you can enjoy these wonderful treats whilst feeling the warmth of the sun and marvelling at the sight of your bike parked elegantly in the car park across the way, which is exactly what we did. We sat, we looked at our bikes, and with no time constraints, other than we’d like to be home before dark, we chatted about where we should go next. Heaven.

Realising it would be more than sensible to ride a bit longer in-between cake stops, or aim for coffee only at the next place, we decided to head on up to the square just short of Mount Olympus in Troodos, to the 1725 Cafe Bar, who serve a lovely frappe (Cyprus iced coffee) in a bohemian style setting. With low seating made out of pallets and comfy cushions everywhere in the summer, and a warm fireplace in the winter, its a lovely place to while away the time.

The roads from Omodos are nice and wind gently as they ease up the mountainside through quaint villages edged with pine and cedar trees, and rocky mountain passes.

Troodos rock is like no other on the island, and often on a sunny day they sparkle and shimmer as you pass by, glistening because of the deposits of copper, magnesium, quartz, calcite, chrome and pyrite running through them.  

Troodos is a geological treasure and a magnet to researchers from all over the world but I’ll leave that for another day as this, as I’m sure you are aware by now is a story of cake.

Suitably rested we have a look at our maps and agree to take the long scenic way home, calling in on the far west side of the island where a German lady called Tina has set up a cafe nestled in a small corner on the edge of a village called Polis, The Art Cafe Kivotos 3000.

It is said Tina makes the best cheesecake so with that in mind we head back down the other side of the mountain to enjoy a googlemap zigzag down and across the mountains towards Paphos.

Once in Paphos we head along the coast road as far as we can getting a taste of salt in the air and then its back inland with some nice sweeping larger roads, cutting through the villages along the Polis road. Polis is one of the larger villages with a stunning coastline and possibly the only beachfront camping site left in Cyprus.

Tina’s cheesecake didn’t disappoint and suitably stuffed we take the coast road all the way back to Pissouri, and the home of the very best carrot cake ever! Sarah’s homemade carrot cake recipe (a throwback to her time living in a Cookery School – thank you Tracey!) beats everything anywhere, and we often end a ride or training session sat on her front porch with a filter coffee and slice of carrot cake. Today though we wave goodbye on the road as I can feel a sugar coma coming on from todays activities. We’ve had a day of tight mountain roads and fast sweeping bends carrying us through spectacular scenery and I for one, just need to get home.

Keep an eye out for more places to ride and in particular to future ‘Cake Routes’. Until then – ride safe and eat cake!

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