Use the trail map together with the detailed descriptions to follow the trail.


Zeytinlik St Hilarion Trail


Trail Info:

Location of the Trailhead: The trailhead is located on Şehit Süleyman Uluçamgil Street in Zeytinlik village, at the trail information board.

Distance:  14 km

Duration:  4 - 5 hours

Ascent: + 900 m

Difficulty level: Moderate


·         This trail is marked with green – yellow colors, and overlaps partly with another trail marked in green-white colors.

·         The trail has a very long and enduring sections of uphill and downhill climbs.

·         Visiting St. Hilarion Castle is not included in the given trail info values.


Trail Information Board (1) – Junction (10)

The trail head is the trail gate on Şehit Süleyman Uluçamgil Street in Zeytinlik village. Facing the trail information board (1), turn L towards the mountains and walk on the asphalt street past a transformer and a house, to find the wooden trail gate (2). This trail is marked with green-yellow colors. Walk under the gate, down to the riverbed through overgrown acacia trees. At the riverbed (3), turn L and follow the riverbed upstream through a dense vegetation. The path by-passes the boulders and vegetation blocking the riverbed via a side track going up L (4) to the river bank and then back down again. At the end of the riverbed pass through the underpass (5) and come out on the other side to turn R via a few steps to find a narrow path undulating on the river bank. The track widens and at the junction (6) turn R to climb up a moderately steep slope curving L. Walk along the fence of a house and reach asphalt road (7). Turn L onto the asphalt road and then R, L and R. About 20 meters after the corner, turn L leaving the asphalt to get onto a dirt track (8) directly towards St Hilarion Castle situated on top of the prominent peak on top of the mountain. Follow the main track passing through a pine grove and curving L to arrive at a junction (9) where there is a house and an asphalt road under construction. Turn L onto the street to be asphalted and keep going straight down a gentle slope back to dirt track. Pass by the last house, curving R continue to a junction (10).

Junction (10) – Water Well (14)

The dirt track continues on a steep slope up and curving L. Turn R at the junction (11) near the electricity pylon. This is a smaller and less used dirt track with acacia trees planted along the side. It is a curving track until a junction (12) near the gate of an old farmhouse. Turn R. The area to the left of the dirt track is forbidden zone. Follow the dirt track with good surface curving R mostly going up a moderately steep slope. With the view of the Kyrenia coastline on the right, continue on the main track up to a conspicuous T-junction (13). Turn L onto a demanding steep track zigzagging up the mountain. At the end of the dirt track there is a water-well (14) and a power generator.

Water well (14) – Pyramid P13 (19)

The trail continues on a narrow path at the rocks to the left of the power generator unit. Scramble up the rocks by the cliff following the path and the green-yellow paintmarks. Pass by the old stone bunker and walk along the mountain with the view of Kyrenia on the left. Follow the path with sharp turns up the mountain between two rocky peaks. Further up, the path goes along the side of the right of the deep gully. The castle is also on top of the right peak. After climbing the steep path find the junction with a dirt track (15). Turn L onto this wider track and watch out for the steel cable (16) hanging waist-high across the trail. The dirt track curves R and ends at an asphalt parking lot (17).  Immediate right turn leads up to the castle. Take the second asphalt road to R to the concrete pyramid (P12) in about 50 meters. Turn R at the pyramid (18) onto a dirt track (T45) on a moderately downhill slope. This trail is marked with both green-white and green-yellow signs. Curve to the L and arrive at the second pyramid (P13) and turn R (19) onto a narrowing path downhill.

Pyramid P13 (19) – Junction (22)

Pass through lentisk, turpentine and pine trees curving R towards the north coast through a rocky canyon, well-eroded by the occasional flash floods of the Mediterranean. Follow the water-course coming down from the canyon over limestone boulders and weathered flysch/marls. Two paths lead out at the end of the canyon, take the one on the L. Climbing up on a moderate slope through very spiny Genista bushes. Arrive at an open space (20) with expansive views of the north coast with Kyrenia on the right and Alsancak on the left. Follow the track curving L and descending down the mountain. The loose rocks, gravel and soil make it very slippery. Zigzagging all the way down to a dirt track (21), the last part passes through tall Oryzopsis grasses. Turn L onto the dirt track on a moderate slope dowhill. Stay on the main dirt track ignoring the smaller paths branching off and descend considerably down on this curving journey. Arrive at a major junction (22).

Junction (22) – Trail Information Board (1)

Turn R (22) on a gentle slope uphill curving R to pass by a small chapel. Curve R around the corner and follow the main track passing a junction to go up a moderate slope to flatten out near another smaller chapel with a flat roof. Pass the chapel and in about 50 meters, turn L at the junction (23) and follow the main track on, keeping straight through the next junction (24). Follow the curvy track uphill to the next junction (25). Turn L to go down a very steep slope to the next junction (26). Turn R on a hairpin turn. At the next junction (27) marked by an egg-shaped boulder in the middle, turn R, passing an electricity pylon and winding down with some very steep sections. The path flattens out and arrives at a T-junction (28). Turn R curving left to go downhill before a very steep hill, turn L (29) through acacia and pine trees. Walk up a very unused path with overgrown grass and rough surface to some abandoned construction site. At the bare concrete wall (30), turn R and follow the track up to a T- junction (31) and turn L. Walk down the fairly straight dirt track downhill passing by a house and arriving at a junction (32). Turn R onto an asphalt street back to the initial part of the trail. Follow the trail back (8 to 1) on the asphalt, then, into the ravine and then passing the underpass again to the riverbed and up to the trail information board (1).


Difficulty Levels

Easy: Flat to slight slopes

Moderate: Moderate Slopes

Difficult: Trail with Steep slopes

Very Difficult: Trail with very steep slopes requiring scrambling