Join the Cyprus Strollers on Sunday 7 February 2016 for a stroll with a strong cultural aspect. We visit the adjacent villages of Kakopetria and Galata in the valley of Solea and walk mostly along the paved roads and stone-paved roads of the villages, stopping to admire seven of their magnificent old churches, some of which date back to the Byzantine times, and other beautiful sites. The stroll is rated easy (degree of difficulty 1) because even though it includes lots of uphill and downhill, its duration (pure walking time) is only 80 minutes, and it assumes as many stops as the treasures on our way.
The stroll starts at Galata and visits the church of Saint Nicholas, then the church of Panagia tis Podithou, built in 1500, which is located very close to the church of Archangelos (Archangel), also known as Theotokos (Mother of Christ, Virgin Mary). Next stop is the church of Agios Sozomenos (built in 1513). Agios Sozomenos was a Cypriot Bishop of the Karpasia peninsula (now under occupation) and is celebrated on 20 November. We then pass by the old church of Saint George. The last church of Galata is Agia Paraskevi. Just as we enter Kakopetria, we visit the church of Virgin Mary, built in 1514. We then climb up to Old Kakopetria and walk along its restored buildings, on stone-paved surface, to visit the church of Metamorphosis (Transfiguration) of Christ, built in the 16th c. We walk back along the main paved Kakopetria-Galata road. Kakopetria lies at an altitude of 665 m. The river that crosses the two villages flows all year round, and thus there is rich vegetation along our route. The stroll, with stops, is expected to take up 2 ½ hours.
The stroll starts at 10:45 am. Xenophon is leading this walk, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97613720.
At the end of the walk we shall sit down for lunch at a taverna in the vicinity. To facilitate arrangements, for your better service, you are required to pre-register, if you are joining us for lunch. To do so, please e-mail the walk leader by end Friday. No need to register if you are not dining.
You have the choice of meeting the group at the walk start, or meet at the designated meeting point in Nicosia. In either case, you need to carry copy of this set of instructions. Meeting in Nicosia offers two important advantages: we drive in full cars, leaving some cars behind; thus, we save in fuel and enjoy the trip in good company. The meeting point in Nicosia is the very large church named tis Theou Sophias (also referred to as Agia Sophia) in Strovolos, which offers ample parking space on its side street. The car trip starts at 9:45 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.
How to get to the walk start:
From Nicosia take the A9 motorway towards Troodos. The A9 smoothly becomes the B9 highway towards Troodos, when the motorway ends, near Kokkinotrimithia. On the B9 you drive past the villages of Akaki, then Peristerona and then you reach the village of Astromeritis. At the Astromeritis traffic lights, where most cars turn left towards Troodos, zero your odometer and turn left. Drive along the main road. At the 23.6 km reading you turn right to the village of Galata. The road goes sharply downhill. After a few hundred metres you reach a T-junction. This is the main square of Galata. There is a cafeteria/taverna on your right, with a couple of very large trees by its side, and a large open air parking area on your left. Turn into the parking area and park your car. We meet here. At time of writing, parking here is free of charge.
How to get to the meeting point for the car trip:
From Nicosia get to the junction between Cineplex and Apolloneion Hospital. At the traffic lights where you have the Cineplex on your left hand side and Apolloneion Hospital on your right hand side, zero your odometer and turn left. At the 0.3 km reading you see Lidl supermarket on your right. At the 0.8 km reading you reach traffic lights. Turn left into Elaionon street. Immediately after you observe the very large church of tis Theou Sophias, with its green dome, on your right. Just past the church (1.0 km reading) take the first turning to the right into Kastellas street. This side street offers ample parking space. Park here.
N.B.: Most of the old churches are likely to be shut.
Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from the junction between Cineplex and Apolloneion Hospital to the church of tis Theou Sophias http://tinyurl.com/ll9fefj
Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from the Presidential Palace to the church of tis Theou Sophias: http://tiny-url.org/hEk7ggCF
Disclaimer: If you attend a Cyprus Strollers walk you do so entirely at your own risk. The Cyprus Strollers is a social club and neither the organizers nor the leader of the walk are responsible for the health and safety of those taking part.