Our hike of Saturday 21 January 2017 takes place in the beautiful forest above Kakopetria, between Platania and Spilia and follows a forest road. This hike is linear, rated 1 1/2 (easy to medium difficulty), 12 km long, and is expected to take up about 3 hours. The hike starts uphill on the way from Platania, and soon levels out for much of the path. We walk on dirt road for 5 km from start, and finally about 1 km on paved road, to reach a viewpoint offering a splendid view of the village of Spilia below. The uphill is gentle throughout, becoming rather demanding for the final 1 km on paved road. We take the same route back.
The forest we cross is rich in pine, strawberry and golden oak trees and a variety of bushes. Platania is a wonderful location with plenty of underground water, hence the large number of plane trees, which give it its name. Platania offer many benches for picnic, facilities and drinking water.
The walk starts at 10:45 am. Xenophon is leading this walk, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97613720. The starting point for this walk is the road sign indicating ‘Spilia 8 km’, on your left hand side, along the main road leading from Kakopetria towards Troodos, at the Platania area, a few km further up from Kakopetria.
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 Thursday. No need to register if you are not dining.
You have the choice of meeting the group at the hike 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. After 25 km you pass the village of Kakopetria (principal access to the village comes at the 24.8 km reading, where there is a left turn going downhill). Continue to drive along the main road, in the direction of Troodos. A few km further uphill you reach the area of Platania. At the 31.7 km reading slow down and look out on your left, for a road sign indicating ‘Spilia 8 km’. A forest road starts here. Park on either side of the road. We meet here. If you have reached a crossroads (no traffic lights), named Karvounas (at the 33 km reading), you have driven too far: turn back, drive downhill the way you came and look out for the indicated road sign. One more important instruction: as you drive out of Kakopetria, towards Platania, ignore the road sign indicating a left turn leading to Spilia village on a paved road; this is the road you take when you want to drive to Spilia. The walk start is exactly 2.4 km further up.
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.
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
Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from the principal road at Kakopetria to the walk start http://tinyurl.com/oht5yl5
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.