Kakopetria/Platania – Kyperounda – Doxa si o Theos: Sat. 26 March

Our hike of Saturday 26 March 2016 takes place in the beautiful forest above Kakopetria, between Platania and Kyperounda and follows a combination of forest roads and narrow paths. This hike is linear, rated 2 (medium difficulty) to 3 (difficult), 12 km long, and is expected to take up about 4 hours. The hike is uphill on the way from Platania, downhill on the return leg. Some of the uphill sections are strenuous! We walk on dirt road for the starting 45 min, then catch a path for the next 40 min, to reach the vicinity of Kyperounda hospital. The final 2 km taking us from Kyperounda to Doxa si o Theos are on a dirt road overlooking Kyperounda and its vineyards. We take the same route back. Platania lie at an altitude of about 900 m. Doxa si o Theos lies on Madari mountain, at an altitude of 1335 m.

The forest we cross is rich in pine, golden oak and strawberry 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. Laurent is leading this walk, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 96414853.

Arrangements can be made for Strollers who may prefer to walk only the section from Platania up to the vicinity of Kyperounda hospital, and back. To enable this, please declare your preference to the walk leader by e-mail one week in advance.

At the end of the walk we shall sit down for lunch at a taverna in the vicinity.

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. 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 29.2 km reading you pass the left turn taking you to the village of Spilia. At the 32.4 km reading slow down and look out on your left, for an opening leading to a dirt road. 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 opening.

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/k9g9hbs

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.