UPDATE: We are going ahead with this event. With a picnic or a taverna lunch to follow hiking. In case of picnic, it will take place at the organised picnic site where our hike ends. Thus, no need to get back into cars, no need to carry picnic food while hiking, food and drinks can be kept in the boot of the car. Please register by end Thursday. In registering, please indicate your preference for picnic or taverna. Registered participants will receive an e-mail with further instructions on Friday. Also, we are bringing times earlier by one hour: the hike starts at 10:00 instead of 11:00. The car trip from Nicosia sets off at 8:30 instead of 9:30.
Our excursion of Saturday 22 May 2021 takes place at the Troodos mountain range. This is an extraordinary outing of the Cyprus Strollers, since it involves not one, but two hikes. Importantly the 2nd hike is a short walking distance away from the 1st hike, hence we do not need to get back to the cars to reach it. The first hike starts at 11:00 am. Xenophon is leading this outing, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97613720.
Troodos is the highest mountain of the island, with its highest peak (Hionistra) at 1950 metres altitude. Troodos is covered by a variety of pine trees, junipers, cedars and fir trees, and also presents the majestic golden oak, an endemic species to Cyprus, as well as a rich variety of bushes and wild flowers. Troodos is also a rare geological phenomenon.
Both trails take place at Kampos tou Livadiou, which lies some 1800 m before Troodos square, as you are driving uphill from the Karvounas junction, coming from Nicosia. The 1st trail is a linear trail that reaches Mnimata Piskopon after about 3 km. The forward leg is mostly a modest downhill, consequently the return is a modest uphill. Duration of the 1st trail is 2+ hours return and degree of difficulty is 2 (medium). The 2nd trail is a circular trail around Kampos tou Livadiou, 3 km long, will require about one hour and degree of difficulty is 1 (easy).
The hikes are at an average altitude of 1650 m, in a forest of black pine and juniper trees. Mnimata Piskopon is Greek for tombs of bishops, and owes its name to the execution of 3 Orthodox bishops in the times of the Ottoman occupation of Cyprus.
Depending on the government restrictions on the day, we shall follow the 2nd walk with lunch at our taverna of choice in the area. To provide you with maximum safety vis-à-vis covid-19, and in order to have maximum traceability, we require every participant to register, irrespective of your participation at lunch or not. To facilitate arrangements, for your better service, you are required to e-mail Xenophon by end Thursday, indicating whether you will be joining us for lunch or not.
You have the choice of meeting the group at the 1st 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 9:30 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.
How to get to the 1st 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. Continue to drive along the main road, in the direction of Troodos. At the 33 km reading, you reach a crossroads (no traffic lights), named Karvounas. Do not turn left (this takes you to Kyperounda village and Madari mountain). Do not go straight. Turn right towards Troodos square. At the 39.7 km reading you reach Kampos tou Livadiou on your right. Turn right onto the secondary road and drive along for a few hundred metres, up to a sign indicating a nature trail on your left. Park your car. We meet here.
How to get to the 1st walk start coming from Limassol (via Karvounas):
Take the main road towards Trimiklini, then Saittas (exit number 28 on the Limassol-Nicosia motorway). Get to the principal junction at Saittas, where you have the options of going straight to Platres or left to Pera Pedi, or right to Amiantos. Zero your odometer and turn right. At the 10.9 km reading you reach the principal junction of Karvounas (note, no traffic lights). Do not go straight, downhill (this takes you to Kakopetria). Do not turn right (this takes you to Kyperounda). Zero your odometer, turn left and drive uphill towards Troodos square. At the 6.7 km reading you reach Kampos tou Livadiou on your right. Turn right onto the secondary road and drive along for a few hundred metres, up to a sign indicating a nature trail on your left. Park your car. We meet here.
How to get to the 1st walk start coming from Limassol (via Platres):
Take the main road towards Trimiklini, then Saittas (exit number 28 on the Limassol-Nicosia motorway). Get to the principal junction at Saittas, where you have the options of going straight to Platres or left to Pera Pedi, or right to Amiantos. Continue straight to Platres. At the junction of Psilo Dendro (taverna and trout farm on your right) (this is the starting point to Caledonian waterfall) zero your odometer and continue straight, towards Troodos. At the 2.1 km reading you pass a junction with a left turn leading to Trooditissa monastery; continue straight towards Troodos. At the 7.4 km reading you arrive at Troodos square; turn left, into the square, and drive along the cobbled road through the square; at the 7.5 km reading you reach the exit from the square at a T-junction; turn right, in the direction of Nicosia. After 1.8 km drive carefully, looking out for the road sign marking the Kampos tou Livadiou picnic site and hikes, on your left. Turn left onto the secondary road and drive along for a few hundred metres, up to a sign indicating a nature trail on your left. Park your car. We meet here.
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://tinyurl.com/ndnr6uo
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. If you do not wish to receive further e-mails, reply to this message, stating so.