Kato Drys Hike – 4 Nov.

Our excursion of Saturday 4 November 2017 takes us to the hills and slopes of the village of Kato Drys, about 50 km drive from Nicosia, at an altitude of around 500 m. Hiking will take place along dirt roads surrounding the village fields. The flora includes vines, olive trees, Mediterranean hawthorns and, of course, oak trees.

Yiannis, a native of Kato Drys, is leading the hike, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 96844351. The hike follows dirt roads, has a length of about 8 km, will take close to 3 hours, and involves several uphill and downhill sections, being classified 2 (medium) for difficulty. The hike is circular, with extensions to visit two chapels, and offers some good views all around. The hike starts at 10:45 am.

After the walk we shall drive to a taverna in the vicinity for lunch. To facilitate arrangements, for your better service, you are required to pre-register, if you are joining us for lunch. To do so, please sms the walk leader or e-mail Xenophon 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 Handicrafts Centre (Kentro Heirotechnias) on Leoforos Athalassas (Athalassa Avenue), which offers ample parking space. 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 hike start from Nicosia:

Get to the main junction between Leoforos Lemesou/ Limassol Avenue and Leoforos Athalassas. Zero your odometer at this junction. Drive along the Nicosia-Limassol motorway, heading towards Limassol. At the 40.3 km reading you see an alpha mega supermarket on your right. At the 40.6 km reading you exit the motorway on your left, following signs to Skarinou and Lefkara (exit number 13). At the 41.0 km reading you reach a T-junction; turn left, following signs to Skarinou and Lefkara. At the 41.2 km reading you see again the alpha mega supermarket on your right. Continue driving on the main road towards Lefkara for another 7 ½ km approximately. After about 7 ½ km you reach a junction with a left turn signposted towards the village of Kato Drys. Zero your odometer and turn left. At the 2.2 km reading the road bends left and you see Platanos taverna on your right. Be very careful at the 2.4 km reading to observe a sharp turning to the right and up; there is a mirror on the left exactly at this point; this turn comes a few metres after you pass a coffee shop on your right and a corner store selling jams, named jar, on your left. If you have reached the bee & embroidery museum on your left (at the 2.5 km reading) you have come too far and missed the indicated turn. Turn right at the 2.4 km reading. Some 200 m up this road you reach the village school on your left. Just past the school, turn left and drive to the school back yard, which offers a very large area for parking. Park your car. We meet here.

How to get to the hike start from Limassol:

Drive along the Limassol – Nicosia motorway, heading towards Nicosia. Exit the motorway at exit 13, on your left, following signs to Skarinou and Lefkara. Zero your odometer here. At the 0.3 km reading you reach a T-junction; turn right, following signs to Skarinou and Lefkara. Continue driving on the main road towards Lefkara for another 7 ½ km approximately. At the 7.8 km reading you reach a junction with a left turn signposted towards the village of Kato Drys. Turn left. At the 10.0 km reading the road bends left and you see Platanos taverna on your right. Be very careful at the 10.2 km reading to observe a sharp turning to the right and up; there is a mirror on the left exactly at this point; this turn comes a few metres after you pass a coffee shop on your right and a corner store selling jams, named jar, on your left. If you have reached the bee & embroidery museum on your left (at the 10.3 km reading) you have come too far and missed the indicated turn. Turn right at the 10.2 km reading. Some 200 m up this road you reach the village school on your left. Just past the school, turn left and drive to the school back yard, which offers a very large area for parking. Park your car. We meet here.

How to get to the meeting point for the car trip, coming from the Hilton hotel area:

Get yourself on Makarios Avenue, heading out of town and set your odometer to zero as you drive past the Nicosia Hilton hotel. At the 0.1 km reading you reach traffic lights (with the Apoel club building on your right), go straight. At the 0.5 km reading you reach another set of traffic lights, go straight. Driving along, you pass a few more traffic lights, staying on this main road (named Leoforos Lemesou/ Limassol Avenue). At the 2.1 km reading, you reach a principal set of traffic lights. Set your odometer to zero again and turn right here. You are now in Leoforos Athalassas, a very busy avenue. At the 0.2 km reading you see a large empty space on your right and the Handicrafts Centre (a single-storey building) on your left. Park in the parking area. We meet here. The Handicrafts Centre is next to the church of St. Barnabas.

How to get to the meeting point for the car trip, coming from the Presidential Palace area:

Get to the round-about next to the Presidential Palace. From downtown Nicosia you reach this along the Kyriakou Matsi avenue or along the D. Severi avenue. Set your odometer to zero on the round-about and drive along the principal road towards Strovolos. At the 0.3 km reading you reach traffic lights. Go straight. At the 0.6 km reading you reach a 2nd set of traffic lights. Set your odometer to zero again and turn left. You are now in Leoforos Athalassas, a very busy avenue full of shops. At the 2.6 km reading you see a large empty space on your left and the Handicrafts Centre (a single-storey building) on your right. Park here.

Google Maps: Here is a map for those coming from the Hilton area to the meeting place for the car trip http://tinyurl.com/phjc6s7

Google Maps: Here is a map for those coming from the Presidential Palace area to the meeting place for the car trip http://tinyurl.com/neo9duy

About Kato Drys: The village is built at an average altitude of 520 meters above sea level. It took its name from the many oak trees (in Greek drys) found in it. Reports tell that the village existed during the Frankish years. The Cypriot Saint Neophytos was born here in 1134. The small chapel of Saint John Prodromos, which we shall encounter along our hike, was first built in the 12th century outside the village of Kato Drys, in the midst of the fields.

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.

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