Kourdali – Adelphi Forest hike: Saturday 9 April

Our hike of Saturday 9 April 2016 takes place in the beautiful Adelphi forest, north of the village of Spilia, an area off the beaten track and well preserved. We set off from the tiny village of Kourdali, at an altitude of 950 m and follow an all uphill trail, taking us to a mountain saddle at an altitude of 1150 m, after about half an hour; from there we continue a more gentle climb along trails used by EOKA fighters during the uprising for independence over 1955 – 1959; within about 15 minutes, this gets us to an area of several caves, used by the fighters as hide-outs, at an elevation of 1225 m. We shall dedicate plenty of time to visit the surrounding caves and some peaks offering panoramic views down to Adelphi forest and far out. We shall follow the same route back. This hike is linear, rated 2 ½ (medium difficulty to difficult), about 8 km long, and is expected to take up about 3 hours, including stops. The hike is uphill on the way from Kourdali, downhill on the return leg. The uphill is continuous and strenuous at places, and so is the downhill; you are advised to wear hiking boots and carry your hiking poles or a stick.

The forest we cross is rich in pine (Calabrian pine, Pinus brutia) and golden oak trees, with fewer plane trees, strawberry trees, mediterranean hawthorn (mosphilia) trees; further, there is an abundance of rockrose and a variety of bushes. There are 2 fountains with drinking water on our route and benches at several places.

The walk starts at 11:15 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 a Y-junction with a road sign indicating going up on the right, inside Kourdali. There is parking for just 1 or 2 cars here. If you drive up for some 100 m, after the second bend, the road widens and there is parking space for 4-5 cars on the left side. Also, if you drive downhill at the starting Y-junction, after a few hundred metres you get to an area that can accommodate a few more cars.

After the walk we shall visit the church of a convent in Kourdali (provided it is open). It is located just a few hundred metres from the walk finish, is dedicated to Virgin Mary, was built in the 16th c. and has some impressive wall paintings from times past.

At the end of the walk we shall drive 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 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. At the 29.2 km reading take the left turn taking you to the village of Spilia. You pass through Spilia. At the 33.5 km reading you get to a Y-junction; do not go right, uphill, towards Kannavia; go left towards Kourdali. You then enter the tiny village of Kourdali. Drive slowly. At the 34.8 km reading you get to a Y-junction. The main village road continues downhill; on the right the road goes uphill, with a sign indicating the start of the trail. Search for a parking spot. 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://tiny-url.org/zu5ijAJn

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 tiny village of Kourdali http://tinyurl.com/penzbuo

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.