Larnaca Rizoelia park walk – Sunday 29 Jan.

Our walk of Sunday 29 January 2017 takes us to the Aradippou area, a few km from the city of Larnaca. We visit the park on the hill of Rizoelia, at a low elevation, and walk around the park. If you are new to Cyprus, Aradippou is the land of cows, proud for its milk and cheese production; yet we shall not encounter cattle on the hike. Instead, reward for Strollers will more likely be partridges, anemones and tulips (locally called lallédes), which begin flowering from February.

Rizoelia is quite significant for its gypsum deposits, and 2 species of rare and protected plants: Campanula fastigiata and Gypsophila linearifolia. Furthermore, the hill has an abundance of pine trees, as well as several acacias and cypresses.

The Rizoelia hike is circular, entirely inside the park, all on well-defined dirt roads, involves some gentle uphill and downhill, will take about 2 ½ hours and is classified as easy. On a clear day Strollers will enjoy several nice views far and beyond, to Larnaca and its coastline, Dhekelia and more. 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.

Here is a longer description of the hike: We start at the parking area just inside the north east entrance to Rizoelia park; this is opposite the back side of Aradippou High School. We begin with a round stroll along the perimeter of the park, expected to take up about one hour. Halfway, we shall make a short detour, to visit a small church, seated on a hill, just outside the park. The long perimeter circle will bring us back to our cars. The hike continues further inside and higher up, for about one hour, will reach the picnic site, from where we shall walk a short distance to the cars, to conclude the excursion.

After the walk we shall drive a few km to the Monte Carlo seafood restaurant in Larnaca, for a set meal. Monte Carlo lies on the Larnaca seafront, some 50 m after Larnaca castle. Best way to access it is drive through Phinikoudes. Once past the Castle, and past the restaurant, follow the signs to a free municipal parking area, in a side street to the right, some 200 m further on. 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 Friday. 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 Handicrafts Centre (Kentro Heirotechnias) on Leoforos Athalassas (Athalassa Avenue), which offers ample parking space. The car trip starts at 10:00 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.

How to get to the walk start, coming 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 Larnaca. At the 34.6 km reading, you reach a major roundabout. Ignore the exit to the right, which leads to the airport. Ignore the exit to the left, which leads to Dhekelia and Agia Napa. Zero your odometer and continue straight, towards Larnaca city. At the 1.5 km reading you reach the first set of traffic lights: turn right. At the 1.9 km reading you reach a junction, where you need to turn right. The road climbs and drives past the back side of Aradippou High School on your right hand. At the 2.4 km reading you reach a roundabout, where you need to turn left; this is the entrance to the park, the end of paved road and beginning of dirt road. Parking places lie one hundred metres further ahead, on your left. We meet here.

How to get to the walk start, coming from Larnaca centre:

Get to the main road leading out of town, to Nicosia. Zero your odometer at the junction with the fire station. At the 0.7 km reading you pass the traffic lights of St George (with the High School and cemetery). At the 2.4 km reading you pass the traffic lights indicating a left turn to GSZ stadium: continue straight. At the 4.0 km reading you reach the traffic lights near the Aradippou Police Station and High School: turn left. At the 4.4 km reading you reach a junction, where you need to turn right. The road climbs and drives past the back side of Aradippou High School on your right hand. At the 4.9 km reading you reach a roundabout, where you need to turn left; this is the entrance to the park, the end of paved road and beginning of dirt road. Parking places lie one hundred metres further ahead, on your left. 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://tiny-url.org/RWPji5wr  

Google Maps: Here is a map for those coming from the Presidential Palace area to the meeting place for the car trip http://tiny-url.org/hvLSn8Nw

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.