Lofou Hike – Sunday 18 Nov.

Our walk of Sunday 18 November 2018 will be led by Ian Hancock, and takes place in the beautiful wine country of the hills north west of Limassol. Lofou and Silikou are traditional Cypriot hill villages about 4 km apart, and we will walk the countryside between them. Lofou has been lovingly restored, and has few modern features, so is often used by film and TV companies for its 19th century character. We explore the old cobbled streets of the village, then take the old footpath down to the water troughs where the village women used to wash clothes. The path becomes a dirt road, perched high up on the hillside, which is now used by only a few farm vehicles. There will be glorious views of the farmland in the valley below, and the distant Troodos mountains.

Silikou has been famous for its vineyards for 3,000 years, and is one of the villages where commandaria wine is made. We will have the opportunity to visit three small museums in Silikou, an olive mill, a museum of traditional costume and the Commandaria museum, where we should be able to sample and buy the wine. We will then take a circular route around the edge of the village, through orchards of almond trees to rejoin the road back to Lofou and our cars.

We will start our walk at 11.15. The walk is mostly linear, about 9 km long, and grade 2. The altitude variation is 166m. Trekking poles are not essential. The track will probably be muddy. Wet weather gear and dry clothes to change into would be a good idea. There are places to fill water bottles on the way. The hike will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call Ian on 96852722.

At the end of the hike, we shall have lunch at a taverna, near where we parked. 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 or e-mail the walk leader (ianrhancock4@gmail.com) or e-mail Xenophon by end Friday. This requirement is essential, given that the chosen taverna is very popular and busy on Sundays. 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 walk start, coming from Nicosia:

Drive along the Nicosia-Limassol motorway, heading towards Limassol. Reaching Limassol, exit the motorway at junction 28, signposted to Troodos. Zero your odometer and take the B8 road north towards Troodos. At 23.5 km turn left at the signpost to Lofou, and continue along road F817 for 9.5 km. When you enter the village of Lofou, look out for signs to ‘School’ and ‘Parking’. There, turn right and right again, to reach the car park in front of the children’s playground. We meet at the highest point of Lofou village, in a car park beside the village school. There will probably be a Greek flag flying above it. The GPS reference is http://ge0.me/8yxeUCtIUq/Lofou_car_park.

How to get to the walk start, coming from Limassol:

Get to the Nicosia-Limassol motorway and exit at junction 28, signposted to Troodos. Zero your odometer and take the B8 road north towards Troodos. At 23.5 km turn left at the signpost to Lofou, and continue along road F817 for 9.5 km. When you enter the village of Lofou, look out for signs to ‘School’ and ‘Parking’. There, turn right and right again, to reach the car park in front of the children’s playground. We meet at the highest point of Lofou village, in a car park beside the village school. There will probably be a Greek flag flying above it. The GPS reference is http://ge0.me/8yxeUCtIUq/Lofou_car_park.

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

Note: The walk leader acknowledges the contribution of Debra and Jackie in finding, researching, confirming and writing up this trail.

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.

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