N.B. If you are new with the club, you are advised to skip this event, because of its high difficulty.
Our hike of Saturday 11 May 2019 takes place on Madari mountain and goes round in a majestic Grand Circle of over 13 km. This hike is rated 3+ (very difficult), and is expected to take over 5 hours (incl. stops). The hike involves significant elevation changes; we start at close to 1600 m (near the Watch Tower), go down to 1335 m (at Doxa si o Theos), then further down to 1150 m (at Moutti tis Horas), then we climb to 1260 m (at Selladi Karamanli), before the final stretch which is the most demanding, to take us back up to 1600 m.
To compensate for the effort, the Grand Circle offers plenty of delights: dense forest of golden oak (endemic species), pine trees, junipers, cedars and other conifers, rich variety of bushes and wild flowers; the beautiful paeonies (with some luck bearing flowers), a rare sight on the trails in Cyprus; unforgettable views and so on.
Madari is located east of Troodos, in the Pitsilia area. The most prominent of the Pitsilia group of villages are Agros and Kyperounda. The walk starts at 9:30 am. Christos is leading this walk, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 99240323. The starting point for this walk is outside the gate of the CYTA station atop Madari.
Because of the hike’s duration, you need to carry plenty of water: 1 ½ litres is the recommended quantity. There is NO spring of fresh water en route; just one tap at Doxa si o Theos. There will be three stops on our way which will allow time for a bite, so you are encouraged to bring along some light food, but only light.
At the end of the walk we shall drive to our taverna of choice in the vicinity, for a proper 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 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 8:30 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.
How to get to the walk start:
Take Archangelos avenue, the principal road towards Troodos. At the traffic lights where you have Cineplex on your left hand side and Apolloneion Hospital on your right hand side, go straight. At the next traffic lights (about 500 m further on), zero your odometer and go straight. At the 2.5 km reading you leave the main road, taking the side road on your left, named E903 and signposted to Palekhori. At the 2.8 km reading you get to a roundabout; take the first exit to the left, signposted to Palekhori. Drive along this main road for many km, past the village of Palekhori and past the village of Agros. The next village after Agros (on the road to Kyperounda) is Handria. As you drive through Handria look out for a right uphill turn, signposted to ‘Panagia tou Araka’ (8 km) and ‘Lagoudera’ (7 km). Turn right and drive a couple of km, until you reach a crossroads. At the crossroads turn left, towards the CYTA station. After 3 km uphill drive, you reach the CYTA station. Park your car on the side. We meet here.
How to get from Limassol to the walk start:
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 left (this takes you to Troodos square). Turn right, signposted to Pitsilia region. Drive through and out of Kyperounda, the first village on your way. The second village you meet is Handria. As you drive through Handria look out for a left uphill turn, signposted to ‘Panagia tou Araka’ (8 km) and ‘Lagoudera’ (7 km). Turn left and drive a couple of km, until you reach a crossroads. At the crossroads turn left, towards the CYTA station. After 3 km uphill drive, you reach the CYTA station. Park your car on the side. We meet here.
How to get from the walk finish to Fountoukia taverna:
Fountoukia taverna is in Saranti village. From the walk finish drive downhill for 3 km until you arrive at the crossroads. There, turn left, following signs to Lagoudera and Panagia tou Araka. A few km further on, you come to the first next junction, where you turn left, following signs to Lagoudera and Panagia tou Araka (3 km away). About two km further on, you come to the second next junction, where you turn left, following signs to Lagoudera and Panagia tou Araka (1 km away). Once you reach Panagia tou Araka, on your right, stay on the main road, driving past Panagia tou Araka and through the tiny village of Saranti. The taverna is at the far end of Saranti, on your left, just before the right turn signposted to Nicosia.
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
About Pitsilia: The region east of Mount Olympos (Troodos) is known as the Pitsilia area and includes about 30 villages. Its tallest peaks are Madari (1612 metres) and Papoutsa (1554 metres). The picturesque villages nestle on the mountainside amid vineyards, or are hidden in valleys, maintaining much of their traditional charm. The surrounding hills and valleys are full of vines, as well as almond, hazelnut, walnut and other fruit trees. The area is also known for its traditional products such as aromatic rosewater, ‘hiromeri’ (smoked ham), ‘loukanika’ (smoked sausages) and ‘lountza’ (smoked pork loin).
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.