You should not attempt this hike, unless absolutely certain you can make it. If in doubt, consult with Xenophon.
Our hike of Sunday 8 May 2016 takes place on Madari mountain and goes round in a majestic Grand Circle of 13 km. This hike is rated 3+ (very difficult), and is expected to take up about 6 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; 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 10:15 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. There will be a couple of stops on our way which will allow time for a bite, so you are encouraged to bring along some light food, for lunch on the go. At the end of the walk we shall drive to a cafeteria in the vicinity, for a drink and a snack. We shall drive there in a convoy.
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 9:15 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.
How to get to the walk start:
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 continue straight ahead (on the principal road towards Troodos). At the 0.5 km reading you come to traffic lights, go straight. At the 3.0 km reading you leave the main road, taking the side road on your left, named E903 and signposted to Palekhori. At the 3.3 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 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://tiny-url.org/hEk7ggCF
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.