Our walk of Saturday 17 October 2015 takes place on Madari mountain. Madari is located east of Troodos, in the Pitsilia area. The most prominent of the Pitsilia group of villages are Agros and Kyperounda. Madari is covered by a variety of pine trees, junipers, cedars and fir trees, and also presents the majestic golden oak, an endemic species to Cyprus, as well as a rich variety of bushes and wild flowers. 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 outside the gate of the CYTA station atop Madari.
The Teisia tis Madaris trail is a circular trail, at an altitude close to 1600 m. The walk will take about 2 hours and is of medium difficulty, with several downhill and uphill sections. The total distance is about 5 km. The walk covers an area very rich in vegetation, primarily junipers and golden oaks. The walk will take us to some upright structures, resembling walls; yet these are walls not built by human hands; instead, they resulted from the molten magma which rose from deep inside the Earth, in ancient geological times! A truly rare geological sight. The Greek word for walls is ‘teisia’, hence the name of this trail.
We shall combine the Teisia tis Madaris trail with a short, albeit demanding climb, 15 minutes from start, to a Watch Tower (Pyrofylakio) used by the Forestry department. From the Watch Tower we shall enjoy some magnificent 360° panoramic views. Because we shall come back from the Watch Tower the way we climbed, this part of the hike is optional. If you prefer, you may choose to stay behind and explore the Madari scenery. The trail will offer us several more exciting views.
At the end of the walk we shall sit down for lunch at a taverna in the area.
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 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://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 main road passing outside the village of Agros, to the walk start
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.