Our walk of Saturday 1 November 2014 takes place at the Mahairas mountain area. We start at the location named Drys, which lies at the last junction before the Mahairas Monastery. The altitude is 950 m. 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 walk will take under 3 ½ hours (about 110 minutes going up, about 75 minutes coming down) and is of medium difficulty. We follow well marked paths for most of the climb, and also walk on rocky ground for some of the time, climbing up to the highest summit named Kionia. There is a large, white telecommunications sphere sitting atop Kionia, visible from a long way away. We stop at Kionia for our picnic (weather permitting), in a designated picnic site. We then take the tarmac road back down. The total distance (to and fro) is 11 km. The walk offers spectacular views at several places.
Since the picnic is in the middle of the walk, you will have to carry your food and drink in your bag. In the event of unsuitable weather, we shall go for lunch at a nearby taverna.
You have the choice of meeting the group at the walk start, if you are very familiar with the place, or meet at the designated meeting point in Nicosia, from which we shall drive in a convoy. 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 10:15 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.
How to get to the walk start: 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 and then Lakatamia. At the 4.2 km reading you reach the main crossing with the major bypass road (named Spyrou Kyprianou avenue) linking Makedonitissa on your right with the Nicosia-Limassol highway on your left. This is the popular by-pass road which drives past the Jumbo toy store and the American Heart hospital. Traffic coming from the Presidential Palace can follow the tunnel that dives under this main crossing. There is a large Metro super market on your left at this main crossing, as well. Set your odometer to zero at this main crossing and continue straight, towards Lakatamia. At the 1.5 km reading you drive past the very large church of Agia Paraskevi on your right hand side. At the 1.9 km reading you reach a round-about. Take the 3rd exit, which is at right angles to your right. At the 2.1 km reading you drive past a Lidl supermarket on your left hand side. At the 2.5 km reading you reach traffic lights (the first traffic lights after the round-about). There is a Papa John’s pizza house at the corner on your right. Turn left at the traffic lights, following the sign towards Mahairas. You drive straight along this main road for many km, going through the villages of Lakatamia, then Deftera, then Psimolophou, then Pera Orinis, where the road begins to ascend. Be mindful of road humps in each village. At the 15.4 km reading you drive through the village of Kampia. At the 20.1 km reading you drive past a sign indicating the village of Kapedes. Immediately after (20.2 km) you reach a round-about. Take the 4th exit to the right, following the sign to Mahairas (the Monastery is a further 13 km away). The road ascends. At the 24.1 km reading you reach a large picnic site, with tables and benches on either side. It is named Mandra Kampiou. You drive along the main road. At the 27.5 km reading you drive past the church of Agios Onoufrios on your right hand side. At the 31.3 km reading you reach a junction. Turning right takes you to the Monastery of Mahairas. Going straight takes you to the Kionia mountain top, with the telecommunications white sphere, which you have been seeing while traveling. Park your car on the side of the road. We meet at this junction. The walk starts here, at an altitude of 950 m.
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
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.