UPDATE: The hike will be followed by lunch. Kindly register your participation on time. Registered participants will receive further info via e-mail.
Our excursion of Sunday 30 January 2022 takes place at the low altitudes of Mahairas mountain area, and comprises a lovely circular hike. Truly, it is a Mahairas classic tour: dense pine forest, centuries old olive trees, stunning views, beautiful ravines and riverbeds.
Starting point is at the picnic site named Mandra Kampiou (34.95162537, 33.22915336). The walk starts at 10:45 am. Antonis is leading this walk, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97803728. Hiking will take about 3 hours, with difficulty level rated easy to medium (1½); thus, it is suitable for beginners and families. We follow a combination of dirt roads (no marked paths), to conclude a circle with total distance 11km.
In the first section of the walk, from Mandra site we climb down to reach the old settlement of Helidonia (Greek for swallows), which has been partially restored by the Forestry Department in recent years. Helidonia was built near the river; the inhabitants were mainly occupied in agriculture and livestock farming, but also with copper and tar processing. Eventually the settlement was abandoned around 1840, when a fatal epidemic broke out – so the survivors had to flee the area to escape the disease.
After Helidonia we follow a demanding but short uphill section and then we move west to walk for several kilometres near the picturesque ravines of Gialias river. Gialias is the second longest river in Cyprus. Finally, we move north through a scenic pine forest to conclude the circle, getting us back to the Mandra picnic site.
Depending on the government restrictions on the day, we shall follow the walk with a served lunch. Kindly visit this page in the week prior to the activity for updated news. In the case of lunch, this will take place at a restaurant of our choice in the area.
To provide you with maximum safety vis-à-vis covid-19, and in order to have maximum traceability, we require every participant to register, irrespective of your participation at lunch or not. To facilitate arrangements, for your better service, you are required to sms the walk leader or e-mail Xenophon by end Friday, indicating whether you will be joining us for lunch or not.
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 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: 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. This is Mandra Kampiou. Park your car on the left. The walk starts here.
How to get to the walk start, coming from Larnaca:
Get on to the main Larnaca to Nicosia highway. Take the exit for Agia Varvara (exit number 8) and follow the road to the village. Drive through Agia Varvara heading for Mathiatis. Once in Mathiatis, do not continue to the next village Lythrodontas; look out for a road sign instead and take a right turn for Analiontas. At Analiontas look for the sign and turn left for Kampia. At Kampia turn left and head for Kapedes. About 5 km later you drive past a sign indicating the village of Kapedes. 200 m after you reach a roundabout. Zero your odometer and 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 3.9 km reading you reach a large picnic site, with tables and benches on either side. This is Mandra Kampiou. Park your car on the left. The walk starts here.
How to get to the meeting point for the car trip, coming from the Landmark (formerly Hilton) hotel area:
Get yourself on Makarios Avenue, heading out of town and set your odometer to zero as you drive past the Landmark (formerly 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 Landmark (formerly Hilton) hotel 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. If you do not wish to receive further e-mails, reply to this message, stating so.