Pedoulas Xylogefyro: 4 Dec.

Our activity of Saturday 4 December 2021 takes place in the area between Pedoulas village and Kykkos monastery, further west of the valley of Marathasa. We shall walk the circular Xylogefyro trail, in a beautiful forest, reaching Platis river. The hike involves significant elevation change from 1090 m to/from 725 m. Hiking poles or sticks and good hiking boots are mandatory. The hike starts at 10:15 am. Nicos is leading this excursion, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 99587448.

Description of the hike: This trail is circular, difficulty is rated 3 (difficult), distance is 12 km long, and it is expected to take up about 4.5 hours. The hike start is 5 km from Pedoulas village on the road to Kykkos Monastery, at the junction with the road leading to Kaminaria – Treis Elies – Tzielefos Bridge. There is ample parking space on both sides of the road. The trail offers beautiful views of Kykkos mountains and passes by a bridge 400 m further up the road from the starting point, which was initially made from wood (hence the name, Xylogefyro meaning Woodbridge).

The first part of the hike is on a steep narrow trail descending from 1090 m to 940 m towards a renovated forest station. From here we follow a dirt road and soon we reach the Platis river bed, which we will follow mostly downhill. We will be walking in shade most of the way and we will be crossing the river at a number of places. Depending on recent weather there will be flowing water in many parts. The forest we cross is rich in pine, golden oak and strawberry trees and a variety of bushes. The river bed is shaded by a large number of plane trees.

Next the trail slopes upwards and brings us to “Kourion”, a small clearing with some ruins. We continue our climb for about 1 Km until we reach Xystarouda picnic site, on the Kykkos road. This is the most strenuous part of the walk and it will require good fitness. Here we can have a break to eat our sandwich. For the next leg we will cross the road and walk along part of the Xystarouda trail for 1.8 Km, then break off to the right towards Pyrgi. We continue on the trail for 1.7 Km until we cross the Kykkos – Gerakies road. This part of the trail faces north towards Morphou bay and offers a totally different view from the initial part. We will walk along a dirt road and then along a trail just north of the Kykkos road towards Xylogefyro. We should be able to catch views of Moutoullas village from a high point. The last 600m we walk along the road to our parking spot.

About lunch: Depending on the government covid-19 restrictions on the day, we shall follow the walk with a served lunch at our taverna of choice in the area. At the end of the hike we expect all participants will feel they deserve a good lunch. Every Stroller is invited to join us for lunch. Tavernas are not widespread in this area, so expect to drive a few km to reach our destination.

Registering for this activity: 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 Thursday, indicating whether you will be joining us for lunch or not.

You have the choice of meeting the group at the Xylogefyro 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 9:00 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.

Google Maps: This map indicates the hike start https://goo.gl/maps/zC9Qxo5dGNobsy6U9

How to get to the hike start from Nicosia, via Gerakies village:

The trail start is on the Pedoulas – Kykkos road (E912), 5 kilometres from Pedoulas on the road to Kykkos, at the junction with the road to Kaminaria. From Nicosia take the A9 motorway towards Troodos. The A9 smoothly becomes the B9 highway (towards Troodos), when the motorway ends (near Kokkinotrimithia). On the B9 you drive past the villages of Akaki, then Peristerona and then you reach the village of Astromeritis. At the Astromeritis traffic lights, where most cars turn left towards Troodos, zero your odometer and turn left. Drive along the main road for the next 14.7 km. At the 14.7 km reading take the right turn towards Kykkos monastery and the Marathasa valley. There are several road signs alerting you for this turn. Drive along the main road for the next 17.1 km. At the 31.9 km reading you enter the village of Kalopanayiotis. 600 m later (at the 32.5 km reading), as you drive along the village main road, you reach a junction where you need to slow down and turn sharp right, towards the village of Gerakies. You drive through and out of the village of Gerakies. At the 41.2 km reading you reach a T-junction: turn left on the E912 towards Pedoulas. Drive along, until you reach the junction with a road leading to Kaminaria – Treis Elies – Tzielefos Bridge. Park your car. We meet here.

How to get to the hike start from Nicosia, via Pedoulas village:

The trail start is on the Pedoulas – Kykkos road (E912), 5 kilometres from Pedoulas on the road to Kykkos, at the junction with the road to Kaminaria. From Nicosia take the A9 motorway towards Troodos. The A9 smoothly becomes the B9 highway (towards Troodos), when the motorway ends (near Kokkinotrimithia). On the B9 you drive past the villages of Akaki, then Peristerona and then you reach the village of Astromeritis. At the Astromeritis traffic lights, where most cars turn left towards Troodos, zero your odometer and turn left. Drive along the main road for the next 14.7 km. At the 14.7 km reading take the right turn towards Kykkos monastery and the Marathasa valley. There are several road signs alerting you for this turn. Drive along the main road for the next 17.1 km. At the 31.9 km reading you enter the village of Kalopanayiotis. Drive along this uphill road through the village, then through the village of Moutoullas, and after that through the village of Pedoulas. Before you come out of Pedoulas, at a sharp bend, look out for the road sign to Kykkos on your right. Take the road towards Kykkos. The walk start is some 5 km from this junction.

How to get to the hike start from Limassol:

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. Continue straight to Platres. At the junction of Psilo Dendro (taverna and trout farm on your right) (this is the starting point to Caledonian waterfall) zero your odometer and continue straight, towards Troodos. At the 2.1 km reading you meet a junction with a left turn leading to Trooditissa monastery. Take this left turn, drive past the monastery and all the way until you get to Prodromos village and the only roundabout in Prodromos. Pass the roundabout in Prodromos, and follow the direction towards Pedoulas. 200 m past the roundabout you will observe the Louis taverna on your left. As you approach Pedoulas, look out for road signs indicating Kykkos on your left. Take the 18 km road towards Kykkos. The walk start is some 5 km from this junction.

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: https://tinyurl.com/ybnc84q7    

Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from the right turn at the 14.7 km reading (where you leave the B9) to the E912 near the hike start https://tinyurl.com/ycack6te

Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from Pedoulas onto the E912 and near the hike start https://tinyurl.com/yabgxxt5

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