Our excursion of Saturday 9 November 2019 takes us to Platres, from where we take a dirt road in the direction of Mesa Potamos. The hike is linear, 11 km long (5.5 km each way), with several uphill and downhill sections; there will be more downhill going out, more uphill coming back. Reassuringly, there is little elevation change; the hike starts at an altitude of near 1200 m and reaches 1300 m at the highest elevation. Hiking will take about 3 ½ hours, and degree of difficulty is 2 (medium). The area is scenic, with rich vegetation, mainly pine trees, rock roses and more strawberry trees than we usually come across.
The hike starts at 11:15 am, setting off from the Psilo Dendro location outside Platres village. Xenophon is leading this outing, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97613720.
The village of Platres is one of the prettiest mountain resorts by any standard, and has inspired the famous Greek poet George Seferis. Not far from the far end of the trail lies the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist.
After the walk we shall drive to our taverna of choice in the village of Trimiklini, for lunch. To facilitate arrangements, for your better service, you are required to pre-register, if you are joining us for lunch. To do so, please e-mail Xenophon by end Thursday. No need to register if you are not dining.
The taverna is on the main road towards Limassol. Return to Nicosia or Larnaca is easier via Limassol, since you will take advantage of the principal Limassol-Nicosia highway.
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 take the A9 motorway towards Troodos. The A9 smoothly becomes the B9 highway towards Troodos, when the motorway ends, near Kokkinotrimithia. Up on Troodos, turn left into Troodos square and drive past the square, downhill, in the direction of Platres. Once you reach Platres, look out for the location named Psilo Dendro on your left, before the entrance to the village. Park your car on either side of the main road at Psilo Dendro. We meet some 25 m further down along the main road, at an opening on the left, signposted ‘Mesa Potamos 8 km’.
How to get to the walk start (a more detailed instruction): 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. After 25 km you pass the village of Kakopetria. Continue to drive along the main road, in the direction of Troodos. At the 33 km reading, you reach a crossroads (no traffic lights), named Karvounas. Do not turn left (this takes you to Kyperounda village and Madari mountain). Do not go straight. Turn right towards Troodos square. At the 41.6 km reading turn left into Troodos square, past the car park on your left. At the 41.9 km reading you reach the end of Troodos square, with a roundabout; take the second exit of the roundabout and drive downhill, in the direction of Platres. At the 47.3 km reading you pass a right turn leading to Trooditissa monastery; stay on the main road. At the 49.4 km reading you reach the junction of Platres/ Psilo Dendro. Psilo Dendro is on your left. Park your car on either side of the main road at Psilo Dendro. We meet some 25 m further down along the main road, at an opening on the left, signposted ‘Mesa Potamos 8 km’.
How to get from Limassol to the walk start: 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 in Platres (taverna and trout farm on your right) (this is the starting point to Caledonian waterfall) park your car. We meet some 25 m before the trout farm along the main road, at an opening on the right, signposted ‘Mesa Potamos 8 km’.
How to get to the taverna from the walk finish: From Platres take the main road downhill towards Limassol. A few km further on you reach a main crossroads (left takes you to Amiantos and Karvounas, right to Pera Pedi) where you continue straight. 2 km after the crossroads you pass a large church on your right. 1.1 km after the church you reach JR taverna. The taverna lies also on the main road and is on your right hand side, with plenty of parking spaces on either side of the road.
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.
About Troodos: Troodos is the highest mountain of the island, with its highest peak (Hionistra) at 1950 metres altitude. Troodos 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. Troodos is also a rare geological phenomenon.
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://tinyurl.com/ndnr6uo
Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from Troodos square to the start of the hike (Psilo Dendro outside Platres) http://tinyurl.com/kd9hryf
Google Maps: Here is a map showing the dirt road we are taking http://tinyurl.com/ybhcj5o7
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.