ALERT, IN RESPONSE TO THE covid-19 THREAT: We plan to deliver this activity, following the relaxation of home restrictions by the Government. The activity is brought forward to SATURDAY 30 May. Correspondingly, the Nicosia meeting point is moved to the church of tis Theou Sophias. The hike will take place with one or more groups of 10 members; this means that if there is interest from more than 10 members, a second group of 10 will be formed, which will set off at a distance from the first group of 10; similarly for a third group of 10 and so on. The hike will be followed by lunch at our taverna of choice at Saranti. Seating at the taverna will be at tables of 10, as well.
The activity requires pre-registration, in the deadline indicated (Thursday 12 noon), and participation will be authorized and approved with a return e-mail. The members selected for participation will receive a return e-mail from Xenophon. In case you have not received a return e-mail, this means a rejection from this activity; we apologise and urge you to apply again next time. The principles I shall be applying in approving participations will, naturally, take into consideration the value of regular and loyal members; if I was ignoring loyalty I would not dare look anyone in the eye tomorrow.
To register, the only vehicle is via e-mail to Xenophon.firstname.lastname@example.org. In replying, you must respond to all the following points a) state if you have tested positive to covid-19; if yes, we ask you to have with you the results of the test where you subsequently tested clear, b) state if you will have the time and appetite to take part at the taverna lunch or not, c) state if you are prepared to drive to the hike start or you must have a lift, d) state your firm decision and availability to participate; if uncertain, if you face some dependency, kindly do not rush to respond before the deadline.
Lunch is not obligatory. If you do register, it is important to abide by your decision to participate at lunch, given the difficulties in organizing and expenses to be committed on the side of the restaurateur.
If you are new to the club or have not applied for membership so far, you must provide your name, surname, e-mail and mobile telephone number, as well. Thank you.
Our excursion of Saturday 30 May 2020 involves 2 hikes, with a common start, the Selladi Karamanli crossing on the picturesque Madari mountain in the area of Pitsilia.
The first trail is a charming short circle of one hour duration, in a north – northeastern direction, from and to Selladi Karamanli, in a rich forest, predominantly of golden oak, strawberry and terebinth trees and rock rose shrubs. There are downhill (mainly) and uphill sections, a couple of the downhill are steep and slippery, therefore hiking poles are essential. Along the way we shall undertake a 130 m diversion to reach a location named Pezounokremos, from where the views are terrific. The final 5 minutes of the circle are on tarmac road, uphill, to get back to Selladi Karamanli. Degree of difficulty of the 1st trail is 2 (medium).
Upon completion of the first trail we shall commence the second. This follows a forest road 4 km long, in a southeastern direction, from Selladi Karamanli towards Polystypos; we return by the same forest road, which translates to a walk of 8 km. This trail is rated 1 (easy in terms of difficulty), and is expected to take about 2 hours. The 2nd hike is generally on level ground, with gentle downhill sections on the way out, hence gentle uphill sections on the way back. The path is in dense forest with vines, pine trees, golden oaks, oaks, and several other species of trees and bushes offering a rich reward to the Stroller. As anticipated, the hike offers some magnificent views.
Selladi Karamanli lies at an altitude of 1260 m and forms part of the Grand Circle of Madari. We shall access it by car, along the only paved road that reaches it, via the village of Saranti.
The first walk starts at 10:30 am. The second walk is estimated to start at 11:30 am. Xenophon is leading this outing, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97613720. At the end of the two walks we shall drive to our taverna of choice in Saranti, for a meal.
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 9:30 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.
How to get from Nicosia to the walk start:
Take Archangelos avenue, the principal road towards Troodos. At the traffic lights where you have Cineplex on your left hand side and Apolloneion Hospital on your right hand side, go straight. At the next traffic lights (about 500 m further on), zero your odometer and go straight. At the 2.5 km reading you leave the main road, taking the side road on your left, named E903 and signposted to Palekhori. At the 2.8 km reading you get to a roundabout; take the first exit to the left, signposted to Palekhori. Drive along this main road. At the 15.5 km reading turn right into the E929 road, towards Agios Ioannis and Kato Moni villages. At the 26.6 km reading you pass through a short tunnel. At the 26.8 km reading you reach a T-junction: turn left. At the 28.3 km reading turn right into the E907 road, towards Xyliato and Agia Marina. At the 33.6 km reading you pass the village of Xyliato. At the 36.7 km reading you pass a large dam on your right. The road begins to climb towards the picturesque area of Pitsilia, through a beautiful forest scenery. At the 43.7 km reading you reach a right turn to Saranti village: go right, uphill, towards Saranti. After about 1 km you arrive at a T-junction, with Fountoukia taverna facing you. Take the right turn, signposted to Spilia. The road begins to climb; after 100 m you go left at a Y-junction. After 2.5 km along this road you have arrived at Selladi Karamanli. Park on the side. The hike starts here. You will know you have arrived at the hike start when you see a pole bearing a road sign indicating ‘Polystypos 6 km’ to the left.
How to get from Limassol to the walk start:
Take the main road towards Trimiklini, then Saittas. 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. Zero your odometer and turn right. At the 10.9 km reading you reach the principal junction of Karvounas (note, no traffic lights). Do not go straight, downhill (this takes you to Kakopetria). Do not turn left (this takes you to Troodos square). Turn right, signposted to Pitsilia region. Drive through and out of Kyperounda, the first village on your way. The second village you meet is Handria. As you drive through Handria look out for a left uphill turn, signposted to ‘Panagia tou Araka’ (8 km) and ‘Lagoudera’ (7 km). Turn left and drive a couple of km, until you reach a crossroads. At the crossroads you go straight, following signs to Lagoudera and Panagia tou Araka. A few km further on, you come to the first next junction, where you turn left, following signs to Lagoudera and Panagia tou Araka (3 km away). About two km further on, you come to the second next junction, where you turn left, following signs to Lagoudera and Panagia tou Araka (1 km away). Once you reach Panagia tou Araka, on your right, zero your odometer and stay on the main road, driving past Panagia tou Araka and through the tiny village of Saranti. At the 0.9 km reading you reach a junction, where you ignore the right turn, signposted to Xyliato and Nicosia; take the left turn, signposted to Spilia. The road begins to climb; after 100 m you go left at a Y-junction. At the 3.4 km reading you have arrived at Selladi Karamanli. Park on the side. The hike starts 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://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 the church of Panagia tou Araka to the junction in Saranti https://tinyurl.com/yaurj4fu
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). Pitsilia has four of the famous Byzantine churches on the World Heritage list – The Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour (tou Sotiros) at Palaichori, the Church of Stavros tou Agiasmati near Platanistasa, the Church of Timios Stavros (Church of the Holy Cross) in the village of Pelendri and the church of Panagia tou Araka in the village of Lagoudera.
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.