Sia hills – 26 Jan.

Our excursion of Sunday 26 January 2020 takes us to the hills of the village of Sia, a travel of under 30 km from Nicosia, in the direction of Limassol. Sia is pronounced Shia, with the accent on the a, as in shadow. Yet do not expect to find much shadow, since vegetation consists of bushes (lavenders, marigolds, wild mustard etc.) and scattered trees.

At a low elevation, we plan to walk two adjoining hills, with a common start, therefore parking just once. Both routes are circular, so you may imagine them as forming the shape ∞. The first trail is circular, contains several uphill and downhill sections, degree of difficulty is 2 (medium) and duration under 2 hours. The second trail is circular, contains just one uphill section for a few minutes, degree of difficulty is 1 (easy) and requires under 1 hour. All hiking is on well-defined paths and dirt roads. Visiting the area in colder weather, expect to enjoy a hike in mild climate conditions. The hike starts at 11:00 am. Xenophon is leading the hike, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97613720.

At the end of the hike, we shall drive to our taverna of choice in the village of Lythrodontas 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 Friday. No need to register if you are not dining.

You have the choice of meeting the group at the hike 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 10:15 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.

How to get to the walk start, coming from Nicosia:

Get to the main junction between Leoforos Lemesou/ Limassol Avenue and Leoforos Athalassas. Zero your odometer at this junction. Drive along the Nicosia-Limassol motorway, heading towards Limassol. At the 23 km reading you exit the motorway on your left, at exit number 10, following signs to Mosfiloti. 700 m later you reach a T-junction; turn left, following signs to Sia. Exactly 2.5 km later (at the 26.2 km reading) as you are driving through the narrow main village road (named Griva Digeni), turn right; as you turn, your eye will catch a wooden sign bearing the figure of a hiker. 300 m after that you pass a church (not the main village church) on your left; some 25 m further on, there is an open field on your right. Get into the field. Park your car. We meet here.

How to get to the walk start, coming from Limassol:

Drive along the Limassol – Nicosia highway. Zero your odometer as you leave the highway at exit 10. 300 m later you get to a T-junction, where you turn left, following signs to Sia. At the 1.4 km reading ignore a left turn signed to Kornos and rancho relaxo, stay on the main road which bends right. At the 2.0 km reading the road begins to climb, as it enters the village core. At the 2.2 km reading drive slowly, leave the main road and take a right turn onto a narrower tarmac road; as you turn, your eye will catch a wooden sign bearing the figure of a hiker. 300 m after that you pass a church (not the main village church) on your left; some 25 m further on, there is an open field on your right. Get into the field. Park your car. We meet 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 Nicosia 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.

How to get to Steki Marinos taverna from the walk end: As you come out of the field where you parked, zero your odometer and turn left. 300 m later you get to a T-junction, where you turn right into Griva Digeni road. At the 6.3 km reading you reach a main crossroads, in Mathiatis village, where you turn left, following signs to Lythrodontas. At the 10.8 km reading you arrive at the main square of Lythrodontas village, with the large church on your left and a bus stop on your left as well. The taverna is on a road to the right, opposite the church. It is the second building on your left on this side road. Search for parking in the side streets.

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

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