Our excursion of Sunday 29 October 2017 takes us to Stavrovouni. The hill of Stavrovouni is visible on the road from Nicosia to Limassol. On top is the famous Monastery of Stavrovouni, established by St Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine in 328, making it one of the oldest monasteries in the world. St Helen donated a piece of the True Cross which she had earlier discovered in Jerusalem, which is still there. However, the Cyprus Strollers will not be visiting the Monastery as it is closed from 12 till 3 pm every day. Also, it does not admit women. The walk up and down, and the view from the top, is the main attraction.
The path is steep and rocky. Sticks are advised. At the top, at an altitude of 700 m, there are wonderful views towards the Pentadactylos Hills and the bay of Larnaca. This is mostly a circular route, i.e. the downward path is different. The asphalt road at the top will be walked for only 200m, then we leave it to follow an E4 sign to the left. The path is well-signposted, until we reach a wide dirt road on the way down, where we turn right (not left where the E4 arrow points). This road follows the flat contour for 2 km to rejoin our earlier path, where we go downhill, avoiding the very steep sections.
The walk is rated grade 3 (difficult), as it is very steep. Distance is 9 km. Hiking time will be about 3 hours. The start of the walk, for those with satnav, is 34.899146, 33.424098. The hike starts at 10:45 am. Ian is leading the hike, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 96852722.
Although the Monastery will be closed when we arrive at the top, there are two chapels for those who wish to venerate icons, one at the foot of the hill where we park, and one at the top outside the Monastery walls. There is drinking water available at the top.
At the conclusion of the hike we shall go for lunch at a taverna in Mosphiloti village. To facilitate arrangements, for your better service, you are required to pre-register, if you are joining us for lunch. To do so, please sms the walk leader or 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. Starting point, for those wishing to share car spaces is the Handicrafts Centre on Athalassas Avenue in Nicosia. Departure time is 9:45 am.
How to get to the walk start, coming from Nicosia:
Zero your odometer as you depart from the Handicrafts Centre. Drive along the Nicosia-Limassol motorway (A1), heading towards Limassol. At the 15.8 km reading the motorway splits in two: do not go left (towards Larnaca), bear right, towards Limassol. At junction 11 exit the motorway, turn left, then immediately right, proceed south on the old Limassol road for 1 km, turn left and follow signs to Stavrovouni Monastery. You pass a military base on the right, and just after that, where the road bends right and starts to go uphill there is a car park, with a small church and some shade. We will park here, at the foot of the hill, and walk about 500 m on the asphalt road to an E4 footpath sign on the left.
How to get to the meeting point for the car trip, coming from the Hilton hotel area:
Get yourself on Makarios Avenue, heading out of town and set your odometer to zero as you drive past the Nicosia 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 Hilton area to the meeting place for the car trip http://tiny-url.org/RWPji5wr
Google Maps: Here is a map for those coming from the Presidential Palace area to the meeting place for the car trip http://tiny-url.org/hvLSn8Nw
Note: The walk leader acknowledges the contribution of Debra and Jackie in finding, researching, confirming and writing up this trail.
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.