Our walk of Saturday 19 May 2018 takes place at the Troodos forest area. 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. The walk starts at 11:00 am. Xenophon is leading this walk, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97613720.
The Atalanti trail is the most fascinating circular trail on Troodos and lies at an altitude of around 1750 m, with very small elevation changes en route. It spans 14 km, will take close to 4 ½ hours (incl. stops) and is classified medium for difficulty, on account of its length. We follow well marked paths. The walk offers some of the most spectacular views Cyprus has to offer, at several places; we shall also walk past the entrance of a chromium mine, abandoned since 1982. Atalanti starts opposite the car park on Troodos square.
At the end of the walk we shall sit down for lunch at a nearby taverna. 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.
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 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, park in the main car park you see on your left, where the road turns left into Troodos square. We meet inside the car park.
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, and get into the car park on your left. We meet inside the car park.
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 (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 pass a junction with a left turn leading to Trooditissa monastery; continue straight towards Troodos. At the 7.4 km reading you arrive at Troodos square; turn left, into the square, and drive along the cobbled road through the square; as you reach the exit from the square (at the 7.5 km reading), and before the T-junction, enter the parking area on your right. We meet inside the car park.
How to get from Limassol to the walk start (a longer route):
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 right (this takes you to Kyperounda). Zero your odometer, turn left and drive uphill towards Troodos square. At the 8.6 km reading you reach Troodos square and its car park on your left. Get into the car park and park your car. We meet inside the car park.
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
About the geology of Cyprus: The more widely accepted theory describing the geological formation of Cyprus refers to the subduction and plate collision of two separate tectonic domains, the northern Alpine orogenic belt, and the southern Eastern Mediterranean basin. The process is believed to have taken place in the Mesozoic Tethyan Ocean period (roughly, 90 million years ago). Key evidence in favour of this theory is the juxtaposed series of fragments of oceanic and continental crust, with oceanic crustal fragments preserved as ophiolite sequences, seen in various localities.
About the geology of Troodos: Cyprus was created at a convergent ocean-continent boundary. Troodos was created when the African plate subducted under the Eurasian plate, partial melt took place and magma rose from deep inside the Earth (a volcanic eruption). Troodos is an ophiolite formed above a subduction zone. The crustal sequence of Troodos consists of plutonic complex, sheeted dyke complex and pillow lavas. Troodos is rich in several minerals, including copper, umbers, ochres, chromite and the lethal asbestos deposits. Copper is the predominant mineral and has been mined and exported since ancient times. Its chemical name in Latin (Cuprum) is said to be related to the name of the island (Cuprus).
The Troodos Ophiolite Stratigraphy and subdivisions, from lower to top, are as follows.
The Troodos ophiolite consists of 3 subdivided units: the structurally deepest but topographically highest Plutonic Complex; the overlying and surrounding Sheeted Dyke Complex; the stratigraphically highest Pillow Lava Series, which forms a discontinuous ring around the Troodos massif. On top of the ophiolite, we find the Umbers unit. Described in a 2-sequence division, the Troodos ophiolite is made up of the lower Mantle sequence and the upper Crustal sequence.
About Atalanti: In Greek mythology she was a virgin huntress who promised to marry the man who could win a running race against her; Atalanti lost to Hippomenes when she stopped to pick up three golden apples that he dropped in her path.
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.