Our excursion of Sunday 31 May 2015 promises a memorable finale to the January – May 2015 season for the Cyprus Strollers. It offers one of the most picturesque hikes in Cyprus, along the banks of the river Kryos Potamos, which it crosses at multiple locations, and the excitement of a visit to the Caledonian waterfall, the most impressive waterfall in Cyprus. The trip takes place at the Troodos mountain range. The hike starts at 11:30 am, setting off from the Psilo Dendro location outside Platres village. Christos is leading this outing, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 99240323.
The hike is linear, starts at an altitude of about 1200 m and is all uphill and strenuous, until it reaches the other end at an altitude of about 1600 m. About half an hour on the way up, we reach the Caledonian waterfall. Duration of the climb is close to 2 hours. We take the same trail downhill for the return leg, which will take up close to 1 ½ hours. Total distance of the hike is about 6 km. The degree of difficulty is 3 (difficult). There will be enough short stops on the way to admire the scenery and the waterfall.
In case of sufficient demand, it is possible to make arrangement for Strollers who may choose to walk only the uphill leg, avoiding the return downhill hike. To do so, we will need to drive the necessary number of cars to the other end and park them there, before we get to Psilo Dendro. If you are interested, please indicate so a few days in advance.
The village of Platres is one of the prettiest mountain resorts by any standard, and has inspired the famous Greek poet George Seferis. The river Kryos Potamos flows all year round and vegetation in the area is rich, with many trees and bushes. The waterfall is impressive, falling from a height of over 10 m. Some visitors cannot resist the temptation of getting into the water of the small pond that it creates as it falls.
After the walk we shall drive, in a convoy, to a taverna in the area, for lunch.
You have the choice of meeting the group at the walk start, if you are very familiar with the place, 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 10:00 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 here, on the left.
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 here, on the left.
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 (point E on the map) to the church of tis Theou Sophias (point B), via points D, then C, then A: 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 taking you from Troodos square to the end of the hike (for anyone interested to walk only the uphill leg of the hike, and skip the return downhill hike) http://tinyurl.com/mrkk3ax
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.