Our hike of Sunday 25 February 2018 takes place in the picturesque mountainous area of Pitsilia, and follows a forest road 6.2 km long, from just after the Dam at Xyliatos to the Byzantine church of Stavros tou Agiasmati; we return by the same forest road, which translates to a hike of 12 ½ km. The forward leg is uphill for the initial five km, then downhill to the end, and strenuous at places. The hike is rated 2 ½ (medium to difficult), and is expected to take about 3 ½ hours. The path is in dense forest with pine trees, golden oaks, oaks, strawberry trees and several other species of trees, bushes and low vegetation, offering a rich reward to the Stroller. The hike also offers some magnificent views. The starting point lies at an altitude of ~600 m, while Stavros Agiasmati is at 880 m.
The walk starts at 10:45 am. Xenophon is leading this walk, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97613720. At the end of the walk we shall drive to a taverna in the vicinity, for a meal.
The Church of Stavros tou Agiasmati is on the World Heritage list; we shall stop to admire it, but expect to find it shut.
You need to register for this activity (e-mail the walk leader by end Friday), which is open only to Strollers who accept participation at lunch, at the end of the hike; the activity takes place in an area off the beaten track, with low tourism and we need to supply the taverna with a good number of participants, to ensure the high standard of service you have come to enjoy with the Cyprus Strollers.
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 an open field which offers ample parking space in Archangelos. The car trip starts at 9:45 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 38.9 km reading you observe an opening to the left, the start of a dirt road and a wooden sign for ‘Stavros Agiasmati 6 km’. Park on the side. The hike starts here. On your left, you will observe an old and a new bridge, side by side.
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 go straight, along Archangelos avenue, in the direction of Troodos. At the 0.3 km reading you reach the first traffic lights; turn left into Agiou Alexiou street. At the 0.4 km reading you reach a T-junction; turn right into Agiou Gennadiou street and immediately after you observe on your left an open field used for parking; get onto it and park your car. We meet here. In front of this field there is a violet box for collecting clothes and also a water tank from where people can buy water.
Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from the junction between Cineplex and Apolloneion Hospital to the parking field on Agiou Gennadiou street http://tinyurl.com/lg3u78q
Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from the Presidential Palace to the parking field on Agiou Gennadiou street: http://tinyurl.com/k9gabhs
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.