Xyliatos – Stavros Agiasmati: Sat. 19 Feb.

UPDATE 18 Feb.: The activity is shifted from Saturday 19 Feb. to Sunday 20 Feb. This is because there is a sharp difference in the weather forecast for the two days: rain with very high probability on Saturday, mostly sunny on Sunday, with very low chance for rain. The Club has successfully undertaken such shifts on a few occasions, in the past. This activity is restricted to members staying for lunch. Lunch will be at a taverna which we have tested, and will open just for the Club. Please visit here https://cyprus-strollers.org/answers-to-faq/, to read the answer to your question “Why do we occasionally have an activity open only to participants staying for lunch?”

Our hike of Saturday 19 February 2022 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, we reach 950 m, while Stavros Agiasmati is at 880 m. The Church of Stavros tou Agiasmati is on the World Heritage list; we shall stop to admire it, but expect to find it shut.

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. Depending on the government restrictions on the day, we shall follow the walk with a meze lunch. Kindly visit this page in the week prior to the activity for updated news.

To provide you with maximum safety vis-à-vis covid-19, and in order to have maximum traceability, we require every participant to register, irrespective of your participation at lunch or not. To facilitate arrangements, for your better service, you are required to e-mail Xenophon by end Thursday, indicating whether you will be joining us for lunch or not.

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 9:45 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. Here is a map to the walk start point https://maps.app.goo.gl/HrQ97.

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 https://tinyurl.com/ybnc84q7   

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. If you do not wish to receive further e-mails, reply to this message, stating so.