Madari – Selladi – Doxa si: 30 April, with option for The Grand Circle

Our hike of Saturday 30 April 2022 takes place on Madari mountain and covers a good part of the Grand Circle. This hike is linear, rated 2+ (medium difficulty to difficult), 11.2 km long, and is expected to take up about 3 ½ hours. The hike involves sizeable elevation changes; we start at 1260 m (at Selladi Karamanli), walk down to 1150 m (at Moutti tis Horas), and then we climb to 1335 m (at Doxa si o Theos). We follow the same path back.

To compensate for the effort, the hike offers plenty of delights: dense forest of golden oak (endemic species), strawberry trees (antrouklia), pine trees, junipers, cedars and other conifers, rich variety of bushes and wild flowers; unforgettable views and so on.

Madari is located east of Troodos, in the Pitsilia area. 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. The starting point for this walk is the Selladi Karamanli location, 2 ½ km drive up from the village of Saranti, along a paved road signposted to Spilia.

We shall follow the walk with a served lunch at our taverna of choice in Saranti. 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.

On this same day, The Cyprus Strollers is testing a new initiative, as follows. We expect a large turnout from members, committing to the Selladi Karamanli – Doxa si o Theos hike and lunch to follow. If there is a sufficient number of members who would like to hike The Grand Circle, the Club will accommodate this request, with Antonis as the Leader, and an earlier hike start at 9:15 am. Times are set to achieve coincidental walk finish for both walks, so that the combined two groups can sit for lunch together, for a meal in celebration mood. Members who wish to hike The Grand Circle must register via e-mail to Xenophon by end Wednesday. You will then expect to receive a return e-mail with further details, in which you will know if you are on the list for The Grand Circle starting at 9:15, or on the list for Selladi Karamanli – Doxa si o Theos starting at 10:45.

For the test of The Grand Circle kindly note that we do not accept first-time participants, and you should be in very good fitness. Duration of The Grand Circle is upwards of 5 hours, and the route to follow is Selladi Karamanli – Moutti Horas – Doxa si o Theos – Watch Tower – Selladi Karamanli. We clarify that both hikes have the same common starting and finish point. Participants for The Grand Circle ought to plan departure from Nicosia by 8:15 am and should not expect to meet Xenophon at the Nicosia meeting point.

How to get from Nicosia to the walk start:

Zero your odometer exactly in front of the main entrance to the very large church of tis Theou Sophias, on Elaionon street, with the church on your left. At the first traffic lights turn right. You pass Lidl and K Cineplex cinema on your left. At the 0.9 km reading you get to traffic lights, with Apolloneion Hospital facing you at a distance. Turn left, into the principal road towards Troodos. At the 1.4 km reading you come to traffic lights, go straight. At the 3.9 km reading you leave the main road, taking the side road on your left, named E903 and signposted to Palekhori.  At the 4.2 km reading you get to a roundabout; take the first exit to the left, signposted to Palekhori. Drive along this main road. At the 16.9 km reading turn right into the E929 road, towards Agios Ioannis and Kato Moni villages. At the 28.0 km reading you pass through a short tunnel. At the 28.2 km reading you reach a T-junction: turn left. At the 29.7 km reading turn right into the E907 road, towards Xyliato and Agia Marina. At the 35.0 km reading you pass the village of Xyliato. At the 38.1 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 45.1 km reading you reach a sign indicating a right turn to Saranti village: turn right here. At the 46.0 km reading you arrive at a T-junction in the village of Saranti. Facing you is the Fountoukia taverna. Turn right, signposted to Spilia. The road begins to climb; after 100 m you go left at a Y-junction. At the 48.5 km reading you have arrived at Selladi Karamanli. Park on the side. The hike starts here.

How to get from Limassol to the walk start:

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 left (this takes you to Troodos square). Turn right, signposted to Pitsilia region. Drive through and out of Kyperounda, the first village on your way. The second village you meet is Handria. As you drive through Handria look out for a left uphill turn, signposted to ‘Panagia tou Araka’ (8 km) and ‘Lagoudera’ (7 km). Turn left and drive a couple of km, until you reach a crossroads. At the crossroads you follow the signs to Panagia tou Araka, until you reach the church of Panagia tou Araka, on your right. Zero your odometer as you pass the church. Continue to drive past the church, into the village of Saranti. At the 0.9 km reading you reach a junction, where you ignore the right turn, signposted to Xyliato and Nicosia; take the left turn, signposted to Spilia. The road begins to climb; after 100 m you go left at a Y-junction. At the 3.4 km reading you have arrived at Selladi Karamanli. Park on the side. The hike starts here.   

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  

Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from the Presidential Palace to the church of tis Theou Sophias:    

Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from the church of Panagia tou Araka to the junction in Saranti

About Pitsilia: The region east of Mount Olympos (Troodos) is known as the Pitsilia area and includes about 30 villages. Its tallest peaks are Madari (1612 metres) and Papoutsa (1554 metres). The picturesque villages nestle on the mountainside amid vineyards, or are hidden in valleys, maintaining much of their traditional charm. The surrounding hills and valleys are full of vines, as well as almond, hazelnut, walnut and other fruit trees. The area is also known for its traditional products such as aromatic rosewater, ‘hiromeri’ (smoked ham), ‘loukanika’ (smoked sausages) and ‘lountza’ (smoked pork loin).

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.