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Troodos Forest Park
The Troodos National Forest Park covers an area of approximately 9,000 hectares around Mount Olympus and is situated centrally on the island, in the Limassol district.
It is an area of great natural beauty and makes a nice change from the beach settings and is often used as a retreat from the heat and humidity in summer; allowing for activities such as hiking, camping and picnics (year round) and skiing in winter. There are many different nature trails for all ages and fitness levels, each with their own breathtaking views.
Platres is the largest Troodos resort; a village situated about 5km down from Troodos square and is well sign posted. It is the area where most hostels, accommodation and restaurants are located for those on a weekend excursion.
Troodos has been known historically within Cyprus for its large number mines and used to be more of a mining village due to the sparse landscape, population, not only rocks but for trees as well. During the Byzantine era, it was a significant dwelling for a large number of Byzantine art pieces, as churches and monasteries were built in the mountains. Don’t be deceived by the buildings modest outward appearance; taking a visit inside will display the most intricate and extravagant painted murals within.
Not to be Missed
The highest peak in the Troodos Mountain Range is Mount Olympus, which stands almost 6500ft above sea level. The peak is home to 4 ski slopes and one ski trail during the short winter months. Passes can be bought either for full or half days and equipment rental is extremely cheap compared to typical resort prices. Due to the short days in winter we would recommend leaving early in the morning to make the most of the day.
There are a number of wine villages or Krassochoria on the southern slopes surrounding Troodos, which you will reach by driving north from Limassol following the signs to Troodos. The regions are well known for Commandaria which is a local sweet wine where many bottles are produced and bottled on site still using the traditional methods of collecting and crushing the grapes. Visitors are welcome to look round the small typical wineries that still operate in some villages. You can also organise tours and wine tasting of the larger vineyards. Commandaria is famous for being one of the oldest named wines worldwide, having been referred to by this name dating back to the earliest mention almost 1000 years ago.
Tip: A visit to Omodos village is definitely worth a stop, with its narrow cobbled streets, charming monastery and pristinely preserved architecture.
The local Commandaria wine is famous for being one of the oldest named wines worldwide, having been referred to by this name dating back to the earliest mention almost 1000 years ago.
To visit the mountain and surrounding villages of Omodos and Platres a car rental will be necessary and most convenient for visitors. From Limassol and Nicosia, the route and travel time is approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour depending on how high you ascend. From Paphos, it is approximately a 1.5 hour drive. Once you have your general bearings you can easily follow the signs from Limassol centre.