"An unspoiled jewel that is located in the very heart of the country, offering spectacular natural sites, awe-inspiring views and a rich local culture. "
The Troodos Mountain region is ideal for anyone who wants an activity focussed holiday, which combines rustic villages, awe-inspiring scenery, imposing mountains and sweeping valleys. They combine stunning natural sites, which include Chionistra, the highest point in the entire island; cascading waterfalls like Caledonia and Millomeris ; sweeping valleys; neat vineyards and olive groves and dense forests. It is also home to a wide-variety of different indigenous species, including majestic eagles and wild sheep.
Rich in history, thanks to its religious dissent, during the periods that Cyprus was ruled by other countries, it features a myriad of fascinating churches hidden within the area. It is also an excellent place to explore local produce, owing to its rich agrarian tradition, which is especially focused on producing wine, olive oil and Zivania, a spirit popular in Cyprus. All of this makes Troodos perfect for anyone who wants to blend breath-taking nature, with activity and exploration during their holiday.
Troodos Mountains Travel Guide
At A Glance:
Troodos Mountains inFocus
Troodos is a majestic range of mountains that stretches across the centre of Cyprus, reaching up to 1952 metres at the Chionistra, the highest point of Mount Olympus. Vineyards and olive groves cover some of the lower slopes, and particularly at higher elevations, there is a considerable amount of natural woodland. It was declared a national park in 1992 and has over 750 different species of plant, the famous Bonelli's eagle and the iconic Cypriot mouflon (a kind of wild sheep). The most common holiday resort in the area is Platres, which is around (30 km) from Limassol and is slightly less isolated than many of the other villages. The closest airport to Platres is Paphos, which is located around 61.5 km from the village.
The weather in Troodos differs greatly from the weather that is found on the rest of the island. In July and August, when the weather is at its hottest, temperatures can reach an average 28°C at midday, while in the coldest months of January and February it is just 6°C-7°C during the day. The night temperature is also very different from the daytime temperatures by about 5°C-6°C in the winter and 10°C in the summer. December sees the most precipitation with 170 mm of rainfall. In winter some areas of the Troodos mountain range will be carpeted with snow.
History & Culture
The highest point of Troodos is Mount Olympus or Khionistra with the Troodos Massif made up of eroded igneous rock and covered with pines, cypress, dwarf oak and cedar. The mountains slowly rose from the sea due to the collision of the African and Euripean tectonic plates, which eventually formed the island of Cyprus. The Troodos mountain has many Byzantine monasteries and churches, set on its impressive peaks and its quaint and traditional villages. Troodos used to be known for its mines and during the Byzantine era, it was an important place for art, churches and monasteries. Since Roman times copper has been mined, with chrome and asbestos extracted also. The mountains today are also home to RAF Troodos, a listening post for the NSA and GCHQ. Some of the most famous villages in the mountains are Platres, Kakopetria, Fykardou, Kalopanayiotis, Pano Panagia (where Archbishop Makarios was born), Pedoulas and Prodromos. The latter village is the highest in Troodos at 1,390m. The Troodos mountain range also features the famous Troodos Waterfalls, which are a great place to explore; there are four waterfalls, the Chantara Falls, the Caledonia waterfalls, the Millomeri Fall and the Mesa Potamos waterfall.
Its high terrain creates an ideal environment for cultivating nut and olive trees, meaning that the majority of the island's vineyards are located there, and delicious local wines can be found in many of the villages. Troodos is also famous for producing the spirit Zivania, which is made from distilled grapes and has a raisin-like flavour. Visitors to the region will also find the full range of Cypriot classics, with meat especially popular, and grilled lamb kebabs and rabbit a staple of the local diet.
Troodos Mountains can be a fun, adventurous place to treat the family to. Some of the top things to do in Troodos with the family can include skiing during the winter months, enjoy bike riding, hiking across the forests for example the Artemis trails which take you around Mount Olympus (the highest peak). Go rock hunting to explore the geology of Cyprus or take leisurely walks or drives around the region exploring the delights of the villages. This makes it particularly apt for families with active children, who will enjoy hiking, biking and exploring the magical mountainous area or for adventure filled group holidays.
Events & Festivities
Across the Troodos area, are a large number of vineyards, predominantly on the southern slopes of ‘Krassochoria’ (meaning wine village) and ‘Koumandaria’ (Koumandaria is one of the oldest wines in the world) regions. Explore the wineries scattered across the southern slopes where the locals will welcome you for a taste of their local wine and a bite to eat. Additionally, there are “The Cyprus Wine Routes”, which are signposted routes for visitors driving through the amazing green landscape. Enjoy the Zivania festival in Alona/Pelendri. Zivania is a traditional alcoholic beverage produced in Cyprus since 14th Century. Since 2004 it has been protected under EU regulation as a unique product of Cyprus and can be enjoyed with other traditional products, amongst folklore music and traditional dancing. In May do not miss out on the Agros Rose Festival that takes place in the heart of the Pitsilia region. The much-loved village is famous for its stunning roses and is officially known as the ‘Rose of Damascus’, the roses blossom April/May on the foothills of the Troodos Mountains. During the festival you can enjoy traditional dances and cultural events as well as taste food and drink, with rose products available to purchase. In September you can sample at the festival in Galata’s square the various homemade pastries, and in October enjoy the 2-day Apple Festival in Kyperounda, which includes an open-air market with fresh apples, apple pies, apple vinegar and competitions for the best apple pie.
Tours & Attractions
Explore the many beautiful painted rural churches in the surrounding Troodos Mountain range. Come face to face with these hidden gems, which are either located on the north slopes of the mountains, in the villages or in the wooded areas, and be amazed by their exterior stone walls, their beautifully decorated frescoes, which offer an insight into the beliefs and tradition of the past. Ten of the churches are included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. When in Troodos you should visit: •Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis in Kakopetria •Monastery of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis, in Kalopanayiotis •Panagia Forviotissa (Asinou), in Nikitart •Panagia, in Moutoullas •Archangelos Michaelis, in Pedoulas •Timios Stavros, in Pelendri. One of Troodos’ most recent ventures is the opening of the Geopark Visitor Centre (approximately 6km east of Troodos Village). Opened in 2015, the centre in a converted school, offers visitors a 15-minute presentation on the geology of the Troodos Massif, and features 5 rooms of displays covering the geology and ecology of Cyprus. Located on the Marathasa Valley, the Monastery of Kykkos is the wealthiest and most grand on the island. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and produced Zivania spirit, whilst also holding religious fairs in August (15th August Dormition of the Virgin) and in September (8th September Birth of the Virgin).
Engulfed around the region are quiet villages, which means that those looking for an exhilarating or fun nightlife, would be better suited visiting the coast. What you will find in Troodos though, is a host of great local restaurants, which will open late into the night, offering locally produced drinks and food to all who want it.