The Troodos Mountains are located in the heart of Cyprus, covering most of the western side of the island. As such, they are easily accessible from anywhere on the island, including Panoramic Village. It will normally take about an hour to reach the mountains travelling along the Limassol motorway and then heading north following the various signs. The highest peak in the Troodos Mountains is Mount Olympus, which rises to 1,952 metres above sea level.
The Troodos Mountains are a year round destination for visitors to Cyprus, with their fantastic scenery; sleepy villages, some clinging to terraced hill slopes; Byzantine monasteries and churches, and mountain resorts. Amongst the most popular villages are the principal mountain resort of Platres; the picturesque villages of Kakopetria, Pera Pedi and Phini; Prodromos the highest village in Cyprus; Pedoullas which is at the centre of the cherry growing area; Kalopanagiotis best known for its healing sulphur springs, and Agros famous for its rosewater, quality fruit and excellent sport training facilities. The picturesque village of Omodos is one of the most famous wine villages in the area and home to the Timios Stavros monastery; whilst the entire ‘museum village’ of Fikardou is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At present there are 10 Byzantine painted churches in the Troodos Mountains on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. All of them are well worth a visit because of their architecture and Byzantine art that can be found inside the buildings. The church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis in Kakopetria, together with those of Asinou and of Panagia tou Araka in the village of Lagoudera, are regarded to be of the most exceptional in Cyprus. Kykkos monastery, the largest on the island, also encloses an excellent Byzantine museum and a golden icon of the Virgin Mary, claimed to have been painted by Saint Luke.
During the spring and summer months the Troodos Mountains can provide a refreshing relief from the heat of the lowlands, and are seen by many as a walkers paradise. There are several trails available in the Troodos Mountains but the best ones are the Atalante trail, the Persephone trail and the Kalidonia trail. All of which provide incredible views of the mountains, villages and churches in the area. The Artemis trail is a gentler route specifically designed for beginners. A detailed hiker’s guide has been produced by the Cyprus Tourism Office in conjunction with the Forestry Department, that shows all of the trails and provides full details of the flora and fauna that you might see.
From mid December to the end of March heavy snow falls are common in the Troodos Mountains, and this has led to the development of a skiing and snowboarding resort around Mount Olympus. The resort is located in a col between Mount Olympus and one of the other peaks in the Troodos range. Both Alpine skiing and cross country trails are available to skiers at the resort. There are four slopes; two on the North Face of Mount Olympus and two in Sun Valley. Each has a t-
All skiing abilities are catered for on the slopes. The Hera Lift on the North Face and Aphrodite Lift at Sun Valley are more suitable for beginners. Intermediate skiers will feel more at home on the Hermes slope in Sun Valley, whilst advanced skiers will enjoy the Zeus run located on the North Face of Mount Olympus.
The best time to go skiing in the Troodos Mountains is in February and March, when there is usually sufficient powdery snow depth in the mountains. By the end of March the stronger sunshine starts to transform the powder to corn snow, signalling the end of the ski season.