Troodos Mountains - Cyprus Wilderness
Duration: Half Day
Get close to nature during your holiday in Cyprus by exploring the beautiful forest trails of the Troodos Mountains. Discover rich plant life and hundreds of bird species as you are led you through scented pine forests and past terraced hillsides covered with wild flowers and orchards, enabling you to enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery on the island. Depending on how much time and energy you have, you can choose from a variety of different walks such as the Artemis Trail, Atalanta Trail, Caledonia Trail and the Persephone Trail.
The impressive Troodos mountain range stretches across most of western Cyprus, rising to over 6000 feet at Mount Olympus. The temperature in the mountains is considerably lower than the Mediterranean coast and beaches, offering a welcome retreat during the hot summer months. A visit to this region also enables you to escape the busy tourist areas and enjoy the relaxed pace of life amongst sleepy traditional villages and breathtaking landscapes.
There are many beautiful walking trails in the region, which makes the Troodos Mountains extremely popular with hikers and nature lovers. Varying from well-organised, medium length trails that take several hours, to more strenuous walks that will lead you high into the mountains, there is a trail to suit all levels and abilities. This wild region is a paradise for wildlife lovers, boasting verdant valleys and ancient pine forests that host an incredible variety of wild flowers, plants and trees, all of which are important habitats for many endemic birds and animals.
This tour will lead you along one of several different nature trails. The Artemis Trail is circular, extending four miles (7km) around the summit of Mount Olympus through dense Black Pine forests. In spring and autumn, walkers will be greeted by a wide variety of sub-alpine flora such as Cyprus crocuses, cyclamen, peonies and anemones. Many different types of orchids can be found growing under the pines, and you will also see endemic species such as the Golden Oak and Oriental Plane trees. Birdwatchers are likely to spot the Griffon Vulture, Imperial Eagle, Short-toed Tree Creeper and Blue Rock Thrush amongst many other species.
One of the highlights of the Artemis trail is the village of Prodromos, the highest village in Cyprus and the main center for winter sports. This walk will also reveal some interesting geological rock formations. The Atalanta Trail (named after a mythical forest nymph) is slightly longer at six miles (9km) long, running from Troodos to the settlement of Chromion and taking three to five hours to complete.
Passing through dense thickets of Pinus Nigra forest and Troodos Juniper Phoenicia, you can enjoy spectacular views of the entire island. The shorter and easier Caledonia Trail (also known as the “Trail of Nightingales”) extends over two miles (4km) and is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Troodos Mountains. Following the course of the Kryo Potamo river stream from Troodos to Platres, the walk winds through shady valleys and fragrant pine forests, past the picturesque Caledonian Falls where hikers can cool down and swim in the shallow pools.
Look out for birds, butterflies and an abundance of colourful wild flowers in spring and early summer. Hiking boots are strongly recommended for crossing the river. The Persephone Trail (named after the Greek goddess of spring) is about two miles (3km) long and offers wonderful views of the Limassol plains and villages. You can also see the Pano Amiandos asbestos mines down in the valley. Walking through the woods, you will notice that the area is rich with ferns and lichens. This is also a great place for bird watching.
Other mountain walks include the Horteri Trail, Lefkara Circular Trail and Gerakies Trail, amongst others. Whichever trail you choose, your efforts will be rewarded with a wealth of natural treasures and outstanding scenery whatever time of year you visit.
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