The Troodos Mountains is the largest mountain range in Cyprus and is located in the middle of the island. At 6,404 feet, Mount Olympus is the highest peak and has four ski slopes. The Troodos stretches across most of the western parts of Cyprus and is also the home of many famous mountain resorts, churches, and Byzantine monasteries.
In the past, the mountain range was known for its mines, but as time passed by, it became known for its Byzantine art. The churches and monasteries the mountain is known for were built in the mountains to keep them away from the coastline.
Activities You Can Enjoy
If you plan on visiting the Troodos Mountains, there are a lot of activities you and your family can enjoy, which include:
One of the best things about being up in the Troodos Mountains is being out in nature. The mountains have nature trails that offer you a fun way to enjoy the view from the mountain and get a little exercise while you’re at it.
The most popular trails in the Troodos Mountains are the Artemis trail, Atalante trail, and the Caledonia waterfall trail.
The Artemis trail is a circular walk around the base of Mount Olympus and provides a spectacular view. The trail starts at 1850m, which is about 300m below the Ski hire hut. The trail also goes across three of the ski slopes on the mountain, so if you are visiting during winter, you need to keep an eye out for the skiers.
Along the trail, you will see the ruins of old fortifications that were built in 1571 AD when Cyprus was occupied by Venice. If you intend to walk the Artemis trail, be prepared to spend 2.5 hours on the trail.
The Atalante trail is considered the most challenging trail in the Troodos Mountains. At a distance of 12km, it is significantly longer than the Artemis trail. This trail was designed to allow people to ride their mountain bikes if they don’t feel like walking the trail, which is always a fun idea during the summer.
The Atalante trail starts from Troodos Square, and the elevation is about 1,700 to 1,750m. You can see breathtaking views of the whole island from the Atalante trail, especially on a clear day. Halfway through the trail, you will see the entrance to an old chromium mine that was shut down in 1982.
Walking the entire trail takes about 4.5 hours, and it can be daunting for people that haven’t walked at altitude before.
When it comes to beauty, the Caledonia waterfall trail is unparalleled. At 3km, it is a significantly shorter trail than the Artemis and Atalante trails, but it also has its own challenges. You should remember to wear hiking boots when going on this trail because the terrain is slippery, especially during the winter.
The Caledonia waterfall trail is at an elevation if 1600m and takes about 2 hours to walk.
In total, there are 10 nature trails in the Troodos Mountains, and the total distance of the trails is 57.6km. One of the trails was setup to allow wheelchairs, and all the trails are well maintained with signs to help people avoid getting lost.
Other activities you can enjoy while visiting the Troodos Mountains include visiting the park, which is the largest part of the forest. The park has nine picnic areas, which provide a nice way to relax and spend some quality time with your group.
There are benches, wooden tables, drinking water, parking spots, toilets and a play area for kids at the picnic sites.
For those that want to vacation in the Troodos Mountains, there a plenty of resorts to choose from, The resorts are open during the summer and winter so that you can book a room any time of the year. Staying at a resort gives you instant access to all the activities you want to enjoy during your stay, and you take a trip down to the island whenever you like.
Camping is another fun activity people that visit the Troodos Mountains enjoy doing. There are three areas that have been setup for camping, two of those areas are for short-term stays, while the third, which is east of the Troodos square, is for longer stays and has upgraded facilities.
There are over 750 individual plant species in the Troodos Mountains, 72 of which can only be found in Cyprus, and 12 that can only be found in the Troodos Park. These flowers are very impressive when they are in bloom, which is why the spring and summer seasons are the best time to view the flowers in bloom.
Troodos Mountains Climate
The climate in the Troodos Mountains varies depending on what month of the year it is. From April to October, the temperature ranges between 15 degrees and 20 degrees Celsius, and from November, the temperatures start to drop, and the temperature ranges from 6.3 degrees to 12.8 degrees Celsius.
During the summer months, the Troodos Mountains get a lot of visitors who visit the mountains to enjoy the nature trails, camping, swimming, and other activities that the weather permits. Hiking the trails and mountain biking is very popular at this time of the year.
During the winter months, people visit the Troodos Mountains to enjoy the ski slopes and all the winter fun the Troodos Mountains provide. If you don’t want to ski or snowboard, you can just relax and enjoy the spectacular view of the mountains blanketed in snow from the top of Mount Olympus.
If you visit the Troodos Mountains, one thing you have to do before you leave is to visit the Byzantine churches and monasteries that were built into the mountains. Altogether, there are nine Byzantine churches and one monastery.
The Kykkos Monastery, which was founded at the end of the 11th century, is the richest and most famous of them all. The original monastery was burned a long time ago, but a new building has since been erected.
The other monasteries and Byzantine churches in the Troodos Mountains are:
Stavros tou Ayiasmati
Panayia tou Araka
Timiou Stavrou at Pelendri
Ayios Nikolaos tis Stegis
Ayios loannis Lampadistis at Kalopanayiotis
Panayia tou Moutoula
Archangel Michael at Pedoulas
Transfiguration of the Saviour Palaichori