Nicknamed the ‘Switzerland of Cyprus’ because you can see snow in the winter and even ski in January / February, the Troodos Moutains are, in reality, only a peak; however the peak is a real gem.
Troodos is the largest mountain in Cyprus, located in the centre of the island. The highest peak is Mount Olympus which, at 1,952 meters, hosts the 4 ski slopes which are open in the winter.
In the summer, the Troodos Mountains are also a great escape from the humidity of the coast as well as being remarkably tranquil.
Dotted all over the Troodos are painted churches, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. While the outside of the churches may not be particularly remarkable, their wonder becomes apparent once inside as every inch is enveloped with paintings – from haloed saints and kings, scenes from the lives and deaths of martyrs and tales of Jesus. The most dramatic of the churches is Agios Nikolaos, just outside Kakopetria with its vivid and colourful paintings.
The low hills on the southern side of the Troodos mountains are called Commandaria. During the Crusades of the Knights of Templar, they had a base in the region called La Grande Commanderie. The region is also famous for its desert wine which is produced from over-ripe Xinisteri grapes which are picked and then left to shrivel and sweeten in the sun.
If sweet wine isn’t to your liking, there are vineyards and wineries dotted all over the Troodes – as pine and vines grow freely into the mountainsides, adding to the rural charm of the region.
If you get the time, we would also recommend that you hike to the Kalidonia Falls which is the most beautiful hiking trail in the Troodos. It takes roughly 40 minutes (3 km) to reach the falls which have a 15 metres drop into an icy cold pool. It’s a great opportunity to cool your feet from the hike before heading to the Psilo Dendro restaurant which is at the start of the trail – rewarding your tired legs and empty stomach!