She'll be coming around the mountain by Angela Richardson, Sunvil's local representative on Cyprus
I am blessed that we have many guests that visit our beautiful Island and I love to be able to share with our guests our knowledge of the island. However, I never really take the time to ‘holiday’ these wonderful places myself! Last time I had my mini holiday I opted for the sea, but this time I chose to visit the stunning Troodos Mountains.
It is nice to plan and pack our essentials for our long awaited and forthcoming holidays. Even though I was only going to the mountains for a day, it was my holiday and I was going to be prepared!
I learnt that when I was in the Girl Guides. So prepared I was going to be. I got out my Girl Guide handbook and even considered wearing my guide sash with my impressive collection of badges. I actually have more badges but, as I failed home economics in school, I am unable to sew my badges on. My mum refused to sew the others onto my sash as she said that as I was in my fifties I would not have a need for them anymore. I still would like my sash complete so if there are any volunteers I would be very grateful. I can provide a photo if required.
Moving on, I perhaps over prepared for my trip. Anyone would have thought I was off to participate in the ‘Who Dares Win’ show on television. It was not really a matter of throwing my swimsuit, flip flops into a beach bag – I was off to the mountains.
On my last adventure I had my hopes of being whisked off my feet by some single Cypriot taxi driver. Well this time I was aiming much higher. I was off looking for a mountain man. One like that Bear Grylls guy on the tv. He would be very impressed with my badges and ability to survive in the mountains for a day.
The Troodos Mountains are only an hour away from Paphos. My journey was pleasant and I only came across two other cars on my route. As I left Paphos I was excited and could not wait to get there. I sighed with relief that I was actually getting away from all this covid situation and the restrictions we have all had bestowed upon us.
As you approach Platres, a village really consisting of one main street with a selection of taverns, one bank, a couple of shops, two choclatiers, you get the feeling you are in the mountains. Kato Platres (lower part) joins with Pano Platres (upper part of the village). The road leads to the hotels we feature, The New Helvetia and the Forest Park. The New Helvetia is basically next door to the starting point of the Kaleidonia Waterfall nature trail. I have done this walk a couple of times before. It is 3km in length and an estimated time of the duration of the walk is one and a half hours. Officially classed as a level 3, which is marked to be the most difficult of the walks, I do not find it overly hard at all. I am not by any means super fit or an experienced walker but providing you have adequate footwear it is fine. Most definitely worth it once you reach the falls.
There are also three other walks being the Psili Dendro - Pouziaris trail which is 9 km long, a level 3 and will take you approximately three to four hours to complete. Then there is the Millomeris walk, only 2 kilometres and a fifty minute duration, level 3. The last one is the Milia Bridge walk which is only 1 km long, one hour duration and a level 2.
My next stop was Troodos Square which is not far from Platres. I was looking forward to having a nice hot chocolate when I arrived. The square was not overly busy. There were a few stalls open selling hot nuts. I would imagine at weekend it would be busier and I could imagine it absolutely buzzing with a great atmosphere.
I visited the Troodos Hotel which is the hotel we feature in the square. I was warmly greeted by the friendly staff and I sat in the warm, cozy sofa area with a huge mug of hot chocolate. At this point I was so comfortable I even considered not moving from the sofa! But I really wanted to set off on another walk and take in some of the clean, mountain air.
When I left the hotel, there were walks to the left of me, walks to the right – an absolutely perfect location for access onto some of the nature trails. So I opted to turn right and approximately three minutes away was the starting point of the Atalante Trail. This is another recognised properly mapped out nature trail and is a circular trail. Circular meaning you should end up at the same point you set off from! But with me anything could happen as I was starting not to rely on Bear Grylls turning up at anytime soon.
The walk is a level two and five hour duration to complete. Along the route there are plenty of benches amongst the black pines to sit and relax. You cannot help but just sit for a few moments along the route to take in the splendour of it all. The clear blue skies with the odd fluffy white clouds, poking through the many variety of pine trees.
I wish I could explain better to you on how you feel like you are in another world, so peaceful, the aroma of the pines, the pine cones scattered along the way having fallen from these remarkable trees. You are surrounded by these beautiful trees, flora, fauna that have been around forever, their imposing posture and size as you look up at them. I am not about to become a tree hugger but seriously you feel like just giving one of them a big hug. They certainly gained my respect.
I did not come across one piece of litter or another person. My mountain man never parachuted down from the clear blue sky amongst the trees I am sure. It was so peaceful.
The Troodos Visitor Centre is also a couple of minutes walk and well worth a visit. A visit to the Geological Centre another. The geology of this part of the island is spectacular.
Sadly, it was time to head back home but I was a bit hungry and I stopped at the local tavern in Platres called ‘To Anoy’. Friendly owner, wood burning fire roaring. I ordered the grilled halloumi cheese. I did not expect five large pieces of it! It was only five euros and they gave a basket of warm village bread with it! I did manage to eat a couple and the owner kindly prepared the left over for me to bring home.
To be honest I did not want to leave the Troodos! Ideally a seven night or over duration holiday here would be perfect! It would be ideal that you can explore the nature trails and many more activities such as cycling, site seeing, fresh, clean air and much more at a leisurely pace. Troodos, can be visited anytime of the year. In the hot summer months many Cypriots escape the heat of the coast to come to the cooler mountain areas. We are now in December and though there is no snow at the moment, the skies were glorious, the temperature not too cold. When snow does fall in the Troodos Mountains it also is possible to ski. Basically, an all year round place to visit.
I had a super day. Ok I never found my mountain man but I do have some nice halloumi cheese for my dinner. I feel refreshed after having some fresh mountain air and I am sure I will sleep tonight. Next time I will be revisiting Kalopangotis, Moutoulllas, Pedoulas, Prodromos which I have to look forward to.