The peaks of the Troodos massif culminate in Mount Olympus, a great whaleback of a mountain composed of volcanic rock which rise to 1952 m(6404ft) at Chionistra (the snowy mountain). The heights are snow covered from January to March and have become a venue for skiers easily reached from Limassol so that with four ski runs is possible to ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon.
In high summer the Troodos pine forests offer a cool escape from the lowlands. The colonial style government huts scattered here and there among the trees in this National Park are reminiscent of an Indian hill station.
Strictly speaking, the term Troodos refers to the heights within a radius of 5 kilometers of the Troodos resort but it is often taken to encompass the entire mountain range. To appreciate the region’s extent take a walk on the Artemis trail (just below the Jubilee Hotel) around Chionistra: rows of forested peaks unfold to the west and in the spring the distant valleys are dressed in a haze of pink and white when the fruit trees are in bloom. The views are stunning.
In addition to its natural beauty, Troodos is the setting for a remarkable group of lavishly frescoed Byzantine churches dating from the 11th to the 16th centuries.
Places to Visit
Nicosia to Troodos Road
Kakopetria lies in the Solea valley 700m above sea-level amongst orchards and groves of poplars. Parts of the old village have been restored making an interesting walk and the Mill Restaurant provides both an excellent view of the valley and their well-known Trout in a lemon and butter sauce.
The church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis
Lies about 5 km to the north of the village. It is covered with murals dating from the 11th to the 17th century and is considered one of the most interesting Byzantine churches on the island.