Troödos has 13 nature trails, varying in length from a novice-friendly 1.6km to 14km for the more experienced. Together they provide an excellent insight into the diversity of the region. Most trees and plants on the trails are marked with their Latin and Greek names, and there are frequent wooden benches positioned beneath trees to allow you to take breaks and admire the views.
Booklets outlining the flora, fauna and geology of each trail are available from the Troödos Visitor Centre.
Cyprus is blessed with nearly 400 bird species, and many visitors come to Troödos for its tranquillity, excellent visibility and variety of habitats. Birds found here include griffon vultures, warblers, wagtails and pipits. Check out www.cyprusbirdingtours.com for more birding information.
Troödos has a growing number of routes dedicated to cycling and mountain biking, including several forest tracks. The booklet Troödos Cycling Routes is available at the Troödos Visitor Centre and Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) offices, and has detailed information on bike tracks in the mountain range. Troödos’ most common cycling route comprises three tracks making up one large circular run of the Mt Olympus summit:
- Psilo Dendro (Platres)–Karvounas A 16.2km flat ride through easy terrain, including good quality tarmac, forest and dirt track.
- Karvounas–Prodromos A 22.7km ride with a decent incline, a medium to hard degree of difficulty and good all-surface conditions.
- Prodromos–Psilo Dendro An 18.2km simple ride downhill with good roads mixed with stony tracks that can be tough on tyres.
Check out www.cypruscycling.com for information on bike runs and events held on the island.
With nine well-organised sites ranging in capacity from 250 to 2000 visitors, Troödos Forest Park attracts flocks of picnickers. You can set up practically anywhere and all sites have facilities such as wooden tables, fresh drinking water, toilets, playgrounds and parking. Barbecuing is allowed in the pits provided, if you wish to join the locals in grilling chops or spit-roasting kontosouvli (chunks of lamb).
Kampos tou Livadiou, a great little picnic ground among the pine trees, is located 3km down the Troödos–Nicosia (Lefkosia) road (B9). A further 8km along this road is the popular Platania (Plane Trees) picnic ground and campsite. It can get busy with weekend visitors, but it offers plenty of shade and includes a children’s adventure park, making it ideal for families.
Troödos has four slopes, ranging in length from 150m to 500m. The two longer slopes are on the north face of the mountain; the Hera lift takes you to the 350m beginners’ slope, and the Zeus lift takes you to the peak for the advanced 500m-long Jubilee run and the racing runs. The North Face Ski Centre, which offers ski equipment rental, is located here at the Dias Restaurant.
On the southern shoulder are the ski lifts to the shorter Aphrodite and Hermes runs, great for beginners and intermediates. The Sun Valley Centre and a ski shop are located here.
Visit www.skicyprus.com for snow reports and the latest information on slope conditions.