There’s nothing like experiencing winter in the Troodos mountains, especially when it is covered in a shimmering blanket of snow. A trip to the mountains allows one to discover the island in a different way, introducing both tourists and locals to a new perspective.
The peaks of Troodos reach up to 2,000 meters above the sea, offering excellent panoramic views from every edge of the island. It is also the ideal winter destination to discover for its picturesque villages with paved streets, preserved folk architecture, unique landscapes, snowy slopes, towering trees, and overall beautiful nature.
Things to do
From skiing to snowboarding, adrenaline lovers will be in for a treat. Making up your way to the Troodos Ski Resort on Mount Olympus, you’ll see people of all ages having a blast in the snow drifts. Sun Valley 1 and 2 slopes are ideal if you’re a beginner. If you’re in for a thrill however, North Face 1 and 2 are ideal.
If you are not planning on skiing, you can always head somewhere a little further afield to simply enjoy the wintry atmosphere. From Platres to Agros, Kalopanayiotis to Pedoulas, Kyperounda to Arsos, the list of places are endless.
To experience a real taste of Cypriot tradition, for example, just head along to one of the many coffee shops, cafes or restaurants dotted around the Troodos region and sit back to enjoy Zivania, the drink that so many locals are proud of.
Zivania, a Cypriot traditional alcoholic drink, is a pomace brandy made from grape, pomace and dry wine with a light aroma of raisins. It has been around since the 15th century, when the Republic of Venice ruled Cyprus, and its production continued through Ottoman and British rule on the island.
Nicknamed “firewater,” it has no acidity or sugar and a light aroma of raisins. Production of Zivania also follows strict rules and regulations, including grape quality and fermentation process. As it ages, it acquires a stronger flavor and aroma as well, making it a special treat for visitors and guests of the island.
Accessibility and leisure
Troodos has multiple hotels and traditional houses as well as agrotourism guesthouses for accommodation. There are nearly 2,000 beds in various facilities, from rudimentary accommodation in the villages to 4-star hotels.
It is worth mentioning that it has been ranked among the 10 best emerging rural tourist destinations in Europe at a forum in Lisbon in October 2007.
Tradition and heritage are an important part of life in the region, and there are many small museums and centers dedicated to traditional arts, the environment, iconography and rural life. Local patronage for the saint of each village are an essential part of life in the area. Other events include folk art festivals, bread and preserved sweets exhibitions, wine tasting and the sampling of a variety of other local products.
Troodos formed at the bottom of the Tethys Ocean during the Cretaceous around 90 million years ago. During the Neogene, 20 million years ago, the island began to rise due to fluid-rock reactions deep within mantle rocks. The increase in altitude was nevertheless uneven and mostly centred around Mount Olympus.
The altitudinal change occurring on Troodos is ongoing. Cyprus also remains tectonically active due to the subduction of the African plate below the Eurasian (Anatolian) plate to the south of Cyprus at the Cyprian Arc.
The main geological formation of the mountain range is the ophiolite complex, which is part of the oceanic crust. Elevation and differential erosion have led to the appearance of a complete array of mantle rocks in topographical inversion, with plutonian rocks occurring around the top of Chionistra. For that reason, the Troodos ophiolite complex is considered the most complete and well-studied worldwide.