A visit to the Troodos Mountains is an absolute must. The peaks rise almost 2000 meters high. In winter they are covered with snow, making winter sports possible. Discover picturesque villages with houses of traditional architecture, vineyards, terraced slopes and beautiful nature trails. Hidden in the woods are the most beautiful Byzantine churches of Cyprus. The churches "Agios Nikolas tis Stegis" in Kakopetria, "Panagia tou Araka" in Lagoudera and the church in Asinou are among the most artistic and interesting churches in Troodos. A total of 10 of these Byzantine barn-roofed churches are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Kykko Monastery is the largest monastery on the island and has an icon of the Virgin Mary, said to have been painted by the evangelist Luke.
Pretty resorts and picturesque villages line the slopes of Troodos. The Troodos Mountains are especially popular with hikers and cyclists. The mountains offer numerous hiking trails and nature paths along the vineyards, the terraced slopes of almond and cherry orchards, and countless picnic areas. The Cedar Valley is home to the sprawling Cypriot cedar trees. When you rest here, you will hear nothing but the sounds of nature and the scent of resin from the pine forests.
The Cyprus Tourist Board, in cooperation with the Forestry Department, publishes an information brochure about the nature trails in Troodos. In this mountainous area, besides the area of Machaira in the east and the Troodos proper around the highest peak, Olympos (1951 m), four other areas can be identified, each with its own character and charm: Pitsilia to the east of Olympos, the Solea valley to the north, the Marathasa valley to the west and Krasochoria to the south.
Sights in the Troodos Mountains
In and around the village there are four frescoed churches, the monastery church of Panagia Podythou, the gable-roofed chapel of Archangelos Michael, the 16th century Agios Sozomenos church and the Agia Paraskevi church, whose murals date back to 1514. Also worth seeing is an old restored inn of the "Chani ton Kallianon".
The picturesque village square of Kakopetria with its pretty restored houses is a protected monument. In addition, you can admire the frescoes of the Panagia Theotodou church, about half of which have been preserved, and the wall paintings of the Agios Georgios church from the 16th century.
About 5 km from Kakopetria is the Agios Niokolas tis Stegis Church, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The former monastery is painted with magnificent frescoes dating from the 11th to the 17th century. Its name "tis Stegis" stands for the characteristic gable roof of the church. It is considered one of the most important Byzantine churches in Cyprus.
This pretty village is known for its sulfurous springs and the Agios Ioannis Lambadistis church. The church actually unites three chapels under your gable roof, originally as a monastery today UNESCO heritage site.
Kykko Monastery and Museum
The most famous and richest monastery in Cyprus was founded in 1100 and is dedicated to the Holy Virgin. Three preserved images of the Virgin Mary are housed here. The museum attached to the monastery displays collections of priceless value and ancient findings from the monastery property. Church festivals are held here on August 15 and September 8.
The village is famous for its Archangelos Michael Church, built in 1474, with the barn roof typical of the Troodos Mountains. Also worth seeing are the Byzantine Museum with exhibits from the area and the Folklore Museum with collections of traditional and rural life.
Located in Palaichori, the museum displays liturgical utensils and icons from the village's churches dating from the 12th to 17th centuries, as well as silverware, copper engravings and carvings.
Holy Cross Church and Museum (Timios Stavros Church)
The village of Pelendri contains two interesting church buildings. One is the Holy Cross Church with magnificent frescoes from the Paleolithic period, which is included in the UNSESC World Heritage List, and the Panagia Katholiki in the village center. The church, dating back to the 16th century, contains frescoes in Italian-Byzantine style.
The oil mill in Spilia is a single room with a gable roof, renovated in 1995. It shows a completely preserved technical equipment, the wooden press and the stone oil mill together with millstones from the 19th century. Also exhibited are tools and equipment used in the production of olive oil.
Panagia Chrysokourdaliotissa Church
The three-nave church with its pointed gable tile roof in Kourdali dates back to the 16th century and was originally a monastery church dedicated to the Holy Virgin, donated by Ioannis Kourdalis.
Panagia Tou Araka Church
Dating back to the 12th century, the church (UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Lagoudera contains beautiful murals in the style of the late Comnenian period (1192). It is, together with the Asinou and Agios Nikolaos tis Stégis churches, among the most important Byzantine church buildings in all of Cyprus.
Stavros tou Agiasmati Church
About three kilometers from the village of Platanistasa lies the famous Stavros tou Agiasmati Church, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNSECO. It contains the richest 15th century fresco cycles found anywhere in Cyprus.
Transfiguration of Christ Church (Metamorfosis Tou Sotiros).
This church in Palaichori has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is a 16th century chapel located on a hill above the village. The interior is painted with magnificent frescoes from the Byzantine period.