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Paralimni District and the Troodos Mountains

From the many excellent beaches of Paralimni District to the peaks of the Troodos Mountains, Aphrodite's Isle offers visitors and residents a chance to play on the beach and in the snow.

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From the beaches of Paralimni to the slopes of the Troodos Mountains

 
Tel: 96 720 333

Information about Cyprus

The two regions are basically poles apart, one being Cyprus' beach playground, the other a mainly secluded and unspoilt mountain area. Nevertheless, each of them holds an almost irresistible attraction to a certain kind of visitor to Aphrodite's Isle. We invite you to find out a little more about the Paralomni and Troodos regions.

Nicosia District | Paphos District
Larnaca District | Famagusta District
Limassol District | The Troodos
Administrative Information

 

Map of Cyprus, marking Paphos and Nicosia District

Paralimni District (The Free Famagusta District) on the east coast of Cyprus

View of Protaras
View of Protaras from Profitis Elias Church

 

Prior to the invasion of 1974, Famagusta District was officially the second largest province in Cyprus. These days, what's left south of the border scarcely amounts to ten percent of its former size. And, while the region has retained its official name, it is referred to by most residents and visitors simply as Paralimni District, since Paralimni Town has been the district's de-facto capital for almost thirty-eight years now.

However, while it may have been greatly reduced in size, the Free Famagusta District has developed into the playground of Cyprus. As the undisputed home of the finest beaches in Cyprus, and with the bustling resort towns of Protaras and Ayia Napa clustered on either side of Cape Greco, this is definitely the place for a fun-filled beach holiday in the sun.

Indeed, this part of Cyprus boasts a greater variety of leisure facilities than any other on the island. Here you'll find little theme parks, water sports centres, any number of bars and restaurants, nature trails, a seaquarium and even a massive water park.

The east coast especially, between the border to Northern Cyprus and Cape Greco, has experienced a massive amount of growth during the past two decades. Nowadays, most of the formerly secluded coves and beaches along this ten mile stretch of coast boasts either a hotel or its own selection of luxury villa complexes. The same can be said for Ayia Napa, where every beach is lined with a profusion of hotels and holiday apartment developments.

This is definitely not a place to visit or live if you're in search of a quiet time

 

One of the many samll beaches of Kapparis
Louma Beach near Protaras

But for all its hustle and bustle during the summer season, this part of the Republic is as dead as the proverbial door nail during the winter. In fact, it almost feels like the bulk of Paralmni District shuts up shop at the end of October and doesn't reopen until Easter the following year. Since the heyday of the Cyprus property boom in 2006 and 2007, a great many British expatriates who bought homes in the region have found out that there's nothing to really do in their neighbourhood for almost five months of the year. There are, of course, a handful of bars and restaurants which remain open, but the selection is woefully cut short compared to the summer months.

The Paralimni District is very much a summer playground, and it's a great place to visit for a fun filled time. However, if you're contemplating a move to the region, be prepared to spend seven months of the year surrounded by tourists, and the other five in the quiet contemplation of life in a ghost town...

Fishermen at Potamos Liopetriou
Fishermen near Potamos Liopetriou

Map of the Paralimni Region from Google Maps

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The Troodos Mountains and their lower foothills

Mount Olympus Ski Lift
Ski-Lift on Mount Olympus
 

 

What can you say about the Troodos Mountains that hasn't been said before on a thousand other websites? Actually, quite a lot...

But first, let's get the standard stuff out of the way.

The Troodos Massif rises to an elevation of 1951 metres above sea level at its highest point, which is Mount Olympus. What's more (wait for it, bet you've never heard this before), Cyprus is one of the few places around where it's possible to ski in the snow and then swim in the sea on the same day¹.

And with that little piece of unique wisdom imparted...

Here, on the roof of Cyprus, snow is such a regular feature each winter that there's been a local ski-club for over sixty years. These days, however, it no longer takes a two day hike to get to the slopes, since the road to Troodos village² was expanded and improved a few years back. The club now also boasts a brace of snow machines, so the season is not as dependent on prevailing weather conditions as it was even a few years back.

But the Troodos Mountains are about a lot more than winter sports.

The entire mountain range is a veritable maze of little roads (many of which are unpaved) linking the various communities clustered along its slopes. This is a part of Cyprus which is still largely unspoilt by excessive amounts of visitors, and if you happen to wander into one of the remoter village tavernas on a Sunday afternoon, don't be surprised if there isn't a menu available and you're asked to eat what they happen to be cooking. The village wine they serve is also not to be underestimated.

In these communities, traditional Cypriot life continues unabated, regardless of what's happening in the coastal resorts below.

 

The Troodos Foothills
The Troodos Foothills near Laneia

By the same token you'll also find more than a few townships which have made the most of their scenic charm or local arts and crafts, and have begun to draw a substantial number of visitors throughout the year. One of these is Laneia, a tiny community set high in the hills about fifteen miles northwest of Limassol. Over the past couple of decades, Laneia has become known as the artists' village, as it has attracted a substantial population of sculptors and painters from around Europe. The village itself consists largely of beautifully restored stone-houses, and boasts a small number of charming tavernas servinge refreshments to visitors and local residents. Then there's Kakopetria, a picturesque mountain village just off the main Nicosia/Troodos road. Aside from its rustic charm, this little community has developed an island-wide fame for its restaurants, which tend to specialise in creating culinary works of genius from the abundantly available local trout.

Another mountain township famed far and wide is Lefkara, set in the foothills between Limassol and Larnaca. This village, aside from being yet another picture-postcard affair, is famed internationally for its lace and its finely crafted filigree silver-work. and has consequently turned into an extensive jewellery and lace market during the past couple of decades. There are, of course, countless other gems to be found throughout the Troodos Mountains, if only one is willing to venture a little off the beaten track.

Even if you're visiting one of Cyprus' coastal resorts, it's well worth taking out a couple of days to explore the Troodos Mountains. You'll find main roads to the top from most directions, but if you're looking to do a little exploring, then it might be worth spending a few Euros extra and renting a little 4x4.

Lefkara Village, seen from across the valley
Lefkara Village in the lower Troodos

Map of the Troodos Massif from Google Maps

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¹ I speak as one who has done just that, and take it from me when I say that it is damn cold once you take that plunge into the clear, blue Mediterranean waters. Just because it's possible, doesn't actually mean it's a good idea.

² Be aware that Troodos village is not so much a village, as it is a collection of shops, stalls and eateries catering for the large number of visitors to Mount Olympus throughout the year. In short, the place is an unashamed tourist trap.

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The local Lifestyle...

They call Cyprus the Year-Round Island, and there's certainly something to be said about the fact that its climate does indeed make it a viable holiday destination for at least ten out of twelve months*. As a result, the Cypriot lifestyle does tend to centre around fun in the sun, and there's certainly a wide variety of activities to choose from around Aphrodite's Isle.
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* No matter what anyone tries to tell you, the local weather gets a little cold and damp between the middle of December and the middle of February.

 

Disclaimer. Please note that the information given on this website is displayed for guidance purposes only. It does not replace the need for professional advice, either legal or otherwise. E&OE

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