We are on the road in Cyprus by rental car. For our first tour we have chosen the Troodos mountains.
The Troodos mountain range is located in the west of the island and occupies about one third of the area of Cyprus. The Troodos massif is one of the most thoroughly explored mountain ranges in the world. It was created by the collision of the African and European continental plates.
Due to the uniqueness of the geology of the Troodos Mountains, the Geopark was certified with the UNESCO Global Geopark in 2015. Signs along the roads provide interested visitors with information about unique geological phenomena.
The highest mountain in the range is Olympus at almost 2000 metres. But also the mountains Madari (1600 meters) and Papousta (1550 meters) are very impressive. Here you should be able to ski from January to March.
Our experiences in the Troodos Mountains
We drive into the mountains on a still quite wide, pleasant road. Just the right thing to practise driving on the left – there is little traffic and as it is quite curvy, you can’t drive very fast.
I notice how green the mountains are. Trees grow everywhere – supposedly 127 different species of plants are at home in this area. On some slopes I discover vines and at the roadside a winegrower.
From time to time I see a traffic sign warning us about the mouflons living here. The wild sheep still live in Troodos Mountains in the wild and apparently do not pay much attention to the traffic. Unfortunately I have not seen any mouflon.
To our first destination Google leads us through the Troodos mountains. I have no idea if there are any other routes, but the journey turned out to be more of an adventure as the route progressed.
In the Troodos mountains there are some waterfalls that we discovered during our research. We want to take a closer look at one of them.
No problem at first. The road leads us to a small village. Supposedly there is a way to the waterfall from here.
At the end of the village the navigation system directs us to a “road”, rather a paved road through the forest – no car should come towards us now, there is not much space. The road gets steeper and steeper, narrower and more unpaved – it goes down into a valley. We discover some parked cars standing at the roadside in the forest – behind them the road ends in nothing.
Seems to be the right way, there is a sign! And there are people coming towards us…
We get out of the car and walk along a well-maintained footpath to the waterfall.
The roaring gets louder and louder and finally we stand in front of the waterfall. The water falls about 15 meters into the depth and flows on as a small stream. We are alone here and enjoy listening to the rushing water. I can imagine that when the snow melts here, a great impression is created when the water masses fall into the valley. But in the dry high summer? I think it’s more likely to be a waterfall and the trip there will leave a more lasting impression. After a while more visitors come and we decide to make the way back to the main road.
Another destination of our tour through the Troodos mountains was a Venetian bridge at Armino Dam.
The Navi led us through small villages off the main road. Driving left is no problem here, only one car fits on the road anyway. As a passenger I like the track, even though I take a deep breath at some rocks on the road and hope that nothing falls behind from above. Whether Patrick can enjoy it remains the question. Shifting gears, steering, driving on the left and looking around is not always possible. But since we are almost alone on the roads, nobody is rushing us and we drive comfortably. For about an hour we turn through the mountains, the navigation system leads us again into a valley.
We stop at a car park. From here it is only a few steps to the Kelefos bridge. To our delight there is an ice cream van here, we are welcomed friendly and first of all we enjoy our soft ice cream. Then we walk along until we reach the bridge.
More than 600 years ago in Cyprus, goods were transported from north to south along transport and trade routes. This route crossed the Xeros and Diarazos rivers. Water flows in these rivers all year round.
It is assumed that the Venetians built the bridges at that time. In any case, the typical round arch bridges are still well preserved and restored.
Between the bridges there is a footpath that starts at the Roundia Bridge, passes the Kelefou Bridge and ends at the Elaias Bridge. It is advisable to plan at least half a day for this walk.
We were lucky and could enjoy the surroundings and the beautiful bridge almost alone. The water splashed under the Kelefos Bridge, the birds were chirping, some benches invited us to stay. It was pleasantly cool and a small breeze blew. In the middle of summer, it was certainly a pleasure to escape the heat of the island. And even during our visit (it was about 24 degrees) it was a relaxation.
A wonderful spot in the Troodos mountains!