Troodos Resort Guide

Ski Resort History

The ski resort was established by the British army after World War Two, but in the 1960s the Cyprus Ski Club took over and continued to develop the infrastructure. You can rent skis but will need to bring your own snowboard or buy one in Limassol. If you rent a vehicle in the winter, then it should be a 4x4 or equipped with snow chains so you will be able to use the roads legally.

The Geography

The Troodos ski resort and the surrounding villages and valleys are located in the Troodos Massif, which is a shelf of igneous rock covered in pine forests visible from space. It was the first part of the island of Cyprus to rise from the sea and it features in the mythology of Aphrodite. The tallest mountain in Cyprus is called Mt. Olympos and is also sometimes considered to be the one from the myths.

The air is cool and pine-scented, with sleepy mountain villages and monasteries that are located in settlements or established as hermit communities in the forests. The area is also rich in minerals, especially copper, and has been used as a mine for thousands of years.

Historical Troodos

The Troodos mountains and valleys have always been a secure place to live in Cyprus. Even though Cyprus and the surrounding islands have been raided throughout ancient history and medieval history by raiders such as the Sea People, these villages have survived intact and untouched.

When the Byzantine Empire began to flourish, monasteries and cathedrals were built in many places and the houses of worship found in Troodos have been standing for hundreds of years. The painted churches of Troodos number in the scores and they are of a simple construction, mostly made of wood, with steeply-sloped roofs that prevent snow from piling up in the winter. They are decorated with medieval frescoes and mosaics on the interior that have been well-preserved in the cool, mountain air and have held testimony to Byazntine culture for almost 1,000 years.

10 of the churches are listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Tourism and Activities

As the Troodos village area is about 1,750m high, it is only 250m below the highest point of Mt. Olympus. The area has a long history of tourism and boasts activities and events throughout the year, including a number of festivals. There are hotels and restaurants as well as bed & breakfast houses and other accommodation for all types of groups and individuals.

The area is very religious and many of the Orthodox religious days are celebrated with the addition of a few local traditions and festivals. These events are mainly concentrated in the spring, summer and autumn.

In May, you can see the Agros Rose Festival and celebrate the blossoming of the roses in the village. Perfumes, rose water, rose brandy and delicacies that use rose as an ingredient are all displayed and sold. There is also the Koraku Herb Festival, which celebrates the herbs used in the area for food, medicine, perfume and aromatherapy.

In June there is the Sports and Fun Festival during the last week of the month, with rock climbing, cycling, downhill racing, archery, horse riding and many Renaissance and Medieval themed shows and displays. In August, there is the Pano Platres Festival that celebrates music, dance, drama, craft and farming. Additionally, you can attend the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, a local pilgrimage celebration held in mid-August at three of the painted monasteries.

In September there is the Raising of the Cross, a religious festival and the Local Products Festival, which shows off the best of the local harvest in addition to bread and sweets. In October there is the Cyprus Herb Event as well as the Apple Festival, which includes apple drinks and dancing.

To prepare for the winter season in November the Kakopetria Choral Festival takes place with plenty of music, singing and dancing. Finally, in November as well, the Zivania Festival is held which shows travellers and tourists how the famous locally-distilled drink is made and allows sampling of the best batches.

Getting to Troodos from the UK

Budget airlines run cheap flights to Southern Cyprus from a number UK airports around London or in other major cities. You could either use public transportation or drive to your closest UK airport and leave your car there in a parking facility for the duration of your trip, or book an airport transfer or taxi service.

Once you arrive in Cyprus, you can rent a car and drive to the Troodos Mountains. The ski resort is just a short distance away from Troodos village. If you are interested in going in the winter season for skiing or snowboarding, then you will need to be flexible and patient at the same time, as the season does not last long and snow does not remain on the ground for much longer than four days.

Without a doubt, throughout the year there is plenty to see in the Troodos mountain valleys and ski resort!