Hike the beautiful Horteri trail in the lower foothills of the Troodos mountains and get fantastic views from the 1291m high point.
Map of Horteri Trail
courtesy of Rother Guides
Location: near Stavros tis Psokas forest station
Walk Time: 2.5 hours
High Point: 1291m Chorteri fire look out
This lovely walk, high up in the Pafos forest, one of the many waymarked nature trails on the island, shows a side of Cyprus that most visitors never see - breathtaking views of the richly scented pine forest that seems to stretch for endless mile after endless mile.
The Stavros valley is easily accessible thanks to a fantastic alpine road which connects Polis to Stavros via the pretty village of Lysos. If you only have time to spend one day in the mountains, put a date in your diary to visit Stavros and try this relatively short yet energetic walk.
Hiking in the snow:)
The Horteri trail starts 1km above the Stavros forest station, at a small CTO hut, and follows the eastern slope of the Stavros valley. The steps that lead beside the hut pass a spring called Platanoudkia and the path leads steeply upwards past oak and strawberry trees.
Thankfully there are several rest stops at various viewing points en route! On a clear day, especially after a fall of snow, as in my picture, you can see as far as the Akamas peninsula with its distinctive silhouette.
The path is easy to follow but if you want to get to the high point at Horteri, you need to keep climbing when you reach waymarker no. 22. There is an obvious vehicle width track leading to the fire look-out, but if you like scrambling, you can go "off piste" to take the more direct route, UP again sorry, to the fire look-out when you see it directly in front of you.
Views of North Cyprus from the trail
But the reward at the top is well worth it as you have the whole of the eastern side of Cyprus to stare at as well as excellent views of Mount Olympus in the Troodos massif itself. On a clear day, you can also get excellent views into Northern Cyprus and the Kyrenian Mountains.
The route down is straightforward once you have finished admiring the views. Just re-trace your steps back to waypoint number 22 and head downhill!
Tip: The excellent Rother Cyprus walking guide with 50 detailed trails including maps and timings shows the Horteri trail and many other favourites. It's the best Cyprus walking guide available in my opinion.
Platanoudkia stream - doggie paradise:)
Horteri Trail Terrain: Rough gravel and stone mule path with larger rocks and prickly gorse bushes on the optional scramble to Horteri itself.
Navigation Pointers: It is easy to miss the start of the walk as the CTO "hut" is a little small, nestling on the side of the road about 1km above the Stavros forest station. Look for the "hut" that marks the trail as the road bears left and the sound of running water from the stream seen in the picture opposite.
Tip: The best time to do this walk is in the spring when the air is cooler and the views are clearer. If you are lucky enough to visit Cyprus after a fall of snow, this walk is truly spectacular...you can even build your own snowman
Build your own snowman!
Where to Eat: There is a cafe at Stavros forest station, but be warned, it has a very limited menu!
You can buy coffee (Nescafe is all that's on offer in case you love filter or espresso), snacks and sandwiches and that's about it, so take my advice and bring a picnic lunch or even a BBQ, a favourite amongst Cypriot families in the Summer months.
By the way, Stavros is a great place to camp in Cyprus!