Best Troodos walks in the Cyprus mountains. Best time to go and what to expect.
Atalante Trail Troodos
The Troodos mountains offer spectacular scenery and cooling temperatures in high summer compared to the coast.
They are also the perfect place to enjoy mountain walks or mountain bike rides using one of the many way-marked nature trails.
The highest trails are the Artemis and Atalante tracks which are great for all levels of walker as there is little height gain with each trail being a circular route underneath Mount Olympus. The rocky nature of the terrain,, however, does make it more challenging (but a whole lot of fun!) for mountain bikers.
Biking beneath Mount Olympus
The Atalante trail is one of my favorite Troodos walks; it's also a great trail for single track mountain biking, as can be seen in the picture on the right.
It's a 12km circular walk around Mount Olympus starting from Troodos Square and the maximum elevation change is only 50m. Walking or biking at a height of 1700-1750m is pure pleasure as you negotiate rocky tracks among the dense forest of Pinus Nigra and Juniper Pheonicia.
Views of the entire island (including the North on a clear day) are simply spectacular and half-way round you will see the entrance to a disused chromium mine which ceased operations in 1982.
Allow 4-5 hours for this walk which, though only 12km long , can be tiring for people who have never walked at altitude before.
The Artemis trail is also a circular walk around the base of Mount Olympus and gives similar views to the Atalante trail; the main difference is that it starts higher up the mountain at 1850m and is therefore shorter at 7km in length.
The start is at a small brown hut on the road leading up to Chionistra (Mount Olympus) and 300m below the Ski hire hut. It crosses three of the ski slopes on the mountain so if you do the walk in winter when there is snow on the ground, beware of skiers descending as you approach the slopes.
NB: The green "walkers" sign is misleading at the start as it points in the wrong direction along a wide vehicle track marked by a barrier! The correct route is the narrow track immediately to the left of the brown hut keeping the valley on your left at the start.
Part-way along the walk, you will see the ruins of fortifications built during the Venetian occupation of Cyprus in 1571 AD. Allow around 2.5 hours to do the walk to take in the scenery and take plenty of photos.
The Atalante and Artemis trails are some of the best Cyprus walks as they are easy to follow and are accessible to anyone who is prepared to hike for a few hours and soak up the fabulous scenery.
These Troodos walks can also be done at virtually any time of year, even in the height of summer, as the temperatures high up in the Troodos mountains are always several degrees cooler than on the coast. Plus there are plenty of pine trees for shade.
My favorite time of year to do them is actually in winter in January or February when there is usually snow on the ground, the visibility is much better (you can often see the coast and the salt flats at Limassol on a clear day) and it's so much fun tramping through the snow in the Mediterranean!
Tip: If you want alternative Troodos walks, see the related pages at the bottom of the page