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Majestic Troodos 

Nothing could be more dramatically different from Mediterranean beach life, than the impressive mountain range that stretches across the centre of Cyprus and reaches up to 1.952 metres at Chionistra, the highest point of Mount Olympos. Admiring panoramic vistas and breathtaking the cool, pine-scented air makes a heady change from the coasts and plains which are only a relatively short drive away.

There's plenty to see in these mountains. Nine of the many Byzantine churches are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List for the exquisite art depicted in their icons, frescoes and architecture. Moufflon have been protected for a number of years in a huge natural reserve in the magnificent Cedar Valley, and nowadays these timid creatures can often be seen by visitors.

There are scenic walks to take, a great variety of interesting birds and flora to be seen, waterfalls and special picnic sites, and above all, there are villages of immeasurable charm to wander round, or simply to dally in and observe the unhurried rustic country life. The mountain villages are absolutely charming and the people friendly and hospitable. Each village has a special crop, craft or product for which it is known - fruits such as cherries, apples or peaches sweet specialities like soujouko and palouze, wines, zivania - a highly alcoholic vine by-product, rosewater, pottery ... the list is endless.

A stay in the mountains is definitely recommended. There you will enjoy the morning mist on the mountain peaks, cool air and breathtaking views that makes staying at one of the 'hillside' hotels a welcome break.

The higher slopes are thronged with sports enthusiasts throughout the year, so much for skiing as for hiking along the nature trails, which have clearly marked environmental features of interest.
A number of interesting monasteries are scattered in the Troodos range. The largest and most famous is Kykko monastery , with a golden icon of the Virgin Mary, allegedly painted by Saint Luke. Other monasteries are Machairas and Trooditissa with its distinctive steepy sloped roof.


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