Cyprus Mountains

The Cyprus mountains consist of two main ranges, and you might be interested to know that skiing and snowboarding are possible in the upper reaches during the winter months. Cyprus isn't all about the beaches, as some travelers might think. Between the Troodos Mountains and the smaller Kyrenia Mountains, hikers and skiers alike will be in heaven. Regardless of the season, the Cyprus mountains are a joy to explore, and they provide stunning natural vistas that can be savored from any number of vantage points.

The Troodos Mountains form the largest mountain range in Cyprus, and they rise to their highest of heights on the southwestern part of the island. These mountains work their way down to the southern and eastern coasts, and many travelers make their way up them to escape the hot summer heat. Much like the Kyrenia Range to the north, the Troodos Mountains are home to charming villages and picturesque churches, so visitors can do more than just ski and hike in the highlands. Admiring Byzantine churches is one of the top things to do in the Troodos Mountains, and ten of these churches have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Agios Ionnis Lambadistis Monastery is one of the renowned churches in the Troodos Mountains, and it can be found in the small village of Kalopanayiotis. This village is only about an hour's drive from Paphos, Limassol, and the capital city of Nicosia.

Amazing churches are spread throughout the Troodos Mountains, and another one that deserves inclusion on the itinerary is the Kykkos Monastery. No other religious site in Cyprus is more important than the Kykkos Monastery, and it is renowned for its wealthy past. The Byzantine Museum that can be found at the Kykkos Monastery is of specific interest, and English-speaking visitors can purchase a comprehensive guidebook upon arrival to help them make sense of the Byzantine artifacts and the other ecclesiastical items.

Visiting historic landmarks isn't something that you can only add to your list of things to do in the Troodos Mountains. Up in the Kyrenia Range, there are three castles that warrant a journey north. They are the St. Hilarion Castle, the Buffavento Castle, and the Kantara Castle. The Kyrenia Mountains might not be as high as the Troodos Mountains, but they are stunningly beautiful, and past civilizations used them to look out north across the Mediterranean Sea. Thus the placement of these three castles in North Cyprus. The city of Kyrenia makes for an excellent base if you want to visit the Byzantine and Lusignan castles that cling to the mountainsides. When you're not visiting castles and picturesque villages in the Kyrenia Range, you can always go hiking or climbing. It's wise to book a tour if you're unfamiliar with the Kyrenia mountains, as they are quite rugged.

Back down south in the higher Cyprus mountains of the Troodos Range, hiking and skiing aren't the only options for things to do. Cycling is popular across Europe, and it's no different in Cyprus. Mountain biking can be an especially rewarding activity to add to your list of things to do in the Troodos Mountains, though you'll be wise to bring a repair kit along for the ride. There aren't a lot of bike shops or other places to fix your bike if you encounter any issues. A couple other things that you might consider doing in the Troodos Mountains are horseback riding and enjoying a picnic. As is true of the mountains in the Kyrenia Range, those that make up the Troodos Range are beautiful and can make the ideal picnic backdrop. Perhaps you'll picnic near Mount Olympus. At 6,400 feet above sea level, it's the tallest of the Cyprus mountains, and it can be found due west of the village of Troodos.

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