Cyprus – An unlikely ski destination well worth visiting
When we think of Cyprus most of us will conjure up images of beautiful sandy beaches, lush green vineyards, and days spent lounging by the pool. But there is another side of Cyprus that is often overlooked.
Mount Olympus evokes stories of legend and mythical gods and it certainly is an awe inspiring peak. But what we often forget is that, where there is a mountain, quite often there is snow and from January through March the ski slopes of Mount Olympus are open for business. Here we will take a quick look at what this unlikely ski destination has to offer to the vacationing skier.
Skiing & Snowboarding
The Troodos Resort has 4 slopes named after the four Greek Gods, Hera, Zeus, Aphrodite, and Hermes. With names such as these one might feel intimidated but the skiing is quite manageable with pistes ranging from beginner to intermediate.
• Hermes, Aphrodite – suitable for beginners and families with small children.
• Hera – more suitable for intermediate (snowboarders favourite)
• Zeus – Two pistes (one family run-one difficult)
In such a warm country the locals tend to take full advantage of the snowfall so arriving on the piste early would be a good idea as rental equipment (all of which is available on the slopes) has been known to run out on the busier days.
(click here for Troodos info)
The Troodos Mountain range offers some truly spectacular scenery and with the might of Mount Olympus seemingly in full view at all times, you certainly won’t want to forget your camera. Whether it’s the short drive from Platres or a longer one from the coast, the landscape will provide many picture postcard opportunities.
There are two hotels located in the Troodos Square area which is only a 2km drive from the slopes. If you venture just a little further afield to the village of Platres you will find a wide choice of lodging to suit all budgets and all are only a 20 minute drive from the resort. The surrounding area and villages boast an array of lodging from hotels to catered mountain chalets, so finding the perfect place to stay won’t be a problem.
However this being Cyprus it would be foolish to dismiss the possibility of renting a car and staying in a coastal area such as Limassol and making the one hour drive to the snow. Snow by day, Beach by night is quite an appealing notion.
Whether you choose to stay near the resort itself or in one of the coastal towns your hotel should be able to arrange transport to the slopes. If you choose to rent a car and stay near the coast then the simplest route is to head for Limassol on the highway and from there it’s a clearly signposted 50 minute drive.
Rarely can you find yourself in a setting where you can ski in the cold mountains by day and relax on the balmy beachfront in the evening. So if you’re looking for a change from the regular ski and snowboarding holiday destinations around Europe, then Cyprus is a destination well worth visiting.
This post was contributed by Ciarán Mc Eneany, an Irish travel writer currently residing in Taiwan.