Skiing in Cyprus
Skiing in Cyprus
Cyprus is an unlikely destination for skiing as it is known worldwide as a summer destination with pristine beaches and glorious sunshine all year round. However there is a short period between January and April that sees many visitors in the Troodos Mountains enjoying winter sports. These mountains that are 2,000 meters above sea level, offer excellent skiing at this time of the year. The area has 2 hotels and some unique agro tourism cottages which are located in the mountainous region of the Troodos Mountains. A ski centre is based on Mount Olympus which is the highest peak and you will find four ski lifts and eight alpine ski runs for amateur and professional skiers. A ski school is also in operation during the winter months offering lessons on the cross country ski tracks. The ski centre has a restaurant and cafes that are situated in the white covered picturesque ski resort.
The Troodos Mountains are a short drive from the city of Limassol and the winter resort is only a few kilometers from Mount Olympus. The area has dense forest with tall pine trees that are a sight to see when covered in a soft blanket of snow glistening in the sunlight. Panoramic views on all sides of the mountain are breathtaking. Mount Olympus lies at the summit of the Troodos Mountain range which offers idyllic forests which stretch down the western side of Cyprus offering a cool sanctuary for the summer months and the opportunity for skiing in winter. Apart from skiing, the resort offers other winter sports like snowboarding. For beginners, the Sun Valley 1 and 2 slopes are an ideal place to start and the thrill on the north face slopes, 1 and 2, are perfect for experienced skiers. The area around the ski resort which includes the villages of Agros, Platres, Kalopanayiotis, Pedhoulas, Kyperounta and Arsos offer excellent agro tourism getaways with cozy accommodation that offer a fireplaces and authentic Cypriot cuisine. There is nothing better than sitting in front of the fireplace enjoying the local Zivania with titbits of sausages and local delicacies cooked over the fire. This is the real Cypriot winter experience. The area is well known for its cured meats and sausages as well as their village bread which is a treat when cooked over an open fire.
The villages in this area take on a whole new character in winter with their stone cobbled streets and terracotta roofs covered in snow. For those that want to venture out there are many local authentic Cypriot tavernas scattered around the mountainside. This magical view can be enjoyed throughout the winter months. Average temperatures range from 5 °C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F) and February is considered the best month to enjoy skiing in the Troodos Mountains. If you want to rent ski equipment you can contact one of the four ski clubs in Cyprus that are situated in Nicosia, Famagusta and Limassol as well as from the Troodos Ski Club were you can rent or buy any equipment you need. Be aware that in the months that there is heavy snowfall in this area you will be required to drive a 4 x 4 vehicle or chained tires for extra safety. The roads leading up to the Troodos Mountains are pretty decent but due to the slippery nature of the snowfall extra precautions must be taken. It is also obvious that you will need to dress warmly and have waterproof jackets in order to enjoy the winter sports.
Worldwide, the 17th January is celebrated as ‘World Snow Day’ and if you are lucky enough to be in the Troodos area you can enjoy a fun filled day for the whole family. Free instructions by the academy coaches and athletes are given to children of all ages and there is also a snow sculpturing competition for all ages. Locals and tourists enjoy the splendor of the Troodos Mountains in the winter months and it is definitely worth visiting if you enjoy winter sports. For more information on all events visit www.cyprusski.com