[:en]There’s nothing quite like the experience of the Troodos Mountains covered in a blanket of shimmering snow. While looking out at brilliant greenery and dense pine trees is one thing, the magic of panoramic views tinged with brilliant white is enough to seriously take your breath away as the whole district takes on a rather otherworldly appeal. My Cyprus Insider lets you in on all the great things you can do as you head up to the island’s highest peaks. Just dress warm, and let the fun times begin!
1.Ski, more ski, and a bit of snowboarding!
From skiing to snowboarding, adrenaline junkies will be in for a treat. Just make your way up to the Troodos Ski Resort on Mount Olympus and you’ll witness people of all ages having a blast in the snow as they unleash their energy. Sun Valley 1 and 2 slopes are ideal if you are a beginner, but if you fancy more of a thrill, you can go wild on North Face 1 and 2.
2. Get some rest at a gorgeous hotel or Agrotourism getaway
What better time to cosy up in the warm for the night than when it’s snowing outside? With heaps of hotels in the Troodos area, many are within close proximity to the ski resort — some stand proud on Troodos square, others call Platres their home, and a handful command attention in the popular village of Kakopetria.
If you’re not planning on skiing, you can always head somewhere a little further afield to simply enjoy the wintry atmosphere. From Platres to Agros, Kalopanayiotis to Pedoulas, Kyperounda, to Arsos, the list of places to put your feet up for the night are endless. To find out more about great places to enjoy a break in the Troodos area, visit www.mytroodos.com/en/ and www.agrotourism.com.cy.
3. Warm up with…village Zivania!
If you fancy a real taste of Cypriot tradition while it’s snowing outside, there is no better way to heat up on the inside than with a stiff shot of Zivania, with countless mountain villages producing the mighty tipple in true homemade fashion. Just head along to one of the many coffee shops, cafes or restaurants dotted around the Troodos region, and sit back to enjoy the drink that so many locals are proud of.
For the brave and the brave at heart, this white spirit contains a whopping 45% alcohol but do keep in mind that the village kind can be even stronger! Want to nibble on something with your drink? Zivania goes down a treat with local almonds or walnuts, raisins, soujouko (a local sweet made of thickened grape juice and nuts) and slices of cured meat, like the delicious lountza.
4. Tuck into warming winter comfort food in a mountain tavern
When it’s cold outside and the snow begins to touch the ground, there is nothing better than stepping foot into a warm restaurant and tucking into a great meal. Many eateries in the winter incorporate soup on their menu, especially avgolemono — an egg/lemon soup with chicken and rice — and trahanas, a hearty mix made with cracked wheat and soured goat’s milk.
Then there’s a whole host of other dishes that are a real winter treat, including moussakas, makaronia tou fournou (pasta with béchamel and minced meat in the oven) and tavas (a traditional lamb stew).
5. Capture some great shots in some scenic spots on camera
When it comes to capturing the best of Cyprus on camera, nothing beats a picture of the snow capped mountains. The peaks of Mount Olympus with its snow covered pines makes for an obvious choice, but we suggest you also get creative by driving to some quaint villages high in the Troodos peaks as cobblestoned streets and terracotta roofs take on a whole different character when dusted in white.
Panoramic village views also make for magnificent pictures, while many often forget that even the wine-growing villages on the southern slopes of Troodos are often covered in white for parts of January and February. With countless vineyards calling out for attention, you can even warm up with some local red wine at a boutique winery once you’ve captured a few great shots of the vineyards in all their white glory as they silently wait for spring.
To find out about all the great things you can do in Troodos this winter, visit www.mytroodos.com/en/