Think of the Troodos mountains and the first thing that will probably spring to mind are the stunning sweet scented pine trees that blanket the rugged peaks. But travel deep inside the cool Paphos Forest and you’ll soon spot these pine trees giving way to thousands of magnificent bright green Cyprus Cedars claiming pride of place on stony mountain sides. Welcome to the gorgeous Cedar Valley!
The Cyprus cedar (Cedrus brevifolia species) is a close cousin of the better-known Lebanese cedar, and travellers flock to catch a glimpse of this magnificent valley via a signposted road from the Kykkos Monastery side of the Troodos Mountains, or from Pano Panagia in Paphos.
Once here, enjoy the peaceful seclusion, kick back on a wooden bench at the picnic site or get your heart racing with a woodland walk that leads up from the Cedar Valley parking area to the imposing Tripilos peak (prepare for a climb over 2km) and have a seat at the forest fire lookout station once at the top. Expect panoramic views across the Paphos forest and magnificent stretches of coastline, towards Polis and Akamas and out to Morphou bay.
The signposted nature trail marks part of an E4 hiking trail, which goes all the way to Kykkos Monastery, through the Valley of Roudia, but we must warn you- it’s an incredibly long trek to get there! From Trypilos, the path also leads to the Horteri nature trail, which takes you on to the Stavros tis Psokas Forest Station.
While you explore the area, keep your eyes peeled for plenty of endemic plants and the Golden Oak (the national tree of Cyprus), while the Tripilos area is also considered one of the most important habitats for the Cyprus Mouflon (a wild sheep found only in Cyprus). It’s not too often that sightings are made, but there are plenty of plenty of travellers that are lucky enough to stop them!
Want to enjoy a bit of sightseeing while you’re in the area? Then you can take a drive to Kykkos Monastery and the gorgeous Stavros tis Psokas, with a picnic site to enjoy a bite to eat. The medieval Venetian bridges of Tzelefos, Elia and Roudias are not too far away either, taking you back in time with an almost fairy-tale backdrop amid lush greenery!
Did you know?
The Cyprus Cedar is also known as Holy Mary’s pine. According to local legend, when the Virgin Mary visited Kykkos Monastery, the pine trees knelt down to honour her and she then rewarded them by transforming them into beautiful cedars.